Go Kart Maintenance Step by Step Guideline

If you are an avid go kart owner, then you probably already know the ins and outs of go kart maintenance. If you are a new owner though you may have gotten a quick run-down. First and foremost, of course always follow your owner’s manual if you have one.

This is just a general guide that you can use. Since there are so many different makes and models of go karts. If it is a build it won’t have a guide. So the suggestions made here are just for general reference. Keeping your go kart up and running does take some regular maintenance.

With regular maintenance though you can help stave off a lot of big problems. You can also be rest assured by keeping up with your go kart maintenance, that your go kart will be ready to go when you are. Keep reading for general maintenance tips and things you should check at the end of your go karting season or when it will be stored for a while.

go kart maintenance guide

image from: infentorides.com

General Things to Check Often for Go Kart Maintenance

Here is the area we will go over things to check regularly throughout the time you are using your go kart. Some will also include how to do instructions, so you can do many things yourself. Saving yourself money having to have someone else do it. Remember, though in doubt it is best having someone skilled to do it.

  • Know your chain, make sure you get to know your chain. Sizing your chain is important in keeping your go kart running. You want to make sure it always fits properly. Sizing it is relatively easy, to resize your chain you have to drive the pins out. The tools you need are pretty affordable, which is great. Otherwise you can drive the pins out with a punch that is just a little smaller than the diameter of the pin.
  • Don’t remove too many link, because that could lead into trouble. After removing the proper links, then you simply reconnect the chain, the links you need have a clip snap. Install the clip making sure that the closed end is facing in the direction of the chains travel.
  • Adjusting the tension of the chain, chains will stretch over time it is normal. So if you don’t check it on a regular basis, eventually you will be riding around and it will just fall off. In order to re-tension the chain, you need to loosen the mounting bolts. Then you have to move the engine either back or forward to get the tension you need.

The approximate amount of tension needed is ½ inch of movement in the chain. When checking tension check between the clutch and sprocket. Over tightening will reduce chain life and you will lose horsepower. You will also end up with unwanted clutch engagement when you want to idle. 

  • Lubricate your chain! It is important that you remember to do this on a regular basis. Your go kart typically uses a roller chain. The steel pins always rub inside of the steel tubes. So you need that barrier to provide protection. The best way to do a proper lubrication is to remove the chain completely then soak in the lubricant recommended for your go kart overnight. If you forget to do so and just need to get riding you could apply a chain lubricant. However, it is not recommended for every time lubing.
  • Aligning your chain, is another thing that is great to do while already doing maintenance. First thing to check is to make sure that the clutch and drive sprockets are in alignment. If they are not, it will cause faster wear than you want.

Easiest way to check alignment is to rotate the drive wheel backward. While doing that check that the chain is feeding straight back onto the back sprocket. The chain should be riding in the center of the sprocket. If not, you will have to add or remove the spacers on the drive wheel axle until it is correctly aligned.

Check for worn out parts, if the chain has too much slack or isn’t fitting in between sprocket teeth right it is time for a new chain. Also make sure to check sprocket too, if the teeth have become pointed it is time to replace it as well.

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Oil Maintenance

Checking the oil is pretty common sense but next is some tips on oil changes and maintenance schedule. So you know the easiest and best ways to handle the oil maintenance.

There are two ways you can change the oil some engines have a square headed bolt at the bottom of the block. If you remove this the oil will flow to the lowest point of the engine. This is also the best for removing the sludge that may have accumulated at the bottom. This route can also be very messy. The other way is to remove the engine and dump the oil, or tip the whole kart backward and let the oil out a filler hole into a pan.

Also another trick many will do for a more efficient oil change is to bring the motor up to operating temp. However, the engine and oil will be very hot, so it can make pulling the engine a no go way of changing it. 

Your oil changing schedule should be according to your engine specs. One of the biggest known manufacturers Briggs suggests changing the oil every 25 hours or once per season. If you are lucky enough to live where you can ride all year, you will be doing it more frequently than once a season.

End of Season Checklist of Things to Do

If you are someone who does have to put the go kart away for the season, there are things that should be done. So here is a great general checklist of what those things are. 

  • Drain gas, best way is to let run until empty. If carb has a bowl, check for a drain plug. Remove the rest of gas through evaporation in a ventilated area.
  • Keep machine out of the elements, a tarp is a great option.
  • Lubricate your brake and throttle ends with WD-40 or another to avoid seizing.
  • Before using in spring, take out spark plug. Then add small amount of oil to the cylinder. Then insert spark plug again, then slowly pull starter before attaching the plug wire again.


Hopefully this information helps you to keep your go kart running in tip top shape. I know maintenance can sometimes seem scary. However, go kart maintenance is easier than you think and by doing it will save you harder more difficult work sooner than it has to be done. That’s all for today, I would love to hear any comments or questions that you have about Go Kart Maintenance  

Melissa Gibson

Melissa has been a technology writer for the last five years. She lives in New York City and during her vacation, you will find her riding scooters, reading books and hiking mountains.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Alexandria Martinez - 6 years ago

Go Karts is so much for kids and people of all ages, but it is imperative that they are kept in good working order. I like your advice to keep the car out of the elements. This keeps everything clean and maintained and if in the event of needing racing kart motor parts at least it is known that the most were gotten out of each part.


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