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Riding Mower won't start


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09-06-02, 04:25 PM   #1  
niteowl
Riding Mower won't start

Hi, I have a Sears riding mower, Koehler SOHC engine, about 3 yrs old, bought new, 16.5 hp, model CV16S. I used to have a contract in which I took it to Sears with all problems. The contract now costs more than the mower, so I am on my own!

Problem is my mower won't start. Last time used it seemed to be fine. Shut it off and now it won't start. Everytime the mower ever had starting problems, Sears replaced the relay plugs. So, for a quick fix (hoping), we went to their parts department and purchased the new relays and also put in a new spark plug.

Still won't start. It appears to have no spark. The RFI suppressor appears to be okay. So, where do I start from here? I am not a small engine repair person, but I am short of cash and have to try this by myself.

I would appreciate any help that is offered!! Thanks,
niteowl

 
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09-06-02, 06:53 PM   #2  
Are you sure this is a SOHC? Maybe OHV? I have never seen a single-overhead cam Kohler engine. As far as I know, all CV16S engines are overhead valved engines. How did you check for spark? The plug needs to be touching metal on the engine or frame to allow it to spark when you crank the engine. Double-check this first. If you have spark, then look at the bottom of the carburetor. There should be an electrical solenoid screwed into the bottom of the carb. Make sure it is plugged in well, getting 12v with the key on, and makes a small click sound when you turn the key on.

Let us know what you find...we'll go from there. What are you referring to as the RFI supressor? I don't ever recall seeing one on a mower, only on sensitive electronics.


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09-06-02, 07:48 PM   #3  
niteowl
We put a new spark plug in, so it should be good. The RFI suppressor was on the Koehler website parts list. There is a box off the side of the motor (front corner same side as key is, next to oil filler). Don't know what this box is. We went to the Koehler website to try and get some help, but to no avail. We will check the carbeurator or however you spell it. My boyfriend is doing the work and I am doing the typing. As you can tell we are novices at this. Thanks for all your help.

 
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09-06-02, 08:07 PM   #4  
Ok...the box you described, is it bolted to the side of the engine, near the top, with 3 wires coming out of it? If so, it is the voltage regulator. This won't cause it to not start. If the plug is new, it should be good. The thing is, the plug wont spark if the coil doesn't send the current to it to make it spark. We need to be sure it is sparking. If it isn't sparking, then we know there is either a problem in a safety switch, wiring problem, or coil problem. If it is sparking, then we can move on to the next step.

I'm going to have to look into the RFI suppressor. That's new to me. As far as I know, thats a Radio Frequency Interference suppressor. I'm interested in what they have it attatched to.
Anyone else here run into one of these on a mower before?


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09-07-02, 08:41 AM   #5  
niteowl
Hi,
As for the letters, I am wrong, it is OHV. Now, for the spark, we ran a test wire from the battery to the coil. The spark plug sparked.

There are two wires running from the ignition switch to the box (voltage regulator?). From the box to the coil, there are two wires going to the coil/RFI gizmo. At this point, we're not terribly sure if the regulator is getting power or not.

 
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09-08-02, 10:37 PM   #6  
Check to see if the engine sparks when you crank it. Leave the plug out just like you had it when you did your test. If it sparks then, then you have other problems like fuel trouble.


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09-09-02, 08:45 AM   #7  
niteowl
Hi,
We spent the weekend working on both mowers. We also have a push mower that only needs a cable that broke. When it rains it pours. We decided to bypass the safety cable just so we could at least cut the grass with the push mower. Well, it wouldn't start either. I told my boyfriend that the gas looked like the wrong color. We drained the mower and purchased new gas and it started. My son said the rider ran fine until he ran out of gas and he used that same gas that was bad. It was just bought but it didn't look normal so we must have gotten some bad gas. We drained the rider and put newly purchased gas in it and IT STILL WON"T START. GRRRR. Could that bad gas have messed anything else up? I think we are giving up on it. It wil turn and turn but doesn't sound like it even wants to start. We are not mechanics and I think we are in over our heads with this one. Sears wants $80 for that stupid cable for the push mower and its just a rubber covered wire... highway robbery. They wanted almost $700 for two year renewal on my tractor maintenance contract. I think I am going to school for small engines, I am in the wrong business.

 
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09-09-02, 09:52 PM   #8  
We still need to know if it is sparking when the engine is turning. That is the first order of diagnosis. I could tell you to tear apart the carburetor and clean it out...and that might fix it too...BUT: It might also be a waste of time if that's not the problem. It only takes less than 5 minutes to check the ignition system, to rule it out. It takes much longer to check the fuel system. So it makes sense to rule out the easiest-to-check things first.


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09-10-02, 03:58 PM   #9  
tegger
Update

Hello. Niteowl & I are the ones working on this annoying riding lawn mower.


Here's an update:

- In a previous post, it was mentioned that the solenoid on the carb should click when the key is turned on. It didn't before. It does not. I removed it and the bowl that it was attached to. Cleaned out some gunk that was in the bowl. Hooked it all back up. It's clicking happily now when the key is on.

- New problem and not sure why. The starter won't engage and turn over the engine. I have checked all of the safety switches. They are working. The three relays are working. Still no turning over.

- The spark plug was sparking and still is. But no starter activity.


 
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09-10-02, 06:53 PM   #10  
Hello Tegger!

If the solenoid was not clicking like mentioned earlier...that may have been your trouble. I guess you can't tell now since the starter wont turn, lol

Ok...there is a solenoid either attatched to the side of the starter or under the "dash". It will have two large terminals that large battery cables are bolted to. There will also be a small wire...probably white...plugged onto the solenoid. Check for power on this small wire when the key is turned to start while clutch pedal is depressed. If you have power there and no click sound, then the solenoid is bad. If you have power there an do have a click sound, then you have a starter problem or flooded engine cylinders. If you don't have power there, then you have a blown fuse, bad switch, bad connection, or some sort of electrical problem that will have to be traced. Let us know what you find!


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09-10-02, 06:56 PM   #11  
tegger
Solenoid

The solenoid under the carb is clicking. I hear it when I turn the ignition key.

The unfortunate part is that the starter won't engage now to start the engine.


 
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09-10-02, 07:34 PM   #12  
tegger
Other information

In case this would help, here is the model number of the mower:
917.271121

A lousy diagram of the mower is on www.sears.com in the parts section.

 
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09-10-02, 11:48 PM   #13  
The solenoid I am referring to in the second paragraph of my last post is a different one than the one you are talking about. It is the starter solenoid. It is #43 on the diagram on www.sears.com.

It is seperate from the starter....under the dash, according to the diagram. Just follow the cable from the starter...it will go straight to the starter solenoid.


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09-11-02, 03:03 PM   #14  
tegger
Solenoids

The solenoid under the dash doesn't seem to be working. The starter isn't engaging.

There was a mention about a solenoid under the carb. This is the one I removed and cleaned out the bowl above it.

The starter isn't engaging at all now. I'm working if this solenoid is shot.

 
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09-11-02, 04:03 PM   #15  
niteowl
Hi, this is Niteowl! laugh. I just got home from running errands and what do I see? Tegger is cutting the grass with the rider!!! I motioned to him as to well???? He said it is jumped right now but he has it figured out to be the bad solenoid. He jumped it somehow with a wire and said he needs a $14.00 part from Sears. You guys have really saved us some money. Tegger is extremely talented with electical things but not the mower scene. He was able to figure this one out with all the suggestions and troubleshooting and I am so glad. So, to make this long story shorter, THANKS THREE MILLION!!!

niteowl and tegger


Last edited by niteowl; 09-11-02 at 05:19 PM.
 
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09-11-02, 10:50 PM   #16  
Great! glad to hear you got it going. If you have an advance auto parts in your area, they have the same exact solenoid as used on your mower for $7.99.


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09-12-02, 06:18 AM   #17  
tegger
Solenoid?

Advanced auto? Yes, we have a couple of them around. I'll have to pull the existing one off and take it with me. Then I know I have the right part. $8.00?? I can deal with that.


Thanks again!

 
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09-15-02, 09:08 AM   #18  
tegger
Mower update

Back to square one.

I replaced the starter solenoid yesterday and now there is nothing working. The relays aren't tripping. The solenoid on the carb isn't clicking. Everything is dead yet the battery has a full charge and the wiring is hooked up the way it was with the old solenoid...



 
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09-15-02, 03:12 PM   #19  
scott.T.
It should have a fuse between the battery and the solenoid...

If the fuse is bad...the starter won't engage or do nothing since its not getting in power from the solenoid...because the fuse is blowed...or has corrison problems....most are between 15amp and 30amp fuse..

hope that can help

 
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09-16-02, 01:29 AM   #20  
Yes...the small red wire that connects to the battery side of the solenoid has a fuse inline. If it happened to touch some metal when changing the solenoid, it would have blown the fuse. Make sure that wire is connected to the correct terminal on the solenoid too. It connects to the post that has the battery cable connected to it, not the post with the starter cable.


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09-16-02, 11:08 AM   #21  
tegger
Inline fuse

Where is this fuse?? I don't see it around the battery and I didn't see it around the solenoid anywhere.

Unless it is hiding under the chasis somewhere.

There is a 30AMP fuse near the solenoid on a different wire. I replaced it to make sure it was okay. It was. (30AMP auto-style fuse).

 
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09-16-02, 09:52 PM   #22  
the fuse should be in line with the small red wire that connects to the battery pos+ post on the solenoid. Follow it until you find the fuse.


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09-17-02, 05:31 AM   #23  
tegger
Fuses

There isn't a small red wire. There is a red wire going from the starter solenoid to the battery, but it is about 6ga or so. Rather large wire. With the mower deck on, I can't see if there is anything inline with it under the mower itself. Of what I can see, it looks like it runs straight to the battery.

 
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09-17-02, 11:07 PM   #24  
Check around the solenoid area to make sure it isnt laying loose, disconnected from the solenoid. It should be connected to the pos+ terminal on the solenoid. I think it is a 14 gague wire. If you can't find it there....look for the red wire at the ignition switch and follow it. It needs to be connected to the solenoid to power the mower. This one wire powers the whole mower electrical system, other than the lights.


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09-18-02, 09:10 AM   #25  
tegger
Solenoid

There are four wires to the solenoid.

The battery wire on one pole. On the same side of the solenoid, there are two black wires in the same connector.
On the other side of the solenoid, the wire for the starter is connected to a pole. Next to it is a white wire connected to a seperate pole.

Everything is hooked up as it was with the original solenoid.

With the original solenoid, things worked. I just had to hot-wire the starter to the battery to get the engine fired up.

When I get a chance, I'm going to put the old solenoid back in and see if that's were the grief is coming from. (The bad part is that it probably won't be until Monday or Tuesday before I can do it as I will be out of town for a while...)


Last edited by tegger; 09-18-02 at 10:57 AM.
 
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09-18-02, 08:10 PM   #26  
There HAS to be the small wire I described. It is somewhere between the battery and the solenoid....supposed to be connected to the main battery cable or battery pos+ post on the battery itself. If it isn't there, then the engine will never start by the key....you will have to short the solenoid or jump the starter. If you don't see the wire I'm describing on the solenoid, then look at the battery. If it's not there, then it has either come off or not been reconnected at the solenoid. The keyswitch gets its power from this wire, and will not work if the wire is not connected. I believe all of the larger craftsman mowers have this wire attatched to the positive side of the solenoid. Did you look for it at the switch and trace it?


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09-18-02, 08:25 PM   #27  
OK...I went to the sears website and pulled up the electrical diagram of your mower. Look at #25 on the diagram. That is the battery cable at the solenoid. Attatced to it you will see the small wire....connected to the same post. This is the one that I am referring to. According to the diagraqm, there is a small connector on it. Has that come loose? There is also a fuse inline with it, but it looks like...in the diagram...that the wires go into the conduit harness, then come out again up near the top and there is where the fuse is.


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09-23-02, 05:11 PM   #28  
tegger
Response

Sorry I hadn't responded earlier. We were gone since 9/18 and just got home early this morning. NASCAR was in town.

I will check again for the wire. There is a white wire on the same side of the solenoid as the battery wire. They are both hooked up as they should be...

I will recheck it to be sure.

 
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09-27-02, 05:48 PM   #29  
tegger
It be running


I went out and check all of the connections. All connections were tight. The white wire going to solenoid connected on the side of the solenoid that the starter is attached.

Anyhow.
I removed the new solenoid. Put the old back on.
Turned the key and it started.

I have no clue what was different. But it starts as it should now... wierd...


Thanks for your assistance. Hopefully, we can now let this thread die....

Take care..

 
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09-27-02, 07:37 PM   #30  
I'm glad you got it going! that is strange about the solenoid. I guess it must have been a defective part. Hopefully you won't have any more trouble with it!


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