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JON, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1114
Experience:  Certified Small Engine Technician
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I have a JD 212 that won't start. The solenoid clicks just

Customer Question

I have a JD 212 that won't start. The solenoid clicks just once when turning the key. If I short the solenoid post togethers the starter turns and the mower fires up. I replaced the solenoid with a new one and the problem persists. New battery also and good contacts.
Any advice is appreciated.
Also, before this happened it was having a problem occasionally where the PTO, when switched on, would kill the engine.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

Hi, my name is ***** ***** welcome to I will be happy to assist you today. Give me a few moments to look over your problem, and I will get right back to you so we can fix the issue and get your machine back to working order

Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

Sounds like you may have a faulty seat switch being as it has died when PTO was engaged. When this happens it is due to the mower thinks no one is on the seat when engaged and kills engine

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Forgot to mention, I bypassed the seat switch(temporarily), just to make sure that wasn't it.
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

Hmmmm. Let me rethink then. You stated all connections are tight and clean. (BATTERY, SOLENOID, IGNITION SWITCH, STARTER)

So with the seat switch bypassed, still have to jump solenoid to start machine? Check all other safety switches for continuity as it will be one of them. PTO switch, brake switch.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ok, so it will start when I jump the solenoid, but not with the key(the solenoid clicks, but the starter doesn't turn). With it off, if I flip the PTO switch on and then turn the key I don't get a click at the solenoid, so I assume that the PTO saftey switch is working, right?
I don't believe this model has a brake saftey switch.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
To put it another way, if the saftey switches aren't working, the engine should still crank but it won't fire up. Is that correct?
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

yes that would be correct with the PTO switch. NO, normally engine will do nothing if bad safety switches. Do you have seat switch hooked back up correctly currently? Could be a bad ignition switch, but once engine is started you can kill engine with switch, so normally that means it is good.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I went back with my meter and verified the ignition switch is working right. Replaced the battery clamps since I had some new ones here. I tested the PTO switch and that is working correctly. I disconnected the PTO completely just to be sure. I have continuity at the seat switch(bypassed still) Still nothing but a click at the solenoid.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Could it be a bad starter even though it cranks when the solenoid is shorted with a screwdriver?
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

It could be yes. Usually the last thing, so that is probably it. Check that the starter gear is not jammed on the flywheel. You can also try to power the starter directly and see if engine turns over. I thought you had stated you could jump the solenoid and it start.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Correct, it starts when I jumper the solenoid. That's why I assumed the starter was fine. Hate to buy parts i don't need.
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

if it starts when solenoid jumped it should be fine. Can you still jump it currently by the solenoid?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Fyi, I also have ran a wire directly to the starter and that starts it too.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will go back and verify that jumping the solenoid still works. I don't see why it wouldn't though
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

Everything sounds like solenoid, and it is possible to get a bad one, or it burn up during installation. Everything else that would cause this issue has been tested and checks out good. When you turn the key, is power being switched over to the other side of the solenoid?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No offense, but I can't reallly call this 'solved'. I'm going to get someone else to come out and look at it. I think your ideas were all valid and I checked them all, but the thing still doesn't start. The solenoid clicks, but the starter doesn't turn. It still starts with the jumping the solenoid posts. I don't really feel like replacing that since it clicks and it's brand new. Thanks anyway.
Expert:  JON replied 11 months ago.

Check the voltage at the starter when you turn the key. You may not be getting full voltage to the starter by using the key. If this is the case, there is a short in the wiring somewhere. Could be the ignition switch even though it ohms out. Sorry I was unable to solve your issue. If I can do anything else please let me know as I am here for you