How to Replace the Starter Motor on a Riding Lawn Mower



This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the starter motor on a riding lawn mower. The starter motor spins the flywheel to start the engine when you turn the start key. If you hear the starter solenoid click but don’t hear the starter motor run, watch this riding mower troubleshooting video to help you diagnose the problem. If the starter motor doesn't spin when you turn the key, install a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Replace the starter motor on Craftsman, Husqvarna, MTD, Troybilt, Murray, Poulan, Ariens, Snapper, Murray and John Deere lawn tractors and riding mowers using the steps in this repair guide and video.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Starter motor

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

Tools required

  • Wrench set
  • Nut driver set
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Let the engine cool.

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

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable 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 or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to Replace the Starter Motor on 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 starter motor

Remove the lower dash fastener and pull off the lower dash.

Remove the starter motor wire mounting nut and pull off the starter motor wire.

Remove the starter motor mounting bolts. A wire retainer comes off when you remove the left bolt.

Pull off the starter motor.

Step 4: Install the new starter motor

Position the new starter motor on the engine and attach it with the right mounting bolt.

Position the wire retainer and the left bolt and then route the wires through the retainer. Install and tighten the left mounting bolt.

Attach the starter motor wire and connect it with the mounting nut.

Reinstall the lower dash and secure it with the fastener.

Step 5: Reinstall the engine blower housing

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

Reinstall the blower housing mounting bolts.

Reinstall the air filter housing screw.

Reinstall the air filter and air filter cover.

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

Lower the tractor hood.

 Tip: The rear blower housing bolts are longer than the front ones.

Step 6: Reconnect the battery

Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal.

Lower the seat.