Cub Cadet Riding Lawn Mower Won't Start

April 4, 2021

I have a Cub Cadet XT1 18hp 42" Cut. Last season, it ran fine, this season I opened the garage to start it, with jumper cables in hand as I knew the battery would be dead, and new gas. I changed the gas out, drained the lines, drained the carb, and put in fresh, choked the engine, and turned it over. Wouldn't start.


Checked lines and filters again, everything seems to be in order there. Grabbed the plug wrench, checked for fire, and it has a healthy spark. But the plug was dry. Pulled the carb this time instead of just taking the bowl off to drain it, upon inspection of the carb and jets, everything is clean as a whistle. Slapped it back together, plugged in the little wire at the bottom of the carb, and went to try and crack it again. Nothing. Just continuously turning over, doesn't try to start, doesn't pop, nada. Just spinny engine.


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April 25, 20210 found this helpful
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We are into the grass cutting season so I hope you found your problem and now have a nice cut lawn.
I have read where these mowers do give 'cranking' problems but sometimes when you've tried everything all you may need is can of starter fluid to spray in the carburetor when trying to crank as all it may need is just a little help to make it turnover.


Sometimes it is a small thing that most people tend to overlook:
Some mowers have 2 gas filters and these have to be cleaned and/or replaced every season.

Oftentimes a "No Crank" situation is caused by a faulty solenoid, bad ignition switch, or a fault in one of the safety switches.
Theses are small things but can cause big trouble.
Also, be very sure you have a clean air filter every season as no mower will run properly with a dirty filter.

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24 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

May 20, 2020

I changed my PTO belt on my 2009 ltx1042 Cub Cadet mower and now it will not start and I do not no why.


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May 22, 20201 found this helpful
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questions -

does it make any attempt to start or nothing happens when you try to crank it?
was it running before you replaced the belt?
What happened to cause you to have to replace the belt?


Did you follow instructions carefully when installing belt and you did not change or remove anything else?

Has it been running this season or is this your first cut?
Bad gas from last year? Should have all new gas beginning of season.
Checked filter? Will not run with a dirty filter.

Here is a video you might check out but you can discuss your problems with someone on this site also.

The questions that I asked above are the type of questions they will ask you so they can get to the original problem.

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March 22, 2020

I own a Cub Cadet XT1 and I've changed the starter and solenoid. It turns, but won't start. Anyone have an idea why it will not start?


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March 23, 20200 found this helpful
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Sometimes after working on a mower it will have trouble getting gas through the system.
If you can put your mower on a trailer, I would stop by one of your local auto parts stores and see if they will try a spurt of engine starter spray to see if that will do the job. They will also check your air filter (very important) and your battery as well as your spark pug.


If you cannot take your mower anywhere you can buy a can of engine starter fluid and try it yourself. This can be tricky so I would recommend buying this from an auto parts store (instead of Walmart, etc.) so they can show you how to use it.
There are lots of videos online to show you how to use this but it's best to not get it on ignition lines (it may not damage lines but you'll have to wait for them to dry). You can also use WD40 (and other products) but regular engine starter spray is best.

I would also recommend buying a new air filter (even if yours looks good) as this is crucial to starting an engine after it has been sitting for a while.
Check your battery as it will need a full charge to start your engine.
Be sure you are using a new spark plug.
Also, if your mower has been 'resting' for a while and you left gas in the mower without an additive, you may have bad fuel and this may have to be removed or maybe add an additive but talk to someone at your auto parts store.


You should NEVER use starting fluid to start a diesel !

Check some of these sites for information:

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May 28, 2017

I just mowed last week, but now it won't start. When I mowed last week the mower was low on gas, but I wanted to get as much done as I could. I ended up running out of gas and my paw paw had to help me get it to the building. We put it in neutral, pulled it with his fourwheeler, and pushed it into the building.

Now this week I filled it with gas, went to start it, and it would not turn over. It tries to, but won't. I have no idea what could be wrong.


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May 28, 20177 found this helpful

You might not have all the safety features engaged and that is why it won't start. Here is a troubleshooting guide from the company.



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May 29, 20170 found this helpful

This might be helpful, from ShopYourWay:

It's very possible that there was some trash/debris floating around in the fuel tank and when the engine ran out the stuff was sucked into the fuel line.

If you're sure the fuel lines are clean and debris free, you'll need to remove the bowl of the carburetor to clean it out. It's possible to have some trash/debris sitting in the bottom of the carb bowl that it stopping up the jets.

Normally in these circumstances it is fuel related problems causing trouble. It's also possible that you over primed or over choked when trying to re-start and flooded the engine. Take the spark plug out and see if it's wet. If it is, dry the plug off good and let it sit with the plug out for about an hour. Put the spark plug back in and see if you can start the mower.


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May 30, 20170 found this helpful

What your Pawpaw told you was exactly what I'd have have told you to try first. I'm wondering if in doing so, that he showed you how to do it in the event it happens again? I have owned mowers and other equipment that we had to Prime the carburetor every time we started it. If you aren't quite sure, you can look at your manual or even ask your pawpaw again.

July 3, 20181 found this helpful

Unplug the pto,plug it back up, it should start.

January 21, 20190 found this helpful

Had an issue with starting on my Cub. Primed it with a shot of Eyther and started but died after running for about 30 secs.
Found a fuse burned and replaced with a smaller fuse.
Problem played out that it didnt make contact.
Tech replaced the fuse and started immediately.
That fuse corroded and didnt let my mower start even though I had the problem solved but replaced with the wrong size.

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April 24, 2017

I have a Cub Cadet riding lawn mower that won't start or turn over. It worked fine last week when I used it. What could the problem be?


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April 24, 20170 found this helpful

The switch is under the seat. You can try disconnecting it and re-connecting it.


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April 24, 20170 found this helpful

Please see Cub Cadet's help sheet on this problem:


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April 25, 20170 found this helpful

Have you checked the fuse?
If still having a problem you can ask your question on this site:


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August 23, 2019

I've been having a problem with my PTO cutting out. It happens once I've been running it for about a half hour and when I put it in reverse. This is a new problem, I've had this mower for about 10 years. Last week when I was cutting, the mower sputtered and died. I assumed I was out of gas, but I wasn't.

In an effort to get it running again I have replaced the following parts: fuel pump, fuel filter, ignition coil and plug, PTO relay, and the ignition switch (it's been acting up as well). The engine cranks, but won't turn over. Also I now notice a knock while cranking that wasn't there before. Could the fuel pump be installed wrong?

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July 24, 2018

My Cub Cadet SLTX 1054 will turn over, but will not fire. We know that we are getting gas to the carburetor, but the mower will not fire. Help please.


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July 24, 20181 found this helpful

Apparently quite a few people in Internet Land have a problems similar to yours, it turns over but does not start

some solutions were

- check the fuse to make sure it's functioning; it would be found on the left side of the battery box as you look at the mower from the front.
- check the terminal marked 'b' which should be hot all the time. If there is voltage there, then you don't need to check for the fuse, but if there's not then check fuse
- if the starter seems to be labouring to turn over the engine, you may have to replace the starter or put a 200 amp booster on it in order for it to start.
- check the spark
- check the coil

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June 11, 2018

My Cub Cadet won't start. It clicks, but won't turn the motor over. I had the charger on the battery and the same thing happens.

Is it possible the motor is seized? I was mowing and it clattered a few times and quit.


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June 13, 20180 found this helpful

The cub site has a nice PDF self help guide

There is also some good info at their link

That said...this may be a dumb question, but are you sure there isn't a nest in it somewhere? I ask because a friend had a hornet nest in her rider and it caused all kinds of havoc.

Once she (SAFELY) got that all cleared, the mower was fine.

She later told me a friend of hers had a mouse nest causing issues. That was sad.


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June 13, 20181 found this helpful

You could have a bad ground. Watch this video to see how to fix it:

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April 17, 2020

I have a Cub Cadet mower that will only start when it is jumped. It has a brand new battery, but as soon as you shut it off and try to restart it all it will do is click.

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August 7, 2019

My mom's Cub Cadet RZT starts when it is cold, but won't turn over after she has mowed with it.

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July 28, 2019

My Cub Cadet LT46 won't start when the mower is cold. I have to crank it for several minutes to start it. Once I get it started, I usually don't have a problem getting it to restart.

I bought it used with just 60 hours on it. Help! How do I solve this problem?

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May 4, 2019

I had to take the deck off my Cub Cadet 365 riding mower to remove something that was stuck underneath. Now my mower won't turn over. It started fine before I took the deck off.

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April 18, 2019

I have fuel going to the carb, no problem, but it still won't start. I put a little gas into the carb. and it starts, but only runs for about 30 seconds then shuts off again. Why will it not stay running?

Any help please!


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April 18, 20191 found this helpful

There is a safety switch under the seat. Disconnect it and re-connect it.


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April 19, 20190 found this helpful

Do you have a mouse or other "critter" nest somewhere in the under pinnings of the machine? My friend had this with her lawn tractor last year, and we just had mouse nest in our shed kept lawn mower. It can really make a mess of things. It is also sad.

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October 2, 2015

I have a 2186 Cub Cadet lawn tractor. It will not start. It has a new battery and iginition switch.


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October 17, 20170 found this helpful

Here are a few things you can check:

  1. You need to start with the gas tank and your gas.
  2. If you've left gas in the tank when storing your mower sledge has formed in your tank.
  3. You'll have to clean the tank and add new gas.
  4. You'll also have to clean your carburetor and make sure there is no sludge in there.
  5. You will need to replace your spark plugs.
  6. If none of this helps please ask a few of the experts at this forum for advice:
October 11, 20180 found this helpful

Fuse onside of battery cable

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March 26, 2015

I put the positive cable on negative terminal and put the negative on the positive by mistake. I reversed the cables and now they are on the right way. It will not start. What do I do next?

By Willaim


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December 5, 20170 found this helpful

This can short out the starter or the solenoids on the mower. You'll need to take a volt meter and test your cables to make sure you are getting a good charge or reading to the starter and solenoids on the mower.

May 26, 20180 found this helpful

It happened to me and I simply replaced the 20 amp fuse that blew during the mishap. Took me a minute to find it, but it was no problem once I knew where to look. Its north of the switch!

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May 17, 2019

My Cub Cadet that's not a year old yet will not start. We replaced the battery and fuse. Is there a step by step video on how to repair this Cub Cadet LT46 riding lawn mower?

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May 13, 2019

My new Cub Cadet XT1 with new gas won't start.


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May 6, 2019

My small engine is a 640 Honda engine on my Club Cadet Zero Turn. It was working great then got caught in a thunder storm.

It will not turn over; it just clicks. Will it dry out or will it need to be serviced?

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January 10, 2019

I have a 2018 Club Cadet with 5 hours of riding time that will not start. It will turn over. but won't start. I changed the spark plug, cleaned the air filter, and charged the battery.

I do smell gas when attempting to start it.


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January 10, 20190 found this helpful

It sounds like a new lawn mower. I would think you have a year warranty at the very least. Contact the manufacturer.

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September 2, 2013

I replaced the starter solenoid and still get the clicking sound. The volt meter shows low voltage on the low voltage side. Anyone know the cause of this?

By Charlie


June 4, 20180 found this helpful

sounds like starter issue to me

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October 2, 2013

My Cub Cadet, single cylinder B&S will turn over when the plug is pulled, but dead heads when plug is installed. Any ideas?

By Al

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