Gas Golf Carts use an internal combustion engine like many cars do. Sometimes gas golf carts can start creating a backfire sound which is a loud popping sound that happens when unburned fuel ignites in the exhaust system or intake manifold of the engine rather than the combustion chamber where it's supposed to ignite.
Why does this happen?
1. Rich Air-Fuel Mixture: If the right ratio of air to fuel is not met, such as having too much fuel and not enough air, the fuel will not ignite in the combustion chamber and make its way elsewhere to ignite.
2. Ignition timing: If the timing of the ignition is off, then the fuel may ignite while the exhaust valve is still open, leading to a backfire
3. Exhaust system heat: The shorter the exhaust system, the more likely the close proximity of the engine components can lead to higher exhaust temperatures. If the unburned fuel enters the exhaust system when is overtly hot, it can ignite the fuel.
4. Stuck Intake or Exhaust Valves: If the intake or exhaust valves are sticking, this can disrupt the flow of fuel through the engine. This can lead to abnormal combustion events that leads to backfiring.
5. Carbon Buildup: Carbon deposits accumulate in the combustion chamber which can heat up and ignite the fuel.
6. Aftermarket Modification: The type of golf cart's engine upgrades may increase backfiring depending on the upgrade.
Once in a while a gas golf cart may backfire and it may just need a simple cleaning. But if its habitually backfiring, then this would indicate that service may be required.