It is very frustrating to roll out your mower to cut the lawn only to find that it won't start. This is a guide about Craftsman riding mower won't start.
By Jboy 1
I have a Craftsman 917.289700 with a 24hp B&S engine. Today it quit running while mowing. I thought it was gas, so I filled it up, but now it is a dead duck. Read in my manual, if you can call it that, to check a 30 amp fuse behind the dash, but no can see. Does anyone have a photo that would locate this for me?
January 15, 2016
I am a customer service rep for several lawn and garden companies. Usually when it says that the fuse is "behind the dash" you actually have to raise the hood and go in through the engine compartment and the fuse is most likely in the wiring harness. Hope this helps!
By oldmower 1
I have a 18.5 hp Craftsman mower. The engine won't turn over. I'm reading 12.4 volts at the starter when I turn on the switch, so I believe the wires, switches, ground, and solenoid are all good. I removed and tested the starter. The starter spins when I wire it to the battery, so I believe the starter is good. With the starter installed and the ignition on, the starter gear will engage with the motor, but won't turn the motor. Could the motor be frozen? Could the starter still be bad where it spins when not installed, but is unable to turn the motor when engaged?
By Alden B. 1
I have a Craftsman automatic 42" cut Koehler Pro 16.5 ohm, (S.s# 052000b007775/ Mod # 917.271141). I can not get it to start! I replaced the battery, spark plug, air filter, oil, and oil filter. When I turn the key nothing happens except a faint click. The mower worked last summer without any problems. I'm not quite sure what to look into next. The starter?
August 5, 2015
Second thought.....does the mower have a battery? is it charged if it does. And if that is ok...then it must be the starter.
I have an 8yr old 42" Craftsman riding tractor that won't start. It will turn over a few seconds then stop and begin clicking. Once I was able to start it after I placed both hands flat on the thing that turns when you turn the key on and manually turned it a little. But I can't get it to work this time. It turns a little then is tight and very hard to turn. Once I get it past the hard turn it loosens and turns easily a little, but tightens again. It makes me want to spray it with WD-40. But I don't want to do the wrong thing. I'm a female and don't know the correct name of parts...so patience please.
By Connie B.
August 31, 2015
I'm having the same problem even after buying a new battery and spark plug. It was able to be boosted to start and for several weeks did that each time I mowed. But now it won't boost. It will turn over a few seconds then stop. Any suggestions? How can I know if it's the starter or something else.
I have a 15.5 hp Craftsman riding mower. It has a new battery, solenoid, starter, wiring harness, fuse, and clutch and seat switches. And it still will not turn over. What else is there to replace? The motor turns over when I jump the starter.
April 15, 2015
I had a similar problem with my riding mower, would not turn over but would make a click when the ignition was turned to on. I replaced the battery, spark plug, solenoid, magneto coil, ignition switch checked harness for shorts and checked switches at the brake and lever to raise/ lower the blades and both were working as should be.
I even changed the gas and oil and nothing. I finally stumbled on the answer to my problem when I was holding the switch that depresses when the blades are raised in my hand and manually pressed it and the damn think fired up like nothing was wrong. Despite everything being ok, the switch was not positioned correctly to recognize the blades being up and was therefore not firing up when I turned the key. In other words if you know everything is working then try adjusting the position of your switches.
My 12 HP Craftsman riding mower (Model 917.254551) will not start although the motor will crank. I have changed the battery, coil, and throttle cable. There doesn't appear to be any spark when testing at the spark plug. There are gas vapors when the air filter is removed and the engine cranked. What should I check in order to get a spark at the plug?
By Jaramie A. 1
Why will my Craftsman lawn tractor not start with a new battery, new spark plugs, new gas, gas filter, oil filter, and new oil?
December 15, 2015
Either a poorly connected battery ground if you get nothing or varnish in the carburetor if it tries but won't turn over. It never hurts to add C-foam to the gas. Let it sit 24 hrs then try again.
I have an older Craftsman mower with the 19.5 horse Briggs and Stratton motor that was given to me. The guy said all it needed was a drive belt because the original one broke while he was mowing and he didn't know how to fix it. Well I put a new drive belt on and now the motor won't start with the key, it doesn't make any noises or even attempt to turn over. The headlights will come on with the key, but that's it. I tested the battery and it's good, so I used a screw driver to bridge across the positive and negative side of the silenoid and the motor will turn over, but not start. What could be causing the ignition not to be able to turn over the motor?
July 21, 2015
I fixed it! Changed out my solenoid and it fired right up! but now when i put it in gear and let off the clutch it boggs down and dies, it also does the same thing when I try to disengage the blades and let off the clutch, but it runs great with the clutch pushed in, I even idled it up all the way and popped the clutch and the mower only moved like a foot then started bogging down and died again. I have no clue what could be causing this.
By Steven G. 1
My tractor shut off while mowing and then wouldn't start back up. The engine cranks, but won't turn over. Gas is full, there is a new battery, new ignition coil, new spark plug, and new seat safety switch. Still no luck. Help please.
I have a Kohler 22.5 h.p. engine in a Craftsman riding mower. It turns over, but won't start. Things I've checked: it has spark and there is gas pumping out of the fuel pump. Any more ideas?
I have a Craftsman Lt2000 model 247280904 that will not get gas to the cylinder though, it does turn over. I have a new starter and battery, but when you go to start all it wants to do is crank and spin, but not start. I have checked all the gas lines. The carburetor is cleaned and it's getting spark and combustion. Any help would be appreciated!
May 12, 2015
I had the exact same issue on a 17 HP Kohler. After scratching my head for a couple hours, I just happened to notice the gas tank looked like it was under pressure. I took the gas cap off and the tank released the pressure and it fired right up. I put the cap back on and it stalled out after about a minute. Long story short, the vent hole on the gas cap was clogged and after cleaning and boring the hole out a little, the issue was resolved. May not be your issue, but an easy place to start.
By Matthew 1
I have a Sears 16 hp twin riding mower. When I went to start it the engine didn't suck gas through the gas line. After cleaning the carburetor the engine sucks gas part way to the carburetor. What do I do? How do I check the fuel pump and where do get a new one?
By fireman21 from Napa, CA
July 16, 2009
Could the fuel line need blowing out? Or do you need a new spark plug?
By jigmstr 1
I just finished cutting my lawn and the mower shut off and will not restart. I turn the key and nothing happens, not even a click. I haven't any idea what to do next. Anyone out there with any suggestions?
I have a 20 year old Craftsman riding lawn tractor with a Koehler engine. My son was mowing the lawn and the tractor just shut down. When turning the key to start it nothing happens. There is no turning of the engine and no registering of voltage on the voltmeter on the tractor. I checked the battery and it is fully charged. Any thoughts as to where I can start?
By Greg B.
April 1, 2015
Does it have an electric blade start where you pull the lever up to start the blades spinning? If it does and the mower quits while the blades are spinning you must push down on the lever to put the mower in stop blades mode. If the blades are in the on position you cannot start the mower until you disengage the blades. This has happened to me a few times. Good luck.
I just bought a new keyless Sears lawn mower. There is no ignition key. This has a touch pad on the dash that you enter your code into, and then you can use that code to start the mower from then on. I can't even get it to accept an initial code.
By Mike S
My 1997 Craftsman 19.5 lawn mower will not turn over with the ignition. When I try starting the tractor, it makes one clicking sound and the amp meter moves. I thought it was the battery at first and tried to jump it, this did nothing. I changed out the battery with another that was working fine for another tractor that I have, did nothing as well. I determined that the battery is fine and then I ran a jumper wire from the positive terminal to the starter and the tractor turned over and started like normal. I jumped the solenoid with a screwdriver and this made the starter turn over. I believe that the solenoid is bad and needs to be replaced. Am I correct in assuming this or is there a switch between the ignition and the solenoid that could be bad? Or could the ignition switch be bad? I don't think this is the case because the ignition switch is causing the amp meter to function.
By Brent B.
July 15, 2015
I have the same exact mower and the same problem, the drive belt broke on mine while it was running, i replaced it and now the key wont start the motor, it wont even make any noise when i turn it, i can jump it by using a screw driver on the selenoid like you did but it wont crank, my lights will turn on with the key but thats it, i checked the 30 amp fuse and its fine, the battery is fine to, so im thinking maybe my selenoid is bad?
I have an 18hp rider mower. I got it used and was told it needed a battery. I purchased a new one. I installed it, turned the key and I'm just getting a humming noise. I think the starter is not working.
I have a Craftsman LT2000 that will crank, but not turn over. The engine is an Intek 19.5 hp Briggs and Stratton. The model is 31P677 0804 B1. I have spark, I changed out the fuel solenoid and grounded it to the block with the key on and it moves in and out. I've taken off the flywheel and the key is in place. The gap between the flywheel and ignition thing is gapped correctly. It has a new plug and fuel filter. I am getting fuel to the carb when I put gas in the cylinder it will backfire once.
By Shawn K.
I am trying to help my dad with his mower. He bought it used last fall and it has worked fine until today. He was out mowing part of his field and he said it died, he tried to start it while the blade was engaged, he said it back fired a couple of times then nothing. When I try to start it, the flywheel barely turns. I took the cover off of the flywheel and tried to hand turn it and it will only move about a quarter turn and freezes. Oil and gas levels are OK. I tried to jump start it and nothing. Any help would be appreciated.
By Marcie W
My tractor has been hard to start from day one. This year it stopped starting altogether. I have replaced the solenoid; that didn't work. So I cheated and put in a toggle switch by passing the solenoid. That worked for a while. Now the tractor won't start yet again. I flip the switch on the toggle, nothing. I have power everywhere up to the stater when not connected to the starter. Once I connect the starter, I don't have power anywhere along the circuit. What gives?
By Todd B
August 16, 2013
This is going to sound strange, but you may want to put a fuel by-pass on the fuel line. Craftsman mowers are notorious for the gas leaking into the oil. This is a fuel switch that you turn off/on when using (on) then blocks the fuel (off) from going through the line when the mower is not being used. It is normally less than $5. My husband has repaired about 5 riding mowers now and that was the issue. Good luck!
I have a Craftsman riding mower, model 91720512, 6 speed, 42 inch cut, 14.5 Briggs and Stratton motor. I have replaced the ignition switch and starter solenoid. I was cutting grass yesterday, it was running fine and after running for about 1/2 hour, it just dies like if you get off the seat and safety switch killed it. I turned the key, no click, no crank, obviously no start. It was late so called it a day.
I checked today and thought I found the problem with a loose white crimp connector going to switch for clutch. It has a 4 pin block connector that plugs into clutch switch that clips into frame, 2 white wires and 2 black wires. I repaired the connection, nothing! I checked and replaced 30 AMP fuse, looked OK, checked battery voltage, fully charged 12.6 volts, checked wires for seat safety switch, they look OK. What next? Please help. My lawn is like a jungle! Suggestions to fix today?
By friendly frost from Hamden, CT
May 31, 2011
I think you may have an open ground. I have a John Deere with the same problem. I have yet to find the open ground. This is how I have to start my mower. I have a battery booster. I hook up the postive clamp of the booster to the postive side of the battery and the negative clamp to a metal part of the mower bypassing the negative battery terminal. The mower starts right up. Then I have my lady shut off the booster and unhook the clamps. If I get off the seat you know the safety devices shut down the mower.
By jammer1 1
I have a Craftsman LT1000 and it will turn over, but never starts. It sounds like there is no compression. There is oil is in the cylinder. Could my piston rings be bad?
By jammer1 from Franklinville, NJ
April 21, 2011
Had old lawnmower that would not start. Went to Oreillys auto and purchased start my engine under $7 dollars. Poured half in, it started and runs fine. It was a back up mower attempted to start it for the last 3 years it's a Toro so I did not want to throw it away. Main lawnmower ran with a shake so poured the other half in it, mower runs smooth. Might not work for you, but is not expensive little work (do not have to remove old gas) and cheaper than paying someone to look at first. Good luck.
By Tom 1
I have a Craftsman lawn tractor, model no. 917.2726783. I have replaced the battery. The mower has been very hard to start. It seems like the starter isn't engaging like it should. The clutch has to be just right, also. I have removed the starter thinking that it might be burned up. It was very hot when I took it off. Is there any way to check it to see if it is bad?
When the starter was on the mower it would just barely turn over. It acts like a dead battery, but I have put a new battery in it and jumped it and used my battery charger on it. This is the first time it has failed to start completely. Usually it does this and then all of a sudden it would spin over and start and then continue to start if I shut it off.
By Tom from Edmond, OK
September 16, 2010
You can bench test it. To do this, you will need a bench vise to hold it and a good battery with the rated amps for the starter. Or the safer alternative is to check the continuity of the motor with a multi meter. Why do you suspect the starter is bad?
I hope someone can help. I have a Craftsman 4000 lawnmower that I love and really like. Here's the deal I was cutting grass and it backfired and cut off. I tried to start it back up and all it's doing is turning over and won't start
By Lizzy 1
I'm new here and I've been reading through the "won't start" threads regarding Craftsman riding mowers. I have a 13 year old Craftsman 13.5hp 30" mid-engine riding mower, model 536.270280. It always has been a little balking when it came to starting during cooler weather (I'm in Pennsylvania) so when I tried to start it last weekend and it didn't want to immediately start I didn't panic. It was cranking, but I didn't want to flood the engine so I stopped for a few minutes. When I tried to start it again it tried to turn over but didn't (and here is a key symptom) when I turned the key to the off position, it kept cranking and trying to turn over for 10 or 12 seconds and then stopped. Now I get absolutely nothing. I tried jumping it, replaced the fuse and the solenoid is new. Still nothing. I was hoping to get some feedback before I start replacing everything. I'm currently thinking it might be the ignition, but that's just a guess. Any help is appreciated.
By Brad Locke 2
I have a Craftsman lawn tractor 18.5hp 42" deck. Model#917.275760. The tractor will not turn crank over, the battery is good, 12.5 volts, 95% charged and load tested to 11.075 volts. I have changed all four safety switches, the ignition switch, the starter 4 post solenoid, the starter, and the ignition switch. The mower will not crank over, after all these new parts. I have visually checked the wiring harness, for burnt wires, corrosion, and loose connections. I found nothing that would keep the motor from cranking. I have checked for any diodes, found none in the electrical systems. There is a protection wire loop p/n 141940 shown in the wiring diagram. This diagram is for this model tractor. Where would this wire loop be located? I'm not sure what this loop would even look like, if i saw it. When I stated that I checked the wiring harness visually. I also used a multimeter and a 12 volt light tester. Can anyone inform me, what the no crank, problem could be? Also, does this protection wire loop replace a diode? Why didn't Craftsman use a fuse in the wiring instead of a protection loop?
By CarBat 1
I have a Sears Craftsman lawn tractor model number 917.270781 with a 19hp Briggs & Stratton engine and 42"cut. It was running fine until I ran over a few tree roots in my back yard. The blades did not touch them or stop, but the tractor shook hard from rolling over the roots and stalled. It will not start again. There is no clicking, nothing. The battery is fully charged and there is lots of new gas in the tank. Is this an unusual occurrence and how do I fix it? I just replaced the air filter and fuel filter, disconnected and reconnected wires from the ignition switch to the solenoid/battery/starter and bought another solenoid, but haven't installed it yet. Thank you for any help in advance.
By Jeff1236 1
My tractor started and runs strong, but it wasn't able to climb any kind of hill. I changed the drive belt, thinking the 10 year old belt had stretched out. I dropped the deck, threaded on the new belt, attached the deck, turned the key and...click. I charged the battery...click. Could the clutch cable be the fault? I'm lost and I need to mow. Please help.
By jim bray 1
I have a 27 hp Craftsman riding mower that stopped running while cutting the grass. It was serviced 1 month ago with a new battery and oil and blades. When the key is turned to the on position, it does nothing, but when the starter solenoid is hit with the positive cable, the motor spins really really slowly. The oil is up to the full mark, the fan belt for the blades was released to maybe help it start, but that doesn't help at all.
By Danny M. 1
I have a Craftsman riding mower. It will crank no problem, then I mow for a hour. Then if I shut it off it will not start. I checked fire and it has no fire. After about 30 mins to an hour it starts just fine. I just replaced the coil. Can someone help me please?
By kikkie 1
I have a B&S engine lawn tractor that is 4 years old. The mower stalled when the seat lifted up and now will not start. I've replaced the battery and spark plug, but the engine just spins and won't fire. If I goose the key to start it it will spin faster, but still doesn't start. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
By Alex MG 1
My Craftsman LT4000 will not start. I was mowing up a hill and it sputtered then died, and ever since then I haven't been able to start it. However, when I turn the key, there is a click. I have checked the obvious things, such as the battery, gas, oil, etc. I have also tried to start with a boost from my car.
I'm 15 years old and have no experience at all with mechanics, so please give me simple instructions if possible! Thanks.
By Marshall L 1
I have a Craftsman lt1000 lawn tractor. I was having a hard time starting it. The battery was dead sometimes so we replaced the battery and it was working great for almost 10 times of starting it. I tried starting it today and there's nothing, not even clicking. I tried jumping it and still nothing. Does anyone know what it could be or where I should start to troubleshoot it? Thanks.
By Ryan N. 1
I have a Craftsman Koehler 22 riding mower. I have changed the battery, solenoid, and the starter and the engine won't crank at all. I turn the key and I can hear the solenoid click, but I get nothing after that. The battery is brand new and the lights turn on. I have no idea what would cause this.
By Dan O. 1
I have a Craftsman DYS-4500 (917.276906) lawn tractor with a 26HP twin cylinder Kohler engine that won't start. It was running fine up until about a week ago. While I was cutting the grass it just stopped. No loud noises, no metal clanging or anything like that. There was a bit of smoke, like burning oil, but that's not uncommon with this mower.
When I turn the key the engine spins, but there's no indication of any kind if ignition.
At first it seemed like it was just not getting gas. I checked the tank, which was full. The fuel filter seems fine; I replaced that last year. I replaced the fuel pump, which is a disk slightly smaller than a hockey puck. It works off a vacuum line from one of the valve covers. I also disconnected the outlet side and cranked the engine and got a pretty decent flow of fuel. So it seems gas is fine.
I pulled one of the plugs to check for spark. I left the plug resting against the engine, cranked it and got spark. So far it seems like I have gas and spark.
I sprayed some starter fluid into the engine, but even that didn't do anything. Not even a hint of wanting to fire.
I cleaned the air filter and even tried with it off - nothing.
So, it seems I have fuel, air and spark, but no firing.
I have a 2013 lt 2000 Craftsman riding mower. I've changed the solenoid, the starter, and the battery, to no avail. It only clicks rapidly at the solenoid. I tried to jump the mower right at the starter and it will not turn over at all. It just sparks. Any ideas please?
By Windell 1
My Craftsman 18.5 lawn tractor turns over slowly and makes a puff puff sound, but will not start. It also smells like gas. It always started on the first turn. Any suggestions?
By Jason N. 1
I just replaced my serpentine belt and the battery on my late 80s model Craftsman riding mower. It won't even turn the lights on or crank. Would it most likely be the starter solenoid?
By fgsdog 1
I own a Craftsman 1100 riding mower with a 17.5hp Briggs & Straton. It had gas in the oil, stuck needle, and a blown head gasket. I replaced the head gasket and the carburetor, the fuel lines, and the filter. I was able to get the engine to turn over once and it quit. Now it will not turn over. Do I need to adjust the new carburetor and how? This is probably a stupid question; be kind, it ls my first carburetor.
By kmdaniels 1
I have a Craftsman 42 model 917 372910. For a while, when it sits it has been hard to turn over. To start I usually have to choke a lot. This year I charged the battery to begin to start. Then I did routine maintenance. I changed out a pulley with new drive belt. Then it would not turn over at all. I put in a new solenoid. There is power going to the solenoid, but not coming out. The small wires on the solenoid are hot. Any suggestions?
I just got this Craftsman riding mower with 18hp twin Kohler magnum from a friend. He said that 2 years ago he had ACE do a valve job. Then he picked it up and drove it on his trailer. When he got home it would not start. If my Craftsman riding lawn mower just got $600 valve job wouldn't the engine be all clean? So here I am with it. It turns over nice and strong, but won't start. I did drain all old fuel and took carb and fuel pump off, it was all dry. I cleaned it all and fuel is coming through now, but it still won't start?
I just put in a new battery, but when I turn the key on I get nothing. The lights don't even go on. The battery is connected properly.
By Lou G
I have a 17.5 hp mower with an electric start. I replaced the ignition switch, solenoid, and fuse an now nothing. If I jump the starter it will run with no problems. I just have problems starting it.
By Art P
When starting the mower, it turns over once and stops. When I try again, same thing.
I have a Craftsman 917.276905 lawn tractor with a good battery, new solenoid, and new ignition switch and still nothing, not even a sound.
Why won't my mower throttle up when started?
By E. Taylor
I have a Craftsman lt1500. I had gas in my crank case so I took the carb apart and cleaned it. I put in a new filter and added a cut off valve. Now the motor turns very slowly. Even with cables on it just won't start. Any advice?
I have a Craftsman LT1000 that won't turn over. I've checked the battery, it is showing 12 volts. I changed the switch and the solenoid, it made two clicks and then nothing.
My mower won't start after replacing the battery, starter, and solenoid. It turns slowly even while jumping it off with my truck.
My Craftsman lsx1000, 31 hp mower will run good, but will not start unless I turn the flywheel. What is wrong?
By Melissa from Crab Orchard, KY
Last season the starting of the lawnmower was getting tricky. In order to start, I had to turn the key just a little bit to get it in the right position to start, but it always started.
This year the battery died, so I replaced it, and then I decided to go ahead and do the yearly maintenance on it. So my son changed the spark plug on the right side (now I see there is one on the left too), and changed the oil. When he went to start it, he didn't know to choke it and so he almost drained the battery. I tried it, and it did like it always wanted to, and did respond with just the slightest turn of the key, but the battery wasn't charged enough so it wouldn't start. So then I charged the battery and now when I turn the key nothing happens. No clicking, no nothing. What did I do wrong? Is it the thing that connects to the key?
My mower will not start; I was just using it. I added gas and oil. Where are the fuses on my Craftsman riding mower? The mower is 1 year old. Where is the valve seat?
By Bob M
I just got a new battery and a new starter. It started once, now it turns once and gets stuck. You can turn it by hand, but it is not easy to get unstuck. Then it will turn once and get stuck again.
When you're hand turning it, a noise and pressure comes out of carb (I think that's what it is, under air filter). Ugh, I've had to borrow my mom's push mower and my yard's huge and on a hill; not fun. Any ideas?