Upgrading your golf cart seems to be the popular thing to do these days. Adding sound systems, lift kits, custom seating, and of course wheels and tires. In this guide Golf Cart Wheels and Tires: A Complete Guide, we are going to do our best to explain everything you need to know about upgrading those old rotted tires, and hopefully answer some of the most frequently asked questions you have about golf cart tires and rims. Let’s roll into this!

The Differences Between Tires, Wheels, and Rims

Ok, this is going to sound pretty dumb to a lot of people, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t know the difference between a tire, a rim, or a wheel.

The golf cart Tire is pretty much what you’d expect. It’s a big piece of black rubber that is shaped around the silver metal that supports the tire. That silver metal part is called the wheel. A rim is just another name for a wheel. So if you’re confused about the difference between rim and wheel, there is none. 

Tires

Below we break down some of the most common questions we hear when it comes to golf cart tires. A stock golf cart will come equipped with an 8” tire, but beyond that you have a couple options to choose from. First let’s take a look at the two main types of tires you can purchase for your custom golf cart.

Low Profile Tires 

Low Profile Golf Tire

Low Profile tires are going to be thinner, and more versatile when it comes to fitting your golf cart. Chances are, you’ll be able to fit most low profile tires on your golf cart without a lift kit.

Most low profile tires will come in sizes of 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches. If you have a Club Car, EZGO, or Yamaha golf cart, you won’t need a lift kit for low profile tires in those sizes.

High Profile/All Terrain Tires 

High Profile Golf Cart TireHigh Profile tires, otherwise known as All Terrain tires, are going to have a little bit more meat on them. These are mostly designed for off-roading, and will require your golf cart to be lifted. You can find High Profile tires in sizes such as 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches. If you own a Club Car, EZGO, or Yamaha, you’ll be able to get away with an 8” all terrain tire without a lift kit.

As you can see, the type of tire you purchase can directly affect whether you’re going to need a lift kit. Remember an 8” tire, low profile, or all terrain will fit on any stock cart without a lift kit. If you go any bigger than 8”, you’ll need a lift. We’ve seen 24” tires on a lifted golf cart, so the sky’s the limit.

Reading Golf Cart Tire Sizes

This is something that a lot of people struggle with, and we completely understand. Tire sizes included a lot of different numbers and dashes. What does all of this mean? In this next section we give you a few examples on how to read tire sizes so you can become a pro.

 

Example: Low Profile Tire (205/65-10)

205 – This is the measurement of your golf cart tires width in millimeters. 205 millimeters equals to about 8”. 

65 – This number is your ratio of the sidewall of the tire to the width of the tire. (205 divided by 65 is your ratio) The larger the ratio, the larger the tire will be.

10 – This is the number that matches your wheel size in inches. (The inner part of the tire that attaches to the rim/wheel).

 

Example: All Terrain Tire (22×11-8)

22 – This is your tire height in inches

11 – This number represents the width of the tire (across the tread) in inches.

8 – This number represents the wheel size (in inches) that the tire should be mounted on.

All terrain tires are a little bit easier than low profile, considering you don’t have to worry about ratios. 

Lift Kit Guide for Tire Sizes

If you own a Club Car, EZGO, or Yamaha, we’ve built our own guide for you to reference so you can have a better understanding on which size lift kit you’ll need for the tires you plan to purchase.

If you don’t plan to put tires larger than 18” on your custom cart, then you should be fine without a lift kit, as long as you own one of the previously mentioned golf cart manufacturers. EZGO will handle 20” tires with no lift kit, but that’s considering you have no added weight on the back (rear seats, storage boxes).

Club Car Lift Kit to Tire Size Guide

  • 20” tire will need at least a 3” lift kit.
  • 22” tire will need a 4” lift kit.
  • 23” tire will need a 5” lift kit
  • 23” and higher will require a 6” lift kit

EZGO Lift Kit to Tire Size Guide

  • 22” tire will need at least a 3” lift kit.
  • 22” tire will need a 4” lift kit.
  • 23” tire will need a 5” lift kit
  • 23” and higher will require a 6” lift kit

Yamaha Lift Kit to Tire Size Guide

  • 20” tire will need at least a 3” lift kit.
  • 22” tire will need a 4” lift kit.
  • 22” tire will need a 5” lift kit
  • 23” and higher will require a 6” lift kit

Are you looking for larger tires to put on your custom golf cart? Below are a few carts that will accept 24” tires.

  • Club Car – With a 6” A-Arm Lift and extension plate.
  • Club Car – With an 8” Spindle Lift Kit (accepts 27” tires) 7’ Z-braket lift (accepts 25” tires) 9” Zbraket lift (accepts 27” tires).
  • EZGO – 7” lift will accept up to 25” tires.
  • Yamaha – any lift between 3” and 7” will not support 24” tires.

Learn More about Golf Cart lift Kits

Approved Tires for DOT and Turf

Depending on the environment that you’re riding in, and whether you’ll be riding on the roads, there are a few things you should know before purchasing tires. Below we explain the differences between DOT approved tires and Turf approved tires for your custom cart.

DOT Approved

If your tires are DOT approved, this means that they are certified through the Department of Transportation. The treads are designed for road use, and will come in sizes such as 8”, 10”, 12” and 14” for your golf cart wheels.

Turf Approved

Golf cart owners can take their carts through multiple environments. Maybe they’re following a path, or maybe they’ll be riding on the roads, unfortunately golf courses can have some strict rules on what tires they allow on the fairways. 

If you have meaty tires on your cart, chances are the golf course won’t approve. These tires tend to leave massive ruts, and can tear up a course quickly if it’s wet. If you plan to use your golf cart on a golf course, then you’ll need “turf approved” tires. These tires are designed for less slip, and won’t tear up the course if you do get caught in the rain.

Tread Types for Golf Carts

There are multiple options for tread when choosing a golf cart tire, and below we explain to you the differences between the 5 most commonly used treads for golf carts.

Knobby Tires – Knobby tires can come in hundreds of different tread patterns. Most of the differences are very slight, but the shapes of the knobs will help you depending on the terrain they are being used in. 

Sand Tires – These are going to be a little different from your standard golf cart tires. The tread on sand tires are lateral, creating “flaps” in your tire. Sand tends to slip, so the odd design of these tires help to add traction so you aren’t slipping in moving sand.

All Terrain – All terrain tires generally have the best all around tread. These tires can handle the duties of light off-roading, but can also perform at a high level on roads as well. 

Street Tires – These tires are equipped with a mid tread, or “turf tread”. These tires are some of the most popular, mostly because you can ride them around in your neighborhood, or take them to your local golf course.

Smooth Tires – These tires will most likely come with no tread. Some people refer to these types of tires as slicks. If you are planning to mow greens with your golf cart, then smooth tires are the only way to go.

Tire Maintenance

Maintaining your golf cart tires will ultimately determine how long they will last. Depending on the amount of use they get, and how hard you ride, tires will last anywhere between 2 and 4 years. 

If you manage to run into problems with your tires, we have a few tips below to help you fix leaks and keep your tires running strong for a longer period of time.

Leaky Tires

If your tire springs a leak, don’t worry, you may not have to replace it. In today’s market there are so many remedies for leaky tires. They have products such as fix-a-flat, or other inflators that come in aerosol cans, that fix leaks in a pinch. Even though this may fix a temporary leak, you should work quickly to replace the tire, since these are not meant to be a permanent fix.

Understanding PSI

PSI is the pressure in which your tires air is measured. PSI stands for Pounds Per Square Inch. Most tires have their max PSI listed on the side of the tire, that way you won’t overfill when adding air to your tires.

A PSI gauge is a helpful tool when filling golf cart tires, this allows you to measure the air in the tire by applying this tool to the valve stem ( this is the thin rubber tube coming out of the tire where you fill the air).

Average PSI for Golf Carts

Generally golf cart tires run around 20-22 PSI. This of course will change depending on the tire and the amount of air that it’s rated for. 

We’ve seen tires that take 15 PSI and others that take 25. It all depends on your specific tire, so remember to read the sidewall to see what PSI is recommended for your tires. Do your best NOT to over inflate.

Extra Tips

Tread and Ply Matter

Make sure that you are purchasing the right tread and ply for your tires in relation to what you’re using them for. An example: You shouldn’t be buying 2 ply tires if you plan to off-road. They will wear and break down much quicker than if you were riding on the road.

Rotating Your Tires

When your back tires weight is different from your front, you can cause more wear on the tire than if they were balanced. Rotating your tires regularly (depending on use, at least once a year) will ultimately allow for your tires to last longer and experience unnecessary wear. 

What Makes for Great Tires?

The quality of rubber and beads (the steel belt in the tire) are going to directly affect the quality of your golf cart tire. We recommend choosing a tire from a trusted manufacturer that has dedicated their business to providing those with the best golf cart tires. Below we list some of our favorite companies that make golf cart tires.

Red Hawk (RHOX)

Duro

Kenda

Achieva

Innova

Carlisle

These brands are trusted in the golf cart industry, and have a ton of great reviews. If we were to purchase tires for our custom carts, we would go with one of those brands.

Wheels

Now onto the fun part. The wheels! Tires can add cool tread, and off-road capability to your golf cart, but a wheel is really what makes it shine. Golf cart wheels are becoming more popular in the custom golf cart industry, and for good reason. They make the golf cart stand out, and add a level of awesomeness that turns heads when it rolls down the road.

In this section we’ll explain to you some answers from the most frequently asked questions when it comes to rims for your golf cart.

The Most Popular Wheels and Rim Finishes

The three most common finishes for golf cart rims are:

  • Chrome
  • Machined 
  • Polished

Common Rim Sizes

Most wheels come in 4 different sizes: 8, 10, 12, and 14 inches

Mounting Your Wheel on the Tire

Mounting a tire on a brand new rim may seem a little overwhelming, but I can assure you it’s pretty easy, as long as you have a tire iron, 

First thing you should do is check to see what way the tire tread should be facing. This can change depending on the tire, which should be listed in a manual or the box they came in. After you have the tread pattern set up in the right direction, you’ll want to clean your rim really well with a heavy duty degreaser. 

After the wheel is clean, you place the wheel down into the tire, and use the tire iron to slowly tuck the lip of the tire under the edge of the rim, and that’s pretty much it. Do this process carefully and slowly so you don’t damage your brand new wheel.

Can You Purchase Wheels Pre-Mounted?

If you aren’t trying to mount your tires on brand new rims, then you can always purchase the wheel/tire combo. Most manufacturers or aftermarket golf cart companies will provide you with the options to have the tire and rim of your choice sent to you pre-mounted. 

Installing Pre-Mounted Wheels and Tires on Your Golf Cart

The first thing you should do before installing your new pre-mounted wheels is to slide a small jack or lift under the chassis of the golf cart. While keeping all the tires on the ground, loosen the lug nuts on the wheel you plan to replace. 

After everything is loosened you may need to remove the valve stem from the tire, using a special tool. If not, remove the lugs, pull the tire off, and place the new pre-mounted tire on the lug studs. Tighten all of your lugs, place the cart back down on the ground (lower jack) and retighten all of the lugs again. After this is done, you should be good to go!

Top Brands for Golf Cart Wheels

Choosing the right brand of wheels and rims for your new custom cart can be difficult, especially with all the options you have to choose from. In this section we list a few of the most common manufacturers for golf cart rims, so you spend less time scouring the internet for the perfect brand.

Cartmodz 

Cart Modz 1

Cart Modz 2

Cart Modz 3

Check out more options here!

FairwayAlloys

Fairway alloy 1

Fairwayalloy rims 2

fairway 3

Check out more options here!

MadJax

madjax rims 1

madjax rims 2

madjax rims 3

Check out more options here!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the wheels and tires on your golf cart can make a huge difference in look. They add style to your cart that your normal stock rim can’t. In this guide we’ve given you all the information you need to start putting together the perfect wheel and tire combo for your custom cart.

We explained the differences in tires, and how tread can affect the way that your golf cart performs. Not only that, but we even explained the differences in tread types, and why you would use specific treads in certain situations.

We did our best to teach you the easiest way to read tire sizes, and even gave you some insight on how to mount your brand new tires on a wheel. 

If you are looking to add some pizzazz to your brand new custom golf cart, then we recommend checking out the previously mentioned companies above for your new rims and tires. There are hundreds of options and combinations, so we’re sure you’ll find something you love!

If you have any other questions that we weren’t able to answer in this guide, leave us a comment below, and we’ll do our best to help you out! Thanks for reading.

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