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MTD yard machine: please check my diagnostic work

darcidino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 4

08-21-17, 08:59 PM   #1  
MTD yard machine: please check my diagnostic work

So I've been troubleshooting why my MTD yard machine stopped starting for a few days and I finally located the starter relay and associated bits. I tested power coming from the battery and it was good. I tested it going to the control wire when I turned the key and it's good. I tested the output going to the starter and it was flat. I pulled out the 20AMP fuse and it was good. The starter doesn't engage at all when I turn the key and I get a clunk sound that appears to come from around the relay. Bad relay? I'm just not great with electronics but I can do basic testing like this. Any asssitance with just checking my thought process would be great.


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PJmax's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 42,541

08-21-17, 09:59 PM   #2  
Welcome to the forums.

If you have the +12VDC from the battery on one side of the relay, even when engaged, and nothing on the other side... yes.... you need a new relay.

~ Pete ~

cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,574

08-22-17, 08:04 PM   #3  
I agree, a new starter solenoid relay should solve your problems.

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

God bless!

Vermont's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,184

08-23-17, 03:43 AM   #4  
If it's the solenoid, you should still be able tho jump start it by going directly from the battery to the starter pole.

Sometimes, the internal contacts in the solenoid deteriorate, and even though you're hearing the "clunk" of the electro-magnet, it's not completing the circuit.

They're not supposed to be serviceable; but I've removed the rivets and disassembled some solenoids to rebuild them,; sometimes it's just a buildup of crud or corrosion and they can be cleaned. Generally the contacts are fatigued.

darcidino's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 4

08-28-17, 06:42 AM   #5  
Thank you. I replaced the relay last week and all is well, at least with this issue

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