Riding Mower and Tractor: Does nothing when you turn the key

You should hear the engine spinning when you turn the start key. When you don't hear the engine spinning, you should at least hear the click of the starter solenoid. If you don’t hear the clicking or the engine spinning, the battery could be dead or the parking brake might not be set. Check the battery charge and the brake position. A failure in the ignition circuit could also cause this problem. The ignition switch should send power to the starter solenoid's control coil through the ignition circuit when you turn the key to the start position. A defective ignition switch, wiring failure or failed brake interlock switch can prevent power from reaching the starter solenoid. Also, a defective solenoid could be why you don’t hear a click when you turn the key.

Troubleshooting Videos:

These repairs may help solve your Riding Mower and Tractor problem:

Replace the starter solenoid

Starter Solenoid

The starter solenoid is a coil-activated switch that activates the starter motor. When you turn the ignition switch to the start position, the ignition switch triggers the coil inside the solenoid body to raise a high-voltage contact plate that bridges the terminal posts on top of the solenoid body. High current flows from the positive battery cable connected to one post, through the contact plate, to the starter cable connected to the other post, causing the starter motor to spin. The starter solenoid clicks when the activated coil raises the contact plate. Replace the starter solenoid if it doesn't click when you turn the key.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the riding mower battery

Battery

If the riding mower or lawn tractor engine doesn't make any noise when you try to start the mower, it might be time to replace the lawn tractor battery. A good indicator that the lawn tractor needs a new battery is if you charge the battery, and it loses the charge quickly.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the riding mower ignition switch

Ignition switch

The ignition switch in a lawn tractor or riding mower supplies power to the electrical components of the engine. If the lawn tractor doesn't turn over when you turn the key to the On position or doesn't shut off when you turn the key to the Off position, you might need to replace the ignition switch.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the brake interlock switch

Brake Interlock Switch

The brake interlock switch detects whether you have the brake pedal fully pushed down. The parking brake holds the brake pedal in the fully depressed position so the brake interlock switch also recognizes whether you have the parking brake set. The brake interlock switch prevents you from starting the tractor without the brake pushed in or the parking brake set. Replace the brake interlock switch if the engine won't start because the brake interlock switch doesn't detect the brake pedal fully depressed or the parking brake set.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.