doing trouble shooting on 3 yo lightly used keyed brush mower.. which is most likely and which is most unlikely candidate for problems.
Battery is fully charged & when key is turned to start only a clicking sound occurs
Have you cleaned the connections on the battery with either a post
cleaner or emery cloth? Is the ground connection good on the frame or
wherever? How are all the connections from the battery to the starter?
Can you use jumper cables from your car to turn the starter over
directly? Could it be a problem with one of the safety switches?
These might seem like silly questions but it's easy to overlook
stuff like this. Not a mechanic but I trouble shoot electrical
equipment and many times it's the simpler seemingly obvious stuff
causing the problem.
On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 6:48:08 AM UTC-4, Dean Hoffman wrote:
A simple test to bypass most of that is to use a car jumper
cable between the starter terminal and battery. Connect one
end to the battery, touch the other firmly to the starter lug.
You could also have a test meter jumpered up, measuring the
voltage at the starter while doing the test. If you have 10V
or better while doing the test and it won't crank, then you can
rule out all the upstream stuff.
I had a neighbor who had a similar problem. We went through
similar tests, and had it pegged as a bad starter. He called
Sears to come fix it, turned out according to them, it needed
a valve adjustment..... I didn't get to talk to the mechanic,
but the only angle I can figure is that they have a compression
release to make starting easier and maybe that needed adjustment?
IDK, but in the future, I will add removing the spark plug and
trying to crank it as a test.
What's the voltage on the battery? What's the voltage on each side of the
solenoid when you turn the key to start? What's the voltage at the starter
lug when you turn the key to start?
3 yo mower shouldn't have any problems.
On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 9:02:51 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:
mower batteries often last only a few years, sitting around dischaged is tough on them. my mom had a sears rider, average battery life 3 years, till i put the battery on a trickle charger in the winter.
unused from end of october till may kills batteries
It worked the opposit for a John Deere riding mower I had. The battery was
the best thing about it. Used it for about 7 years and the transaxel got
where it would not pull up much of a hill. It still had the origional
battery in it. Found out on that mower that if you got over 400 hours on
the transaxel you were doing good.
On Sun, 10 May 2015 02:24:25 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson
Clicking solenoid with fully charged battery is MOST likely to be
stuck brushes in the starter. Then bad connections, bad solenoid, or
bad battery (although "fully charged" it could have a bad intercell
A charged battery may not perform well with a starter load.
I just broke down and bought me a new multimeter because old meters can
get a little flaky. With a couple of alligator-clip jumpers so I can
lay the meter on the ground, it's easy to see how a battery performs
under a starting load. (Just don't short the clips.) Mine provides
10.95V at the battery terminals and 10.53 at the starting motor.
I think you're normally looking for 10V at the starter although it may
crank with less.
If I substituted a precision power resistor, maybe 20 ohms, in place of
the starter, I could determine the resistance between the battery and
the starter. Knowing I was losing 0.42V, I could determine how much
current the starter was drawing.
Darn, why don't I look for a resistor! This is fun!
Thank all of you for your very sensible suggestions. I have followed most
of them. I made an error in reporting clicking; it was only a single click
at the solenoid. Also I didn't report that when running the the engine kep
t running when ignition switch was turned to off position and key removed.
The mower has not been used since last fall.
After taking your most of your suggestions the following info has come to l
Charger is a new Shumacher costing about $95.
I set it on 2 amps. When the green indicator light to show when it was fu
lly charged came on after several hours my VOM meter show only 10.4 volts
. This was from + terminal to ground & not under load.
When I bypassed most of stuff by connecting 10 gauge hot wire from battery
to starter the starter did spin or turn but did not engage engine. I'm not
sure if I had a good connection on this. When the test took place there wa
s not a notable change in voltage.
Battery is a 12 volt 3 amp battery 3 years old & came on the mower new.
I was unable to test electrolyte because my auto hygrometer glass tube woul
d not fit in the small openings on the cells. One cell had the pleated mat
erial dark in color as opposed to white in the others. The electrolyte app
eared to be halfway between the low level mark on the outside and the high
level mark on all cells.
Right now my main suspects are keyed ignition and the battery.
A "fully" charged battery will have about 12.7v. You have 10v. Sounds
like a really dead battery. So get out your jumper cables and see if it
starts when jumped. If it does then get a new battery
Doubt that it's the ignition switch.
On Monday, May 11, 2015 at 8:41:32 AM UTC-4, David L. Martel wrote:
Not just dead, but since he just charged it, it's clearly a bad
Also, using 10g wire to try to directly power the starter is a
bad idea. Look at the size of the existing cables. I suggested
using battery jumper cables for that test.
On Mon, 11 May 2015 02:56:08 -0700 (PDT), Frank Thompson
10.4 volts tells the whole story - the battery is FUBAR. An inertia
drive starter doesn't start "hard " enough on 10 volts to pull in the
The engine not shutting off with the key inricates your magneto "P"
lead is not being grounded by the awitch. Wire disconnected, bad
ground, or bad switch in roughly that order of likelihood.
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