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JohnF2015
JohnF2015, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1016
Experience:  Owner/Service Technician at S & J Small Engines
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Craftsman modellawn tractor will not start. New selenide

Customer Question

Craftsman model###-##-####lawn tractor will not start. New selenide fuse good. Brake/clutch set shifted to neutral. Will start when jumped from + battery terminal directly to starter. There is a four terminal connector but can't find no place to connect it.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Hi, my name is***** will be assisting you.

When you hooked the new solenoid up did you make sure that the small wire with the inline fuse is attached to the same post on the solenoid as the cable coming down from the battery to the solenoid. If it is not hooked to the same post then the entire electrical system will be dead, you won't be getting voltage to the ignition switch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I hooked the new solenoid up the same as the one I removed. So it should be good
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

I have seen a lot of times when the wiring gets switched and people don't realize it, so I have to check to make sure.

Do you have a volt meter so that we can do some voltage test to determine where the problem is?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no I don't
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a 12 volt test light?

Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

We first need to determine if we are getting voltage to the ignition switch on the red wire. If you can look at the terminals on the back of the ignition switch you should find lettering on each terminal, we need a constant voltage coming to the 'B' terminal on the ignition switch. If you are getting voltage there then we can check for voltage on the 'S' terminal when you turn the key to start the machine, this will tell us if the ignition switch is working properly or not.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No but I can get one but not until tomorrow at best. I am be able to get a meter.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

If you can get a meter then we can continue from there. Once you have a meter and are ready to proceed with some test then come back here and we can continue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I WILL. HOW DO I GET BACK TO YOU?
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

All you need to do is come back to our conversation here and we can continue. You should also be receiving email notifications of our conversation here as well so you can also check your email.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be getting a meter tomorrow. You must understand that working
with one all new to me. You must be specific and clear who the meter
is to set, where the probes are to placed and what I should be looking
for. I'm a novice when it comes to this.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Okay, just let me know when you are ready to continue and I will help you walk through the steps to do the testing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will thank you
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

We can continue on with testing once you have the meter to do so.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a meter but as I said I have never used one so please be clear on what I have to do
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Okay, first let's test voltage coming to the solenoid.

Set the meter to test VDC.

Touch the red test lead of the meter to the large post of the solenoid that has the cable attached to it that comes from the battery, touch the black lead to a good ground anywhere on the machine and tell me what kind of a reading you have.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The battery read 12.66 volts a the terminal on the solenoid read 12.66 volts
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Now let's hook your tester to the battery and try to start the machine and see what the voltage reading shows with the key in the start position.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The voltage at the battery was the same 12.63 volts with key in start position or not
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Okay, we need to check voltage coming to the ignition switch. If you can get to the back of the ignition switch, I need to know if you have voltage coming in to the 'B' terminal on the ignition switch, this is normally a red wire that comes into the connector on the switch.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Disconnected the connector from ignition switch get power to terminal marked P_
P _
_ _
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Is that P as indicated or 'B'. I am not familiar with a P terminal on any of these switches.

Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

If that is 'B' then let's move on to another check point. On the side of the starter solenoid there is a spade terminal, can you tell me if you are getting voltage to it when the key is turned to the start position?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I checked all terminals with start switch on and of and got no voltage to another connector
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

If you checked them all and had no voltage anywhere else then the ignition switch is bad and needs to be replaced. You should have voltage on at least two of the other terminals when the ignition is turned on and when turned to the start position.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will order another switch and let you know if that's the problem
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Based on the information that you have given to me I believe that the switch will solve your problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I disconnected the plug from the switch and tested the ports on it and only one of them has power to it, the port
corresponding to the one on the switch. If two terminals on the switch need to indicate power shouldn't the plug?
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

The connector needs to be plugged onto the switch in order to check the voltage that I was looking for. It is easier if you can identify the letter markings on the terminals of the switch so that you can identify where you have voltage if any when you turn the switch.

What you actually want is voltage on the 'B' and the 'S' terminal of the switch when you turn the switch to the start position.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will do this again when I get a chance
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

No problem just let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is power to terminals B and S, 12 63 volts, with switch in the start position
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Are you getting voltage to the small spade terminal on the side of the solenoid?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You didn't mention testing this before. All you requested was to test the terminal were the large red wire
from the battery connects to the soleniod. Do you know how hard it is t get to the solenoid and where its located.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

No I didn't because if you are not getting voltage to the 'B' terminal on the key switch or the 'S' terminal on the key switch when the key is turned to the start position it would be useless to test for voltage at that point of the solenoid. I understand that it is not easy to get to these items sometimes depending on the machine but we have to check the system one step at a time. It does sometimes mean going back to other items or locations sometimes in order to check the entire system.