View Full Version : MTD rider not starting

desert rose gardening
02-06-2012, 11:09 AM
Its a 1999 Mtd 14 1/2HP 42 inch cut rider that wont start. Battery charged, connections clean. It clicks at that thing under the seat where the + connects to the small thing and then the + gos to the starter. Maybe that needs replacing? No I don't use it for work so don't jump on my case!:nono: Its used for going down to feed the horses or get the mail. Thanks for the advice.:waving:

02-06-2012, 12:10 PM
If you use the search function on the site you can find several troubleshooting threads. Here's one:


02-07-2012, 04:48 PM
That little "small thing" under the seat is the starter selenoid and they often go bad. They are fairly cheap to replace (approx $15). There is a fairly easy way to test it to see if it is the problem. Put the key in the run position, and cross the two posts on that starter selenoid with a screwdriver...if it cranks the motor you have a bad selenoid.

piston slapper
02-07-2012, 05:02 PM
Not so fast Handydad....if there is no power from the key switch to the start post on the solenoid, the solenoid even if its good, won't engage. On riders , this power goes thru a multitude of safety switches before it gets to the solenoid.Tracing electricity is just like checking for water in pipes. Find out where you have it and track it to where you don't.
Posted via Mobile Device

02-07-2012, 05:07 PM
He stated that he just gets a clicking noise when he turns the key.....I would take that to mean that there was power to the key and back to the solenoid and that's why I jumped on the solenoid as the source of the problem.

piston slapper
02-07-2012, 06:26 PM
Perhaps.....I did skim the op a little fast. ....
Didn't mean to get you "started"......
Posted via Mobile Device

02-07-2012, 07:00 PM
Just wanted you to know I had actually thought it out lol.

02-07-2012, 07:24 PM
Didn't mean to get you "started"......

:laugh: . http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif

desert rose gardening
02-08-2012, 12:49 AM
Thanks for the help:clapping: I'll try the screwdriver across the solenoid in the morning.

PK Mows
02-08-2012, 03:22 AM
The easiest way to test this is with a voltmeter. Look for 12 volts at the battery side of the solenoid. Then, with someone in the seat with the parking brake set, the deck turned off, and the key in the Start position, check for 12 volts at the small wire on the solenoid and again at the starter. If you have 12 volts everywhere, you have another issue.

Since the solenoid is clicking, you likely do have a bad solenoid, it can't click unless it gets power from the key switch. If you have 12 volts at the Battery side of the solenoid and at the small wire from the key switch and do NOT have 12 volts on the starter side of the solenoid when the key is in Start, the parking brake is set and the deck is turned off, you have a bad solenoid.

But, if you have 12 volts going into the starter, does the starter try to engage? If it does, is it struggling to turn the engine over? If it is, and you have a Briggs engine, then you need to start by adjusting the valves.

If you do not have 12 volts at the small wire on the solenoid, then you have a bad key switch, a bad brake switch or a bad PTO switch, or bad wiring in one of those circuits.

02-11-2012, 07:44 AM
Also, a clicking solenoid can be caused by dirty or corroded connections in the wiring and/or safeties. After years of use the safeties can become corroded, thus reducing the electrical current actually hitting the solenoid. The John Deere STX 30/38/46 machines were notorious for this issue, as were many of their other models.

The other gents are right, you can jump across the big terminals on the solenoid and see if your engine will turn over (making sure it's NOT in gear and the blades are not engaged, cuz it's gonna turn). Also, you can take a jumper wire and run from the large post on the battery side of the solenoid to the small post where the small wire from your key switch attaches. This, too, will give a good supply of voltage/current to the solenoid and will more than likely activate the solenoid/starter. If this does indeed cause your machines engine to turn over I can email you an easy fix without having to replace wires/safeties/switches, etc. It will NOT compromise the safeties installed on your machine. As a matter of fact, you can walk into a John Deere dealer and purchase this fix for about $30.

piston slapper
02-11-2012, 08:23 AM
Brad.....can you share this secret with the rest of the forum,
Or do we have to email you?
Posted via Mobile Device

02-11-2012, 09:00 AM
Sure, I can share. I'll have to see if I can upload the schematics, as they are in .jpg and Word format. I also have specific instructions and photos on another website which, out of respect for LawnSite administration, I won't post here. If anyone would like to see the articles on the other site, either PM or email me. No registration is required to view the articles.

Edit--I changed them to .pdf and it worked fine.