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Jon K.
Jon K., Small Engine Diagnostic Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 5818
Experience:  Gold certified Stihl tech, Service Manager for a rental/repair shop.Certified in most small engines
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I believe my riding lawn mowers starter solenoid has gone

Resolved Question:

I believe my riding lawn mower's starter solenoid has gone bad. When I go to start the engine I just hear a clicking sound. When I bypass the solenoid, I can hear the engine try to start. Is there another way to diagnose a bad selenoid?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Jon K. replied 7 years ago.

Yes, you will need a voltmeter to check it.

1. Check voltage at the battery terminal on the solenoid - it should have 12 volts.

2. Check voltage at the small wire coming from the key switch. You will need someone sitting in the seat, clutch in and key in the start position. You should have 12 volts

3. Check voltage on the Starter side of the Solenoid. Same start procedure as #2 You should get 12 volts.


If checks one and two pass and #3 fails then you have a bad solenoid.

If check #2 fails then you have an issue between the solenoid and key switch.

If all three pass then you have an issue with either the wiring to the starter or the starter itself


I am with you on your diagnosis and believe that you have a bad solenoid


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Once I found a voltage meter from a neighbor, I tried what you said. When I tried step two the lawn mower started up.
It continued to start and stop as needed.
Is it possible that the solenoid get hot, and it just needed to cool down?
Expert:  Jon K. replied 7 years ago.
Solenoids often become intermittent. It is possible that it was heat related. Glad to hear it is up and running though
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