ATG (SepOct13) - Explaining air leaks

Question: Jason writes ‘what is an air leak”? What does it mean?

Answer: You will hear that mentioned a lot when referring to two cycle engines. However that does apply to four cycle engines as well. Sense you have a vintage using a four cycle engine we will focus a tad more in that direction.

An air leak is basically the same thing as a vacuum leak and is just more of a term used in area’s we sometimes do not recognize as an vacuum area. Vacuum area’s are carburetor gaskets, carburetor shaft, mounting adapter, seal, fuel pick up line at tank, tank siphon tube, clamp, and engine block hose connections.

Air leaks are more of an area like air cleaner housings, air cleaner hose, or some sort of air inlet to the carburetor. The bottom line is both terms affect engine performance Think about air to fuel ratio for a moment. If we have too little air we have a rich fuel mixture and poor power. If we have too much air we have a lean fuel mixture and cannot have good engine performance. You have to have a good balance of air to fuel for good performance. With that said you can usually tell (based on good compression, spark, fuel and exhaust) some sort of air leak is draining engine performance.

Look for black soot on the spark plug, that is one good sign. Look for hard starting or not starting at all. Look for erratic idling or smoke out the exhaust. Sounds like the engine is misfiring. Loss of power is seen. As you can see this all resembles ignition issues, carburetion issues or even compression issues. You have to rule out those things first. Once we have then we look at those pesky air leaks or vacuum leaks.

Air leaks, look for loose hose clamps or an inlet hose with a hole in it. Or even a clasping hose simulating a leak or ignition problem. Look for cracks or holes in the air cleaner housing. Look for an air cleaner lid that is improperly seated, I see that a lot. Look for an air filter that is full of debris simulating an air leak. Look at any sort of crank case ventilation tube or hose with a hole in it or loose clamps.

Vacuum leaks can be, a seal, or fuel pick up tube that has fallen off. Fuel outlet hose from fuel tank sucking air around the mounting grommet. Throttle shaft sucking air or mounting adapter. Any place that has to do with vacuum you must check. Never rule out the little things and only concentrate on the larger common items. Air leaks are a part of troubleshooting a fuel system. So do not over look this. One other area that is often over looked is the gas tank cap. It has to be vented to the atmosphere or it can fool you making you think we have ignition issue or vacuum leaks. Rule things out and follow procedure and don’t just get one thought in your mind look at the whole picture.

TS (SepOct13) - Lyte-Lock Battery Covers

Reprint by: Matt Vallez

While your golf cart is charging, it may be sending you a message.

As I am sure you are aware, electric golf carts are powered by rechargeable, lead acid batteries. These deep cycle batteries are designed to give the cart a steady discharge of power over a long period of time as compared to a short-term high amperage discharge used for cranking with automotive batteries. Different golf carts use between 36-72 volts as a power supply by using 6 volt, 8 volt or 12 volt batteries.

By far the most popular battery used to power golf carts are vented, wet cell, lead-acid batteries, sometimes called flooded or traction batteries. Other options are also available; mainly AGM (absorbed glass mat) or gel batteries. The reason the vast majority of golf carts use wet cell batteries is the price. AGM or gel batteries can be 2.5 to 3 times the price of a similar wet cell option. The major golf cart manufacturers use wet cell batteries for most of their markets, although they generally provide AGM or gel cells as an option. AGM and gel batteries are also known as ‘maintenance free’ batteries. This is due to the fact that checking and maintaining water levels is unnecessary. All three battery types do an excellent job delivering power and have similar run time capabilities.

So what is the down side of using the more economical wet cell batteries? There are a couple of things to consider First, wet cell batteries require regular maintenance mostly in the form of maintaining the water level inside the battery Second, these batteries are vented for a reason. During the charging cycle, hydrogen and oxygen gases are created and must be discharged into the atmosphere. If not released, the battery case would rupture due to the increased pressure. If you look, you can see the holes located on the vent caps. Unfortunately, water containing sulfuric acid (battery acid) can also be released through these same holes if the water level is not maintained properly or if the battery is overcharged.

The result - The water/battery acid discharge will permanently damage most flooring. This may not be an issue in a cart barn at your local golf course, but since your golf cart is most likely charged in your garage…well, see for yourself. At this point, the concrete itself has been damaged, so cleaning it will not be an option. Left unchecked, sulfuric acid has been known to eat completely through concrete exposing the dirt underneath.

Lyte-Lock has an alternative.

Lyte-Lock is an easy to install battery cover that absorbs and neutralizes battery acid at the source. Lyte-Lock covers are available to fit most 6v, 8v, and 12v vented, lead-acid batteries To install, simply remove the vent cap, place the appropriate fitted cover around the vent holes (label/white side facing up), and then replace the cap. That’s it. It is not necessary to remove the batteries or terminal cables. Installation only takes a couple of minutes. Please refer to the safety instructions on the part and listed at before you begin.

The cover has an orange strip across the top which will change to red as its neutralizing potential diminishes. The average life expectancy of the Lyte-Lock cover is 6 months to a year, but this can vary between the individual batteries.

How does it work? Once acid drips on the Lyte-Lock cover either through the vent holes or from around the O-ring, it is absorbed into the glass matrix and distributed across the surface of the cover. The chemical reaction that neutralizes the battery acid creates water, salt and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide dissipates in the air, the water evaporates, and the salt is contained inside the Lyte-Lock cover. Since battery acid that comes into contact with the terminals can also cause them to corrode, Lyte-Lock covers can minimize this issue as well.

Every couple of months, you should check the water level in your batteries. Make sure to reference the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions and safety guidelines. This is a good time to make note of the orange indicator strip on the cover Generally, each battery will vent at different rates, so you may notice that your set of Lyte-Lock covers will not all have the same amount of wear. Once the strip changes to red, it is time to replace the covers. Simply remove the cover and discard Gloves and safety glasses are recommended any time you work with lead acid batteries.

When the time comes to replace your batteries, you will also notice a difference. It is not uncommon for acid and corrosion to build up around the base of the batteries and on the battery racks. Often, this corrosion has to be removed with a hammer and chisel in order to properly seat the new batteries. This should no longer be an issue if you have been using Lyte-Lock.

Lyte-Lock is simple and safe. Don’t let battery acid leave its mark on your investment.

Visit and pick up a set today.

Industry News - September/October 2013


PSC, Inc has introduced a new mounting for both their fan and heater which requires no tools, and now features a single wing nut to change. Both the fan and heater have detachable plugs. They have a new location now by utilizing a cup holder adapter. This puts the air flow out to the middle of the dash, which the majority of golf car owners perfer. The same cup holder mount works for both the heater and fan and only take minute to change from one to the other.

The PSC 36 or 48 volt heater has two ranges and is 1,000 watts (3,412 BTU’s) which is twice the heat of most other heaters. Their model 1200 fan is 2 speed, and 12 volts. The fan is normally used for large trucks. If puts out 4 to 10 times CFM air flow more than other golf car fans. For cars that have 8 volt batteries, PSC offer and inexpensive ($5.00) 4 volt reducer.

For more information about the PSC product line, please visist


Cushman is pleased to introduce the Refresher® FS2™, an exciting new revenue-producing addition to its Refresher food and beverage line. “There is no other product in the golf industry today with the revenue-generating power of the Refresher FS2,” said Michael R. Parkhurst, vice president, golf for E-Z-GO, which designs and manufactures Cushman vehicles. “The customizable and modular design of the Refresher FS2 combines the clubhouse, pro shop and grill into a mobile storefront that will promote sales and increase a golf club’s profitability, both on the course and for special events.”

FlexServe Technology was developed exclusively for Cushman by 19th Hole, a leader in the design and manufacture of food-and-beverage units for golf vehicles. The customizable, modular, multi-purpose design of the Refresher FS2 with FlexServe Technology features 100 percent accessible storage, 40 percent more merchandising capacity and 14 cubic feet of dry storage space.

Industry-firsts of the Refresher FS2 include a highly versatile end cap with reversible insert for serving morning coffee or afternoon drinks, and a 10-square-foot, wrap-around counter with plenty of space for preparation of drinks and meals, and for staging and exchanging merchandise. The counter is made of durable material that withstands the weather as well as daily trips on the fairways.

Beneath the hood, the Refresher FS2’s 13.5 hp, 401cc Kawasaki® engine generates plenty of power and torque to traverse steep paths. An optional limited-slip differential greatly improves traction on wet or loose terrain, while helping to protect turf from damage due to wheel slippage. A new heavy-duty suspension keeps the Refresher FS2 ride smooth and comfortable throughout the long days on the course.

For more information about Cushman’s complete line of turf utility vehicles, Shuttle personnel carriers and Refresher food and beverage vehicles, visit or join Cushman’s Facebook community. More information is available at


The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has announced slight schedule alterations to various events associated with its annual education conference and industry trade show set for February 2014 in Orlando.

The GCSAA Education Conference will be at the Orange County Convention Center, Monday through Thursday, Feb. 3-6. The trade show will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 5-6, at the same venue. Unlike in recent years, there will be no activities on Friday in 2014. The USGA session moves to 8-10 a.m. Thursday, prior to the start of the second day of the trade show, and will become the General Session.

In addition, to alleviate the amount of overlap between the GCSAA Golf Championships and the education conference, the golf tournament dates have been shifted back one day from last year. The four-ball competition will be Saturday, Feb. 1, with the fun event (shamble format) being held Sunday, Feb. 2. The GCSAA National Championship and the GCSAA Golf Classic will be held Sunday through Monday, Feb. 2-3. All the golf events will be at Orlando-area golf facilities.

“The focus will remain on keeping the agenda as condensed as possible to minimize expense and time away for both attendees and exhibitors,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Our post-event surveys indicate that our efforts to shorten the week were seen as a positive, but there were a few instances where conflicts were created. We have shared the new schedule with some of our committees, and the response has been good.”

A working schedule of events is now available on the conference website -, with additional information added as it becomes available.

Housing reservations will open Aug. 6, and GCSAA member registration for the golf tournament, conference and trade show opens in early November.

Find GCSAA on Facebook, follow GCSAA on Twitter, and visit GCSAA at

NEW CLASS OF VEHICLE BEGS THE QUESTION “Are you Driving a Golf Car or an LSV?”

Once upon a time, a golf car was a golf car. Period. “But that’s no longer true,” says Mary A. Sicard, director of consumer marketing at Club Car.

Although the term “golf car” is still commonly used to refer to many types of vehicles, legally speaking a golf car is a vehicle used on golf courses for the game of golf. The speed of these vehicles is limited to 15 mph or less.

“When golf cars are used off course, they are classified as Personal Transport Vehicles, or PTVs. PTVs can be gasoline or electric-powered with a maximum speed of less than 20 mph. They may be driven on public roads as defined by state and local laws for purposes unrelated to golf,” Sicard says. Neither golf cars nor PTVs are classified as motor vehicles under federal law and neither are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) but by state and local governments.

Enter the Low Speed Vehicle (LSV)

But a new class of street-legal vehicle known as low speed vehicles (LSVs) is classified as a motor vehicle and regulated by the NHTSA. These zero-emissions cars can reach speeds of between 20-25 mph. They can be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less in most states. They must have certain safety equipment, be registered and insured, and can be driven only by licensed drivers.

Here’s why that’s causing some confustion. Original manufacturers of golf cars keep the maximum speed below 15 mph. Yet owners sometimes have their vehicles modified to increase the speed when they want to use a golf car as a PTV. This can have legal ramifications. If a golf car is modified to go 20–25 mph, it becomes by definition an LSV and is subject to NHTSA regulations. “In effect, many people are driving an LSV when they think they are driving a golf car,” Sicard says. “That can leave them open to liability and litigation, especially in the event of an accident.”

Take it Slow with Speed Upgrades

Independent shops and mechanics often offer speed upgrades, but they don’t always understand or explain the ramifications.

Some suppliers market gear-set upgrade options. But these products are difficult to install, reduce torque and impair hill-climbing ability. They also void the warranty and may increase the risks of accidents. “If you want to upgrade the speed of your golf car, make sure you keep it under 20 mph,” Sicard says.

Accelerate With the Xcelerator™

“To safely meet the needs of people who want to upgrade speed without sacrificing performance or voiding the warranty, Club Car offers an affordable 19-mph upgrade for its gasoline golf cars. Known as the Xcelerator, it is the only factory-authorized upgrade for Club Car golf cars on the market,” says Sicard.

The Xcelerator can be installed on new or existing gasoline golf cars. The all-inclusive kit feature a drive clutch, driven clutch, CVT belt, accelerator cable and associated hardware.

These kits are sold only through Authorized Club Car Dealers. To find a dealer near you, visit and select “Dealer Locator.


Winning team represents US and Australia

Leading up to the John Deere Classic, PGA Tour professionals once again joined golf course superintendents and general managers for a round at TPC Deere Run. The Pro-Am, hosted by John Deere Golf, included 28 teams from around the world.

Winning bragging rights this year was a team lead by PGA Tour Pro Grand Waite. Grant’s team included Jason Manfull of Crow Valley Golf Club, Davenport, Iowa; Ben Tilley of Headland Golf Club, Queensland, Australia along with Rich Hohman, president, Kitson and Partners Clubs of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Rob Jeske, general manager, Corporate Business Division, John Deere Agriculture and Turf Division. The team finished with a net score of 54 winning after a card-back tie.


Golfers could soon be cruising the links in luxury.

During the British Open, Mercedes Benz released sketches of the “Vision Golf Cart,” a new, futuristic concept golf cart that brings the luxury factor in golf to a higher level.

Based on the sketches, it’s clear that the golf cart may even have features that a regular vehicle doesn’t have.

The cart is driven with a central joystick that allows people on either side to drive, and is powered by solar panels on the roof.

Among the tech gadgets included in the cart are; a state-of-the art media system accompanied by touch screen monitors, and a multimedia panel with a rotatable docking station for an iPad or iPhone, which also allows duffers to communicate with other golf carts and the clubhouse.

Heck, it even includes an “air scarf” in the seat which blows hot air on golfers’ necks in case anyone gets chilly while playing a round as well as a “Fore” button — which may, or may not, sound like Siri — which quickly warns other players on the course of a misplaced shot.

The project was overseen by Mercedes-Benz’s head of design, Gordon Wagener, along with the help of eager golf fans and car enthusiasts who submitted their ideas to the car maker regarding the amenities they think should be put in the one-of-a-kind golf cart.

The golf fans that submitted the winning ideas were awarded VIP invitations to the Open Championship in Guilane, Scotland.

Wagener said the design fits in well with the Mercedes “Sensual-Purity” design philosophy. While only a concept, there is no word on whether Mercedes-Benz may follow through with the design, further teasing anyone who may want to try the cart out in the future.

While many thought that Bubba Watson’s hover cart may have been a step above the beat-up carts at your local course, the new Mercedes concept may raise the bar when it comes to the uniqueness of golf carts on the course.

CS (SepOct13) - Star EV


STAR EV’s recipe for success has launched the Company past the other so called “mid-tier” golf car and electric vehicle players. Going into their 10th year of business, STAR EV, a brand of JH Global Services, Inc., is based in Greenville, South Carolina. STAR EV is a manufacturer, assembler and distributor of over 40 models of clean, green, all electric vehicles. These models cross several product segments including Golf & Recreation, Street Legal, People Movers, Off Road and, Commercial/Industrial.

A few years ago, STAR EV made major in-roads in the commercial and industrial segments. Offering several varieties of customizable medium and heavy duty burden carriers, the company has broad penetration in industries like Hotel/resorts, Airlines, Manufacturing facilities, Government Entities (GSA), State and Local City fleets along with many others.

The K-Series line (cover photo) features fully customized all aluminum application platforms. STAR EV uses CAD software to custom design the American make aluminum boxes. In addition, the K-Series line comes standard with rust resistant features including full chassis petroleum based rust proofing treatment, Aluminum wheels and treated metal on remaining areas of the car. The K-Series line comes with and without doors or all weather sunbrella enclosures.

In addition to STAR EV’s 40 models, JH Global Services, Inc. offers a line of STAR Golf Car Accessories for many models including STAR EV, Club Car, EZ GO and more. This line includes flip seats, tires & wheels, brush guards, light kits, mirrors, seat belts, utility boxes, windshields, stereos and more.

STAR EV offers points of difference that help set the company apart from many other EV manufacturers. Variety, value, customization and after sales service give STAR EV its’ sustainable reason for being. Their 104,000 Sq. Ft. headquarter facility, located in Greenville, SC includes two paint booths, commercial lifts, overhead cranes and fabrication equipment which enables the company to excel at all areas of customization.

The STAR EV management team strongly believes that business is not all about making money. It is about creating a legacy through dedicated people working towards the same goal to complete a mission.

For more information on Star EV and to see their complete product line, including personal use vehicles and accessories, please visit

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