How To Know If Mower Starter Is Bad

A lawn mower with a bad starter is a hassle to diagnose. It can manifest itself, producing a cracking noise while the engine doesn’t turn over. The mower will even not respond to attempts of starting.

Misshaped spark plug, a gummed-up carburetor, or old gasoline will likely foul up your mowing. But when the problem is a bad starter, the motor stops before the engine starts.

Like other engines, a lawn mower with a bad starter will produce distinct sound clues to a specific problem.

It is therefore recommended you identify a bad starter over other electrical problems. This article is for you if you want to avoid confusion between a bad starter and other issues.

Let’s begin:

How to know if Mower Starter is Bad Using A Few Tests

lawn mower starter problems

Before you diagnose starter problems in your lawn mower, consider checking other electrical problems. They include:

1. Battery Test

A battery test should be the first thing to consider before diagnosing your engine starter. That’s because when the lawn mower lacks adequate electricity, you can’t diagnose the engine starter.

You need a properly charged battery to operate a lawn mower electrical system perfectly.

Start by charging the lawn mower battery full using a 6 amp battery charger. It will help while diagnosing the engine starter or other related components.

If you have a riding lawn mower, the battery is 12 volts. Use a multimeter to read their voltage, such that it will be fully charged when it ranges between 12.7 to 12.9 volts.

If the battery reads less than 12.4 volts, replace it and try to start the lawn mower.

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2. Electrical Components and Wiring

The other thing to keep in mind is the electrical connections in the engine. These are mechanical connections having metal connectors soldered or crimped onto a wire.

The wire is then bolted to other electrical components such as starter solenoid, engine starter motor, or a switch.

When starting, charging, or riding an electrical mower, electrical connectors will transfer electricity from the battery to electrical components.

Loose, broken, or corroded electrical connectors and wires will interfere with how electricity will flow.

Your engine will have reduced or no electricity flow to the components, thus improper operation.

Before checking the condition of the starter, clean the electrical connectors using a wire brush. If there are damaged or broken connectors, replace them with other new units.

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How can I test my lawn mowers starter?

3. Starter Solenoid

A starter solenoid refers to the remotely mounted switch used to energize the engine starter motor.

It has three or four electrical lugs attached to the ignition switch, battery, ground wires, and engine starter.

The mounting ears will act as ground if the engine has a starter solenoid equipped with three lugs.

That said, you can now test your starter solenoid. Attach the jumper wire from where the battery cable is connected to where the engine cable connects.

If the engine motor turns over, then you have to replace the starter solenoid.

On the other hand, when the engine starter motor fails to turn over after connecting the jumper wire, you can replace your engine starter motor.

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4. Starter Motor

An engine starter in the lawn mower is an electrical motor bolted in the engine crankcase. It is used to turn the engine flywheel teeth, therefore, starting the lawn mowers engine.

Test the battery, solenoid, electrical wires, and electrical components to be satisfied they are working properly. Then, there is a higher chance of having a bad engine starter motor.

Over time, the magnets, springs, and brushes in contact with wire winding wear, burn or get dirty. If any of that occurs, it will prevent the starter from working properly.

Once you realize it’s the starter with a problem, you can rebuild or replace a new unit. But electrical starter motor rebuilding is only for professionals equipped with extensive knowledge on repairs.

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Cautions for Using a Lawn Mower

If you want to avoid future problems with your lawn mower, there are precaution measures to consider. Check them and consider using them in the future:

· Before using your lawn mower, check the user manual and go through it. That gives you an easy task when starting to operate.

·  Operate your equipment wearing goggles and hand gloves for safety measures.

· Wear personal protective clothing to avoid unwanted accidents while mowing the lawn.

· Use the screwdrivers and multimeter carefully

· Operate or repair your lawn mower without the presence of children.

· Hire professionals for technical repairs

Related: How to charge lawn mower battery

Determining if Mower Starter is Bad

FAQs Determining if Mower Starter is Bad

How can I test my lawn mowers starter?

Use a jumper wire to test a bad starter.
Connect one end of the jumper into the battery’s positive lead.
The other side of the jumper wire connects on the starter solenoid

– usually marked S on the starter. If the engine starter turns over, you can conclude the starter ignition switch is faulty. Then you must replace it.

How can I start a lawn mower using a bad starter?

Use a jumper cable. Connect the lug at the engine starter cable and the other to the battery cable. Then, rotate the ignition key in your lawn mower.

If it clicks before starting your lawn mower, you may have to replace the solenoid.

Why does my riding lawn mower click when starting it?

When starting your lawn mower, the clicking is from the starter solenoid.

After the solenoid is energized, it will connect the battery to the lawn mowers starter motor.

However, the main cause of clicking is low battery voltage.

That may require you to replace or charge the battery.

Riding mowers are convenient is cutting grass, but they also malfunction. After some tests, you will find an issue with the starter – but how do you know with certainty?

The article above has provided you with the necessary steps of “how to know if mower starter is bad.” Knowing and understanding ways of testing a faulty mower starter is beneficial.

Good luck checking whether your starter is the source of the problem.

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  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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