Are Golf Cart Keys Universal or Not? Get the Facts!

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No matter how annoying it is to lose the keys, it is pretty common in every household, especially with kids. My golf cart keys are part of my youngest daughter’s toy collections, so I often lose them. If I am getting late, I borrow the keys from a friend with the same golf cart brand and model as mine.

So, if you were wondering, “Are golf cart keys universal?” Yes, golf cart keys are universal but within the same manufacturer lineup. However, you should check the compatibility before trying out the keys. Some older models’ keys are not compatible with the latest ones. 

Keep reading as we explore golf cart keys’ universalities (or lack thereof) and how to prepare for those key-related emergencies.

Are All Golf Carts Keys the Same?

Let’s dive right in and address the burning question: Are golf cart keys universal? The answer is both a yes and a no. Here is why:

Manufacturer-Specific Keys

When it comes to golf cart keys, it’s crucial to stick with keys designed by the same manufacturer as your cart. For instance, if you lost the keys to your trusty E-Z-Go TXT Elite, grabbing a Club Car key won’t magically solve your problem. In most cases, golf cart keys are universal within a manufacturer’s lineup. However, there can be exceptions.

Considerations for Compatibility:

While the manufacturer is a primary factor in determining key compatibility, there are a few other crucial considerations to keep in mind:

  • Model and Manufacturing Year: Keys designed for older cart models might differ from those made for newer ones. If you own an older cart and purchase a key intended for a more recent version, it may not be compatible. Ensure that the key aligns with the specific model and manufacturing year of your golf cart.
  • Upgrades and Modifications: Some golf cart owners love to tinker with their rides, adding upgraded elements and making modifications. In such cases, the original key style may no longer be suitable, requiring a different type of key. Take note of any changes made to your cart to determine the appropriate key for your unique setup.

Discover the Best golf carts on the market here.

Are Golf Cart Keys Universal? Exploring Key Manufacturers

are golf cart keys universal

To better understand the compatibility landscape, let’s explore key manufacturers and their corresponding golf cart keys:

E-Z-Go Keys

E-Z-Go offers a range of keys tailored to different models. The key with serial number 17063G1 is designed to function on any TXT E-Z-Go golf cart manufactured from 1976 onwards. However, keep in mind that this key won’t work with RXV or gas cart products. For E-Z-Go gas carts made after 2008 and RXV vehicles, key number 606993 is the go-to choice.

Club Car Keys

Club Car takes a more universal approach, as their keys are compatible with all models manufactured after 1982. So, if you’re rocking a vintage Club Car cart, you may need to upgrade the ignition system to accommodate a newer key model.

Read Also: Golf Cart Locks

Yamaha Keys

Yamaha offers two types of keys. The first key, with serial number J17-82511-yy, works with models like G1, G2, G8, G9, and G11. The last two digits of the key represent the manufacturing year and will vary. Generally, these keys are compatible with carts produced between 1985 and 1995. The second key, with part number 1012505, 1920, ELI80-0194, works with gas and electric models like G14, G16, G19, G22, and G29.

Should You Get a Replica of a Golf Cart Key?

Yes, getting a copy of a golf cart key shouldn’t be a problem. Golf cart manufacturers or retailers may have the spare keys for your model. If that, too, doesn’t work, the last resort is finding a locksmith near your location. But for duplication of the key, you need to have the original key. A better solution will be finding a locksmith that has the expertise and the right tools to make the key for your golf cart. 

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Golf Cart Key?

Generally, the golf cart key replacement will cost you around $85-$150, depending on the rate of locksmith’s services where you live. 

What If You Couldn’t Find the Golf Cart Key?

We understand that the unthinkable can happen – you misplace your golf cart key, and a replacement isn’t readily available. In such situations, you need alternative methods to get your cart up and running. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Borrowing a Key: If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with the same type of golf
    cart, borrowing their key temporarily can be a lifesaver until your replacement arrives.
  • The Screwdriver Approach: In a pinch, you can resort to using a flat-bladed screwdriver to trigger the lock. Insert the screwdriver into the lock mechanism until you feel resistance, then apply gentle pressure and turn it clockwise. While this method can work, be cautious and ensure your safety.
  • Ignition Switch Replacement: For older carts with no compatible replacement key available, swapping out the ignition switch for a new one designed for modern keys is a viable solution. It may require a bit more effort, but it offers a practical long-term fix.
  • Hotwiring (With Caution): As a last resort, hotwiring can be attempted. However, we strongly advise against this unless you possess the necessary knowledge and skills. There are tutorials available for those who feel confident, but remember, safety should always be the top priority.

Lost the Keys to Your Golf Cart Locks?

Most people use golf cart locks to add extra security layers. Different types of locks are available in the market, such as steering wheel, peddle, and tire locks. If you also happen to lose the key for any of these locks, you must follow the same procedure mentioned above.


We’ve traveled through the fascinating realm of golf cart keys, and the truth has been revealed: they are not universally interchangeable. Each manufacturer has its own key system, requiring you to stay within the brand for compatibility. 

Remember to consider factors like model, manufacturing year, and any upgrades or modifications made to your cart. And in those unexpected moments when a key is not available, alternative methods can be a lifesaver. After reading this article, you should be well-prepared to handle any golf cart key situations.

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Van Douglas

Van Douglas is a seasoned golf enthusiast and skilled writer, delivering informative and engaging articles on his blog that capture the essence of the sport with expertise and passion.
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