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Discussion Starter #1
I am not very good with wiring and electical stuff I was wondering how to test the solenoid and ignition switch on a scotts lawnmower it has a 17hp briggs intek engine, if I turn the key on and put a screwdriver across solenoid it will start, but not when I turn the key, I have a volt meter I just don't know how to check it out, thanks
 

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first thing to do is check the safeties. most of them will not allow it to turn over if one is bad. use a screw driver or a jumper cable from the post on teh solenoid that comes from the battery and jumper to teh small post. if it spins up, you either have a bad ignition switch, blown fuse, broken/loosen wire/connection, or a safety not engaged properly.

verify the seat switch is functioning as desired, brake/clutch switch, and that the PTO is OFF and it's safety is working.
 

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Does the unit make any noise (i.e., clicking, etc) when you turn the key in an attempt to start it?
 

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Sounds to me that your screwdriver diagnosis pretty much limits problem to:

1) One or more Safety Switch parameter not satisfied.
2) If not above, then defective solenoid or ignition switch
 

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Check your battery FIRST...;)

Put your load meter on it and see if it still has the juice to do its job
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the battery should be good because when i put the screwdriver across the solenoid it will start up.
 

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OK. Have someone sit in the operators seat. Have the machine ready to start. In neutral, brake on, etc. You have your volt meter. Put the switch to DCV, pointing to "20" or something along those lines. Not 200, not .2, etc. You want to check with the setting approx to what you are looking for.

Pul the black wire from the volt meter on the engine block, frame, starter, etc. Basically, ground it out. You will then look for the small guage wire (similar in size to a speaker wire on a car stereo) running out of a wiring harness to the solenoid on or near the starter. Some of these will be a female spade connector, some may actually be held on with nut. You want to pull the spade connector off (this will prevent the starter from actually engaging when you are checking). Put the red wire from your voltage meter into the wire connector. Have the person sitting on the mower turn the key, first "on", then to "start". If all is well with your switch and wiring and safety switches, you should get a reading on your meter somewhere from 11 to 13.6 volts.

The part that clicks on the bottom of the carb is a small shut-off valve for stopping fuel from entering the engine when the key is off. It is supposed to prevent a backfire situation from hot components.

Let us know what you find with this test.

Good Luck!
 

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Its you solenoid i bet. I have a craftsman that was like that and we just jumped the solenoid to start it with a bolt and it worked every time. I think that would be your best bet. Its not an uncommon thing but if you junp it and it start most likely its the solenoid. They're only like $15 from my local small engine repair shop.
 

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i'd imagine you'd be set once you fix that if you really mind putting a bolt to if for a second. like i said my craftsman was like that for about 2 years before i changed it because i was fixing it so i figured fix it all. if it wasn't for that i would still be jumping the solenoid.
 

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Here is a thread that may help you, but it sounds to me like you are not getting any voltage "TO" the solenoid, which may be a bad safety switch. That being said, you'll need to ID the bad switch and FIX it, not bypass it.

http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=95701
 

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Try this- grab the pto lever, push/pull down towards the dis-engage position, start the engine. My Scott's had this problem, the pto spring gets weak, and the lever just needs a little help to fully dis-engage. Then LOOK @ your deck to make sure the pulleys are still connected to the deck-mine rusted out and wouldn't hold the proper tension to keep the deck engaged. The first time I had a problem with this I tried everything, then while bent over the machine and my son sitting on the seat it started, it took a while to figure out I had bumped the lever, I now have to hold it down for it to start. My Scott's is made by JD, a '99, and model# 1642. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the help guys it was the solenoid, it starts good now, I sure do enjoy this forum, in my opinion it is the best website and people on the internet, i will have some more questions about my lawn mower later this was not my mower.
 
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