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Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Craftsman Lawn Tractor wont start


I have a craftsman 917.275684 24hp tractor. For a while now one of the problems I have had is the battery will not recharge during operation so after a period of running I would need to recharge the battery to keep the electric pto running. Thats another issue though. While blowing snow My pto quit working and I assumed I just needed to recharge the battery. After a couple hours on the charger I went to start it and I have nothing. Checked for voltage at solenoid, nothing. Tested starter switch and all looked good there, plus have another craftsman with identical starter that I tried with no luck. Battery tests good at 12v and I can jump from battery to starter and it will start and run but only for a short time. The only questionable thing I found was the seat switch but what confuses me about that is why it should iterfere with starting as Ive always been able to start it, whether in the seat or not, as long as the brake was engaged. I know the switch does cut the enginge with an empty seat if the pto is engaged, in which case would the seat switch still be the suspect or could the pto switch be a factor. I have checked continuity on the pto switch and though Im pretty novice at this I did find different results on the posts depending on if switch was on or off. Would like to know if you think Im on the right track or not. Thanks Doug

Is the engine a Briggs and Stratton model 445677-0413-e1?

The first thing I would do is check to see if the engine is producing electrical power.  The link below contains great information on how to check the engine charging system.

Don't worry about the DC shunt.  I have one but rarely use it.  99.9% of the troubleshooting can be done with a basic meter.

Read the manual and check the engine charging system.  If it is working then you can tackle the mower chasis/wiring.

Electric PTO clutch link:  click on the Garden Tractor Clutch Troubleshooting pdf file.

Let me know if the charging system is working.


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Eric A. Jones


Lawnmower Repair . Certified Master Service Technician from B&S. Have 23 years experience on B&S, Lawn Chief, Weed Eater, Echo, Peerless, Wheel Horse, Snapper, Atlas, MTD, McCulloch, Homelite and many other numerous brands. Specialize in electrical repair.


Born and raised in the midwest. Started tinkering with engines when I was about 14 on my Suzuki RM-80. I began lawn mower repair at a small hardware store. I knew absolutely nothing. I read lots of repair manuals and met an older fellow who taught me many lessons. I continued working on small engines through high school and paid my way through college working on mowers at the same hardware store. Decided to get away from the midwest and mower repair so I joined the Air Force. I repaired air traffic control electronic equipment and ended up in Hawaii where I got a part time job at Small Engine Clinic. I gained a lot of experience from the Small Engine Clinic and had a blast repairing small engines. I then took the Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician test and earned my MST. I then traveled to Wisconsin where I attended the factory update training seminar and received formal training. Continued working on mowers part time as I completed 20 years of military. Retired from the military on a Friday and continued in the lawn and garden industry the next Monday.

MAS Aerospace Operations BA Mathematics AAS Electronic Communications AAS Electronic Technology

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