Solved: Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Start, No Clicking

There can be several reasons why a riding lawn mower won’t start and doesn’t make a clicking noise. Firstly, it could be a problem with the battery. Check if the battery is charged and in good condition. Corrosion or loose battery cables can also prevent the mower from starting. Clean the cables and terminals and ensure they are tightly connected.

Another potential cause could be a faulty ignition switch. The ignition switch sends a signal to the starter solenoid to engage the starter motor. If the switch is faulty, it may not be sending the required signal to start the mower. Try toggling the ignition switch multiple times to see if it makes a difference.

Furthermore, the issue might lie with the safety switches. Riding mowers have several safety switches that prevent them from starting if certain conditions are not met. These conditions could include engaging the parking brake, ensuring the mower deck is disengaged, or that the seat is occupied. Check these safety switches and make sure they are functioning properly.

Lastly, if all else fails, it could be a problem with the starter solenoid, starter motor, or a blown fuse. These components may require professional repair or replacement.

Remember to always consult the owner’s manual for specific troubleshooting steps and safety guidelines. If unsure, it is recommended to contact a professional technician who specializes in lawn mower repairs.

Common Causes of No Clicking

There are several common reasons why a riding lawn mower won’t start and there’s no clicking sound. Here are the most likely causes:

1. Dead Battery

  • A dead battery is one of the most common causes of a riding lawn mower not starting.
  • Batteries can lose their charge over time, especially if they’re not used regularly.
  • Over time, the battery may also lose its ability to hold a charge.

2. Faulty Ignition Switch

  • The ignition switch sends power to the starter motor when the key is turned.
  • A faulty ignition switch can prevent the starter motor from receiving power and prevent the lawn mower from starting.

3. Starter Solenoid Failure

  • The starter solenoid is responsible for engaging the starter motor when the key is turned.
  • A faulty starter solenoid can prevent the starter motor from engaging, preventing the lawn mower from starting.

4. Corroded Connections

  • Corrosion on battery terminals or other electrical connections can prevent power from reaching the starter motor and prevent the lawn mower from starting.
  • Corrosion can occur over time due to exposure to the elements or poor maintenance.

How to Diagnose the Problem

To diagnose the issue, follow these steps:

Step 1: Check the battery connections.

  • Ensure that the battery connections are clean, tight, and free of corrosion.
  • If the connections are loose or corroded, clean them and tighten them.

Step 2: Test the battery with a voltmeter.

  • Connect the voltmeter to the battery terminals to check the voltage.
  • If the battery is dead or has low voltage, it may need to be charged or replaced.

Step 3: Test the ignition switch.

  • Turn the key to the “start” position and test the voltage on the starter solenoid.
  • If there is no voltage, the ignition switch may be faulty.

Step 4: Check the starter solenoid.

  • Test the voltage on the starter solenoid when the key is turned to the “start” position.
  • If there is no voltage, the starter solenoid may be faulty.

Step 5: Check for corroded connections.

  • Check all electrical connections for corrosion.
  • If there is corrosion, clean the connections with a wire brush or sandpaper.

How to Fix the Problem

Once you have diagnosed the issue, you can fix it. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Reconnect loose battery connections.

  • Clean and tighten any loose or corroded battery connections.

Step 2: Replace a dead battery.

  • If the battery is dead or has low voltage, charge or replace it.

Step 3: Replace a faulty ignition switch.

  • If the ignition switch is faulty, replace it with a new one.

Step 4: Replace a faulty starter solenoid.

  • If the starter solenoid is faulty, replace it with a new one.

Step 5: Clean corroded connections.

  • Clean corroded electrical connections with a wire brush or sandpaper.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Problems

To prevent future issues with your riding lawn mower, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Regularly check and maintain the battery.
  2. Clean and protect electrical connections.
  3. Check the oil and other fluid levels regularly
  4. Regularly replace air and oil filters.
  5. Maintain the blades and other moving parts.
  6. Store the lawn mower in a dry, sheltered area.

Regular maintenance can help prevent issues with your riding lawn mower and extend its lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about riding lawn mowers not starting.

1. What does a dead starter sound like?

When a starter is dead, the sound it makes or rather the lack thereof is silence. Typically, when you turn the key in the ignition, a functioning starter motor will produce a distinct cranking sound as it engages and spins the engine. However, in the case of a dead starter, the silence indicates that the motor is not receiving power or failing to engage. The absence of any sound from the starter is an ominous sign, suggesting an electrical problem or a complete mechanical failure that requires diagnosis and repair.

2. Why won’t my riding lawn mower start after the winter?

Riding lawn mowers may fail to start after the winter due to several reasons. Firstly, the fuel may have degraded or become contaminated, resulting in poor combustion. In such cases, draining and replacing the old fuel can solve the issue. Secondly, the spark plug may be dirty or worn out, impeding the ignition process. Cleaning or replacing the spark plug can rectify this problem. Additionally, the battery may have lost charge during winter storage, necessitating charging or replacement. Finally, condensation or moisture buildup in the engine may prevent starting; in this case, allowing the mower to dry for a few days or using a water displacement spray can resolve the issue.

3. How can I test my lawn mower battery?

To test your lawn mower battery, you can follow these steps. Start by ensuring the mower is turned off and the engine is cool. Locate the battery, typically found under the seat or hood. Use a voltmeter or multimeter to check the battery voltage. Connect the red wire to the positive terminal and the black wire to the negative terminal. A healthy 12-volt battery should read around 12.6 to 12.8 volts. If it reads lower than 12 volts, the battery may need charging or replacement. Alternatively, you can bring the battery to a local auto parts store for a load test which will assess its overall health.

4. How to replace the brake interlock switch on a riding lawn mower?

To replace the brake interlock switch on a riding lawn mower, start by locating the switch, usually found under the driver’s seat or near the brake pedal. Disconnect the negative battery cable to ensure safety. Then, carefully remove the old switch by disconnecting any electrical connectors or screws holding it in place. Take note of the proper orientation of wires or connectors to ensure correct installation. Install the new switch by reversing the removal process, ensuring a secure fit. Finally, reconnect the negative battery cable and test the brake interlock to verify proper functioning. Seek professional help if unsure or uncomfortable with the process.

5. How to replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower?

To replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower, follow these steps. First, locate the starter motor, usually mounted on the engine’s side. Disconnect the battery cables for safety. Next, remove any obstacles obstructing access to the starter. Use a socket wrench or pliers to disconnect the wiring harness attached to the starter. Remove any mounting bolts holding the starter in place. Once detached, carefully take out the old starter motor. Replace it with the new one, ensuring proper alignment with the mounting holes. Secure it in place with the mounting bolts. Reconnect the wiring harness, followed by the battery cables. Finally, test the mower to ensure the new starter motor is functioning correctly.


When your riding lawn mower won’t start and there’s no clicking sound, it can be frustrating. However, by diagnosing the issue and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can fix the problem and prevent future issues with your lawn mower. Remember to regularly maintain your lawn mower to keep it in good working order. By taking care of your lawn mower, you can ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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