Craftsman Riding Mower Won't Start

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.

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Craftsman Riding Mower
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Nothing happens when I turn the key. It will start when I run a jumper cable from the battery to the starter. I replaced the solenoid, but it is still not starting. I have no idea what to do or check?

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    Either what Mary Lou P. stated or it might be the kill switch to the mower deck if it is attached.

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    I have a Crafstman riding mower. I haven't used it for about nine months. Unfortunately before winter came nothing was done to "winterize" it. Now I can't get it to start. Should I change the oil? Empty the gas and refill it? As you can tell I'm not a "handyman"!

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      Change ALL the fluids, clean the battery terminals, and change the spark plugs as well. AutoZone and other auto supply stores sell a 'gap' tool that will assist you in adjusting the spark plug gaps.

      I'm a woman who had to learn these things (the hard way, oh well, now I do know:). As the need arose pre-Internet days to get my mower running after a hard winter, I found a Reader's Digest 'how to' book at the library and learned from it. You can do the same - I would never have thought myself mechanically minded or able until I left a John Deere lawn mower under a tarp in my back garden over a harsh winter, now I can work on just about any mower or other small engine machine!

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      My brother has a 18 hp. Craftsman ride. It turns over, but doesn't start unless I put my hand over the air intake at the filter. Then it runs until I take off my hand.

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        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?

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          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.

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          Why will my Craftsman lawn tractor not start with a new battery, new spark plugs, new gas, gas filter, oil filter, and new oil?

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            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.

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            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?

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              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!

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              In the neutral position the mower will not turn over or make any noise. When pressing in the clutch, and turning the key there is a clicking/hissing noise that comes from under the seat, in the general area of the battery.

              Can anyone offer some advice on how this may be corrected?

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                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?

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                  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.

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                  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?

                  mower
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                    I have the same issue with my mower. Did this work? Mine is less than a year old.

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                    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.

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                      Have you run a carb cleaner thro the gas?

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                      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?

                      By Del

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                      Best Answer

                      Check engine compression or see if the float is stuck on the carburetor.

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                      I have a Craftsman riding mower. I've changed the solenoid and keyed starter switch, but it still won't turn over with the key. I'll have to find and download owners/parts manual then start checking all the safety switches. All the wires look good so I believe now it can only be a safety switch. The motor turns over if I short the solenoid. The fuse is OK.

                      And yes it starts, lights work when running, and turns it off with the key. Being on disability, I don't have much money to just replace one part after another. I am asking someone who may have had this problem before or is a mechanic. Thanks for your time.

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                        I have a 24 hp Craftsman lawn tractor. It won't start. I changed the spark plugs, put in a new battery, and fuel filter. The fuel filter will not fill with fuel. Fuel pump? The lines are not cracked.

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                          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.

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                          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.

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                          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.

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                          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.

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                          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

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                          You can contact the store where you bought the mower or the manufacturer online for help.

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                          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.

                          By Scott

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                          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.

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                          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!

                          By Terry

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                          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.

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                          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 William

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                          Your magneto is bad.

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