Lawn mower will only crank but not start and only when hooked up to cables

Hi everyone, I have a Craftsman limited edition vts riding mower that had continuously had problems. Here's my current problem: the last time the mower ran successfully was two weeks ago. Fast forward to today, I'm a knuckle head and left the key on so the battery was dead. I jump started it and it started and ran just fine, then I shut it down to hook up my aerator. I get on and it won't start again like the battery is dead, so I hook it back up to the cables and now it will only crank and crank and crank but never start. What possibly could've gone wrong in the 5 minutes it wasn't on? Thanks in advance!

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@mower_dud besides a totally discharged battery check to ensure that you have enough fuel and that your mower gets fuel to the engine.


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@mower_dud, Christian, Your battery is probably faulty and needs replaced, some of the auto parts suppliers offer free battery testing like Pepboys, Nappa, Advanced auto parts,etc., and can give you a report on battery condition. If turning over, the engine needs 3 things to run(fuel, spark and compression), could be something as simple as a bad fuel or spark plug or bigger issue like a sheared flywheel key throwing timing for a loop. You will have to remove spark plug and see if you are getting spark. If you are getting spark then you will have to move on to see if you are getting fuel(quick check), pour a ounce of fuel directly in carburetor and if it starts/runs for a few seconds it has a fuel issue. Links below may help trouble shoot your issue. Good luck. I hope this helped you out, if so let me know by pressing the helpful button.

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