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Relham10
LSU Fan
On Da Bayou, Louisiana
Member since Jan 2013
7245 posts

Riding mower won't start
Need some help. Went to cut grass yesterday and all my lawn mower would do is click, not crank. Just bought the battery a few months back, and tested it today with my multimeter, it read good. Tested battery to starter solenoid and it was getting power also. Today went to fool around with it again and it wont even click now.

What do you think is wrong with it? Do i need to replace starter solenoid or starter itself?


BiggerBear
Wright St. Fan
Redbone Country
Member since Sep 2011
1858 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Clean the battery terminals.


Relham10
LSU Fan
On Da Bayou, Louisiana
Member since Jan 2013
7245 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Possible because its an old mower but if its not that whats your next thoughts?


akimoto
LSU Fan
baton rouge
Member since Jun 2010
458 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
I replaced a John Deere starter for about $40 from Amazon. Try that, if it doesn't work just return it.

Had the same sort of problem this year before my first cut. Dad came out and fooled around with it and somehow figured out it was the starter. He took the old starter out and sparked it, which it still spun but somehow he determined i needed a new starter. I guess being an auto mechanic for 40 years, you learn a little.


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
9632 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
use jumper cables, ground to starter or engine body, positive to the power wire lug, now tap the other positive end to battery positive and it should turn over, if not starter is bad, if it turns over check power supply to the solenoid, if thats good jump the solenoid to confirm its the problem


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sosaysmorvant
LSU Fan
Back Vacherie, LA
Member since Feb 2008
319 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Could be the safety system, too. Most mowers have a sensor that makes sure you are seated for the engine to run/start. It's possible you have a bad connection there.


dltigers3
LSU Fan
Collierville, TN
Member since Jun 2010
822 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Also, make sure the mower blades aren't engaged.


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Warfox
LSU Fan
B.R. Native (now in MA)
Member since Apr 2017
155 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Trust me: throw that battery back on the charger. It may read good, but it ain’t good I don’t care what the multi-meter says. Have had this happen to me plenty of times.


Pvt Hudson
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Jan 2013
916 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Starter could be hung up on the flywheel. Tap the side of the starter a few times with a hammer and see if it starts.


Cypressknee
Member since Jul 2017
336 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
quote:

Tap the side of the starter a few times with a hammer


This is how you break up the magnet inside a starter, be gentle if it is hung up.

Charge the battery first then if that doesn’t work try to jump the starter with cables as mentioned.


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USA Fan
Ain't no half steppin'
Member since Nov 2017
1019 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Your battery is not fine, or it would have started the engine.

Hook up jumper cables and try to start it. If it starts, you need a new battery (or a good charge - if it will take it).

If it doesn't, jump the solenoid with a screwdriver. If it starts, you need a battery (if it won't take a charge) and a solenoid.

My guess is the solenoid is going bad, and drew your battery down, and you should replace both (if the drained battery won't take a charge).


nuwaydawg
Georgia Fan
Member since Nov 2007
884 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Try this. Remove spark plug and hand pull a couple of times. If gasoline spays out you have a carburetor float problem. You will also have to change your oil. Too much compression will cause the motor to not turn over.

I installed a valve on my fuel line to stop gas from entering the piston cylinder when I'm not mowing.
This post was edited on 6/11 at 11:41 am


keakar
Member since Jan 2017
9632 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
quote:

Could be the safety system, too. Most mowers have a sensor that makes sure you are seated for the engine to run/start. It's possible you have a bad connection there.


its activating the solenoid so that eliminates everything except the battery, solenoid, or starter itself as the issue
This post was edited on 6/11 at 12:14 pm


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
9632 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
quote:

Trust me: throw that battery back on the charger. It may read good, but it ain’t good I don’t care what the multi-meter says. Have had this happen to me plenty of times.


that wont help if it has a dead cell it will read a full charge and still put out no power

those batteries are hit and miss, i have seen brand new ones only last a month or two and read full power on a charger yet they are bad. never trust them, always check with another battery by jump cables to your car with the engine not running because lawn mower cant handle power from the cars alternator without burning up its charging circuit.

when batteries get a dead cell they read voltage power but dont allow any amperage to flow
This post was edited on 6/11 at 12:12 pm


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keakar
Member since Jan 2017
9632 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
quote:

Try this. Remove spark plug and hand pull a couple of times. If gasoline spays out you have a carburetor float problem. You will also have to change your oil. Too much compression will cause the motor to not turn over.

I installed a valve on my fuel line to stop gas from entering the piston cylinder when I'm not mowing.


very good call here, it could be hydro locked

most riding mowers dont have pull ropes and are electric start only, but you have the right idea. if carb flooded the engine its hydro locked so you pull the plug and it should then start cranking, if not rotate the engine by hand turning the flywheel and gas will squirt out if the carb has issues.

so far everyone has suggested the most likely causes to look at, lawn mowers arent rocket science so its a simple process of elimination to fix them.
This post was edited on 6/11 at 12:15 pm


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NASA_ISS_Tiger
LSU Fan
Huntsville, Al via Sulphur, LA
Member since Sep 2005
6973 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
1. You can check to make sure the ignition switch is providing voltage to the solenoid coil with a multimeter. Pull one of the small leads off the solenoid and check it to make sure there is 12V there. You might need to have someone sit on the seat to trip the seat sensor. If it has 2 leads on the solenoid...you might have to connect a meter to both. If it reads negative...it doesn't matter (just means your positive meter lead was on the negative solenoid lead and vice versa). Just make sure you get both small leads in the right place on the solenoid.

2. If you are getting voltage to the solenoid on the main battery cable and the ignition switch line(s) then you could try to cross the main poles on the solenoid with a screwdriver if you're not concerned...it it turns over..then your battery is good, your starter is good..your solenoid is suspect. Could just need a cleaning.

3. None of what I've said above is OSHA or recommended by anyone..but it works. Try at your own risk.


SATNIGHTS
LSU Fan
Red Stick
Member since Jan 2008
1363 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
Similar issue here:

No click or crank:
-Replaced Battery
-Repacked Solenoid
-Replaced ignition switch because my dumb arse opened it and all of the springs flew out
-Tested all safety switches for continuity and all are good it seems.

I can jump by the screwdriver method easily....


Bedhog
LSU Fan
Denham Springs
Member since Apr 2019
611 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
bad ground?


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Boudreaux35
BR
Member since Sep 2007
16583 posts

re: Riding mower won't start


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mdomingue
LSU Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Nov 2010
8922 posts

re: Riding mower won't start
quote:

Just bought the battery a few months back, and tested it today with my multimeter, it read good


What did it read and was it under load when you tested it?

Connect your meter leads to your battery terminals and check the voltage while you turn the key or, better yet, turn on the headlights if so equipped. See what the voltage drops to then. That will give you a better indication of the battery health.


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