My Go Kart Starter Doesn’t Shut Off?!

Question: “Hi my 150cc go cart after a period of sitting for a while is not working right. I went to start it and it was cranking over ( I’ve already figured out the carburetor is junk and getting a new one) but it kept turning over and over even when I turned the key off. Any help??”

Answer:

The main problem with go-kart’s sitting is corrosion. Corrosion on all fronts. Anything that is able to corrode will, especially if it sits out in the weather.

So, what can corrode, that counts?

1. Carburetors
2. Cables
3. Engine linkages
4. Pull Starters
5. Electric Starters
6. On/Off Switches
7. Battery Connections
8. Chains
9. Brakes
10. Bearings

That is a pretty tall list, meaning everything on that list needs to be checked.

In your case, the starter is corroded and stays on, because the solenoid linkage is not allowing the spring to return the starter gear. Therefore the starter stays on, because there is an automatic switch that is activated when the starter gear returns. The gear cannot come back, not allowing the switch to trip.

Take the starter off, clean it up good. WD-40 it on all sliding surfaces and then put it back together.

General Rules

As far as general corrosion is concerned a general rule of thumb needs to be understood.  Anything wet generally speaking, whether it is gasoline, water, soda…liquids that can creep easily into cracks generally are caustic and can cause harm to metal surfaces.

The actual agent of damage is galvanic or electrical conduction damage, especially on dissimilar metals.  By definition if two dissimilar metals are in contact, IE aluminum and stainless steel, they will start to corrode.  More specifically, the aluminum will start to pit and corrode or break down turning into a white powder.

To shield the dissimilar metals  from touching each-other various methods are employed.  The simplest is to coat the surfaces with a thin film of fluid such as oil, or grease.  The grease and oil keep the metals from touching each-other, or at least minimize the surface contact, while adding a secondary benefit of lubrication.

Long term protection can be had by coating the parts with zinc, or a good layer of paint.  Depending on the surface and its exposure to abrasion or mechanical wear, paint is a good shield against corrosion.

Gas in a carburetor, because of the ethanol additives, is a terrible nemesis to carbertor parts.  As a result, any weed wacker, lawnmower, go kart carb should be bled dry after seasonal use, because any residual gas will reek havoc to carburetor parts clogging them up, and jamming the butterfly valves.

In this question put before us, the nemesis was probably a go-kart left out in the elements.  The rain, snow mixtures easily acid/rusted and jammed up the starter in  a matter of days.  If you have the option, put a cover, or tarp over your gokart, lawnmower, snowblower, if it must be kept outside.  This will keep the exposed surfaces at least dry-ish and keep the mechanical jam ups and corrosion at bay.

GKG

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