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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 Troy-Bilt Bronco 17.5 hp lawn tractor. It is about

Resolved Question:

I have a Troy-Bilt Bronco 17.5 hp lawn tractor. It is about 4 years old. The battery won't seem to keep a charge although it is new (replaced in Sept because we thought the problem was the battery). It has been in for repair 2x to autorized Troy-Bilt repair techs and they claim it starts right up for them. We can't even get it to crank over at all. I believe this is an electrical prblem. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
Do you have a voltmeter to do some troubleshooting? Which model and serial number is XXXXX unit, please?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
No I don't have a voltometer. The Model # XXXXX XXXXX; Serial is - 1E115H10416
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the model. Does maybe a friend or neighbor have a voltmeter you could borrow? Doing electrical troubleshooting without one isn't impossible, but it's sure a challenge.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I doubt it. We just moved in to this state and the neiborhood is not exactly a DIY place.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Let's approach it a different way then. When the battery appears to be dead, if you remove the spark plug will it crank over normally? You may not know the answer to this until it occurs again.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will have my husband do this once he gets home tonight. I do know we also replaced the spark plug in September thinking that might be an issue, but it didn't seem to solve the problem then.
It will work if we jump the battery every time from the car battery. Very annoying but seems to work. Husband thinks it just needs a long charge, but mowing in September before the move, the mower would be on for at least 1 hour. He had it up and running about 5 weeks ago from a car charge.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
Keep me posted and we'll work through it. A bit of troubleshooting should isolate the problem. We talk to you later... Have a great afternoon!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks Rick. We got it up and running on a car charge just now. We let it run for about an hour. I will try to start it tomorrow.
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Good deal. Keep me posted. The possibilities are:


1. Defective charging system

2. Bad battery

3. Bad connection to ground

4. Short to ground

5. Valves out of adjustment


Let me know and we'll continue.

Rick and 2 other Small Engine Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Tried to start it today and got a little crank but not enough to start it. I am really thinking it is something to do with the battery/charging system. Any other suggestions?
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
Could very well be the charging circuit, but we really need some meter readings to make that determination. Let's eliminate an engine compression problem first, though. Does it crank over normally if you remove the spark plug, or does it still crank slowly?