I get frequent calls and emails about chargers not working. Many times, it is not the charger that is the problem. Probably 60% of the time folks have allowed their batteries to run down below the preset threshold for the factory charger to work. On a 36V cart, below about 26 volts the cart won't charge. On a 48V cart, below about 36V the cart won't charge. So the first thing you should do if you think your charger has failed is get a voltmeter, or multimeter, and test your battery pack for voltage. If you are reading more than 28 volts on a 36 volt pack, or if you read more than 38 on a 48 volt pack then you may have a charger related issue. If you think you are handy enough to do a little electrical work, then below I will give you a few steps to find out what could be wrong with your charger.
EZGO PowerWise Chargers
The single most common failure I see on these chargers is the relay on the circuit board fails. When it goes, the charger will not activate. 99% of times, the board itself is ok and just the relay has failed. However, in less common cases the board itself has also failed and will require replacement. Replacement boards run about $50. I sell the replacement relay for $12. There is a very simple test to confirm if the relay has failed. Once you have opened up the charger you will see the main voltage wires coming in from the plug. They run to the little circuit board. The relay is the black square box on the board with two wires coming out of it. They have spade connectors on them. For TESTING PURPOSES ONLY, you can connect the two wires from the relay together. I must stress to you that this is NOT a safe way to operate this charger and can cause fires and significant damage if you run it this way while charging. This is for TESTING only. Once you attach the two wires together (using a jumper wire of choice) you can then plug the charger in and plug into the cart. If the charger comes on (it will be immediate with zero delay) then you know the relay has failed. The relay on that board has four pins that are soldered to the board, as well as having been coated with adhesive on the board contact side. It can be removed, but will require some effort and care to do so. It can be aggravating as hell and tedious to the point of your blood pressure boiling, so if you don't do well with things of that nature then you might want to just buy the board. If you can handle such things, then I have a listing for the relay with install instructions to get you a new relay and back up and running. Again, this is 99% of the time the fix. About 1% of the time something on the board fails and the relay itself will not fix the problem. You can usually see if the board has a failure as it will have overheated and look really bad. I have attached a photo to the right of the board for your visual reference. The relay constitutes the majority of repairs to the PowerWise 1 charger. If you plug in your charger and it hums, or you hear it come on but the meter doesn't move or barely moves, then your capacitor has failed. The capacitor controls the juice flowing into the cart, and when it quits then nothing makes it to the cart. This is a very simple repair that takes less than 10 minutes. Once in the case, remove a retaining screw and pull off two connectors. Place new Capacitor in, tighter and replace two connections. Job done. This is far less common than relays, but does happen from time to time. I have the capacitors listed in my sales section with full color instructions.
A quick note on the Powerwise 2 Charger. They are basically the same as Powerwise 1 was, with a few minor differences. The capacitor is different, and cannot be interchanged. Using a Powerwise 1 capacitor on a Powerwise 2 will cause a fire. DON'T DO IT! The Powerwise 2 circuit board is obsolete at this time and the ones still out there are absurdly expensive. You can convert it to the Powerwise 1 control board with just a little effort and save yourself hundreds of dollars. I won't go into it here, but you can email me for details.
EZGO PowerWise QE Charger
The general rule of thumb with this charger is, when it breaks throw it in the trash. These chargers were
junk when they built them, and aren't worth the cost to repair. I do have a guy who can repair them, but it's typically about $150 for the repair, plus shipping there and back. Not worth the expense at all in my opinion. I highly suggest just getting a new charger, or even a good used PowerWise 1 charger.
Club Car PowerDrive Chargers
Club Car chargers tend to have a few possible failures. You can have a bad rectifier, Diodes, bad relay, blown fuse, breaker or even loose wires among other things. If your breaker keeps popping on you, you most likely have a bad rectifier. If the relay is bad, the charger won't come on at all. If the breaker has been popped to many times, it will no longer function and have to be replaced. If you have a blown fuse, then something has gone awry and requires diagnostics beyond simple checking as it is uncommon to see blown fuses. If you look on places like eBay, you'll see that most sellers have a listing with all of those parts together and offer a "guarantee" to be there to assist you if that doesn't fix your problem. Well, chances are you only need one part, maybe two if your breaker is shot from popping to many times. But those guys are selling you all of it because it's profitable for them. I almost never replace breakers. I bought a box of 50 of them four years ago when I bought a large amount of charger repair supplies. I still have about 35 in the box today. Breakers just don't go bad that often. Most often I see relays and rectifiers.
There are a multitude of aftermarket chargers, some good and some not so good. If you have a charger that costs less than $300 then it most likely is not any good. Will it work? Sure. But it will be slow and many times unable to achieve a 100% charge. Many of the little cheap chargers you see on eBay charge at 5 amps. This is well below the 20 amp factory maximum rate. DPI makes good chargers, and is one of the only aftermarket brands I sell. I suggest doing extensive research into any brand of charger that you may be thinking of purchasing. Look into reviews, warranty details and find someone who has dealt with a warranty claim and see how good or bad the process was. Many companies use fake or purchased reviews these days that can swing you falsely into believing they make a great product. Dig deeper before you spend your hard earned money.