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How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

An improperly routed belt can cause the engine to die when the blades are engaged. To check belt routing, lower the deck to its lowest setting and remove the belt guard by the drive pulley. Next, lift the belt over the pulley and remove the pins that support the deck at the rear.
Check that all the safety switches are working correctly, it is possible the seat switch is bad or loose plug/ bad wire. Also if battery weak or charging system weak/faulty the clutch will stall out engine, charge battery up with charger and try.
What`s happening? This is a normal function of the seat safety switch. With the blades engaged, weight from the operator allows the seat safety switch to keep the engine running.
This is most likely a safety switch issue. Usually the seat safety switch will cause this problem. The mower dies because it thinks nobody is sitting in the seat, and shuts off for safety reasons.
If you find that your lawnmower keeps dying, or keeps stalling while cutting grass, then inspect the spark plugs. Look for signs of damage or wear. Something as simple as a cracked porcelain insulator can mean an electrode has been damaged or burned away.
Mower blades are spinning 4000 RPMs. An unbalanced blade spinning that fast will cause a significant amount of vibration, which will put stress on yout blade shaft, spindle, and even the engine.
A Dirty Carburetor Can Cause a Lawnmower To Start Then Die

By far, the most common issue that causes a stalled motor is a dirty carburetor. The carburetor on your engine is the thing that draws in air and mixes it with the fuel. Contrary to what the movies might make you think, gasoline itself is not very flammable.

A clogged carburetor is most commonly caused by leaving fuel in the lawn mower for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel may evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and cause the engine to stall.
If your riding lawn mower engine dies when you release the brake, there`s a good chance the mower`s seat switch is broken or unplugged. The seat switch stops the engine when it doesn`t detect an operator sitting on the seat to prevent the mower from moving without a driver.
Over time, a spark plug will wear out. Eventually, the spark will no longer be powerful enough to fully ignite the air and fuel. You are likely to notice power loss including bogging down when cutting grass because of a worn spark plug. Removing and replacing a spark plug is easy.
A clogged carburetor is most commonly caused by leaving fuel in the lawn mower for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel may evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and cause the engine to stall.
A bad spark plug often causes an engine cylinder to misfire or sound like it`s struggling. The engine might even stall out completely while you are mowing. You may also notice that it becomes increasingly more difficult to restart the mower each time that it dies.
Powershift PTO engagement problems could be from blocked hoses or fittings, bad connections or ground or the solenoid. Mechanical PTO engagement problems could originate from low air pressure, improper cable installation or back lash too tight.
Loose, Dirty or Disconnected Spark Plug in Your Lawn Mower: Check it out, clean off debris, re-connect and tighten. Dirty Air Filter: Clean or replace. Fuel Not Reaching the Engine: Tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas. If this doesn`t work, you might need a new fuel filter.
If the PTO clutch is not getting power, if the clutch solenoid is defective, or if the clutch is worn out, the lawn mower blades will not engage. The PTO clutch is not repairable—if the clutch is defective, you must replace it. Need help finding your model number? The PTO switch provides power to the PTO clutch.
Loose, Dirty or Disconnected Spark Plug in Your Lawn Mower: Check it out, clean off debris, re-connect and tighten. Dirty Air Filter: Clean or replace. Fuel Not Reaching the Engine: Tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas. If this doesn`t work, you might need a new fuel filter.
(1) The blades should always be turned on at full throttle if the mower has a electric P.T.O. switch.

Discover Relevant Questions and Answers for Your Specific Issue

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

I would like to replace the mulching blades on my Sears Craftsman riding mower with regular cutting blades. I can find plenty of sources for new mulching blades, but not cutting blades. My mower is a model 917.259541 tractor and the blades currently on it are part #134149. I want to make sure I get the right size to replace them. Also, is there a source for a bagging system for this mower, that won’t cost as much as one from Sears?
ANSWER : The straight blade for the 42 inch mower is 138971.They cut better and are easier to sharpen and you will need them if you use a gass catcher. If you do not want to use sears for parts you may be able to find good deals on ebay.

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Sears Riding Mower stops running when the blade is engaged
ANSWER : Check the deadman sensor under or in the seat. if it don’t “see” you on the seat then the mower will shut down. good luck and hope this helps

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How do you remove the ignition coil? I can remove the bolt quite easily, but how do you remove the post which secures the other end of the coil?
ANSWER : Would of been very helpful if you would of mentioned the engine you are working on… model/serial numbers would of been even better !!!

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MODEL # 12AVB29Q711 I NEED TO KNOW THE ALL THE GASKETS LINE UP INCLUDING METAL SPACER FROM CARBURETOR TO INTAKE THEY FELL OUT NOW NOT SURE WHAT GOES WHERE.
ANSWER : That is the serial number for the mower,what engine is it???

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Blades wont engage
ANSWER : Hello Again codyshelby:

Did you Jumper the Harness at the Seat Switch? Every Indication that I See Written, Says the Seat Safety Switch is Bad.
There May be a Relay that is Bad Also. Some Sears Units have 3 Relays Under the Seat Attached to the Frame. Switch the Middle Relay with 1 of the Outer Relays and try the Unit.
Make Sure the Seat Harness Wires are Not Broken or Bare.
Please, Do Not Hesitate, If you Hit a Snag or this Does Not Correct the Problem, I am Here if You Require More Assistance. Hope this Helps. Let me Know What Happens, Please. As Always, May the All Mighty Bless You and Yours. Be Safe and Be Happy. Thanks.
Good Luck
Respectfully
jbridger (John)

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19.5 hp twin craftsman serial number 917259560 turn key nothing happens battery new, switch uner seat in ok position
ANSWER : Check that the blades are not engaged. If they are not engaged and you still have nothing, check battery cables tight. Then check the starting solinoid. If you have any questions on how to do this or other related, just reply.

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Where do I find model number on the mantis tiller
ANSWER : There should be a sticker with all the info right below the starter rope. You will see a serial # and maybe a family #, and the Model # should be on there too.Good Luck!Jim

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The edger is not cutting very well. Any tips to make it work better?
ANSWER : You said cutting, not running, so I suggest removing the blade and sharpening on a grinder or buying a replacement blade.I hope you find this very helpful.

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