Small Engines (Lawn Mowers, etc.)/mower wiring burned up


Hi Eric, I have a Sears riding mower model 917.258513, B & S engine - 14.5 HP - model 287707 type # 0255-01, the wiring burned up under the solenoid that goes under the fuel bowl. And the engine wont start. I ordered the wiring harness and I also ordered the solenoid since the connector was somewhat melted. Do you have any idea why the small harness burned up? Could the solenoid have shorted out and burned up the harness? Or is there something else that may have caused this? Is it hard to replace the solenoid? Do you know if there is a gasket between the solenoid and the fuel bowl?  I would appreciate any help that you can give me.

I have not seen a fuel shut-off solenoid short out and cause the wiring harness to burn.

Yes, there is a small washer on top of the solenoid...just look for it as you unscrew the solenoid.

Things you should check...the should have blown before the harness melted.

The battery; I have seen them switch polarity and burn/melt wire harness.

While you are at it I would check the alternator / rectifier output.  Never seen them melt the harness but have found several diodes that have melted.

Google Briggs and Stratton charging system check or Briggs and Stratton alternator and you should find several PDF files on checking the electrical system.


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.