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I have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor, 24HP 42" mower model no. 917.275685. Worked fine the last time out, but it won't start today, just clicks when I turn the key. Checked battery and it's okay, but the engine won't turn over. The mower will not roll, even though it's in the neutral position and the freewheel bar is pulled out. Could this be the reason it's not turning over - in other words, it doesn't know it's in neutral? I'd appreciate any help or advice you can give me on this. Thanks, Bob English

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  • engc205 Jul 03, 2010

    The previous answer did not address my question about the wheels not disengaging and was obviously a generic answer for all small lawnmowers.



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Please check if the lights go dim when you self is pressed. It seems that the starter pinion is stuck with the flywheel teeth. That is why it does not know that it is in neutral.
Remedy - please remove the self starter from the engine after disconnecting it from the battery. Get its bendex replaced. Bendex is the pinion that moves forward and gets engaged with the flywheel when you press the self starter. And then comes back after disengaging when you release the starter button.
This kind of problem occurs when the self gets stuck with the flywheel. Nothing moves.

Posted on Jul 03, 2010

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there are a lot of reasons for this problem. The best thing to do now is to troubleshoot the tractor. Troubleshooting will reveal the cause of the problem and a solution can proffered.

Follow the troubleshooting tips below and if none of it works, then I think its high time you took the Craftsman Lawn Tractor to professional.

  1. Check to see if there is any grass stuck between the blades if you are unable to pull the cord to start your Craftsman lawn mower's engine.
  2. Measure your tank's oil to make sure that there is enough in the engine if you are able to pull the cord but the engine will either not start, is hard to start, or will not stay started. If you have an electric starter, you will need to also check the battery. If the motor spins but doesn't engage the engine, the overrunning clutch or gear could be broken and you may need to get it professionally repaired.
  3. Prime the engine the correct way--improper priming is a common problem that can result in your engine starting easily but dying after a few seconds. Cold weather, for instance, requires your engine to be primed double of what it requires in warmer weather. Too much priming can flood your engine.
  4. Clean your Craftsman lawnmower's carburetor with a towel or rag if your engine is idling roughly or unevenly. If your carburetor appears clean, you may need to contact a technician to check for air leaks or improper adjustment.
  5. Examine your lawnmower's spark plugs if your engine is hard to start, is running roughly, or quickly dies out. If your spark plugs appear worn or damaged, simply replace them.
You can also check the video in the below link: This might help in solving the problem: You can as well check the right side of the link for related videos that I believe should be helpful in solving the problem.

I hope the above helps to solve the problem.

Good luck.

Posted on Jul 03, 2010

  • Walesarumi
    Walesarumi Jul 03, 2010


    Since you didn't accept my first solution, maybe I have treat the problem in accordance:

    Concerning the mower not starting: check the fuel level. The
    engine will not fire if there is not enough fuel in the carburetor. It
    is also possible the fuel line is clogged or blocked. Clean the line
    and replace the fuel filter to solve this problem.

    Make sure the
    throttle and/or choke is in the proper position. This position can vary
    from model to model of riding lawn mower. Consult the operator's manual
    for the proper positioning of the choke and throttle for the riding
    lawn mower in question.

    Faulty spark plugs or disconnected wires
    can also cause the engine to crank but not start. Run a diagnosis on
    the spark plug wire connection by using a spark plug tester to see if
    any plugs are faulty. Clean the gap, making sure it is set properly or
    replace any faulty spark plugs.

    Also, you said that you have checked the battery and its okay, then locate the fuse holder(s) and
    inspect to see if a fuse is blown. Refer to the operator's manual to
    find the fuse holder(s) location. Check for loose, bare, or pinched
    wires and replace any blown fuse with the proper amperage automotive
    fuse. Finally, ensure the engine ground wire is in fact grounded. There
    should be a black ground wire running from the engine to a non-painted
    metal surface on the frame or a mounting bolt.

    Patterning to the mower not rolling when its in neutral, the cause its not moving when its in neutral is because the transmission relief valve is not in its proper position, also make sure the brake is releasing.

    Lastly, sometimes the simplest solution may fix this riding lawn mower problem.
    Confirm that all the safety features of the riding lawn mower are
    functioning correctly. Make sure the mowing deck is not engaged, the
    parking brake is on and the operator is seated on the riding lawn
    mower. If one of the safety switches has not been properly activated
    the riding lawn mower will not start.

    I hope this helps to fix the fault this time around.

    Take care.



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