Lawn Mower

Repair guides and support for gas, electric, and human powered machines used to cut grass, whether push style, or ride-on.

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Why does my engine die when the blade is engaged?

I have an older Murray riding lawn mower, whenever I engage the mower the engine dies, otherwise it runs great.

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Will the blade turn by hand with the engine off?

by mayer

yes, and none of the scenarios below are problems. could the belt be on backwards? the mower is warmed up, clutch all the way in, i've tried engaging in grass and on pavement to test and i'm not in reverse. Thanks for the answering

by Debby

Possibly someone put the wrong size belt on which would cause binding as the deck moved. What is the model number on that, please? - more than likely you will find it on a metal plate under the seat. The only other thing I can think of is we had an older one that you had to have the transmission speed/gear set to park to engage the deck. There was also a safely switch for that. I forgot about that till now.

by ABCellars

There is a safety switch at the end of the cutter engage lever which has gone faulty and needs replacing, overiding the switch by keeping it pressed in will allow the mower to be operational till replacement switch is fitted.

by John

I have the same problem with my Murray mower, 1995. It was running fine and mowing fine. The belt slipped off. I drove it back up to the garage and put the belt back on. I was able to finish mowing but it started cutting out like it couldn't get fuel and back firing. I was able to finish though. That was a week ago. Now it runs fine but sputters, chokes out like it isn't getting fuel and dies. Won't mow at all now. The air filter is clean, the fuel filter is not that old about 3 months, gas new, blade turns freely by hand. It is not the failure to engage the clutch or seat dead switch (I've been using it since 1995). I did find a piece of string wrapped around the blade and shaft, but it was easy to remove and string was rotten. It still won't run with the blade engaged. Any thoughts? I could try buying another fuel filter?

by murray woman

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Please tell us more to help narrow down what the problem is.

1) It is not receiving enough gas or the motor isn't warmed up enough.

2) You are not pushing in on the clutch when engaging the blades/lowering the deck or not pushing in on the clutch far enough.

3) You are engaging the blades/lowering the deck some place that provides too much resistance to the blades turning - such as grass that needs cut.

4) There is something binding in the blade/deck belt path.

5) You are attempting to engage the blades/ lowering the deck while it is in reverse.

I ruled out the clutch safety switch since you are getting it started. I ruled out the safety switch that won't let the tractor run if the blades are engaged on grade with to much of a slope (since you said older). It should be one of the above or some combination of them. With the information you have given I can't narrow it down more than that.

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6) One of the numerous safety switches is faulty. When you move the engagement lever to engage the blades the movement of the engagement lever releases a switch with a plunger which is normally kept pushed in by the engagement lever. If this plunger switch is faulty or if it is connected to a faulty switch elsewhere, the connection to the spark plug is diverted to ground and with no ignition the engine will stop.

by David Bason

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Shut off switch, dead mans switch, under the seat. It is not supposed to engage unless it detects weight on the seat. It comes undone or loose.

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This answer fixed my mower, thank you. Wire came off when I changed battery under the seat.

by ken mitchell

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It sounds like you have a loss of power when you put the extra load on the engine. A possible answer could be as simple as changing or cleaning the air filter. A dirty air filter will allow the engine to run but too rich. The clogged filter acts like another choke. But when the load is applied to the engine, it is too rich and so it dies. Make sure that you are running the engine at full throttle when you do engage the blades.

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My dr feild brush mower ...cuts off when I engage the blades.... It is the large pro model with electric start... It runs fine until blades are engaged.... It shuts off and then will not start

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I have a Lawn-Boy mower and it is notorious for this problem. The engine starts as normal but engaging the blade kills it. Spark plug good. Air filter new. Fuel new. Blade turns by hand from underneath (with engine off). I've had it serviced once before and they managed to get it running but they don't exactly know what they did (other than taking the engine apart and re-assembling it). Stay away from Lawn-Boy mowers... expensive and extremely high maintenance. I miss my lawn mower from the 1970's...

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My Huskee only shut off once I put it in drive with the blade engage

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Okay, so what mower is it exactly, besides a Huskee?

by oldturkey03

18.5 twin riding mower

by shuntyreka oshburn

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My Troy-bilt just started this (Shut off once I engage the blade), after my friend not knowing mix the gas with a smail amount of water. I removed the gas from the tank and put new gas in, but still doing the same. Keith

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i also having trouble with my MTD ridding lawn tractor, blades are good belts good no binding. it has a manuaal cluch but when i engage the pto the motor stops! if you have the ansure please let me know

by Charlie Raymond

Lots of good answers above, as well as lots of reasons why the motor would stop. I had the same issue with my old craftsman 2 different times, two different reasons. First time it was as simple as a bad fuse. Second time, I noticed it only stopped when the front wheels were turned. Really weird! Yet, after hours of trouble shooting Again, another simple over looked fix! (Lawn tractors have a way of making you feel really stupid as the grass keeps getting taller!) The PTO wire was being pinched between the steering and brake arms. It would also cause the fuse to blow on occasion, if I had the wheel turned all the way. A simple zip tie holding up the wire did the job! I was head strong and ignored a simple suggestion back then, "Start with the basics. Follow the wiring." That was from my dad, I should have listened! I started with the battery, ck all wiring. Good Luck!

by Karen Clark

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hi. my murray,does feel a lots of weight on the deck,it shuts off while you are engaging the blades. ( filter clean,rich gas,belt clean blade turn free when you turned by hand,) you think it could be related to shafts or wheel barrels from pullies, there is some fuses to command the blade engagments causing the engine to shut off????? I do not think that there is any fuses

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My 2008 crafstman 18.5 rider keeps cutting out like it wants to stal then dies as if its not getting gas or something and it also stals when the blades are engaged plese help thanks.

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It is always best to ask your own question, so you get the prompt, individual attention to your specific issue/problem. If you have done the the normal maintenance on this, including replacing the fuel filter, I'd check to see if the intake manifold bolts have become loose, allowing too much air in the mixture.

by ABCellars

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I have a Scott's lawn tractor model S2046. When the blades are engaged or when the clutch is engaged the motor shuts down. Please help,

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Debby will be eternally grateful.

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