When you can’t get your mower to crank, it’s time to look for items that can prevent the starter motor from turning over the engine.
A Walker mower won’t turn over or crank due to a weak battery, loose or corroded cables, a blown fuse, a bad safety switch, a faulty starter solenoid, or a bad starter motor.
Always remove the black negative battery cable before you begin repairing the electrical system. Follow all safety precautions found in the Walker operator’s manual to prevent injury.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Why Your Walker Mower Won’t Turn Over or Crank
Weak or Bad Battery
A weak battery won’t provide enough power to the solenoid to energize the starter and turn over the engine.
Keep the battery at a charged level especially in cold weather because a battery can freeze and become damaged when it isn’t fully charged.
SOLUTION: Test the battery using the steps in the article 5 Things That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Battery.
Charging a Walker Mower Battery
Use a battery charger to charge your 12-volt battery. Before you continue, wear protective gear to protect your eyes and skin from electrical shock. Follow these steps to charge your lawn mower battery with a charger:
- Access the battery and terminals. You may need to use a screwdriver to uncover the battery. Do not remove the battery from the casing.
- Connect the charging cables beginning with the positive cable first. This is the red cable or the one with the plus sign. Place the cable on the positive battery terminal.
- Attach the negative cable to the negative battery terminal. This is the black cable or the one with the negative sign.
- Do not touch anything that doesn’t have a rubber coating to prevent electrocution.
- Set the charger’s voltage and amperage level to the desired level. The average volt level for lawn mower batteries is usually 12 volts. More amperage charges the battery faster. Start with two amps and work up to no more than 10 amps. A slow charge is best.
A new battery must be purchased when the battery doesn’t hold a charge.
Loose or Wires and Connections
After you confirm the battery is in good condition and fully charged, it’s time to look at the cables and its connections. It is not uncommon for wiring and cables to come loose.
The mower’s vibration from the engine and bouncing over uneven ground can cause cables, wiring, and connections to become loose.
SOLUTION: Make sure the connections are secure and there is no corrosion buildup that can cause a break in continuity. Moisture on connections can cause connections and terminals to begin to corrode.
Try to remove this corrosion using a small wire brush and a baking soda solution (2 cups water to 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda). Disconnect the battery and remove the components before cleaning them.
Replace the terminals or components if the corrosion is severe and you are unable to sufficiently clean them.
A fuse is installed to protect the electrical system. Check the mower to make sure you don’t have a blown fuse.
If you’re unsure if the fuse is blown, you can check it by placing a multimeter probe on each prong of the fuse to measure resistance.
A resistance reading near 0 means your fuse is good. An infinity resistance reading indicates a bad fuse.
SOLUTION: Replace a blown fuse with the same amperage as the fuse you are replacing. If you continue to blow fuses, you should bring your Walker to your lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop to troubleshoot the root cause.
Bad Ignition Switch
The ignition key switch can be the culprit if you insert the key and turn it to find nothing happens. Your Walker will fail to turn over and start.
SOLUTION: Check the switch using a multimeter to check continuity to determine if the ignition switch is the problem. To do this, look for the prongs mark B for Battery and S for Starter Solenoid.
Insert the key and turn it to the start position. With the multimeter set to measure resistance, touch one probe to the B prong and the other probe to the S prong.
A good ignition key switch will measure resistance near 0 ohms. A bad ignition key switch will measure infinite resistance and will need to be replaced.
Bad Safety Switch
Your Walker has an operator presence control system installed to keep you safe. A safety switch can be defective and cause your Walker to fail to turn over.
SOLUTION: Test your switch using a multimeter. You can also temporarily bypass the safety switch to identify a bad switch but only do this for troubleshooting purposes.
Never operate a mower without the safety switch. Never run a mower when a safety switch is bypassed. A safety switch can save you from serious injury and you never know when you’re going to need it.
Replace a bad safety switch.
Bad Starter Solenoid
A starter solenoid is an electromagnetic switch that, when engaged, initiates the starter motor to turn over your Walker’s engine.
The starter solenoid can go bad when the spring becomes weak or the copper plate begins to corrode. A weak starter, bad battery, or bad ground can also cause the solenoid to fail.
SOLUTION: Before you test your starter solenoid, you must have a fully charged battery. Continue testing the solenoid by using the steps to diagnose a bad starter solenoid in this guide.
Bad Starter Motor
Once you have ruled out the battery, cables, wiring, ground, and starter solenoid as being the reason your Walker won’t turn over, it’s time to look at the starter. The starter can be removed and tested.
I recommend having your local repair shop that specializes in starter and alternator repairs test your starter and rebuild it if possible before just throwing a pricey new starter at your Walker mower.