You turn the ignition key to find the engine won’t turn over. You’re only hearing a clicking sound because the solenoid isn’t providing the power to engage the starter motor.
A Hustler mower clicks but won’t start or turn over due to a weak battery, bad ground, faulty starter solenoid, bad starter motor, or loose or corroded cables, wiring, or terminals.
Take all safety precautions listed in your Hustler operator’s manual. Consult a professional mechanic if you don’t feel comfortable working on your mower’s electrical system.
Reminder: Always disconnect the negative cable (black) from the battery before making any repairs to the electrical system.
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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.
5 Reasons Hustler Mower Clicks But Won’t Start or Turn Over
1. Damaged or Loose Battery Cables, Wiring & Terminals
With the constant vibration of the mower, the cables can become loose. Check the cable, wiring, and terminals before checking the condition of the battery.
Make sure the cables from the battery to the solenoid and from the solenoid to the starter motor are securely attached.
Check the terminals and connections for corrosion that can interfere with continuity. You’ll need to remove any corrosion buildup you find.
To reduce corrosion in the future, make sure your mower is dry before storing it in a dry location.
SOLUTION: Replace any cables or wiring that keep coming loose or are broken. Bad cables on your Hustler mower can contribute to a bad battery and starting issues.
Disconnect the battery from the mower and remove any components that have corrosion so you can clean them.
A wire brush and a baking soda mix consisting of 2 cups of water and 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda work well. Repair or replace any wiring that has signs of corrosion.
Add a dielectric grease to protect terminals and wiring from corrosion. Replace terminals when they are damaged or in bad condition.
2. Bad or Weak Battery
A weak battery may not provide enough power to turn over the engine to start it.
Check the battery voltage level. If it is low, place the battery on a battery charger to charge it. When you find the battery won’t hold a charge, it is bad and must be replaced.
If you find you are able to charge the battery but it just keeps dying, you may need to check the Hustler charging system. Refer to the charging system section near the end of the article.
Check the voltage of a Hustler lawn mower battery
Use a multimeter’s red and black prongs and touch them to the terminals of the same colors. Most batteries used on a Hustler mower are 12 volts.
On a 12-volt battery, you may get a voltage reading between 11.5 and 12.7. A battery that is almost dead will register closer to 11.5V while a battery that is fully charged will read 12.7V.
Charge a Husqvarna lawn mower battery
- Put on your safety gear so your eyes and skin are protected from acid or electrical shock.
- Get access to the battery and its terminals. You may need the screwdriver to uncover the lawn mower’s body to get access to the battery or battery casing.
- Leave the battery in its casing with the terminal cables attached.
- Connect the charging cables starting with the red cable first (The one with the positive sign on it)
- The red cable clamp goes onto the positive terminal, and the black cable clamp goes on the negative battery terminal.
- Make sure that your skin only touches the rubber coating of the charging cables and clamps.
- Set the charger’s voltage level and amp level to the desired level. The average volt level for a lawn mower is usually 12 volts. More amperage charges the battery faster (Start with two amps and work up to no more than 10 amps).
- If your charger has a battery charging gauge, keep the charger connected until the battery is fully charged.
SOLUTION: When the Hustler battery is weak, use a battery charger to charge it. If you find the battery will no longer hold a charge, it’s time to replace it with a new battery.
If the battery is able to be sufficiently charged using a battery charger, but you continually find it dead when you go to use your Hustler, you should look for a problem with the charging system.
3. Bad Ground
Check the black ground cable that runs from the battery to the frame on your Hustler. It must make good contact and be free of corrosion.
You also need to check the ground from the solenoid. A 3-post solenoid is self-grounded.
SOLUTION: Replace a damaged ground cable. Remove any corrosion found for the grounds from the battery and the starter solenoid.
4. Bad Starter Solenoid
After you have confirmed the battery, cables, and connections are in good condition, move on to checking the starter solenoid. This is often the problem when you hear a clicking or humming sound and your mower doesn’t start.
The solenoid acts like an on-off switch. It is an electromagnet switch that is actuated to engage the starter motor so the engine will turn over.
Most starter solenoids are mounted on the starter. However, they do not have to be to still work. Follow the positive wire from the battery to find the solenoid.
There are many reasons why a Hustler starter solenoid can go bad. The internal spring can become weak or the copper plate can start to corrode.
A bad ground, weak starter, or bad battery can also result in the starter solenoid failing.
SOLUTION: Test your starter solenoid. You’ll need a volt-ohms meter, screwdriver, continuity light, and some wrenches.
Click here to find instructions on troubleshooting your Hustler starter solenoid. If you are able to start your mower by bypassing the solenoid, it must be replaced.
5. Bad Starter Motor
If you’ve checked the battery, cables, wiring, ground, and starter solenoid only to find them in good condition, but still have a starting problem, your starter may be the problem. The starter can be removed and tested.
SOLUTION: A starter can be a pricey item on a lawn mower. I advise having your local dealership confirm you have a starter motor problem before you replace it.
You can also bring the starter to a local repair shop that specializes in starter and alternator repairs to have the starter tested.
Bad Hustler Charging System Drains the Battery
A bad charging system on a Hustler mower will not keep your battery charged and in turn cause a weak battery to not start your mower.
Perform the steps provided here to check the charging system using a volt-ohms meter.
If you find your Hustler lawn mower is no longer charging the battery, I recommend having a mechanic familiar with your charging system perform further tests and necessary repairs.
Troubleshooting the exact cause of a charging system can be quite difficult.
If you’re not familiar with the charging system, you will probably just end up throwing parts at your mower.
This can get very expensive, especially since if you get it wrong, you can’t return an electrical part. You could be looking at a bad stator/alternator, regulator, or other electrical problem.