It’s the start of the mowing season and the grass is green and tall, you get into your trusty mower and turn the key and hear a slightly audible click, but the mower won’t start. If your lawnmower battery is fully charged and the lawnmower will not start the problem may be with the mower motor starter. You can diagnose and test your starter with basic hand tools, and based on what you learn, get it up and running in no time.
What are multimeters used for?
A multimeter, for those who don’t know, is a device that measures electrical values like voltage (volts – V) and current (amps – SI). Multimeters can be used as a diagnostic tool to test components of electrical devices, and when it comes to lawnmowers, in particular, they can be used to test for motor starter faults, luckily for us!
Multimeters come in both analog and digital form, although digital models far outperform analog today, allowing you to measure values with much more precision and precision than an analog needle. is capable.
Since multimeters can be used to measure many different types of values, they can be specifically configured for these different values. For example, if you want to test voltage, you need to set your multimeter to read volts, and if you want to measure resistance, you set it to ohms (a unit of measurement for electrical resistance).
Before replacing the starter, you must make sure that the current starter of the mower is completely damaged. You can be sure of this by testing a few parts and connections.
Now let’s take a look at the parts and connections you need to test before the starter bench test.
The mower’s battery should be checked before looking for a problem with the starter. This is because power is supplied from the battery to the starter motor to start the mower.
If the battery is not charging properly, it will not be able to provide enough power to the starter. You know most lawnmowers use 12-volt batteries. And you can check the battery using a multimeter.
If the battery shows 12 volts on the multimeter, the battery is OK. But when the battery shows less than 12 volts, it indicates that the battery condition is slowly deteriorating. And the battery should be replaced as soon as possible.
Check all electrical connections
If all of the mower’s electrical connections are not properly connected, the mower will not turn on. When the connections are broken or loose, you will not be able to power the starter.
Inspect the solenoid
Starter solenoids play an important role in starting lawnmowers. When the mower key is turned in the keyhole, electricity from the battery is carried to the solenoid. The solenoid then energizes the starter to start the mower.
If the solenoid is faulty, you cannot start the mower. And when you try to turn on the mower, there is only one click, but the mower will not turn on.
Step by step guide to bench testing a lawn mower starter
A starter is a motor that is connected to the motor crankcase. The starter starts the mower by rotating the teeth of the flywheel with the teeth of the starter pistol. Once all other components are checked and determined to be in perfect working order, the problem is definitely with the starter. The magnets, brushes, and springs that come in contact with the wire inside the motor are likely dirty or worn. A bad starter has a few signs that help identify it. If the connection between the solenoid and the battery becomes loose, you will only hear a click. When the engine roar does not follow a hum made by the mower to start it, it means that there is a problem with the starter.
Follow the step-by-step procedure to bench test your mower starter:
Gather the necessary tools
You will need the following tools to complete the benchmark task.
A flying thread
Park the mower and switch it off
Park your mower on a level surface and remove the key.
Disconnect the wire from the spark plug.
Disconnect the wire from the spark plug. This will ensure that the mower does not inadvertently start.
Remove the starter and clean it.
Find the battery and the starter. The battery is easy to find and can be under the hood or under the mower seat. The starter can be harder to find. The best method is to follow the cable from the battery to the solenoid. And from the solenoid to the starter. Usually, it should be under the hood of the mower. Remove the starter from your mower and clean the utility poles with a wire brush. Be sure to remove all dust and dirt from the starter so that clean connections are possible.
Connect the starter to a 12V battery using jumper cables
Take a jumper wire and a 12-volt battery to test the starter. The black wire is positive and the red wire is negative.
A binding wire has two ends. Connect one end of the jumper wire to the battery: the red wire to the negative terminal and the black wire to the positive terminal. Make sure you have made the connections correctly to avoid a short circuit or sparks.
Testing the starter
Connect the other end of the red wire to the starter frame. Connect the other end of the black wire to the starter terminal. If the starter is in good condition, its head will begin to spin. You will see the starter head lift up to engage the flywheel.
The rotation will stop or sound likes a click if the starter is faulty. In this case, you need to replace the starter.
Wear protective gloves and goggles when connecting the jumper cable to the battery.
Check the electrical connections carefully. Be sure to remove the spark plug from the mower before checking the electrical connections.
In summary, it can be said that bench testing a lawnmower is not a difficult task. You can do this at home. And finally, it will save you from having to call a technician.