Question about Craftsman 26 hp 54 in. Deck Deluxe Yard Tractor - CA Model

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My Craftsman G5000 mower chokes off when I release the clutch

Craftsman GT500 mower/tractor cranks and idles fine. When I relaease the the clutch with the mower in neutral or in gear, the engine chokes off. Is there a safety precaution that I'm missing?

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  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    when i release the clutch nothing happens in forward or reverse gears

  • Anonymous Apr 01, 2014

    craftsman tractor mower revs up and down


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  • 51 Answers

Bad ropes safety switch under the seat.

Posted on Dec 08, 2008

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My Craftsman riding lawnmower will not crank. I chgd the battery, but the engine will not attempt to crank. It also appears to be in gear even though it's in neutral

First you have to solve the "in gear" problem. No mower will crank if the drive is engaged. You have to see what is keeping it in gear and once you solve that, it will crank. I have an automatic, so I don't know how yours operates. There may be a cable or rod that moves the transmission into neutral. Look at how your clutch or brake pedal operates to determine what is not happening.
Write back.


Sep 09, 2011 | Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

2 Answers

Tractor starts and runs fine, but if I let out the clutch (even in neutral) or try to start the mower deck it dies.

I'm going to take a guess at this one. If I'm not on my seat and try to do either of those things, my machine stalls.
Check your seat safety switch.

Dec 27, 2010 | Craftsman 21 Hp 42" Deck, Ys 4500 Lawn...

1 Answer

My sears craftsman riding mower will crank just fine, but as soon as I try to either put it in gear and release the clutch to go forward or backward, it shuts off. It also shuts off when I attempt to...

Many folks have found that a defective relay in this mower to be the cause of the "stall when i take my foot off the clutch" issue. The relay is connected to the safety switches which turn the mower off when no one is in the seat, etc.

Aug 24, 2010 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

With the engine runnng, i put the mower in gear without pushing in the clutch/parking brake. Now the mower starts fine while pushing in clutch, but when i let my foot off the clutch it stalls out the...

You didn't indicate what model number, but most Craftsman wiring is the same. You must have your foot on clutch for it to start. Then when you release it you must also be sitting on the seat or it won't run. Check the operator presence switch under the seat to be sure it is operating. On most craftsman this is a switch connected to ground that shorts the magneto to ground to kill engine. So to test it you would want to connect tester to 12+ and then test the switch. One side should be 12- the other should be open when you're in the seat.You can go to enter your exact model number. On the page for parts there is usually a button the right of the page you can click on for a manual. The manual should have a wiring diagram.

Aug 12, 2010 | Craftsman 24 Hp 48" Deck Yard Tractor

1 Answer

Idles fine, shuts down when release brake.

It could be the brake switch bad, if this model came with one. When it is depressed it will start, but when it is released it may not be switching to stay running.

Mar 27, 2010 | Craftsman 20 Hp 42" Deck Lawn Tractor

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