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Rick
Rick, Factory Authorized Trainer
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 8057
Experience:  Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
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I have a Simplicity Coronet (13.5 HP) riding mower and when

Customer Question

I have a Simplicity Coronet (13.5 HP) riding mower and when I try to start it, it turns over but doesn't catch. When I turn the key off, it continues to turn over for a minute or so. Is it my starter or the switch, or something else? Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
Can you give me the model and serial number of your Coronet, please?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is a Coronet 13 Hydro with a Briggs & Stratton Diamond I/C 13 HP engine (not 13.5, sorry). Looks like the serial number is XXXXX There is also another number called MFG which is(NNN) NNN-NNNN
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Thank you. That's the numbers I was looking for.

 

Do you have access to a volt meter or a 12v test lght?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Great. Now to clarify...

 

When you turn the key switch to the start position, the electric starter motor turns, but it's not causing the engine to turn over? Or the engine is turning over, but not starting?

 

When you release the key switch, the electric starter motor continues to turn for over a minute, still not engaging the engine?

 

Do I understand the symptoms correctly?

 

If I do, does the key switch seem to spring back briskly to the run position from the start position?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The engine does not turn over. When I release the key it does spring back to the run position. Yes, the starter continues to turn over after I let go of the key.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Let's find out about the starter continuing to turn first, since that can burn out the starter from overheating.

 

That will be caused by either a malfuntioning key switch or solenoid. Take the small yellow wire off the spade connector at the side of the solenoid and use your test light or meter between that and ground. Check to see if you continue to get voltage on that wire after the key switch returns to the run position after you go to the start position. If it does it consistently, and the switch is bad, you'll get voltage. If the problem has been sporadic, try the test a few times.

 

Let me know...

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It's not the switch.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
Then it's almost for sure the solenoid. Disconnect both large wires from the top posts. Hook your ohmmeter to read between the two posts, then do the same test as before. Let's see if continuity continues after the key returns to the run position. Again, do it a few times if the problem hasn't been consistent.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Not the solenoid, either. The float on the carb was stuck and the pins on the ignition switch needed cleaning.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

When I asked you to verify the ignition switch with the test light or volt meter you told me it wasn't the switch. The starter continuing to turn had to be either a faulty key switch or a faulty solenoid, and you told me it wasn't the switch. Now you're saying it was, so I was correct.

 

The float has nothing to do with the starter continuing to turn. Depending on the position is was stuck in, that would either prevent the engine from starting or allow fuel to contaminate the oil and air filter by being pumped throught the breather. That has nothing to do with the electric starter spinning but not catching/engaging the engine.

 

I think perhaps the symptoms were in actuality a bit different than you described?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I tested the switch several times, as you said to, and it was not the switch that was bad according to your instructions. Then I tested the solenoid per your instructions. Same thing. The tech who worked on it, after I did the switch test and the solenoid test, said the float being stuck was the reason it would not start. The symptoms I gave you were exactly as I said they were. The engine would not turn over when I turned the key, only the starter was turning over. He cleaned the switch connectors because he said they were slightly dirty, but that it had nothing to do with the mower not starting.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Again, the float has nothing to do with the starter turning and not engaging the engine. They are unrelated in any way.

 

I asked specifically,

"When you turn the key switch to the start position, the electric starter motor turns, but it's not causing the engine to turn over? Or the engine is turning over, but not starting?

 

When you release the key switch, the electric starter motor continues to turn for over a minute, still not engaging the engine? Do I understand the symptoms correctly?"

 

Your resonse was,

"The engine does not turn over. When I release the key it does spring back to the run position. Yes, the starter continues to turn over after I let go of the key."

 

If you go back and read the questions and answers, what you are saying now is not what you told me earlier. The information I supplied was right on for the problem you described, but now you're saying it is a different problem?

 

I'm not really sure what you want from me at this point. I answered the questions you asked accurately and completely, but I can only give answers based upon the information you supplied.

 

In order for the float to be a problem, the starter first has to engage and turn the engine over. What you described was a problem with a stuck starter that kept turning after you let off the key switch, but failed to engage the engine. That would have been a switch or solenoid. The starter not engaging the engine would have been a bad bendix or spiral on the starter.

 

I don't think there's anything I can do to help you at this point. If you want further clarification, you might print this conversation out from beginning to end and show it to the technician that worked on it to see his opinion.

Rick and other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Already did. Engine was getting NO gas because the float was stuck. Thanks anyway for your time.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
You're very welcome.