Karting is considered one of the most popular types of recreation in modern times. What’s more, it’s the perfect way to practice driving in a safe area where you can’t seriously harm yourself or others.

Centrifugal clutches are the very components that make karting devices different from other similar outdoor activities and make the use of karting as close as possible to driving a conventional car.

However, users may experience go-kart clutch problems when buying or renting a go-kart. If this situation is relevant to you, then this article will help you, as you will consider what types of problems with clutches are and how to solve them.

What is a go-kart clutch?

A go-kart clutch is a device that moves the vehicle. A clutch is a conductor of energy between the engine and the wheels, and thanks to it, you can easily pick up and slow down while driving.

The clutch is activated precisely by engine speed, which is why it is not inactive while the kart is just standing, which is pretty good for the system.

The engine idle speed is set by the manufacturer of the go-kart, so before you doubt whether you lost idle speed due to issues with the go-kart clutch, make sure the speed is below normal (about 1400 rpm).

However, the number cannot be exact, which is why you need to refer to the user manual to make sure exactly what speed, namely the number of revolutions per minute, your karting device has, so that, starting from the norms of your “car”, you can understand when it is worth checking the operation of the engine and clutch.

What is a gear ratio?

A gear ratio is a number that shows the relationship between rpm and speed. The main purpose of calculating and using the gear ratio is to use speed to reduce torque or vice versa. Gear ratio is used in go-karts, as in them the device is activated precisely due to the relationship between speed and revolutions.

How can I identify a problem in the centrifugal clutch?

To be sure when solving a problem that you will not damage the entire system in any way, it is important to understand whether there is a breakdown at all inside the centrifugal clutch. 

You may not even notice the issue while driving and activating, the front and rear tires will move in the same way, which is why you should know in advance how to calculate the breakdown correctly

First, pay attention to the go-kart clutch drum, namely the color. If the system is damaged, then the color of the metal will change, for example, before that, you had black metal, and now it is blue. Also, you may notice during the ride a feeling of “slip” from which it will sometimes be difficult to break, as there is an excess of paint.

In such cases, you need to immediately look at the condition of the go-kart centrifugal clutch components. If you are not sure that you can figure out the problem yourself, but at the same time you feel that the karting has started to work differently, you can refer to the user manual and pay for a consultation of your device to get a verified check.

Instructions on fixing go-kart clutch

Finally, we come to the main question of this article, namely, how to properly solve the problems associated with the go-kart clutch?

Below you can find a list of breakdowns and how to solve them.


The first issue most commonly encountered by go-kart users is clutch overheating. More often than not, you can tell what’s going on with overheating by the pungent smell of burning or burnt rubber.

This issue occurs because too much friction occurs inside the clutch system and as a result of heating.

And to eliminate overheating, companies ask users to use a special lubricant and the correct amount.

To solve this problem, you need to urgently lubricate the go-kart clutch components, such as the snap ring for example. However, this must be done carefully and prevent the lubricant from getting into the wrong places, for example, ventilation, as this will lead to breakage.


The second problem is clutch stuck. Most often this happens as a result of overheating, as the components inside the go-kart clutch begin to melt and combine, which completely spoils the operation of the clutch.

In particular, tension springs and go-kart drum clutches are prone to such a problem,

To solve this problem, you first need to open the clutch and look at the condition of the components inside, if you see that some parts are damaged and melted, then take them out and put new ones in their place.

Not engaging (clutch drum) 

Perhaps the failure of the clutch lies in the fact that it simply does not turn on when the activation speed (1800 rpm) is reached, which is formed from the interaction of the flyweights and the entire clutch drum.

Most often, this problem occurs when the clutch drum, tension springs, and other components are worn out, which should help activate the clutch.

The not-engaged clutch may still allow you to ride, but the ride will be uncomfortable as the kart may stop abruptly or jerk.

First of all, this issue can be solved by replacing parts that have worn out, for example, tension springs. You can also help if you remove the grease and replace the standard tension springs instead.

Engages early 

The last issue that go-kart users may face is clutch activation too early and too fast.

You can feel it because as soon as you activate the engine’s idle speed, you will immediately go to a huge idle speed without overclocking.

To solve this problem, you first need to check how is the engine idle speed set. If the engine accelerates too quickly, you should check its condition. The problem can also be in the clutch system itself, such as worn or damaged flyweights.

Things to maintain go-kart clutch

To continue enjoying the good performance of your go-kart in the future, you need not only to know how to properly repair the clutch but also how to maintain it in good condition.

Below you can find tips to help you with this.

Oil a clutch 

First, you should always use oil, as not only does this allow the components inside your clutch to work better, but it also prevents overheating and rapid wear of the mechanical parts. The frequency of lubrication of the go-kart snap ring and clutch should match how often you use it.

To select the correct oil, you can refer to the user manual. Normal 30-viscosity automotive oils are usually suitable for karting, but it’s best to make sure that your specific clutch system will work well with this type of oil.


It is very important to always keep an eye on the condition of the mechanical and other parts inside your go-kart clutch. You can do this as regularly as lubricating, as long as you check all the parts carefully and always have new ones with you to quickly fix the breakdown before it spreads to the entire system.

For example, if you notice that the clutch chain and tension springs start behaving strangely, preventing the clutch from activating, it is best to replace it immediately and not try to fix it.

Lifespan of clutch 

Contact your go-kart manufacturer to find out what warranty your clutch has. Usually, clutches can work fine for several years with good care, however, if suddenly your clutch stopped working much earlier, and you are sure that the problem is not with you, contact the owner’s manual.

It’s also important to follow all the rules for using and caring for your go-kart if you want the clutch and other components like the engine to work as long as possible.

Driving habits 

Finally, one of the most important things that affect the operation of a straight clutch system and go-kart, in general, is how exactly you use the karting and what mistakes you make while driving.

First, you need to learn how to ride not too slowly and still ride at full throttle. Always keep an eye on the gear ratio of the front clutch sprocket and rear sprocket. This allows you to reduce speed and revs without harming the clutch system itself.

You can also use a torque converter to make good use of the low speed. Torque converter go-kart clutch is a system that will cost a lot of money but will help to avoid wear not only on the clutch system but also on other components of the go-kart, such as the front and rear tires.

Oil a centrifugal clutch 

You need to lubricate the snap ring of the go-kart clutch as often as you go-kart, best every one and a half to two hours of driving.

It is very important to properly lubricate the snap ring and clutch, so as not to get into places where the lubricant will not only be useless but, on the contrary, may begin to harm your entire clutch.

First, you need to open the clutch and find the snap ring. The bronze bushing will be located there, and it should be oiled. Deactivate the kart before this. You can also lubricate the clutch right before riding, but then you have to wait a bit for the mechanical parts to lubricate.


How long does a go-kart clutch last?

In general, a go-kart clutch can easily serve you for several years if you use it correctly and always try to take care of it. However, you will learn the exact figure from a company representative.

Why is my go-kart clutch not engaging?

Most often, this is due to a problem with the car’s engine idle speed set, which is why you need to either check the engine yourself or call a specialist. If everything is fine with the engine, then damaged parts may have appeared inside your clutch.

Why is my go-kart clutch slipping?

The slipping clutch is due to worn-out components such as the flyweight. That is why you should always monitor the condition of not only the outer part of the kart car but also the internal parts of the clutch itself.

Can you run a go-kart without a clutch?

Yes, if you buy a similar kart in advance, it will be quite possible, however, if you use a regular kart with a clutch, you will not be able to remove it in any way.


We hope that after reading this article you have become much more familiar with the concept of go-kart clutch and now clutch problems are not unsolvable for you. Moreover, now you know how to maintain the clutch and how to oil the go-kart clutch properly.

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