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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I filled the gas tank and topped off the oil, getting ready to mow as usual. When I turned the key, the engine started to turn but then stopped. I turned the key again and just heard on click. I cleaned the battery connectors (the red one had acid) and tried again, but still just one click. The solenoid looks fine as well. Any suggestions?
 

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Clean both ends of both + and - cables and then check the battery for voltage DC should be 12.8 or so for a full charge. Less than that would mean you need to charge the battery.
 

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Read this article and/or watch video in my signature line. Probably easy fix.

 

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Battery? Try jumper cables.
 
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Be careful with the jumper cables, we've had several fried ECM threads on here the past few months. Sounds like the issue with my X500 last month - think you need a new battery.
 
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Remove the battery and follow instructions in post#2 from @PA318Guy ...if you don't have a way to check the battery take it to a place like Advanced or AutoZone, Pep Boys, O'Reilly's ,,,have it load tested...if battery is ok...go to post #3 from @Brad ...even if battery is good...this starter assist relay is a miracle worker ...if you want to put in the relay, and are having a hard time finding the parts or setting it up...just shout out..it costs about 10 dollars and honestly takes less than 10 minutes
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I got sick for a couple days, so I'm just getting back to this. When I went to look at the battery I noticed acid was coming out of part of the battery. I was going to use a trickle charger, but if acid is coming out, should I just get a new battery (sorry if that's a dumb question)?
 

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Coastal, The ONLY dumb question is one that you don't ask! Folks in here are pretty sharp and won't tell you the wrong thing to do. If you're not sure, just ask...PLEASE.
If acid is coming out of your battery, it's time to replace it. Eventually water vapor will come out, your cell will not produce electricity and you'll be dead in the water. The other bad side is hydrogen sulfide is escaping from your battery and this will mix with moisture in the air to form sulfuric acid and eat any and all metal parts it comes in contact with. Replace battery. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
New battery didn't get it going. It still makes a 1 second noise like something wants to get going, but then it won't. I don't know much about lawnmower repair, but I read about the solenoid. Would you recommend trying that next?
 

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Can you turn the engine's flywheel by hand, by turning the screen on the flywheel? You should be able to rotate it through 2 complete revolutions.

If you can't do that by hand, remove the spark plug and try again. If now you can turn it by hand, see if you can get it to spin with the key removed (note that gas/oil might spray out).

If removing the plug helps, check the oil before trying to actually start it. Check the level, and see if the dipstick smells like gas. If it smells like gas, change the oil before starting it.
 
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when you checked the battery connections, you need to also check "the other end" of each cable... both the + and - cables.
make sure the connections are solid. The - cable goes to engine block/chassis somewhere on the tractor.
The + cable goes to the starter motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, I was able to turn the flywheel multiple times. But I checked the oil anyway and it did smell like gas so I changed it. I ais the period I also checked the connectors on both sides for the battery and there was no acid on the other sides. I haven't touched the spark plug yet. It is still not working. I am going to get to the spark plug as soon as I can find a wrench for it, but do you have any other suggestions?
 

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Coastal, If engine turns over with key and doesn't start, THEN look at spark plug. Right now your problem is not turning over, totally NOT related to spark plug.

Do you have a multimeter and know how to use? If not get one, even a $30 Harbor Freight or box store will work, and we'll teach you how to use it.

If you have a meter, set for DC volts, connect one lead to small terminal on solenoid, other terminal to ground/frame/engine. Turn key to "Start" and you should have 12 volts on meter... you should also hear solenoid "click". If 12 volts, now connect meter to large terminal on solenoid...NOT the one with the battery cable attached... and to ground. When key is turned to "Start", you should have 12 volts on meter. If not, bad solenoid, if voltage, bad starter motor.
Do some checks and report findings back here. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did it 1st to the one with the battery connector and that had 12 V or -12v depending on lead positions. When I did the 2nd 1 there was no voltage. So that means it's a bad solenoid?
 

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It sounds like a bad solenoid, BUT! Verify 12 volts to small terminal of solenoid. If 12 volts to small terminal w/key in "Start", and no 12 volts to larger terminal, bad solenoid. Bob
 

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I did it 1st to the one with the battery connector and that had 12 V or -12v depending on lead positions. When I did the 2nd 1 there was no voltage. So that means it's a bad solenoid?
The 2nd terminal on the solenoid will only have +12V when the key is in the START position.
You have to test it while trying to start it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The 2nd terminal on the solenoid will only have +12V when the key is in the START position.
You have to test it while trying to start it.
It was 12 volts with or without the key turned on the small one. The large was 0 no matter what.
 

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Just to make sure - we are talking about the starter solenoid I hope... can you post a picture of the solenoid connections you are referring to?....

The starting solenoid should have 2 large studs... one with the fat red wire coming from the battery, and the other one should have a short jumper going to the starter motor....
the large red wire should be +12 all the time. If it doesn't, you have a bad cable or bad battery, or bad ground. basically the batttery is not connected.

For the thin lead - it depends on the logic of the key-switch and safety switches.... normally +12V would appear on the small lead only when the key is in START position. However there may be safety relays that instead provide GND in order for the starter to initiate... this is very non-standard, but does happen.
Do you happen to have a wiring diagram for this tractor?
 

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and just to make sure - when you say "wont start"... is it cranking but not starting?... or is it not even cranking when you turn the key?
 
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