The battery is fine. I turn the start key and all I get is a click. I asked my husband to fix it before he died but, he got to sick to do it and never told exactly what the problem was. Can you help me? The tractor is Craftsman II 18 hp 44" deck model: 917.2559101. They say it from 1987 or before. Sandy
Re: I think the ignition switch is bad or the starter
You say the battery is fine . Make sure the battery post are clean. Tighten all the nuts & bolts .Sometimes it will click if they are loose. Check nuts & bolts on the starter also . Also look at the wires that lead up to the switch .Make sure all of the wires are clean and tight .The switch key may have to be replaced or the starter repaired .Good luck !
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The click will be the fuel switch on the carb that opens when the ignition is switched on. When you jumped the battery to the starter did you have the ignition on? If not it won't be getting fuel. If you find the wire that goes from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid (usually mounted on or near the starter motor) and connect the switch end of this to the battery does this crank the engine over? If so then the ignition switch will probably be faulty or have dirty contacts. If not then I'd suspect the starter solenoid.
The starting circuit is dependent upon the clutch safety ans PTO being off. Here are some steps to take:
1. Ensure battery is fully charged
2. Turn key on and turn PTO on then back off. Listen for clunk
3. Press clutch in fully and turn key to start position. If still no sound at all, hold key in start position and move clutch foot up and down, listening for solenoid click. If click but no crank, starter or solenoid or battery cable connection is bad. Start by wiggling cables, looking for any looseness. Next check solenoid and cables. If that doesn't fix it, starter or solenoid may be bad. There may be a fuse in the circuit. Check them out also.
if it cranks but doesn't start, you have a fuel or ignition problem. Good luck. Let us know what you find
1.try jumping the battery with your car battery. I have had same issue in the past with a brand new battery.
2. Try spraying starter fluid into the carb while cranking. If it starts or at least tries to start (assuming cranking is fixed), you have a fuel problem. Again, when I first tried to fire my Used mower, had to use starter fluid to get it to start the first time, but never since.
It sounds very much like the ignition switch check that you first have power to the ignition switch using a meter. Turn on switch and check there is power coming out again using a meter. if there is no power going to the ignition switch check wiring for breaks also make sure you check all micro switches
First make sure the negative battery cable is making good contact on the frame or what ever part of the mower it is connected to. Make sure both battery cables are clean and not corroded and are tight. Then try to start the mower. If it works, fine. If not then you will bypass the solenoid and see if the starter turns the engine. To bypass the solenoid take a car jumper cable and connect one clamp to the terminal on the solenoid that goes to the battery ( see the diagrams in the links above) Turn the ignition switch to the on position. Take the other end of the same color of the jumper cable (say you'll use the red clamps) and touch the clamp to the other large terminal on the solenoid, which goes to the starter. If the starter turns the engine, then you know the starter is good and that the solenoid is bad. If the starter does not turn the engine then the starter is bad. make sure you DO NOT touch the jumper cable to the starter case or any other ground.
Between the battery and the starter is the starting solinoid. If you track the red wire on the starter back to it you will find it. It is usually in the control tower bolted to the sides or it is under the panel between the riders legs. With the age of your mower, I will guess that the shifter is between the legs. Pop that panel out and look for it there first, (I am reaching way back to the archives here) I think it is along the rear plane under that panel ie. under the rider. One of the big terminals will come from the battery, the other goes to the starter. The small terminals (can be one or two), one will come from the control circuit and start switch, the other will go to ground. If there is only one small terminal, the ground is through the mounting plate of the solinoid. So by clearing all the safeties you can turn the key and you should hear it click. If no click, 1. safeties switches have a problem, 2. the ignition switch has a problem, 3. the solinoid is bad. If you hear a click then the solinoid is working and the problem is down stream, like the wire to the starter, the connections or the starter itself.
The battery still may be bad. The fact that it "warmed slightly when being charged" doesn't suggest it to be good - instead it could have high internal resistance in one or more cells. A battery with this failure still measures a good 12V until you put a load on it. I'd take the battery to a battery store, not a lawnmower dealer, and have it tested there with an actual battery tester. If it's bad, replace it. If it's good, then it's probably the solenoid and that means you'll have to replace the starter/solenoid assembly.
There is a "starter" solenoid that closes when the ignition key is turned to the start position.
Follow the positive (red) battery cable from the battery post to the solenoid. If you have a 12 volt test light or volt meter, check to see if you have 12 volts on the battery side of the solenoid then turn the key to the start position and see if you have 12 volts on the starter side of the solenoid.
I believe you have a starter solenoid that has gone bad.
Good luck, let me know.
Hi...my name is Keith..i would suspect the neutral safety switch went bad..but i dont know what kind of mower you have..it could have a bad seat safety switch or a blown fuse or the starter solenoid went bad..i hope this has helped..if not..write me back