Question about Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor - CA Model

1 Answer

The mower starts, runs fine with brake depressed. When put in gear or blades activated stalls out. Possibly grounding itself out. where do I look either a short or problem?

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  • vbks4597 Jun 05, 2010

    With the seat switch disconnected, is there supposed to be a "hot" point to test to verify power coming in to the switch. We used a circuit tester, but both points appear cold. We tried to trace the hot wire but no apparent cuts, crimps, etc. Is there a procedure to test the seat switch, i.e., bypassing that we are missing.

  • vbks4597 Jun 05, 2010

    its fixed!! it was the seat switch. For some reason even when sitting on the seat full contact wasn't being made. Manually depressed the switch all systems worked, as designed. We put a small screw in the plate to improve the level of depression of the switch. Lawn is now mowed...front.

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This is a symptom of the seat safety switch not working. Tilt up the seat, check the connection to the switch and also check the wires (pinched, broken?). The switch could be bad, or the mounting could have broken.

Posted on Jun 04, 2010

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Aug 22, 2011 | Craftsman 17.5 hp 42 in. Deck Lawn Tractor...

1 Answer

I have the Craftsman 20.5 Model 944.609800 42 in mower I can get it to run but when i put it in gear or take my foot off the brake it stalls it also stalls when i engage the mower blades can you help i...


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My lawn mower will start easily and continue running as long as the clutch brake is depressed but when I lift the clutch or try to engage the blades while the clutch is depressed the mower will stall.


This is a shot in the dark. I think you have a failed "operator presence safety switch". Rule this out by finding the switch and jumping it.

Your mower should run with no one in the seat IF THE PARKING BRAKE IS SET.

If the brake is released and no one is on it, it should shut off.

If you are on it and the brake is released you should be able to engage the blades (probably an electric clutch)

Purpose of this interlock is the shut the machine OFF should you fall off or jump off the machine. Do not disable this valuable safety feature.

Let me know what you find.

Thanks for your question @ FixYa.com

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Try depressing slightly the gas pedal to see if the engine continues to run when you put it in gear. Might have to depredd gas pedal and brake simultaniusly. if the engine continues to run, then the problem is in the idle circuit. Try decarboning the throttle body and the idle speed control.

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Under the seat, there is a operator presence switch, if this switch fails, the mower will shut off when the brake is released, or put in any gear.

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