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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14900
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I bought a used Murray lawn tractor 3 wks ago Model# 425000x8A

Resolved Question:

I bought a used Murray lawn tractor 3 wks ago Model# XXXXX and it ran fine. I replaced the battery and spark plug. Yesterday the engine tried to turn over then, nothing.I,ve checked the fuel line,air filter,safety switches,and fuse,& does have gas. and It does nothing, not even turn over. do you have any suggestions that might get it started? Thanks Jeremy
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Hank F. replied 7 years ago.


I guess first I need to ask the obvious questions.


Is the battery fully charged?

You are sitting fully in the seat?

The mower is fully disengaged?

The brake pedal is pressed all the way down?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes to all of your questions.At first it started to turn over, then nothing, I figured it was a daead battery, so i bought a new one, and plug.
Expert:  Hank F. replied 7 years ago.

Even a new battery must be charged, they do not come fully charged.


When you turn the key to start, do you hear a click or anything?


Do you have a multimeter (preferably) or a test light available?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

when i turn the key all i hear is a one click.

No. i don't own a multimeter or a test light.Frown

Expert:  Hank F. replied 7 years ago.


We can do some testing. If it turns out to be mechanical, we can figure it out, but if it is electrical, you will need a meter or a light.


First, check your oil level and make sure it is not overfull.

Smell the oil. If it smells like gas - stop there.


If the oil level is good and does not smell like gas, remove the spark plug and see if the engine will turn over then.


Let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Gas smells fine. nothing happens when i take the spark plug out.(i don't think it's a compression problem). Is it possible it's a safety switch or the solenoid,or igition switch? if so, how do i test them with a light tester?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 7 years ago.

If it was a safety switch, you should not hear a click at all, so I am not believing this is your problem.


It is very possible it is the solenoid itself.

It is also possible the battery does not have enough voltage in it to turn the starter.


Assuming the battery is OK, one way to test the solenoid is to use a piece of cable or very heavy wire and jumper across the 2 large posts of the solenoid. If the starter does not engage, the battery is at fault.

If the starter does engage, it is in the control system or the solenoid.


Using a test light is simple - you just connect the ground clip to a good ground and test for input/output voltage at the various components. However, a meter is much better as it will actually tell you whether or not you have enough voltage present. A light will only tell you if voltage is there - it will not tell you if there is insufficient voltage.

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