When your lawn mower won’t start and the engine won’t turn over, begin looking for the cause by identifying and checking items that will keep the starter motor from getting power.
A Snapper lawn mower won’t turn over or crank when the battery is weak, the wiring and components are loose or corroded, the fuse is blown, the ignition switch is bad, the safety switch is faulty, the starter solenoid is bad, or the starter motor is bad.
Before making repairs to the electrical system, remove the black negative cable from the battery. Reduce injury by taking safety precautions. You can find a list of risks and precautions in your Snapper operator’s manual.
This post may include affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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 Snapper Mower Won’t Turn Over
Dead or Bad Battery
When your Snapper’s battery is weak, it won’t provide the power needed to turn over the engine.
To extend the life of a battery, you should keep it fully charged. This is very important when storing the lawn mower and battery. A battery that is not fully charged and stored in cold weather can freeze damaging the battery.
Test your battery using the steps in the article “5 Things That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Battery”.
Charging a 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.
If the battery fails to hold a charge it must be replaced with a new battery. You can purchase a new battery at your location lawn mower dealership, hardware store, or automotive store.
Bring your old battery with you. Most places will charge you a core fee unless you provide them with your old battery.
Loose or Wires and Connections
The wiring and electrical components can shake loose from the vibration of the Snapper mower. Inspect these items and ensure they are securely attached making good connections.
Look for corrosion buildup due to moisture on the components. Corrosion can affect continuity and needs to be removed.
To clean the components, first, remove the battery cables. Next, remove the corrosion using a wire brush and a baking soda solution (2 cups water to 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda).
Replace the terminals or other components if you aren’t able to get them clean.
A fuse is installed to protect your Snapper’s electrical system from things like a surge in power or a short.
Check your 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.
Replace a blown fuse with the same amperage as the fuse you are replacing. If you continue to blow fuses, you should bring your Snapper 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 Snapper will fail to turn over and start.
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 Snapper has an operator presence control system installed to keep you safe. A safety switch can be defective and cause your Snapper to fail to turn over.
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.
Bad Starter Solenoid
A starter solenoid is an electromagnetic switch that, when engaged, initiates the starter motor to turn over your Snapper mower’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.
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.
Bad Starter Motor
Once you have ruled out the battery, cables, wiring, ground, and starter solenoid as being the reason your Snapper 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 Snapper mower.
Still Experiencing Problems with Your Snapper Lawn Mower?
Own a lawn mower long enough, you’ll start running into problems with it starting, not continuing to run, smoking, leaking gas, giving a bad cut, vibrating, or another issue.
To help you save time and money, I have put together a guide to help you troubleshoot the next problem that develops on your Snapper mower.
You can find this guide at Common Snapper Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.
If you are unsure how to perform diagnostics and repairs on your lawn mower safely, it’s best to have a professional complete the repairs.
This will help you avoid personal injury or additional damage to the mower. Your local Snapper lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop will be able to help you solve your problem.