How to Replace the Starter Solenoid on a Riding Lawn Mower



This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the starter solenoid on a riding lawn mower. When you turn the ignition key to the start position, the starter solenoid sends current to the starter. If you don’t hear the internal solenoid contact click when you turn the key, replace the solenoid because it's not working. Replace the starter solenoid with a manufacturer-approved replacement part using the steps in this guide.

This repair procedure works for common Craftsman, MTD, Troybilt, Toro, Husqvarna, Murray, Cub Cadet and Ariens riding mowers and lawn tractors.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 30 min.

Parts Required

  • Starter solenoid

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

Tools Required

  • Wrench set
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

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 a Starter Solenoid on a Riding Lawn Mower

Step 1: Remove the battery

Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.

Lift the seat.

Remove the bolt connecting the negative cable to the battery.

Lift the insulating cover and remove the bolt connecting the positive cable to the battery.

Lift the battery out of the battery box.

Step 2: Remove the battery box

Release the seat switch wire harness clip from the seat bracket to create slack in the harness.

Release retaining tabs and lift the battery box out of the mower body.

Set the box on the fender.

Step 3: Remove the starter solenoid

Note the location of wires connected to the starter solenoid.

Remove the mounting nuts from the terminal posts and pull the wires from the posts.

Pull the wires from the coil spades.

Remove the starter solenoid mounting bolt from the mower frame.

Rotate the starter solenoid forward and pull it out of the mower.

 Tip: Take a photo of the connections, to help you reconnect them correctly.

Step 4: Install the new starter solenoid

Transfer the mounting clip from the old starter solenoid to the new one.

Position the new starter solenoid on the frame and install the mounting bolt.

Connect the wires to the coil spades.

Install the wires on the terminal posts, connecting them with the mounting nuts.

Step 5: Reinstall the battery box

Position the battery box in the opening and align the wire harness and battery cables.

Lower the battery box into the mower body and engage the retaining tabs.

Reconnect the seat switch wire harness clip to the seat bracket.

Step 6: Reinstall the battery

Lower the battery into the battery box.

With the insulating cover positioned on the cable, reconnect the positive battery cable to the positive battery terminal.

Reconnect the negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal.

Lower the seat.