How To Fix Lawn Mower Engine Dies When Clutch Released?

Undoubtedly it will be frustrating when you are mowing and the mower engine dies when you release the clutch. You have tried to restart but in vain. You should fix the issue immediately to start your work. But if you are a newbie you might want to know how to fix lawn mower engine dies when clutch released. 

You may require to replace the safety switch or repair the wires if damaged. Remove the lawn mower seat, access the wire harness, repair wires if needed, and then check the seat switch. If there is no damage, test the switch with a multimeter to ensure the switch is okay.

Fixing the lawn mower clutch issue is not very complex. However, you need a detailed guideline to fix the problem perfectly. Keep reading this blog and learn the simple ways to fix the clutch issue.

How To Fix Lawn Mower Engine Dies When Clutch Released

Top Reasons why Mower Engine Dies When Clutch Released

Your lawn mower engine can die because of several reasons when you have released the clutch. Let’s know the 5 most common reasons. 

1. Breakage of the seat switch or disconnection of the switch

2. Dirt Air Filter

3. Dirty Carburetor

4. Low Engine oil

5. Bad Spark Plug

Solutions of the possible causes: lawn mower engine dies when clutch released

Problem 1: Breakage of the Seat Switch or Disconnection of the Switch

Most lawn mower models have a seat switch that works as a safety device. When no one is on the seat, it automatically stops the engine. 

If you quickly release the clutch, it may cause breakage of the seat switch or disconnection of the switch from the engine system. It also causes the engine to stall. So you will need to inquire about the seat switch and its connection to fix the issue. 

Solution 1: Troubleshooting the Faulty Seat Switch

Follow the simple steps below to fix the faulty seat switch that stops the lawn mower engine when the clutch is released. 

Things you will need:

  • Multimeter
  • Slot Screwdriver
  • Seat Witch (You will need it only if the seat switch is broken)
  • Hand Gloves

When buying a seat switch, we recommend you buy the same lawn mower model. Sometimes you can use other models or brands’ switches but make sure it will be compatible with your lawn mower.

The multimeter is to check the voltage; for accuracy, you have multiple choices to choose from. But we recommend the TekSky XL830L Digital Multimeter because it comes with all safety standards and ensures 100 percent accuracy.

6 Steps to follow- Troubleshooting the Problem

Step 1- Check the Seat Switch

First, pull up the seat; you can easily pull it by pressing the side handle. Once you have pulled the seat, check at its back; in the middle of the seat, you will see the seat switch.

Check the Seat Switch

Step 2- Get access to Seat Switch

You can see from the below picture that the seat switch is hidden. To check the switch thoroughly, you would need to remove the seat. Before accessing the seat switch, you need to check the wire harness. 

Get access to Seat Switch

Step 3- Check the Wire Harness

You have checked the wire harness, but you are not sure whether the wiring is fully plugged in or not. 

For detailed checking, remove the seat from the bracket. 

First, pull out the retaining bolt.

Then press the lawn mower seat adjustment and move the seat forward. Make sure it should be enough forward; it will make your job easier to access the harness system.

Next, take the slotted screwdriver and release the locking tab to remove the seat of the bracket.

While removing the seat, keep holding the adjustment lever against the seat bottom. It will keep the lever protected from falling down when you pull it.

Now you would be able to check the wire harness. Check the harness to inquire if it is loose or disconnected. If it is loose or disconnected, fix it. Hope the issue will be fixed.

If you see the wire harness is secured correctly, there is no issue. Now you should check the seat switch.

Step 4- Unplug the Wire Harness

Now gently remove the wire harness to get access to the seat switch. You need to rotate it a quarter and then pull it out.

Step 5- Inquire About the Seat Switch

Now thoroughly check the seat switch if it is broken. There is no solution except to replace it with the new one. But you do not see any damage with the switch; you would need to perform a switch check test.

Step 6- Test the Seat Switch with a Multimeter.

Now take the multimeter to check the resistance to ensure the seat switch is okay. Resistance should be 0 ohms. 

Press the switch plunger in and also keep holding the probes on those spades. Check the resistance on the multimeter; it should be infinite.

Then repeat the process but with outside spades. 

When you release the plunger, it should be 0 ohms.

With the pushed plungers, it should be infinite.

Have you checked the resistance, and your seat switch passed the test? It means the switch is okay, and there is an issue with the wire harness. 

Go back to check the wire harness system; if there is any damage to the wires, repair them or replace them if needed.

These tips would help you fix the riding lawn mower to return to the mowing job.

Problem 2- Dirty Air Filter

Your mower engine should be clean to ensure the protection of your mower engine. During mowing dirt and debris produced can damage your mower engine if entered into the engine. But the air filter protects air from entering the engine.

So, for the better health of your engine, air filters should be checked and cleaned regularly. Make it a habit to clean the air filter once a week for better performance.

Solution 2- Clean the Dirty Mower Air Filter:

Step 1- Off the Air Filter

Off the cover, on the top, you will find the air filter.  With a little pull, the air filter comes off.

Step 2- Wash off the Air Filter.

Now take soap and water, and then rinse the air filter under the freshwater. It would be good to use hot water to remove dirt and debris quickly.

Step 3- Squeeze the Air Filter.

Once washed, squeeze it and make sure it is properly clean. Cover it in a paper towel and squeeze it hard to ensure all the water has been removed.

Step 4- Dry it in the Sun.

Then let the filter dry in the sun, and leave it for a couple of hours.

Step 5- Soak in the Oil.

Soak the air filter in the oil. If you want to protect your hands, put it in the plastic bag, add a few ml of oil, and squeeze it hard. Make sure all the oil is absorbed in the air filter.  Then add a paper towel to the bag and squeeze it.

Step 6- Reinstall the Air Filter.

Then re-install the air filter in its place. You have done your job.

Problem 3- Dirty Carburetor

Stains and fuel deposits on the carburetor can affect its normal functioning. Your lawn mower carburetor should be clean to allow a proper combustion process. But if your carburetor is dirty, it may stall your lawn mower.

Solution 3: Troubleshooting a Lawn Mower Dirty Carburetor:

Step 1- Spray spark Plug Hole

First, check whether the spark plug is functioning or not. Take the starter fluid and start with spraying the spark plug hole. Once sprayed, then switch on the lawn mower.

Step 2- Remove the Air Filter.

Remove the air filter and clean it. If needed, replace it with the new air filter.

Step 3- Disconnect the Throttle.

Now take a screwdriver and unscrew the throttle bolts to disconnect it.

Step 4- Off the Carburetor

Once the throttle is removed, the carburetor from the throttle by unscrewing the bolts.

Step 5- Clean the Carburetor.

Now clean the carburetor, and remove all the dirt and grimes. Use scrubbers or screwdrivers to remove the dirt. Then clean it with a brush and oil. Make sure you have removed all the dirt and oil stains.

Related Post: 8 Common Lawn Mower Carburetor Problems (Fixes Included)

Step 6- Re-Assemble

Then reassemble the carburetor on the throttle, and then throttle on its place. Switch on your lawn mower to restart your lawn mowing task.

Problem 4- Low Engine Oil

Engine oil levels should be according to recommendations; otherwise, your lawn mower engine may experience overheating, seizing, and stalling problems. So, check the engine oil level and refill it up to the recommended level.

Solution 4: Check and Refill the Engine Oil:

Step 1- Park your Lawn Mower on a Flat Surface.

First, park your lawn mower on a flat surface, and wait until the oil level balances.

Step 2- Check the Oil Level.

Then remove the dipstick, clean it with a clean cloth, and insert it back to check the oil level. Oil should be between two holes on the bottom of the dipstick. If the oil is below the last hole, it needs refilling.

Step 3- Remove Oil

Turn the lawn mower on the dipstick’s side and place a baking sheet under the dipstick hole. Then remove the dipstick and take all the oil to the baking sheet.

Here you can find: how to clean oil out of a lawn mower engine.

Step 4- Refill the Oil.

Turn back the lawn mower straight and insert the recommended quantity of oil into the oil tank. Check the level and close the oil tank. It’s done.

Problem 5- Bad Sparking Plug

A bad sparking plug can also cause stalling of your lawn mower. Maybe there are no proper gaps or wires or not connected properly. It will stop supplying power to the engine, so your lawn mower will stop.

Solution 5: Troubleshooting the Bad Sparking Plug:

Step 1- Check the Spark Plug.

Take a wrench, attach it with a turning tool, and loosen the spark plug. Once removed, inspect the spark plug. The bad spark plug will be carbon covered and dark.

Step 2 – Clean the Spark Plug.

Take a clean brush and clean the spark plug with the brush. While cleaning the plug, also keep turning the plug. Once it is cleaned, check its gap. Take the gap measuring tool and check the gaps. It should be .020 to .030.

Step 3- Re-install the Spark Plug.

If the spark plug is cleaned, reinstall it as you removed it. But if you see it is still bad, replace it with a new spark plug.

Quick Checks- Lawn Mower Clutch is Bad

There is also the possibility that your lawn mower switch is bad. So here are some quick ways to check the clutch. To check the lawn mower clutch, you will also need the multimeter.

  • Battery Voltage

The first possible reason can be the bad battery. Maybe the battery is not supplying enough voltage to activate the solenoid. So, always ensure the battery has enough charging before starting a lawn mowing job.

  • Fuse

Maybe, clutch fuses are damaged and need replacement. Check if the fuses are burnt or damaged; replace them to establish a strong connection.

  • Solenoid Switch

The major switch that controls the clutch is Solenoid Switch. So check its voltage with the multimeter, and it should ensure 0 and Infinite resistance. If there is a problem, it needs replacement to supply power to the clutch for functioning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does my lawn mower die when I release the clutch?

Some possible reasons can be faulty safety switches, clogged fuel lines, bad fuel, or problematic wire harnesses. Sometimes when you mow thick or wet grass, it may also cause stalling of your lawn mower when the clutch is released.

Can I bypass the lawn mower clutch?

Yes, it is possible to bypass the lawn mower clutch. You would need to push down the clutch button to bypass it. Look below the mower under the clutch; you will find a button. Push that button down; the clutch mechanism will bypass.

How many amps could my lawn mower clutch draw?

The maximum amp draw should be approximately 4.0 amps. If the amps are more than the 4.0 amps, it means the coil is short. 
A faulty switch or battery can also cause the problem. You can protect it by keeping your clutch assembly free from debris.

What happens when my lawn mower clutch goes bad?

If your lawn mower clutch is bad, it will disengage the blades. A defective clutch also causes a loss of power to the engine. Ultimately, your lawn mower will stop working.

Final Verdict

We have guided you with simple step-by-step detail. It may help you quickly remove the issue and return to the mowing job

If you think that you are not perfect for this job, don’t try it by yourself. you better take professional help to save your time, money, and machine. 

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