The controller is the brain of your GEM car –it
directs power to the motor and monitors the critical systems in your GEM
car. At the heart of the GEM cars electrical system, its performance is
essential to a properly running GEM car. Sitting between your batteries
and your motor, it monitors many aspects of your car, analyzes data, and
directs the appropriate amount of power to your motor and other systems.
Like a computer it operates on rules and make
decisions based on its inputs in addition to its programmed logic.
Experienced programmers, such as Ride-4-Fun, can make changes to the
programming to customize a controller to better respond to your specific
driving needs and conditions. For example, Ride-4-Fun can modify the
programming and customize it to adapt the controller’s behavior to the
7.5HP motor. This allows the motor and controller to more effectively
work together to produce better acceleration, higher speeds, increased
torque or any other performance improvements a GEM owner requires.
Like your own brain trying to analyze thousands of
information updates from various inputs, a controller is under constant
stress. While performing it functions, it could be outputting as much as
350 AMPS of electrical output – subjecting itself internal pressures,
such as heat (in fact newer GEM cars have an external fan mounted to the
controller). In addition they are exposed to external environmental
pressures. Whether your controller is under your hood (new GEM models)
or under the dashboard, they basically live outside and tend to be
subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity levels. So it should not
be a surprise that controllers need to be serviced on occasion.
There are several telltale signs that your
controller may need servicing. The symptoms of a failing controller can
range from an inoperable GEM car to a number of error codes. If your car
is not performing in a typical manner (hesitation, loss of speed,
stalling, intermittent operation) or has a recurring error code, you may
have a controller that needs to be serviced.
If you ever any questions about an error code or
suspect a controller issue, don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll help
you diagnose the problem, free of charge. If you do need to have your
controller serviced, Ride-4-Fun also has you covered. Gone are they days
of having to purchase a new controller and spending over a $1,000 in
parts and service, as you can have your controller rebuilt and custom
programmed for almost half that cost. Ride-4-Fun has been rebuilding and
custom programming controllers for over 5 years and has made it even
easier for GEM owners to take advantage of this service. Our free
technical phone support and controller removal/installation videos (www.ride-4-fun.com/instructions)
will get you quickly back on the road, at peak performance without
costing a fortune.
With all the talk on health care, lets
switch the topic to a fun health care subject - The health of your batteries.
In a GEM car, the batteries are the life blood of every system in your
car. They are the most frequent source of question and root cause of driving
issues. At Ride-4-Fun our
techs take 100's of calls a week and 31% of the calls are battery system
The most frequent symptom of under
performing or "unhealthy batteries" is loss of range. Depending upon
driving conditions and habits, a fully charged (stock) GEM should cover 20-25
miles. If your not getting this range or experience a rapid drop in battery
charge level when driving, your likely having a battery issue.
New fresh batteries may seem like the right
fix. However new batteries sets are expensive and unless you fully understand
why your current batteries are under performing, you may not get the long term
results from that expensive battery purchase. How batteries are used and
maintained are at the root of battery life. That's why we have customer that
easily get 5-7 years from a set of batteries, while others only get 2-3 years
- A difference that obviously contributes to a significant GEM car cost of
Probably the biggest factor in battery life
and performance is how GEM cars batteries are maintained when the GEM is not
being used. Rental Cars or other GEM car fleets that are used on a daily basis
have much less batteries issues and experience the longest battery life. Why?
Simply because they are frequently used and therefore are frequently
charged - in many cases everyday, throughout the year.
So if keeping batteries fully charged can
double or triple the like, how do you keep them charged at all times. For newer
GEMs (2005 and newer), they are equipped with chargers that can maintain a
charge. So for these cars, it's as easy as keeping them plugged-in 365 days a
The real issue is for older GEM car owners
(2004 or older). These models have a single cycle charging system. So
therefore a GEM that is plugged in over a 3-month storage period will ONLY
charge once! They will not cycle periodically (i.e., once a week) or maintain
a floating charge. This is why many GEM owners will have dead batteries even though
they left their car plugged-in. For these GEM owners, there's several charging
system upgrades that will cycle on a scheduled basis or keep a full charge.
The GEM car has an onboard charger than can be easily switched with a upgraded
direct "bolt-on" replacement charger..
Swapping the charger can be performed in as
little as 25 minutes with regular hand tools. On www.ride-4-fun.com
we have video instructions that
show the step-by-step process for removing and re-installing a charger. Ride-4-Fun
carries a full line of replacement upgraded charges and our techs
can advise you on the model that will best meet your GEM Car needs.
Of course there are other issues that
contribute to how long a GEM car battery will provide peak performance. These
include the quality of the battery and the output of the charging system. In
an upcoming update, "All Batteries ARE NOT The Same", we'll talk
about picking the right battery for your GEM Car as well as options for higher
output charging systems.
Full View Doors
Full View doors are designed and built with components to provide many years
of great clear-view service. The marine quality glass does not require special
cleaning supplies like other door systems, which will keep the cost and
maintenance time to a minimum.
For day-to-day cleaning, simple car wash
soap or car wash cleaner is recommended. So when you wash your GEM car, go
ahead, soap-up and clean the windows.
A couple of times during the season, you
can polish your Full View windows to restore that brand new look and feel.
Polishing Full View windows is easy and all you need is furniture polish - We
recommend Pledge, but any similar store brand will work. Spray the
polish lightly on the glass and work it into the glass until a crystal clear
view is achieved. This simple procedure will help prevent the glass from prematurely
drying out and keeping them looking new for years.