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PK., Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1052
Experience:  Retired Owner of a full service shop and national parts sales website.
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I have a 2004 Troy Bilt Pony 17.5hp riding mower. This mower

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Troy Bilt Pony 17.5hp riding mower. This mower started turning over sluggishly recently. I replaced the solenoid and battery. Still sluggish. Now I do not even hear the solenoid click. I can use jumper cables from the battery to the starter and it will turn over easily. I can also turn the crank easily by hand. Maybe keyswitch or saftey switch somewhere?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  PK. replied 8 years ago.

First, check and make sure the oil is at the proper level and not overfilled with oil or gas in the crankcase.


Did you make sure the battery was fully charged and has 12 volts? When you replaced the battery and solenoid, did you replace the cables too? Was there any corrosion on the old battery terminals? Do you have a voltmeter and a continuity tester? Thanks, PK.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Oil is just a little over the full mark. I did start having these problems just after changing the oil come to think of it. Battery is fully charged. Did not replace the cable but did replace a terminal on the solenoid because it was too small for the new one. No corrosion on the cable/ terminals. I have a Fluke 87 multimeter that can do both. I have not used it yet. I will see if the solenoid control terminal is getting 12 volts when I turn key to start. I know I should hear click if it is. Will do this when I get home. Will also check voltage to the large terminals on solenoid(battery side). Checked 20 amp fuse (it was good).

Expert:  PK. replied 8 years ago.
I wouldn't be surprised to find that it's the battery cables, the cable from the solenoid to the starter or the grounds. Since the starter spins easily when you run the cable directly from the battery to the starter terminal, I would replace the cables. Let me know if this works or not, thanks, PK.