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My riding mower stopped as if the spark had been cut off. I tried to start it and absolutely nothing happened, Could the alternator be bad and it shut off the engine once the battery drained?

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Probably not. The machine doesn't need alternator to run the mag fires the ignition, the alternator only replaces juice the battery used to start it. Eigther ignition unit failed or one of the safety switches. If I had to bet, my money is on safety switches.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

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If this does not help, also check the switch under the seat as some are wired so that you have to be sitting to run it and if that switch fails then the design assumes you aren't sitting on it.

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PTO stops, I turn the engine off then it won't start I have to charge the battery to get it to start. Its a model 1180


You may need to consider that the alternator on the engine is bad. The ignition coil provides the spark, but all other electrical functions have to come from the mower's electrical system. When running the alternator charges the battery, allows you to use an electic pto. If the alternator is not functioning, then the battery takes the electrical demand, ie the electric pto. When the pto stopped functioning and you were unable to start that is because the battery was drained by the electric pto. This is like the alternator on your car going bad, and at night the head lights get dimmer and dimmer, and I can tell you from experience when the guages fail the ignition is about to fail. Anyway, enough of the flash back, I would start by testing the alternator. Do you have a voltage meter on the dash of your mower? If so, usually it will jump up and after starting, if it does not then that is another symptom of a bad alternator.

I hope this helps get you going. Please let me know if you run into problems or what your final result is.

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the on board electric system is not working, you lose your spark when you remove the jumper cables, this tells you the mower is not making its own electricity. So either the alternator or its regulator, or both have gone south.
With the engine running, you should have just above 12 volts at the battery.
So find a manual, locate the alternator/generator, and be looking in that area for a broken connection, blown fuse, or bad component.

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have a look at the seat cut out switch????
if this is not switching on you cant start the mower
its a safety switch,,saves you chopping your feet off?

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Sounds like the alternator under neath the flywheel has gone bad. This could happen from jumping the mower of a vehicle still running. The alternator on the vehicle puts out to much power for the mower and will damage or blow the alternator on the mower.

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