Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Richmond
    Mower
    Statesman

    MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    I have 1999 Statesman (MTD) Lawn Tractor. The battery went dead in it a couple of weeks ago (I could hear the starter ticking when trying to start it). It would not turn over. I have replaced the battery several times in the past with these symptoms, and bought the same model of battery from Autozone that I have purchased before. It usually just starts right on up after install. However, when installing this new battery, the tractor will not turn over. I do hear a single click when first turning the key over, but don't hear the repeating ticking from the starter anymore. I do get a high pitch noise when first turning the key over (for a second or two) and then nothing. If I turn it over enough times, I can get the + terminal to smoke, or have got it to spark. After this, I took the battery back to Autozone, and they told me the battery was good. The clerk told me it could the solenoid or a bad battery cable. I inspected the battery cables after verifying again that the battery was installed properly, and found no breaks in the installation of the wires. I hate electrical problems with anything that has wheels (it could be so many things). Anyone have any ideas? Where should I start diagnosing the problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, how many years do lawn tractors last if the oil and filters are changed regularly under normal use? I only run mine about 12 hours a year and it is kept beneath the deck of my house under a tarp year round. Thanks

  2.  

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    134
    Location
    Bethpage
    Mower
    Mtd yard machine

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    Hi StatemanG, If you have a few diagnostic tools (test light, multimeter etc) you can find your problem. Since you have a new battery I think the first thing I would check is that you have proper voltage to the solenoid and starter if you do it could be the starter itself. A mower properly taken care of no matter what the brand can last a very long time, hope this helps.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    880
    Location
    Washington
    Mower
    honda 1031, cub cadet 2164, jacobsen park 30, simplicity

    Post Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    At the 13 year mark, any host of things can start to go belly up on these mowers, amongst them:
    Battery- in your case probably not. I assume they load tested it?
    Solenoid
    safety switches for seat, blade engage, neutral start, etc.
    Loose terminals on starters, grounds, solenoids
    Bad ignition switch itself
    Disconnected wire or worn through insulation

    If you can safely do it, you might try reaching down to the solenoid and feel for the click while you turn the key to the start position. No rings or watches for this trick, thank you!

  5. #4

    1,000 Post Club
    reddragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,377
    Location
    southern oregon
    Mower
    little this...little that

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    from the sounds your telling us.....its spinning the starter but not engaging the flywheel......the click is your starter solenoid....so if your battery cables are good..then your starter is the problem...it could be a number of things in the starter...if its smoking....its best to take it off and have it tested...a new one is probably about $70
    '97 MURRAY 15.5hp TECUMSEH..42"...6SP............'04 TROY-BILT BRONCO....18.5 BRIGGS..42"...AUTO...CRUISE...
    '06 MTD YARD MACH...15.5 HP B&S...42"..6 SP ....'99 CRAFTSMAN...19.5 HP....42"...6SP
    '94 AYP KGRO...16HP B&S...42".....5SP ................'77 SEARS 18-6...18HP ONAN ...42"....6SP
    '98 CRAFTSMAN..17HP B&S ..42"...HYDRO............'93 MTD YARD MAN 18HP B&S ...42"....HYDRO
    '02 CRAFTSMAN LT1000.. 17HP B&S...42"..5SP.....'00 MTD 679..17.5 TECUMSEH...42"....7Sp

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    880
    Location
    Washington
    Mower
    honda 1031, cub cadet 2164, jacobsen park 30, simplicity

    Post Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    I wouldn't be at all surprised if reddragon is on the right track with a starter that's going in to retirement. In answer to some of the first questions posted about longevity, I've seen original motors in 52 year old pieces of equipment still chugging along, and have also seen 2 year old motors, with what must be less than 20 hrs. total on it with the rod sticking out the side of the block. A lot depends on maintenance, how highly the engine is stressed, how good the design and manufacture of the engine is, and where the engine is used.
    Big items on the list for keeping it running longer: (In my opinion)
    Make sure your engine is clean, and all the cooling fins are clean and the shrouds are in place.
    Use a good fuel stabilizer
    Use a premium synthetic oil
    Check the oil level before each use.

    Most of these engines have such a small oil capacity that even a couple of ounces can make a difference in the service life of the engine.

  7. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    3
    Location
    Richmond
    Mower
    Statesman

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    Thanks for all your posts. I just called a repair shop, and it looks as if I am going to have at least $200 to repair it....$65 to pick it up and $65 an hour for diagnostic + the part. Being currently under employed in this wonderful economy we are in, it may have to sit a while before I have that chunk of change to put into the tractor. I hoped that someone may have a simple way to try to get it started (my Dad suggested to tap the solenoid gently with a hammer to see if it did anything different happened when trying to start it-nothing new-just sit there). I have a 23 year old Craftsman push mower that my Dad gave me, so it looks as if I will be pushing it for awhile until it dies or I can do something else. Again, I appreciate everyone's help. StatemanG

  8. #7

    1,000 Post Club
    reddragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,377
    Location
    southern oregon
    Mower
    little this...little that

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    i think you can get it done cheaper!....give us the model serial numbers of the motor...and we can look it up for you
    '97 MURRAY 15.5hp TECUMSEH..42"...6SP............'04 TROY-BILT BRONCO....18.5 BRIGGS..42"...AUTO...CRUISE...
    '06 MTD YARD MACH...15.5 HP B&S...42"..6 SP ....'99 CRAFTSMAN...19.5 HP....42"...6SP
    '94 AYP KGRO...16HP B&S...42".....5SP ................'77 SEARS 18-6...18HP ONAN ...42"....6SP
    '98 CRAFTSMAN..17HP B&S ..42"...HYDRO............'93 MTD YARD MAN 18HP B&S ...42"....HYDRO
    '02 CRAFTSMAN LT1000.. 17HP B&S...42"..5SP.....'00 MTD 679..17.5 TECUMSEH...42"....7Sp

  9. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    172
    Location
    North Carolina
    Mower
    Walker

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    Is the starter gear hung up on the flywheel? is this a briggs overhead valve engine, if so is it sitting on compresion and the starter cant turn it over? try turning the flywheel by hand clockwise if it turns hard and then releases try the starter again, this would give you the one click everytime you hit the key, if this works then the valves need to be adj, I very rarley ever repalce a starter, don't remember doing on in at least 3 years.

    65 p/u del and 65 per hour labor? I guess I need to raise my prices some. I charge 40 p hr and do the repairs at thier house with a min of 25.00, no service call charge if less than 10 miles. no wonder I am as busy as I am, I also give 10% discount on spring service if I get 2 or more units at same location when neighbors get together and have thiers done together.

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    225
    Location
    Alabama
    Mower
    Piston Powered

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    Quote Originally Posted by reddragon View Post
    from the sounds your telling us.....its spinning the starter but not engaging the flywheel......the click is your starter solenoid....so if your battery cables are good..then your starter is the problem...it could be a number of things in the starter...if its smoking....its best to take it off and have it tested...a new one is probably about $70
    I think Reddragon has you pointed in the right direction. Removing and troubleshooting the starter (clean and lubricate while you have it out) is clearly called for at this point. Double check the cable as the connector can sometimes corrode at the copper, under the insulation. You should probably just replace this (the big red wire that goes to the starter), you can get this at walmart. You just need to get the right length, so measure it before you go. I would check the ground cable too, maybe replace.
    This is probably not a big deal soooooo.
    Keep us informed as to what the actual fix is.

  11. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5
    Location
    louisiana
    Mower
    Cub Cadet

    Re: MTD Lawn Tractor-Won't Start

    Quote Originally Posted by StatemanG View Post
    I have 1999 Statesman (MTD) Lawn Tractor. The battery went dead in it a couple of weeks ago (I could hear the starter ticking when trying to start it). It would not turn over. I have replaced the battery several times in the past with these symptoms, and bought the same model of battery from Autozone that I have purchased before. It usually just starts right on up after install. However, when installing this new battery, the tractor paint will not turn over. I do hear a single click when first turning the key over, but don't hear the repeating ticking from the starter anymore. I do get a high pitch noise when first turning the key over (for a second or two) and then nothing. If I turn it over enough times, I can get the + terminal to smoke, or have got it to spark. After this, I took the battery back to Autozone, and they told me the battery was good. The clerk told me it could the solenoid or a bad battery cable. I inspected the battery cables after verifying again that the battery was installed properly, and found no breaks in the installation of the wires. I hate electrical problems with anything that has wheels (it could be so many things). Anyone have any ideas? Where should I start diagnosing the problem? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, how many years do lawn tractors last if the oil and filters are changed regularly under normal use? I only run mine about 12 hours a year and it is kept beneath the deck of my house under a tarp year round. Thanks
    Try replacing the battery wire, there may be no visible indication that it's messed up.

Similar Threads

  1. lawn mower to lawn tractor conversion
    By Onobeano in forum Small Engine & Mower Repair
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-27-2011, 09:43 PM
  2. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-31-2011, 08:58 AM
  3. Tractor supply/MTD
    By scorpwrench in forum MTD Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-11-2011, 07:37 PM
  4. 1974 and 1977 MTD 990 super garden tractor
    By Kingwood990 in forum MTD Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-06-2011, 07:16 PM
  5. Lawn mower and lawn tractor parts supplier
    By naturescaper in forum Small Engine & Mower Repair
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-07-2010, 10:41 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •