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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 26028
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a JD 240 with Kawasaki 14 HP engine and new battery.

Customer Question

I have a JD 240 with Kawasaki 14 HP engine and new battery. The alternator light stays lit. I changed the oil and filters in the Spring, and use it to mow a .75 acre lawn about every two to three weeks as weather dictates. I replaced the battery last week (the old was about 3 years old). I mowed the entire lawn with no issues. I started to mow again today (Saturday, 11/7), but I stopped to do some other work. When I came back about 10 minutes later to continue the mowing, nothing happened except the alternator light came on. The engine didn't turn over - no sound or anything. The engine was still warm. I am assuming it isn't the battery. Any other obvious cause?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

Don't assume anything! Do you have a voltmeter to test the battery? Was battery light on while running? If so, the charging system was not working, and new battery can be low.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

A quick test, is to follow the positive battery cable to the stater solenoid and jump from the big terminal to the single wire switch terminal on the same solenoid. This is test of battery, cables, and solenoid and starter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Curtis, thank you for your quick response. I apologize for my delay returning to you, but I was very busy yesterday. Now i am in the office and have read your answers. After initially contacting you, I removed the battery and recharged it. Reinstalled it but no change. Battery light came on, but nothing happened when turning the key. So you say check the solenoid. How?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

The positive battery cable goes direct to the starter solenoid, on the same solenoid is the switch post, from the keyswitch. use a jumper and touch the battery terminal to the switch terminal. The engine should spin. This checks battery, cables, and the solenoid and starter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry to be dense, do you mean a jumper cable used to jump a dead batter in a car?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

No, just a small piece of insulated wire, this is the same connection that the keyswitch accomplishes when it works! All you need is about 6 inches.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks. Will check tonight.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

OK, I notice the mower has two fuses, one is the ignition fuse, the larger one would be it, is it good? Here is wiring diagram, 260 is same as 240.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I used the jumper with one end on the positive anode on the battery and the other on the bottom of the sonenoid. Tried touching where each wire is attached. Nothing. Also chked fuses, a 10 and a 20 amp. Both looked ok with the wire unbroken. Still cold.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

I wanted you to jump at the solenoid! battery post to switch post.!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

You may not have good cable to solenoid, or the ground cable to frame may not be making good contact.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put one end of the wire on the positive post and the other on the post at the bottom of the solenoid - without removing the attached cable/wires. Shi
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

That should have worked. Do you have a voltmeter or test light to see where you have voltage?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, hit wrong key. Should i remove the cable on the solanoid b4 jumping?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

No, nothing needs to be unhooked!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

Key does not even have to be on!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but not sure how to work it.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm wondering at this point if there is voltage at the solenoid!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

Voltmeter, has to be set on DC setting, which is straight line on symbol. And on 20 0r 200 volts DC, use the red lead on the battery posiitve post, black lead on the negative battery post, reading should be around 13 volts. That's all there is to use meter, then leave black lead on negative and take readings at solenoid and any other point you want to take reading. Solenoid should read same as battery on the battery terminal.