My riding lawn mower will not start. What could be the problem?

I tried a new battery.Still nothing. It isn’t turning over at all. I really know nothing about small engines. could it be the spark plug? Any help other than telling me to buy another riding lawn mower would be appreciated. Thank you.

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8 Responses to “My riding lawn mower will not start. What could be the problem?”

  1. Tigger said:

    Yes, it could be the spark plug. It’s not the battery, since you just replaced that. You also might want to check your wiring connections: Sometimes tightening something that’s loose will do the trick.

    Good luck!

  2. Joanne A. W said:

    Maybe it is time for a service. Sears has an excellent service department.

    By the way, check the gas (tee, hehehe). This happened to me one time.

  3. ryan h said:

    If it’s not turning over, it can’t start and there’s no reason to look further down the line.

    If the battery has plenty of juice, then you need to check the starter or soleniod. The battery connects to the solenoid which enables the starter when you turn the key. Sometimes these can get stuck so I would tap it slightly.

    If you don’t feel comfortable, have someone who does take a quick look. It sounds like a simple fix to me.

  4. RScott said:

    Probably one of the safety interlock switches. Is it out of gear? Is the clutch pedal pushed completely in? Are the blades disengaged? Is the emergency brake set? These are a few different manufactures use, yours may have more or less. I remember my wife having trouble getting ours to spin. My long legs had bent the clutch switch, I could start it, she couldn’t. If not operator error it’s probably only a bad switch, fairly cheap to fix. $10 parts and less than an hour to put in. It could also be a solenoid, reversed or dirty battery cables, the new battery made be bad or shipped without a charge or bad ignition switch. RScott

  5. SharShar said:

    This happens to us also. After purchasing numerous batteries, we finally purchased a battery charger and hook it up about 20 minutes before we are going to mow. We took it into a service center and had them check everything, and they couldn’t find the source of the drain on the battery. Sometimes after hooking up the battery, and then mowing, the mower just dies. If you shut it off to refill the gas tank, it won’t restart until it has charged for 20 minutes or so, even though it was just on for an hour or more… makes no sense………Good luck!

  6. kid360roadrash said:

    Try jumping the terminals at the starter solenoid and see if it cranks. If it does, then its either the iginition switch or a small inline fuse that runs to the ignition switch from the starter solenoid ( they go bad from time to time), the ign switch needs 12volt power in order to crank the tractor.

  7. Farmer B said:

    Yeah I know your frustration, I’ve spent all day fixing a friend’s machine too. Don’t get scared small engines are easy to get along with in comparison to modern car motors. Have you checked your battery terminal connections for corrosion? Usually its that white crap covering them. Clean them with a wire brush of some kind. Check that the battery is charged. If you have any kind of tester like a light or buzzer tester that will help determine if there are any breaks in your wires. With DC electrical if something doesn’t ground it wont work. If the thing does turn over and wont fire than check your spark plug by taking it out of the head leaving it connected to the wire and turn the engine over while holding the spark plug against the head(the head by the way is the thing you pulled it out of). If you can see a spark than that’s not the problem. If its not electrical its a fuel problem. Hope that helps.

  8. RT said:

    Pull spark plug, use thin nail file to clean electrodes, check gap, reinstall. Could also be bad fuel left over through winter – change and clean, add clean new fuel. NO SMOKING.




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