Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/Sabre won't start


I have 1438 John Deere Sabre.  It has a 14.5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine.  When you turn the key, it starts to turn, then just stops turning.  I had the battery checked (twice) and it is turning 275 cca.  I replaced the solenoid and have the same result.  When I jump it, it runs fine.  Any thoughts?

I would start by checking the voltage drop across the cables.  I rarely find bad cables but I often find that disconnecting the cables and cleaning the cable end and the connecting location/point with a wirebrush improves the voltage drop.  This allows more current to flow in order the spin the starter.

I rarely find bad starters as well.  As stated above, cleaning the connecting really well often fixes difficult or weird problems such as yours.

Let me know what the voltage drop readings are.

Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2016 All rights reserved.