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Repair guides and support for gas, electric, and human powered machines used to cut grass, whether push style, or ride-on.

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Why does my engine die when the blade is engaged?

I have an older Murray riding lawn mower. Whenever I engage the mower, the engine dies. Otherwise, it runs great.

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Will the blade turn by hand with the engine off?

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yes, and none of the scenarios below are problems. could the belt be on backwards?

the mower is warmed up, clutch all the way in, i've tried engaging in grass and on pavement to test and i'm not in reverse.

Thanks for the answering

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Possibly someone put the wrong size belt on which would cause binding as the deck moved. What is the model number on that, please? - more than likely you will find it on a metal plate under the seat. The only other thing I can think of is we had an older one that you had to have the transmission speed/gear set to park to engage the deck. There was also a safely switch for that. I forgot about that till now.

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There is a safety switch at the end of the cutter engage lever which has gone faulty and needs replacing, overiding the switch by keeping it pressed in will allow the mower to be operational till replacement switch is fitted.

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I have the same problem with my Murray mower, 1995. It was running fine and mowing fine. The belt slipped off. I drove it back up to the garage and put the belt back on. I was able to finish mowing but it started cutting out like it couldn't get fuel and back firing. I was able to finish though. That was a week ago. Now it runs fine but sputters, chokes out like it isn't getting fuel and dies. Won't mow at all now. The air filter is clean, the fuel filter is not that old about 3 months, gas new, blade turns freely by hand. It is not the failure to engage the clutch or seat dead switch (I've been using it since 1995). I did find a piece of string wrapped around the blade and shaft, but it was easy to remove and string was rotten. It still won't run with the blade engaged. Any thoughts? I could try buying another fuel filter?

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Please tell us more to help narrow down what the problem is.

1) It is not receiving enough gas or the motor isn't warmed up enough.

2) You are not pushing in on the clutch when engaging the blades/lowering the deck or not pushing in on the clutch far enough.

3) You are engaging the blades/lowering the deck some place that provides too much resistance to the blades turning - such as grass that needs cut.

4) There is something binding in the blade/deck belt path.

5) You are attempting to engage the blades/ lowering the deck while it is in reverse.

I ruled out the clutch safety switch since you are getting it started. I ruled out the safety switch that won't let the tractor run if the blades are engaged on grade with to much of a slope (since you said older). It should be one of the above or some combination of them. With the information you have given I can't narrow it down more than that.

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6) One of the numerous safety switches is faulty. When you move the engagement lever to engage the blades the movement of the engagement lever releases a switch with a plunger which is normally kept pushed in by the engagement lever. If this plunger switch is faulty or if it is connected to a faulty switch elsewhere, the connection to the spark plug is diverted to ground and with no ignition the engine will stop.

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My John Deere Sabre wouldn't start. I took the back right wheel off and found the safety switch for the neutral position, loosened the bolt and pushed the engage button closer and tightened. Started right up. Then I realized that he blades wouldn't engage unless the mower was in drive. The engine will shut right off if you try to put it in reverse with the blades engaged. Lot of troubleshooting without a manual....LOL

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You are not pushing in on the clutch when engaging the blades

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Soon as I Move the engagement level forward 1 inch or so it kills. Where could the problem be

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Sounds stupid, but check the fuse in the charging circuit in fuse panel. If blown or even partially melted., replace. Sometimes this will cause the problem.

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Just posting this in case someone has the same issue.

My mower would run fine without the blades engaged, but when I tried to cut grass i would lose power. I changed the plugs, oil & filter, fuel filter, blades and all that.

Come to find out, I checked one plug and it was dry and the other was wet with fuel. Started the mower and removed plug wire from where the wet plug was and there was no change....reconnected and then removed the other plug wire and the engine died.

So I removed the engine cover. (4) screws on top and (8) screws holding on the cover and the fuel line. I removed the ignition modules (2 bolts) that has the plug wire to the plug not firing. Sears had a new one for 75.00 + tax and shipping, or you can get a new one on amazon for 45.00 with free shipping. Runs perfect now!

I don't know if there is a way to test it to see if it is defective, but I think it was the obvious problem in my case.

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Thanks, fixed my problem.

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Shut off switch, dead mans switch, under the seat. It is not supposed to engage unless it detects weight on the seat. It comes undone or loose.

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This answer fixed my mower, thank you. Wire came off when I changed battery under the seat.

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harry lewisarrested in spartanburg south carolinia

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facebook stacey pearce

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I have a Dickson hydraulic zero turn. It runs but as soon as I turn the pto on it dies.. Please help!! Thanks

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It sounds like you have a loss of power when you put the extra load on the engine. A possible answer could be as simple as changing or cleaning the air filter. A dirty air filter will allow the engine to run but too rich. The clogged filter acts like another choke. But when the load is applied to the engine, it is too rich and so it dies. Make sure that you are running the engine at full throttle when you do engage the blades.

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My Murray 17.5 hp ohv briggs and stratton motor is bogging down when engaging blades and starts back firing. I can unengage the blades idle it back down and it smooths back out. Slowly increase gas and it idles back up and runs fine. Already pulled the carb and cleaned it out real good and still doing same thing. I adjusted the valves on it already too. Could this be what's causing the loss of power to the motor? Could I have over tighten or under tighten the valve adjustment?

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Need help with this!! My grass is getting outta control!!! Replaces spark plug and fuel filter and still everytime I start it and engage the blades it starts back firing NOT die. I can leave the blades engaged and it stays running but just keeps back firing. Once I unengage the blades I can idle it all the way down and the back firing stops and it smooths out and starts running fine again!!!

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I have a similar problem. Manual mower engagement works much smoother at half throttle but full throttle will die. Husqvarna with kohler courage 21 hp engine. 46" deck

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I've encountered two different problems that might be relevant with a Yardman HE 5135 Ride-on Tractor. First problem was electrical - I forget the details, but basically I had a short (worn wire touching earth) in the cutter deck wire feed that switches in when the deck is engaged. This dropped the voltage to the ignition down to zero (i.e. engine stopped). I had to disconnect faulty wire and bypass it.

Second problem was the very simple one of debris in the fuel tank getting stuck in the fuel line filter and starving the engine of fuel - the engine cut out when the extra load of the cutter deck was brought in. Solution: clean the fuel filter and remove any other debris upstream of it!

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I have a poulan 16.5 hp 42 inch cut the when engaged will not cut in tall or high grass it just dies shut off with the motor running. I have tried everything I know and it's still want cut what's wrong.

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Hi.

I have an Alko powerline ride on mower. Brigs & stratton engine.

I was in the middle of cutting my lawn and after emptying the grass box I tried engaging the blades to start again but the engine started cutting out and back firing. Even if I let the clutch out fully it would start to die.

Reading about this on sites like this I checked all the fuses and the safety switches on the Grass box - seat & break and they all seamed to have continuity. I rang an old guy near me that can fix anything and he told me it was the grass box safety switch.

I told him I checked them and they seamed fine but he just said " they can be temperamental"

Giving the fact he knows what he's talking about I changed it and it worked. So if you think the switches are ok, they might not be. My mower is working perfectly again. Replace safety switches first.

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I have a pyt9000 craftsman professional 26.5 hp 46 deck pulled it into garage from rain now pull pyt switch up tractor shuts down, removed deck same result so I'm thinking seat switch clutch ohm out at 4.0 any more ideas

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Check butterfly valve in carb.

Same issue. Idled ok. Died down when cutting deck engaged. Valve in carb had failed and wedged almost closed. Starving engine. Enough to run - not to cut properly.

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We had the same problem on a new Murray riding lawnmower (B&S engine) and we replaced just about everything we could think of i.e. fuel filter, etc. It turned out to be the carburetor fuel solenoid valve was sticking, so we replaced it. We believe the plunger was sticking causing it to malfunction, therefore the engine would cut out when the blades were engaged for a few minutes. The mechanic temporarily screwed a bolt in, until we received the new part. So far, so good. I'll update if this was not the problem.

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Always check your blade spindles and grease them every so many hours per manual. Pto clutches are a good place to go next. Electric things fail. I bought a husqvarna z4824 that had been sitting outside non running for about 3 years in rain and whatever the good Lord threw at it. Needless to say I started tearing down everything cleaning all contacts and changing solenoids and cleaned carb but wound up changing it. Have changed fuel lines all way to carb. Vacuum tube for fuel pump was corroded changed it. Spark plugs, wires, filters. Changed pto switch and ignition switch. Oh and new battery. Needless to say after hundred of dollars and hours of sweat and alot of words later still dies out when engaging blades unless I let it warm all the way up then engage blades at half throttle by shimmying the pto switch off and on a few times real quick until it runs. Also wont start without ether. I have also reset valve clearances with feeler gauge twice. Bout to cut my losses cause I have to cut my lawn.

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It was not particularly helpful for the fact the mower had not been sitting & it is an answer for someone who has non electric PTO

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Turned out to be a bad coil pack in my situation. My mower would do it hot or cold, just started it 1 day out of blue. Start & run fine, all power it world. Then engage blades (engine revved or not) & engine would start bogging down. Turn blades off, revs back up by self. All spindles loose & well greased w/moly grease as usual. Went through uel system, plugs & finally found w/infrared temp gauge R bank shutting down. Changed coil pack, all good. Changed other after that just to make sure good. Runs fine now. 12 yr old Simplicity Cobalt 61” ZTR w/non ICD deck & 27 hp Kohler Non/FI. Mows 6 acres a wk. Have a good day.

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