8 Causes Your Craftsman Mower Blades Won’t Start

This time, though, when you attempt to cut the grass, the blades on your riding mower or zero-turn won’t turn. I’ll go over the typical sources of wear and failure that lead to this situation.

A worn or stretched mower deck belt, a belt that has come off the pulleys, a malfunctioning PTO switch or clutch, a weak battery, a faulty safety switch, or a blown fuse can all prevent the Craftsman lawn mower blades from engaging or turning on.

Never attempt to reach behind the mower deck without first taking all necessary safety measures, as described in the Craftsman manual. Taking precautions like turning off the engine and disconnecting the spark plug wires are required.

craftman mower deck belt

Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating, be sure you’ve read and understood all of the safety recommendations in the equipment’s operator’s manual. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to make the repair or if you lack the necessary information, you should get some help from a specialist.

Why Won’t Your Craftsman Lawnmower Start?

Craftsman Mower with a Worn Deck Belt

The blades of a mower are driven by a series of pulleys, which are turned by a belt on the deck of the mower. As time passes, the belt will wear out and the blades will stop turning. A worn belt will not be able to turn the pulleys because it will slip on them.

Examine the state of your belt for signs of wear. Damage can take the form of fissures, fraying, a glazed look, or a belt that rests low in the pulleys as a result of prolonged use.

Eventually, you’ll need to replace a belt that’s seen better days. Having it checked routinely and replaced before it stops turning the blades is a good precaution to take.

Blade tip speed will be impacted by a worn belt that slips on the pulleys. In order to create suction under the deck and raise the grass for an even cut, a high blade speed is required.

Belt Fell Off Pulleys on a Craftsman Mower Deck

If the belt is no longer attached to the pulleys, it will not be able to rotate them and hence the mower blades. A worn belt isn’t the only thing to check for; a stretched belt, a defective pulley, a worn tensioner arm, or a missing spring are all possible culprits.

Find out what causes a Craftsman mower’s belt to continually popping off the deck in this comprehensive guide.

Deteriorated Idle Arm and Spring on a Craftsman Lawn Mower

The idler pulleys are kept in place by a tensioner arm and spring. Either the spring or the hole in the bracket that it attaches to can wear out over time. The belt may become unfastened and shake free of the pulleys as a result of this.

Exhausted Craftsman Pulley Bearing

Each pulley contains a bearing. Because of bearing wear, the pulley may no longer be perfectly perpendicular to the mower deck. A wobbly pulley is the result of a worn bearing that allows rotation in the shaft.

It’s possible that the pulley’s deck mounting is uneven. The deck belt may become dislodged from the pulley if it is subjected to excessive movement.

If the bearing in a pulley is worn out, you should replace it.

Misfunctioning PTO switch on a Craftsman lawn mower

Typically, a knob on the mower’s handle activates the PTO switch, which supplies power to the clutch via battery voltage. It’s impossible to get the blades to spin if the switch breaks.

It’s important to test the switch for continuity. Substitute a break in continuity for a toggle switch.

Craftsman Lawnmower with a Bad Clutch

The drive belt is engaged via the PTO (Power Take Off) clutch, which transmits power from the engine to the blades. When a worn or broken clutch can’t turn the blades, it needs to be replaced.

Read A Look at Lawn Mower Clutches for more information about clutches.

Clutch Cable Wear on a Hand-operated Workhorse

Mowers from Craftsman that require human intervention to engage the clutch have a clutch lever and cable.

To ensure that the clutch is being engaged and that its components are not worn, check the condition of the clutch lever, cable, spring, bushings, and linkages.

Repair or replace anything that seems worn.

Poor Craftsman Lawn Mower Battery Life

The battery is what powers an electric clutch. The clutch solenoid cannot be activated to turn on the mower blades if the battery is too weak.

With a multimeter, check the battery’s voltage. An accurate reading from a fully charged 12-volt battery would be around 12.7 volts.

Anytime the battery level drops below this, it needs to be charged. If your lawnmower’s battery keeps dying, check out 5 Things That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Batteries for a list of potential causes.

Charging a Craftsman battery requires a dedicated battery charger. Put on safety goggles and gloves to guard against electric shock before proceeding. To use a charger on your battery for your riding mower or zero-turn, do as follows:

  • Have a look at the battery and the terminals. A screwdriver may be required to access the battery. The battery is either underneath the seat or in the engine compartment. Keep the battery inside its case at all times.
  • Start by plugging in the positive cable to the battery charger. The plus sign cable, or the red one, is this one. Connect the wire to the battery’s positive pole.
  • Get the negative end of the cable connected to the battery’s negative terminal. The negative cable, or the black one.
  • Do not risk electrocution by touching anything that is not covered in rubber.
  • Adjust the charger’s voltage and current to meet your needs. Lawn mower batteries typically have a voltage of 12 volts.
  • Higher current speeds up the battery’s charging process. I would recommend beginning with 2 amps and increasing to no more than 10 amps as needed. It’s preferable to charge slowly.

It’s time for a new battery if you discover the old one won’t retain a charge. Batteries for 12-volt lawn mowers may be found at most any hardware or auto parts store. Batteries could also be purchased at a store that specializes in lawnmowers.

Don’t forget to bring the dead batteries. If you don’t return the old battery, most stores will charge you a core fee. Average basic charges amount to $20.

The Craftsman Mower Has a Faulty Safety Switch

The Craftsman’s operator presence system includes a seat-mounted safety switch. There is a seat switch built under the seat that detects the presence of the mower operator.

The lawn mower’s blades are equipped with a safety feature that prevents them from starting unless the operator is there.

The operator may not be detected if the seat switch is defective. In the event of a faulty seat switch, the safety mechanism will prevent the blades from starting to rotate.

If you suspect a faulty seat switch, you can either test it with a multimeter or temporarily disable the safety switch. For your own safety, never run a mower without the safety switch in place.

Ensure that all equipment has functioning safety switches.

Craftsman Lawnmower Fuses Blown

When the clutch won’t engage, a blown fuse could be to blame. Fuse protection for the Craftsman electrical system.

If a fuse blows, you should replace it with another fuse of the same size. If the fuses keep blowing, you should have it checked out by a professional at a Craftsman service center or a lawn mower repair business.

Why Does Your Craftsman Lawnmower Still Break Down?

Have a mower that never breaks down would be fantastic. Unfortunately, such things do not exist. If you keep a lawn mower for a long enough period of time, eventually something will break.

Common issues include starting, smoking, dying, vibrating, and cutting.

With any luck, the approach I put up will help you rapidly pinpoint the source of your Craftsman’s issues and implement a workable solution. Issues and Answers for the Most Often Encountered Craftsman Lawn Mowers.

Diagnosing and repairing your Craftsman lawn mower might be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Doing so will keep you from hurting yourself or wrecking the mower more. If you’re having trouble with your lawn mower, take it to a Craftsman dealer or a lawn mower repair shop in your area.