How to Recognize a Faulty Toro Starter Solenoid (Troubleshoot)

There is a clicking or buzzing noise when you try to start your Toro riding mower or zero-turn, but nothing happens. It won’t start the engine no matter what you do.

This noise typically occurs when the starter solenoid is malfunctioning and not supplying electricity to the starter.

Read on, and I’ll explain how to locate the starter solenoid and test it to see whether it’s functioning properly.


Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating, be sure you’ve read and fully understood any relevant safety information found in the equipment’s operator’s manual. If you lack the expertise, experience, or physical ability to complete the repair safely, you should seek the advice of a professional.

Toro Starter Solenoid: What Is It?

The solenoid in your Toro’s starter acts as a toggle. A starter motor is activated by activating an electromagnet switch.

Typically, the solenoid is installed near the starter. But it may do its function without being attached to the starter.

The solenoid could be installed on the frame in a location farther from the starter and battery than is conventional.

3&4 Post Solenoids

This is a standard wiring diagram for solenoids with three or four terminals. Keep in mind that not all wiring diagrams for lawn mowers are created equal.

Wiring for accessories like lights and 12-volt ports will be shown on certain diagrams. The diagrams here merely demonstrate the fundamental structure of the wiring.


Identifying the Starter Solenoid for Your Toro Mower

All electric motors use solenoids to initiate the starting process. You can choose a solenoid that is round or square and has three or four prongs.

Certain solenoids may be mounted on the mower’s frame, while others may be fastened to the top of the starter.

One end of the solenoid is connected to the positive (+) battery wire. Identifying the solenoid is as simple as following the positive battery cable.

What Breaks a Toro Starting Solenoid?

In electronics, a solenoid is a type of switch. Any of us can tell you that the moment an electrical device stops working could be the moment it fails.

You’ll find a copper plate and spring inside the solenoid.

If the spring in your Toro starter solenoid becomes too weak, or if the copper plate corrodes, the solenoid will stop working.

A weak starter, faulty battery, or poor ground might potentially cause the solenoid to malfunction.

Toro Starting Solenoid Warning Signs

If you hear a click or hum when you turn the key in the ignition but the mower won’t start, the starter solenoid may be broken.

If a wire starts to smoke or melt at high temperatures, it could be a sign that your solenoid is malfunctioning.

How to Recognize a Faulty Toro Starter Solenoid

The Necessary Equipment:

  • Volt-Ohmmeter
  • Screwdriver
  • Light continuity
  • Wire-checking wrenches
  • Pliers for Needle Noses (If screwdriver does not work)
  • Charger for Batteries (Optional)

You can determine the problem with your lawn mower’s solenoid in a few different methods.

Ensure Your Battery Is Fully Charged

Check the voltage of your battery with a voltmeter to make sure it’s at least 12.3 volts.

Please refer to our post on “5 Factors That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Batteries” for more information on how to test your battery.

Preparing to Start the Lawnmower

  • Put on the brakes and park
  • Put your lawn mower in park and give it a rest.
  • Insert the key and turn it on.

Screwdriver-Bypass Starter Solenoid

To avoid using the starter, lay a long screwdriver over the solenoid and touch the two cables. You need the cable that connects the battery to the starter, and the cable that connects the starter to the battery.

When the screwdriver comes into touch with the wires, it could cause a spark. Don’t freak out; this happens frequently.

The solenoid is likely broken if the engine starts when you have it bypassed.

Needle nose pliers are an alternative to a screwdriver for jumping a solenoid.

You should make sure there are no loose wires or a poor ground before deciding to replace the solenoid.

Do a Solenoid Test

The starter solenoids can be examined if they are attached to the starter. Take off the engine’s starter and plug a battery charger into the solenoid to see whether it works. Checking this will let you know if the starter is communicating with the solenoid.

After taking the starter off your lawnmower, connect the negative (-) clamp to the starter case and the positive (+) clamp to the solenoid’s large post and exciter wire. When the starter is out, this is only a cursory evaluation from the bench.

Is There Any Way to Get Around the Starting Solenoid on a Toro Lawn Mower?

If you connect the battery cable to the starter cable and then place a long screwdriver across the solenoid, the lawn mower will start. Mind your step. It’s typical for the connection to produce a spark.

There are other things to check if the solenoid isn’t getting enough electricity to turn on the starter. The battery and any frayed or rusty wires are examples of them.

If your Toro is clicking but won’t start, this article should shed some light on the possible causes.

Is Your Toro Lawnmower Still Giving You Trouble?

Owning a lawnmower that never breaks down would be fantastic, but that almost never happens. The longer you keep a mower, the more issues it will have no matter what brand it is.

I have included a list of symptoms, likely causes, and potential solutions to assist you diagnose and repair issues with your Toro mower. The Most Frequent Issues with Toro Mowers and How to Fix Them is a good resource.