There are actually many different ways that you can get a golf cart started without a key. In my opinion, you would think that golf cart manufacturers would look into the security issues that most golf carts share.
There are 3 common ways to start a golf cart without a key. You can use a screwdriver or a strong “extra” key to force the ignition to turn. You can hotwire the golf cart by splicing the two ignition wires together or you can borrow a golf cart key from someone else since most use the same or similar keys specific to each brand.
For the most part there are 3 main golf cart manufacturers and from what I have researched, most of the keys could be used to start other golf carts. They will rotate out the keys every so many hundred made but from what I have learned, if you have a key to the top 3 then you could start a good 75% or more of the current go carts in production.
You could consider these keys “master keys” for golf carts. Obviously, this information in the wrong hands isn’t the best BUT odds are those individuals already know a million ways from sunday on how to get a golf cart to start without having a key.
Table of Contents
- How do you bypass the key on a golf cart?
- Are golf cart keys all the same?
- How do you hotwire a Club Car golf cart?
- Do golf carts have universal keys?
- Are golf carts easy to steal?
- How many golf carts are stolen each year?
- The latest numbers state that there are more than 25,000 golf carts stolen each year.
How do you bypass the key on a golf cart?
Most golf carts have an ignition that is easily accessed. You might have to lay down and bend down and under to get a good eye on it BUT it is more than doable. The only reasons to bypass the key on a golf cart is if you lost your original OR a key broke in the golf carts ignition and is impossible to remove.
You can bypass most keys on a golf cart by connecting both ignition wires together. You can then turn the ignition to on IF it was in the off position. The golf cart will start if there is enough battery power.
On my old golf cart I have a couple wires held together with electrical tape. It works fine with me and to be honest, I already have a ton of keys on my keychain. If anyone wants to try and take my golf cart then odds are I can catch up with them once I realize it happened LOL.
Have you ever seen or heard of anyone taking a golf cart while at the course? I’m sure it happens but man would that be a funny video to watch ( assume no one got hurt that is lol ).
Are golf cart keys all the same?
No, golf cart keys are not all the same. Most manufacturers however do use similar or the same keys in specific models and years that are universal to the same type of model and year.
The top 3 golf cart manufacturers which are Club Car, EZ Go and Yamaha will use the same key in multiple golf carts. Most companies will change out the keys every 100 to 250 machines but most can be considered “master keys”.
I think putting an alarm system on your golf cart is a bit much but that would depend on the area where you live or play golf. On public golf courses, it might make sense to have an option to “beep beep” that club car before you go to the bathroom or grab a drink.
I have been to some amazing public courses that have amazing security and some have had me wondering if I should leave my nicer clubs at home or not LOL. Either way, I am more than happy to play at any golf course in any city.
How do you hotwire a Club Car golf cart?
You can hotwire a club car the same exact way you can hotwire any brand golf cart. Unless there is an alarm system or hidden kill switch that cannot be circumvented.
- Locate the ignition which is obviously where you insert the key.
- Locate the ignition wires which will be behind the panel holding the keyed ignition.
- Take some wire clippers or strippers and cut the wires.
- Twist the two wires together and secure with electrical tape.
- Turn the ignition using either a screwdriver, coin or other thin item that is strong enough to turn the ignition.
This is the exact method I used to get mine to start. The funny thing though, after I cut the wires and hot-wired my golf cart… I found my key! What a dope but hey I did learn how to steal my own golf cart.
Do golf carts have universal keys?
This is actually true, most of the top brands of golf carts use a master key for most of them. They are usually randomized upon delivery but a golf cart does for sure share keys with dozens if not hundreds or thousands of similar brand and model golf carts.
Most golf carts can use the same key since most are exact or very similar to each other. These keys are brand and model year specific but can easily fit multiple machines around the world.
I think we are ready to get into wifi, bluetooth, fingerprint or maybe even facial recognition alarm system for these golf carts especially if they keep going up in price like they seem to do lately. This bring me back to KITT from Knight Rider, now that would be a cool golf cart build idea.
Have you tried to start a buddies golf cart that is a different brand and if so, did it work? I am going to ask a couple people when I go to my local club next. Of course some will say no because they might worry about me accidentally breaking their ignition or my key in their ignition.
Man would that be embarrassing BUT I do know how to hotwire a golf cart now ( and so do you ) and I could always teach them as well. Of course this would be a learning lesson that would cost me.
Are golf carts easy to steal?
If you haven’t noticed from this golf cart article the answer is YES! The odds of it happening to you however is next to nothing. Only ones I would worry about are the overly lifted and huge sound system high end rigs.
Most vehicles are easy to steal including golf carts. Most do not have doors or locks and access to the ignition, batteries and internal areas is very doable. Secure your golf cart in a garage or storage unit and install an alarm system to further protect it.
I have seen locks for the wheels and steering wheels that are similar to motorcycle and heavy duty bike locks that I know would work as well. The only downfall to these is for you to have to get on the ground to attach it to the wheel to prevent it from being rolled.
You could secure a chain style lock to the steering wheel but that could be overcome by cutting the steering wheel OR simply dragging the golf cart up and onto a trailer whether the wheel turns freely or not.
How many golf carts are stolen each year?
Well now that I got myself a bit paranoid about this there are a few things that I am going to do to my golf cart. I also suggest you add some sort of security to yours as well. If anything, those batteries that we keep buying are NOT CHEAP.
The latest numbers state that there are more than 25,000 golf carts stolen each year.
Another fun fact for those who care ( of course you do ), A minnesota man actually stole 63 golf carts in 7 states and has been charged for transporting across state lines. I wonder how he got all of those golf carts started without their keys?