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Riding Mower Engine Problem

Joseph Siu's Avatar
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10-05-02, 03:26 PM   #1  
Joseph Siu
MTD riding mower won't start

Hi everyone,

I have an MTD Yard Machine 14.5HP/42" riding mower that is 3 years old. It has an Brigg & Straton OHV engine. It has been working fine until today. It won't start. I could hear the started spins but the engine didn't. At first I thought the battery was low and proceeded to charge it for about an hour. The same thing happened. Then, I used the jumper cable to try to start it using the car battery, again the same problem.

Can anyone help? I saw other messages in this forum about a possible problem with the solenoid. Is this the device that engages the starter motor onto the engine to spin it?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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10-05-02, 03:50 PM   #2  
Hello Joseph. Welcome to our Small Engine forum.

Glad to know you have already read some of the other subjects of this topic of engine starting problems. In doing so, you found several of the possible problems and offered solutions. Any one or more could be all or part of the problem or solution.

Most likely the starter gear is not engaging the flywheel. The solenoid could be the problem. So could any linkage part. Rust and corrosion could have binded up the internal bendix linkage.

Another possible problem could be an electrical connection terminal on the starter or solenoid, depending upon how that specific starter is built and wired.

Most likely I have not covered all of the potential possibilities. The other resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions, advice & help.

Check back on your topic several times over the next several days for additional replies.

If you need further assistance, use the REPLY button. Using the reply button moves the topic back up to the top of the daily list automatically.

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10-05-02, 03:58 PM   #3  
Joseph Siu
Hi Tom,

Thank you for your reply.

I did a quick check and the solenoid and the surrounding areas seem to be clean and free of rust. It is probably because the mower is relatively new (3 years).

I read in another thread of a Sear's riding mower with a similar problem and someone mentioned that the fuse supplying to the solenoid could be blown. I will check it tomorrow as it is getting dark where I am (7pm in Toronto, Canada).

Thanks again.

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10-06-02, 12:51 AM   #4  
Hello Joseph!

Ok...if the starter turns at all, on this engine, then the solenoid is good. What your need to do is this: Remove the 2 1/4" screws that hold the black plastic cover over the starter gear. Pull the cover off. (you may also need to remove the screw holding the dipstick tube). When you see the top of the starter, check the gear. If the teeth are chewed up, then replace the gear. If the teeth look good, then use some automotive carburetor cleaner spray and clean the white piece that the gear slips over. Lift the gear up and clean under it also. This should get it going again.

Let us know how it goes!

"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

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10-06-02, 12:05 PM   #5  
Joseph Siu
Hi Chesse,

I tried starting the engine again this morning after charging the battery overnight. It gave me the same problem. I then rolled the mower outside to get better lighting, thinking I need to spend a couple of hours to try the various suggestions I received. For some reason, it started when I turn the key.

I figure it must be a loose connection somewhere. I will get back to look closer at the gear you suggested.

Thanks very much for your help!

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10-06-02, 12:38 PM   #6  
Listen to Cheese. I never would have thought I would have
ever used that statement before!
The starter gear is just sticking down on the helix it rides on.
So a squirt of wd-40 would likely get you going again.

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10-07-02, 05:09 AM   #7  
Joseph Siu
Hi Fisher,

What you said makes a lot of sense. I will follow the suggestions by Cheese to clean out the gear.


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10-16-02, 04:56 PM   #8  
My craftsman does the same but I have been to lazy then I got injuried at work. I use a rubber mallet to get the stater to engage. This has been happening almost from day one. I just did not want to trake the starter apart, although I would have taken other new toys apart just to see how they work.

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