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Craftsman Lawn tractormodel #917271820

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My riding lawn mower will not stay running.

I have a Craftsman Automatic Lawn Tractor, model #917.271820, and when I start it and release the clutch the motor stops running. And if I mash the clutch back in and start the motor again and try to engage the blades the motor cuts off again. I need assistance so I can finish cutting the grass.

Posted March 16, 2012


James, March 16, 2012

spring is finally here and here comes the grass. it is always a little frustrating when a lawn tool starts acting up on us. i'm sorry to hear that you are having some issues with your craftsman riding tractor. i did some research at managemylife website and found an expert answer to a similar question that may help until your expert can respond. i have attached the link below so you can check it out. if you do decide to schedule service and have a qualified technician assist you, i have attached a link to searshomeservices.com. i hope the links below will help

Mark T , March 17, 2012

thank you for your question.

your tractor uses an operator presence (seat) switch that will cause engine to stall if blades are engaged or the brake is released without anyone on the seat. if ample amount of weight is not kept on the seat during operation or the operator is leaning forward the tractor will stall because the operator presence (seat) switch senses that the operator is not completely on the seat.

to check operator presence (seat) switch:

  1. lift seat.
  2. locate wires that connect to operator presence (seat) switch under the seat.
  3. disconnect and clean any debris in the switch connector. use an ohmmeter to check the switch. when the switch is not pushed, the reading should be 0 ohms (closed). when pushed it should read ol ( open load )
  4. make sure the connector is fully seated on the seat switch. the connector is a special connector that will short the two wires if it is not fully seated.

i hope this is helpful.

please click on the following link to order the parts you need. sears parts direct

if you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a sears technician. here is a link for the website: sears home services .

please let me know if you need further assistance.

thank you for using mange my life.

mark t.

william, July 30, 2012

i have a craftsman automatic lawn tractor, model #917.271820, and i have the same issue as this person and the operator present switch was disconnected by a service tect two year ago, however the mower is now doing the same as this person is stating above without a operator presnt switch. there must be some other issue that causes the mowor not to continue running when the pto and/ or the pedal clutch is released. plese help

Mark T , July 31, 2012

thank you for you question.

i am sorry you are having a problem with the tractor. i am not sure how the seat switch was bypassed. if some one just tapped, the switch down it could have come loose or the connector might have come loose. i recommend checking this area first. the reason i mention this is the only way to truly bypassing the switch is by cutting wires. if they have been cut please let me know where they were cut and it they are tied together or not. if it is bypassed, i recommend tracing the wire from the seat switch to the brake switch. the wire has to be touching ground along the line.

i hope this is helpful. please let me know if you need further assistance.

thank you for using manage my life.

mark t.


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