Lawnmower ignition switch problems

Lawnmower ignition switch problems

Dealing With Lawnmower Ignition Switch Problems

Lawnmower ignition switch problems are the archless of every homeowner whose backyard benefits from ride on lawn mowers. So in this post, I wanted to share with you some of the tips you can use from testing to actually replacing any faulty lawn mower switches that need rewiring or complete replacement.

Now, learning how to test key switches in riding lawn mowers is one thing, however, replacing the faulty switch is completely a different ball game as there’s a lot of different kinds of key switches and there’s also numerous kinds of wiring layouts.

Taking from experience, the best thing you can do before anything is to check if there’s any way you can access your lawn mower manual pdf online. That way, you can look at the section where they have the lawn mower’s key switches wiring diagrams.

Most ride on lawn mowers today use universal lawn mower key switches which are considered to be very basic key switches as they can easily be rewired or replaced as long as you know what to look for and I will demonstrate this to you in one of the examples in this post.

From 7 terminal ignition switch, 4 post solenoid or the popular Briggs and Stratton ignition switch 5 terminal all these key switches are used on riding mowers.

With that said, let’s look at Murray riding lawn mower craftsman switch, as the majority of your lower end mowers will carry this type of key switch.

There are so many benefits for sharing with you the concept of how to do this as there are once again so many different layouts this versatile lawn mower switch offers.

How to test ignition switch with a multimeter

Testing the lawn mower ignition switch with a multimeter gives you the understanding of how you can bypass the lawnmower ignition with the help of the witch diagram.

Once you know how to go about testing it, you will find the material you need in your manual to carry the switch bypass.

What do you need to bypass lawn mower ignition switch

As this testing of a lawn mower switch for bypassing is for a basic key switch, You will notice that it is a five terminal key switch.
The one character you will quickly notice when testing this type of lawn mower ignition switches is that they are just as bare-bones styled as they can be. And if you look really close you can see that there are letters scribed in the heat resistant plastic on the bottom of the key switch.

There, you will find an M which stands for magneto and for the letter L is for lights G is for ground B is for the battery. And you will also find others where they have slightly different types of letters on the back of an ignition switch which also stands for the following:

  • M = Magneto.
  • S = Starter Solenoid.
  • L = Lights.
  • A = Accessory.

How To Test Lawn Mower Ignition Switch For Problems?

If you have let’s say a Craftsman lawn tractor that is having some problems with ignition, your safety while you are testing that switch is paramount as you will be dealing with the electric current from your ignition when troubleshooting… And Craftsman lawn tractor safety switches troubleshooting procedure is really easy to follow…

STEP 1: Now the way we test this type of switch is to turn the switch in the off position once you have got your key switch inserted into the lawnmower switch and turn it into the off position.

STEP 2: Once you hear the clicking noise, proceed to the next step and you’re going to put your digital multimeter. While you are at it, make sure to set it on continuity and you will hear the beeping.

STEP 3: Proceed and put one lead on the grounds terminal of your lawnmower switch marked G terminal. Next, you’re going to put one other lead on the Magneto which has been marked as M terminal.

What you should be looking for is to hear the beeping sound as long as your connections are not dirty, you will certainly hear the beeping and that confirms that the shutoff part of the switch when you turn the key off is working.

The takeaway point here is that when done correctly, it’s going to turn your motor off.
The next thing you must do is to check the run / lights position and to achieve that, what you need to do is essentially turn your lights on, then you’re going to put the key switch in that position.

And what you end up having is your key switch turned to a one-click off of the off so it’s in between the start and the run in the off position and you’re going to be testing terminals B (for battery) and terminals L (for lights )and it should beep too.

With that beep going off then we know we have continuity between those two terminals so that tells us that as far as the key switch goes our lights should be working.

Now Craftsman lawn tractor safety switches troubleshooting won’t be complete unless this last section is run to see if the start position which is a spring-loaded part of the key is working effectively.

When you engage the lawn mower switch and turn the key switch to crank your motor, you need to swiftly need to let go so it springs back to the run position.

Without a doubt, Craftsman lawn tractor safety switches troubleshooting can be a little bit tricky unless you have alligator clips on your multimeter leads as you have to hold the multimeter leads on the terminals and turn the key switch at the same time.

So, make sure that yours has those…What we’re going to be testing is going from the battery to the cylinder so there’s a little wire that goes down there which you’re likely going to find a little annoying.

When you turn the key switch, bear in mind that equivalent of 12 volts will be applied to the switch, where there are little holes on top of these terminals and you can hook your multimeter leads through them.

When wiring your multimeter, make sure that one of those wires went through on opposite sides just to make sure that your multimeter leads are not touching each other or not getting into contact with any other terminals.

When ready, go ahead and crank the engine and you should have a perfect continuity that should be enough to confirm that this key switch it’s good for use as it is in very good working order.

As said before, the majority of your ride on lawnmower, they come with a five pull switch and the craftsman mower is just one of the popular lawnmower brands the one that uses easy to replace lawn mower switches.

I can not express enough how crucial it is to make sure that you have your manuals and inside there, they have a section under the electrical that usually will show a diagram which usually has the key switch testing diagrams and it’ll have all the off run and lights run and start position and you can easily tell which terminals B or L is …

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