Question about Craftsman 42 in. Deck 19.5hp Lawn Tractor

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Cant get the mower to turn over. Have good battery voltage and the relay clicks. there is 12+ volts to the starter when I engage the key. How do I check the starter/solenoid further? or is it clearly a bad starter? Thanks

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I've pulled the cover off to where I can see the starter and tried to start it and the starter engages and it tries to turn over. I pulled the plug and grounded it to the block and tried and got no spark. I'm begining to think coil. What are your thoughts?


Posted on Jun 18, 2011

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Get a wire that goes to the positive terminal on the battery and touch it to the bolt on the starter and see if it works then. if not, the starter could be bad, screw the plastic gear back up til it engages in the flywheel on the engine and hand turn the lawnmower with the starter gear engages to loosen it up then try

Posted on Aug 02, 2010


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I installed a new solenoid, new battery, new spark plug. checked all my connections. and all i get is a clicking noise when i try to start the motor. could the starter be bad ? would it make that clicking...

Good morning Brian.

You need to have a current tester to make sure. If you don't have one, you can buy a cheap one for less than $10 that will get the job done.
1. Test the battery. Make sure you have at least 12 volts DC across the terminals. If not, charge the battery and retest. Even new batteries can be discharged or defective.

2. Test the voltage at the solenoid. You need at least 12 volts to each of the terminals when the key is engaged to the start position. You may need a helper to turn the key while you test the current. Failure to get current to the lower terminal on the solenoid is usually caused by a defective ignition switch or a defective/dirty safety switch. Most mowers have at least 3 safety switches. Your clicking noise is probably the solenoid engaging and is a normal noise.

3. Test the voltage at the starter. You need at least 11.2 volts at the terminal on the starter motor. If you have enough current, and the starter is still not spinning, then you have a bad starter. Sometimes a failing starter can be used a few more times by lightly tapping on the side of the starter motor with the wooden handle of a hammer. If the brushes in the starter are sticking, then tapping on the side will occasionally allow the starter to work. This is a very short-term repair. The starter will either need to be rebuilt or replaced.

Good luck.

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