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Sears 42 in, 22hp riding mower. Last year the starter switch wouldn't start it. So I jumped it attaching the negative to the battery and touching the positive to the terminal on the starter. Worked fine for the couple times I had to do it before the end of the season. Now even that won't work. When I touch the terminal of the starter, I can hear the click, but it won't turn over. Bad starter?

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Hi, it obvious that you have a bad starter starting from the day you had to jump start the mower to work. The clicking noise you also hear when you try to start is also a sign that confirms that the starter needs to be replaced.....

Take care

Posted on May 28, 2010


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How do you test a starter on a riding lawn mower

By applying 12 volts (or six volts if it's a six volt system) to the starter without going through the switch or any other wiring will help you determine if the starter is good or bad. I don't know which mower you have but there are two types of starters for lawn mowers. One with an attached solenoid and one with an internal solenoid. What you want to do is use a set of jumper cables to connect the solenoid or starter to the battery. For the satrter with the solenoid attached like in the photo below, find the two wire terminals on the solenoid (see photo below). One will be the ground (-), negative. The photo below shows the negative (-) has a braided copper wire attaching it to the body of the starter therefore grounding the solenoid to the starter. The other connection (+) positive, is the one without any wire attached to it in the photo below. Yours will have a wire attached to it. Probably red but, maybe not. So, black (-) to the terminal with the copper braid and red (+) to the other terminal with the red wire. They probably won't be marked (+ or -)...

This next one in the photo below has the internal solenoid and it has only one terminal (+).
The ground is achieved by bolting the starter to the engine, creating the ground path that is needed. In this case you will connect the black (-) jumper cable to the solid metal body/engine or part of the starter, not the + terminal because that is where the Red positive (+) jumper cable will go. Ensure that the (+) jumper is not touching the body of the starter, only the terminal. 490034_1_.jpg

Be careful not to touch the surrounding parts, frame, body or any metal parts with the cables. Be forewarned, attach the jumper cables Red (+) to the (+) terminal of the solenoid and the black (-) to the (-) terminal or body/engine ground before connecting to the battery. Connect the battery last. Don't connect the battery first. If there is gasoline residue or spillage on the engine or around the area of the starter, causing a spark by connecting the starter/solenoid last might create a FIRE!
See below.

When connecting the fully charged battery, I like to connect the red (+) first and then touch the black (-) to the battery (-). If the starter is good, you will hear the starter engage and turn the engine over. If it does not make any noise whatsoever, check your connections. Still no noises, you may have a bad starter. If you hear a clicking sound or if it sounds like it's trying to turn over but not quite, check to see if the connections are good and the battery is fully charged. Some times tapping on the body of the starter with a hammer handle (HANDLE) will get the starter to turn.
That's basically how I check to see if a starter is good or bad. Another way is to take it out and bring it to a mechanic shop and have them test it. Some will for a small charge.
Good luck...

Jun 17, 2014 | Computers & Internet

2 Answers

**Help** I have a Sears Craftsman 18hp Briggs/Stratton riding tractor, about 10 years old. Just put a new battery in last week. Went to start this morning and battery was dead. The red cable that goes to...

Yes it very well could be the starter solenoid, with a digital volt/ ohm meter and the battery disconnected place the positive lead on the positive test lead . With the meter on ohms take the negative lead and touch the frame or engine . This will confirm weather or not you have a short to frame. If the meter reads 0.00 disconnect the starter from the system by removing the positive and ignition wires from th starter . Now individualy test each wire removed from the starter in the same process as above if ohm meter read ol ( over limit) the starter would be the best place to start. If the meter reads 0.00 would suggest there are other issues in the circuit and the starter may not be at fault.

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1 Answer

Have a Husky yth180 mower. Battery was going bad and wouldn't start so I jumped it to finish mowing. Replaced battery and still won't turnover. Jumped starter and does turnover. All switches...

hi there dolson894

here is web site for owners manual

download owners yth180 manual it has a wiring diagram in it - may help

sounds like a starter solenoid problem, check for good grounding of the negative bat cable and grounding of the solenoid to the frame , check for 12 volt at the solenoid tab ( not the heavy contacts)

this wire solenoid tab wire comes from the S marked terminal from the main switch and power from the battery is taken from the HOT post of the starter solenoid up to the B terminal of the main switch, from there when contact made between B + L + S @ SWITCH voltage sent to solenoid for start

basic connections for switch in start mode is B + L + S

run / light B + L and Makes A + Y

run B + L off G+ M +L

check seat switch and brake switch - bypass with jump wire if need
across white to wjite wires on brake switch

see what hapens , the try a jump wire across the seat switch wires green to green and retry

if stil no good - replace solenoid as you mentioned with a jump cable straight on start motor turns over good

check out website

cheers hope it helps pauly46

dont forget the thumbs rating

Jun 07, 2011 | Husqvarna Garden

1 Answer

Try to start riding mower. it just clicks. I've got 12V to the starter. I thought starter was done so replaced it and no luck> still just clicks. I'd appreciate some help. OHVB 15hp...

hi jerry396
you say you replaced the starter - do you mean starter solenoid or starter motor ?

if you run battery jump lead from bat + to s/motor terminal and connect neg jumper lead to engine earth and other end of neg jump lead to negative bat post with key on - will the engine crank over easily and start - if so your starter motor is good if not problem is elsewhere.

check your battery - it could be a faulty battery , and earths, also 12 must be present @ solenoid from the key switch in start mode and check that the solenoid has a good ground

check the starter solenoid as well - it could have burned contacts adding very high resistance to starter cable , also check your starter cable - for resistance - it should have no more than 0.3 or 0.4 ohms

make sure all interlocks are operating - ie clutch brake, cutter attachment , nuetral switch , seat switch ,

cheers hope it helps


May 20, 2011 | Garden

1 Answer

I have a riding mower that will not turn over. I used jumper cabels attached to my car, stupid I've been told. I have done this before and the mower will start. When attached the mower engine will...

it is hard to say exactly what the problem is, but it sounds like the starter, starter solenoid, and or a charging problem. 1. last year I am assuming that the battery was low on charge and once you jumped it, it would start with the key for the rest of the season? if yes your battery should be OK just make sure at the end of the season you disconnect it and store it some where cool but not freezing. if you had to jump it all the time the battery and charging system has problems,(cables)(?). 2. if you have to use the car to jump the mower make sure the mower and car are both 12 volt systems, and the car should not be running. 3. make sure the battery is fully charged and there is no corrosion between the cables and connections. 4. once you do the above you can jump the solenoid to see if the starter is bad, if it moves it should be good, if you have to jump the solenoid make sure the mower is in neutral and the wheels are locked so it cant jump forward. also make sure all your safety switches are engaged, most mowers have switches on the seat, the blade engageing handle, and breaks.
The lights might have a bad connection at the battery, follow the wires from the lights for fuses and check them, some models have to be started before you can turn the switch back to turn the lights on.

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1 Answer

Bolen 17HP riding mower tries to start with key in off position

It sounds like you have an ign. wire grounded or your ign switch has a short in it. Also remove the cover on your starter drive to be sure it has released.

Apr 30, 2010 | Garden

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Starting problems with my cub cadet 2166 lawn mower? Battery is good, not turning over, sometimes it clicks? I can jump start but it is a pain. I have taken this to a dealer last year for this problem....

If it works when jump started, then I would suspect a bad battery or lose or corroded connection. check wires from battery to starter relay also known as solenoid to starter,if it is making a click,the ignition is most likely ok . safety start switch is ok ,I still suspect Battery..can you have it load tested or try a known good one?PS if above test OK, then starter or starter solenoid /relay.Hope this helped you fix it. please let us know if this helped.thank you.

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Take a jumper cable and attach one end of the red set ends to the positive post on the battery after making sure the battery is fully charged, take the other end of the red cable and attach it to the bolt with the usually red wire on the starter. Take the blackset and attach one end to the negative post on the battery and touch the other black end to the starter hpousing and see if the starter engages, if it does not then you can assume that the starter has died. If on the other hand the starter spins over then either the starter switch or one of the safty switches on the cub cadet has failed. You can test all the switches by removing the wires going to them and using a small piece of wire bypass the connections untill you find the one that is defective, replace that one and you should be back in bussiness. Hope This Helps Don

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Mower won't start

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