The solenoid on a riding lawn mower is a critical component that helps to keep your machine functioning correctly.
If the solenoid fails or becomes damaged, it can lead to significant problems, but how will a person know whether the solenoid is bad?
You can check the symptoms of a bad solenoid on riding lawn mowers.
The main symptoms are you’ll hear the rapid sound of the click, the mower will generate smoke, and the engine won’t start.
Below we’ll discuss the symptoms in detail and share how you can test and repair the solenoid of the riding lawn mower.
What’s the Function of Solenoid In Mower?
A solenoid is a primary part of the electrical system in a mower. It is essential to provide the necessary power to keep it running safely and efficiently.
When you turn the key or press the start button, electricity runs through the solenoid to start the engine and launch your mower into action.
Without this small but essential component, mowers wouldn’t start.
In short, the solenoid helps get your mower off to a smooth start so you can enjoy perfectly groomed turf sooner rather than later.
Main Symptoms of a Bad Solenoid on Riding Lawn Mowers
Here’s the main symptom of a bad solenoid. If you notice this symptom in your mower, then be ready to replace the solenoid with a new one.
Rapid Clicking Sound
The most common symptom is that whenever you try to start the lawn mower by inserting the key, it won’t start. You’ll only hear the sound of a rapid click and nothing else.
This sound may be produced by the starter motor attempting to move but failing or by the voltage not reaching the starter motor itself.
When you see this symptom, don’t forget to test the solenoid terminals with a multimeter.
If there is no continuity between solenoid terminals, it suggests that power isn’t reaching them. Hence, your solenoid has failed and needs replacing.
How to Test & Replace the Solenoid of Your Lawn Mower?
As stated before you replace the solenoid of your lawn mower, it’s important to test. The clicking sound doesn’t need to mean that the solenoid is damaged.
There might be other issues, like a dead battery or other lawn mower issues.
So let’s see how you can test the solenoid of the lawnmowers.
Step By Step Guide to Test Solenoid of Lawn Mower
Here’s the step-by-step guide to testing the solenoid of lawnmowers.
We’ve divided it into two steps. In the first, we’ll see the overall voltage, and in the second, we’ll check the solenoid. Remember both steps are important for the result.
- For the testing, you need a digital multimeter which is easily available in almost every store.
- Press down the brake and disengage the blades of the mower. Make sure the transaxle is neutral.
- Locate where the solenoid is. It might be underneath the gas tank, below the back seat. It’s better to check the manual to find where the solenoid is in your model.
- Afterwards, check what type of solenoid you have. Either it would be four poles solenoid or a three-pole. Four pole solenoid has four places to connect wires, and three will have three poles.
- Disconnect the bottom wire from the solenoid. Set the multimeter on DC volts 20, then attach the positive side of the multimeter to the wire.
- Then take the negative side of the multimeter and attach it to the bolt or frame of the engine.
- Turn on the key of the mower to start and see the voltage. If it’s 1200, then the solenoid isn’t okay. If it’s the other way around, the issue might be with other things, not the solenoid.
Also Read: How to Fix Lawn Mower Sputtering?
- Once you’re sure that there’s no issue other than a solenoid, it’s time to check it separately.
- Attach the wire again to the solenoid as it was before.
- Lastly, connect the positive side of the multimeter to the top right-hand pole and insert the key to start the mower.
- Check if the multimeter is showing 12 volts or not. If not, you have to replace the solenoid.
Step By Step Guide to Replace Solenoid of Lawn Mower
What will you do once you identify that the solenoid of lawnmowers is bad? Simply, you need to replace it, but HOW? No worries, we’ll answer this below.
- Find where the solenoid is installed.
- If it’s behind the seat, remove the seat and the battery.
- Take a picture of the location of the wires so you can attach them again correctly.
- Make sure you have the same type of solenoid, whether it’s three-pole or four-pole.
- Remove the nuts and the wires from the solenoid.
- Remove the solenoid mounting bolt from the mower frame.
- Transfer the mounting clip from the old solenoid to the new one.
- Attach the new solenoid, install the bolts, and attach the wires again.
- Lastly, install the battery again and put the seat on top.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you know if the mower solenoid is bad?
Whenever you start the mower by inserting the key, there will be only one sound which is a rapid click sound.
If you’re hearing this sound and the lawn mower isn’t starting, in most cases, it happens because of a bad solenoid.
How do you fix a clicking starter solenoid?
You can fix the clicking starter solenoid sound by replacing the solenoid from your lawn mower.
Before you do that, ensure to check the solenoid with the multimeter.
It will show you accurate results, whether the solenoid is bad or the issue is with something else.
What will happen if you don’t replace the bad solenoid on the lawn mower?
If you don’t replace the bad solenoid on the lawn mower, it won’t start.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll only hear a clicking sound, but the engine won’t work.
The main symptom of a bad solenoid on riding a lawn mower is the clicking sound. You’ll hear this sound when you insert the key in the switch and try to turn the mower on.
Once you hear this sound get a multimeter to make sure the solenoid is gone bad.
After checking whether the solenoid is showing 12 volts on the multimeter or not, you’ll get an accurate answer. Afterward, you can replace the solenoid easily.