27 vanguard starter not working

Persac Lawn

LawnSite Member
I have a 27 Kohler that the starter is just spinning and not engaging. When I tapped on the starter slightly with hammer while turning engine over, it would still not jump up and engage. Engine is only a year old and has maybe 50 hrs on it so I do not believe the starter has gone bad. Battery is fully charged and I had a good connection. Engine was sitting for about 20-30 days with the battery disconnected and on a trickle charge. Also after trying for a couple minutes to get it to engage, I had the key turned to the off position. I noticed that the battery was smoking so I disconnected the leads going to engine. I am thinking there had to be a voltage drop from battery to engine and possibly a wire either touching or grounding somewhere on engine. My issue is I am not sure how to trace the issue using a multi meter. I will visually check exposed wires but I am curious if there are possibly any wires that would be hidden that could possibly be giving me trouble. I am assuming a rat ate through a wire and it’s touching somewhere but I’m not 100% sure. Any help is appreciated, thanks in advance.


LawnSite Senior Member
Near TMI
Start with a visual inspection of wiring, from battery to starter and then to ground at the frame. Verify that commections are clean and tight.Next take an ohm reading from negative terminal on battery to several grounds including starter case. Should be around 1-3 ohms maximum. If you do not find anything unusual, disconnect positive cable from battery and check resistance through positive cable from battery cable clamp to other end of cable on starter. Should be very low ohms. Hope you can find the problem. Good luck.