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Craftsman Lawn Tractor won't start or make a sound, I have 12 v on white wire


Steveam's Avatar
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08-15-08, 02:24 PM   #1  
Craftsman Lawn Tractor won't start or make a sound, I have 12 v on white wire

I have a Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor model no. 917.270514 that does not start or make a sound when I turn the key. I have 12 volts at the battery. 12 volts at the battery side of the solenoid and 12 volts on the white wire that is attached to the side of the solenoid. I do not get any volts on the starter side of the solenoid and the solenoid does not make a sound.

When my father-in-law gave me the lawn tractor last year he said he had just replaced the solenoid. Could it be something else?

In a previous post I read, where someone had a similar problem, cheese said, "If you do have power at the white wire on the solenoid, and it does not click or engage, then you either have low voltage to the solenoid, solenoid is not grounded to the frame or through the ground wire if it has one, or the connection at the solenoid is not good." I believe he was talking to an individual who had already replace the solenoid.

The voltage reads 12 volts on the battery side of the solenoid so I assume it is not low voltage.

I do not know if it is grounded properly or not. How can I determine that? The solenoid itself is bolted to the metal frame. However the metal frame appears to be painted black. There are two black wires that are attached to the side of the solenoid on a small post similar to the one the white wire is connected to. Does any of this help?

I think the connection at the solenoid is good but how do I diagnose that? Everything looks tight and not corroded.

What should I check now? Thanks for any help you can give.

 
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08-15-08, 02:59 PM   #2  
Your model number shows that there are two connection wires at the side of the starter solenoid, a white and a black wire. The black wire grounds the solenoid through a couple of safety interlock switches. You can test to see if this is what is causing your problem by attaching a jumper wire to a ground on the mower chassis and to the terminal where the black wire attaches to the solenoid and see if it will operate when the key is placed in the start position. Be sure that the mower is in neutral and the blades are disengaged when you test the solenoid as this will bypass the interlock.

If the mower will crank over with the jumper wire, then the problem could be either the blade or clutch switch or simply a bad ground connection in this circuit. You can trace the black wire from the solenoid and through each switch and finally back to ground, test for continuity through each switch and back to ground.

If the starter solenoid will not operate with a jumper wire, then the solenoid may be bad, or your battery may not be delivering sufficient current to operate the solenoid. This can be due to a bad battery, loose, dirty or bad connections at the battery, ground and or solenoid, or any combination of these.

Best of Luck...

 
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08-15-08, 03:28 PM   #3  
You said that the solenoid was replace last year but you didn't say if it ran after that. I would check that it is the correct solenoid first, and not just any solenoid that "LOOKED" like the right one. Some are wired internally different. I have seen similar problems because somebody installed the wrong solenoid. 30yrs is right, test the safety switches, one may have been the original problem. Does the white wire have voltage or does the terminal it is hooked to have the voltage?

 
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08-15-08, 09:33 PM   #4  
If there is 12 volts on the white wire when you turn the key to start, and the black wire is grounded, and the solenoid still doesn't click...then the solenoid is bad.


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

God bless!

 
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08-17-08, 07:08 PM   #5  
There was 12 volts on the white wire so I tried jumping the black wire to ground it to the frame and still nothing happened. I tried jumping the battery with a car battery with no luck. So I went out and purchased a new solenoid and put it on and it started up perfectly. Thanks for all of your help!

 
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08-17-08, 09:25 PM   #6  
Glad you got it! Thanks for the update!


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

God bless!

 
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