How to Replace a Riding Lawn Mower Ignition Coil



This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the ignition coil on a riding lawn mower. The ignition coil produces the energy that creates the spark at the spark plug. Use a spark plug tester to check for spark when you turn the key. If not, it's likely the ignition coil isn't working. Replace a failed ignition coil using a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use these steps to replace the ignition coil on Briggs & Stratton engines that power Craftsman, Husqvarna, Toro, MTD, Troybilt, Murray, John Deere, Snapper, Ariens, Poulan and Weed Eater riding mowers and lawn tractors.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Ignition coil

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Wrench set
  • Feeler gauges
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake.

Let the engine cool.

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs to power lawn-care equipment can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to Replace an Ignition Coil in a Riding Lawn Mower

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.

Lift the seat.

Remove the bolt connecting the negative cable to the battery and tuck the cable away from the battery so it doesn't touch the battery post.

Step 2: Remove the engine blower housing

Lift the tractor hood.

Remove the air duct mounting screws and pull off the air duct.

Turn each air filter cover retaining knob counterclockwise and pull off the air filter cover.

Remove the air filter.

Remove the air filter housing screw.

Remove the front and rear blower housing mounting bolts and lift off the blower housing.

Step 3: Remove the old ignition coil

Disconnect the spark plug wire and pull it out of the engine bracket.

Turn the flywheel so the magnet points away from the ignition coil.

Remove the ignition coil mounting screws.

Lift the ignition coil and disconnect the kill wire.

Remove the ignition coil.

Step 4: Install the new ignition coil

Transfer the spark plug boot from the old ignition coil to the new one.

Connect the kill wire to the new ignition coil.

Position the new ignition coil on the engine and loosely install the 2 mounting screws.

Pull the coil away from the flywheel and tighten the mounting screws.

Turn the flywheel so the magnet aligns with the ignition coil. 

Step 5: Set the ignition coil air gap

Insert the feeler gauge. The correct size for most engines is 0.011-inches.

While holding the feeler gauge in position, loosen the mounting screws to allow the magnet to pull the coil to it.

Tighten the mounting screws.

Turn the flywheel by hand and remove the feeler gauge.

Route the spark plug wire through the engine bracket.

Connect the wire to the spark plug.

Step 6: Reinstall the engine blower housing

Position the blower housing on the engine and align the air diverter in the housing.

Install the blower housing mounting bolts.

Install the air filter housing screw.

Install the air filter and air filter cover.

Install the air duct and attach it with the mounting screws.

Lower the tractor hood.

Step 7: Reconnect the battery

Install the air filter and air filter cover. Reattach the spark plug wire.