Third time is a charm

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The grass is growing again. That’s not a problem, until the lawnmower won’t start because of a rodent’s sharp teeth. 

When your mower is out of commission and you can’t solve the mystery behind it, the grass just keeps growing.

For the past three weeks I have dealt with that situation.

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Those three weekends to diagnose and repair the problem involved a lot of work that was for nothing in the end.

The first weekend involved charging the battery.

When that didn’t work by the second weekend a new solenoid was attempted based on professional advice.

Again, nothing. 

Unwilling to admit defeat, dismantling the ignition switch to look for wear or electrical damage and having the battery tested were the next steps taken in vain.

At that point, I threw in the towel until yet another weekend. Sometimes it’s best to step away from a project to look at it again with a fresh outlook.

Each time an attempt failed to get it running, the thought of bringing the mower to a repair shop crossed my mind.

But I knew I’d be disgruntled to have to pay a repair bill for something I was pretty sure I could fix myself.

On the third weekend I procured a tool to test the multitude of safety switches.

And if you’re not aware, there are a bunch of switches on a riding lawnmower to ensure you don’t cut off an arm or a leg.

It turns out that testing all of the switches paid off. As I removed parts to get to the last switch, I discovered the problem. A varmint took up residence in the mower and had a snack of insulated copper wire.

So, while I would have saved myself a lot of headache and time by bringing the mower to a professional, next time the mower decides to not start, I have a frame of reference that will help me diagnose the problem faster.