How to Test a Lawn Mower Starter Motor: Expert Troubleshooting Guide

To test a lawn mower starter motor, disconnect the spark plug wire and assess the battery. Clean and inspect the connections, and check for any visible damage or corrosion.

The starter motor is crucial for the proper functioning of a lawn mower, as it initiates the engine’s operation. When the starter motor malfunctions, it can disrupt the starting process. This can lead to frustration and inconvenience for the mower’s owner.

Regular testing of the starter motor is essential to ensure that it is in good working condition. By following some simple steps, you can effectively test your lawn mower’s starter motor and identify any issues that may be hindering its performance. This guide will provide you with the necessary steps to test your lawn mower starter motor accurately and efficiently.

Essential Tools And Precautions

Before testing a lawn mower starter motor, it’s important to gather the essential tools and take the necessary precautions to ensure safety and accuracy. In this section, we’ll discuss the required safety gear and the use of a multimeter for testing the starter motor.

Safety Gear

When working with power equipment such as lawn mower starter motors, it’s vital to prioritize safety. Utilizing the following safety gear can prevent accidents and injuries:

  • Protective Eyewear: Safety goggles or glasses protect the eyes from debris and sparks.
  • Gloves: Wear gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges and electrical hazards.
  • Work Boots: Sturdy, closed-toe shoes provide foot protection in case heavy objects fall.
  • Ear Protection: Earplugs or earmuffs can safeguard against loud noises during testing.


A multimeter is an essential tool for testing the functionality of a lawn mower starter motor. This versatile device measures various electrical properties and can help diagnose the motor’s condition. When using a multimeter, follow these guidelines:

  1. Set to DC Voltage: Ensure the multimeter is set to measure direct current (DC) voltage for accurate readings.
  2. Probe Placement: Use the multimeter probes to connect to the starter motor’s terminals, following the manufacturer’s specifications.
  3. Observation: Monitor the multimeter display for any fluctuations or irregularities in voltage readings while testing the starter motor.

Preliminary Checks

Before diving into testing the lawn mower starter motor, it’s important to conduct some preliminary checks to ensure you are targeting the right issues. By inspecting the battery and examining the solenoid, you can begin to narrow down the potential problems and efficiently troubleshoot the starter motor.

Inspecting The Battery

A common culprit for a faulty lawn mower starter motor is often the battery. Start by looking for visible signs of corrosion on the battery terminals. Corrosion can hinder the flow of electricity, which may result in starter motor problems. Additionally, check the battery’s voltage using a multimeter. A healthy battery should register around 12.6 volts. If the voltage is significantly lower, it may be time to consider a replacement. Moreover, ensure the battery connections are secure and clean. Loose or dirty connections can also disrupt the flow of electricity to the starter motor.

Examining The Solenoid

The solenoid is another crucial component to inspect when testing a lawn mower starter motor. Begin by checking the wiring connections to the solenoid. Loose or frayed wires can lead to inconsistent electrical flow and operational issues. Moreover, test the resistance of the solenoid with a multimeter to ensure it falls within the manufacturer’s specified range. Any deviation from this range may indicate a faulty solenoid that requires replacement.

Testing The Starter Motor

When it comes to testing the starter motor of a lawn mower, ensuring it is functioning properly is essential for the smooth operation of the machine. In this section, we will look at different methods for testing the starter motor to identify any issues that may be affecting its performance.

Multimeter Testing

One of the most effective ways to test a lawn mower starter motor is by using a multimeter. This tool allows you to measure the electrical current and voltage passing through the motor, helping you to diagnose any potential problems accurately.

Voltage And Current Analysis

By conducting voltage and current analysis, you can ascertain whether the starter motor is receiving the appropriate voltage and drawing the correct current. The voltage measurements should align with the specifications outlined in the mower’s manual, while the current drawn should be within the expected range for the motor’s operation.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When your lawn mower’s starter motor is not working as expected, it can be frustrating and impact your yard maintenance routine. By understanding common issues and knowing how to troubleshoot them, you can quickly identify and resolve the problem, ensuring your mower starts smoothly every time. Here are some common issues to consider when testing a lawn mower starter motor:

Faulty Connections


Advanced Diagnosis Techniques

The advanced diagnosis techniques for testing a lawn mower starter motor involve more intricate methods to determine the root cause of any issues. Beyond the basic checks of the electrical system and connections, these techniques allow for a more detailed assessment of the starter motor’s functionality. Below, we will explore the application of advanced diagnostic techniques through bench testing and seeking professional assistance.

Bench Testing

Bench testing the lawn mower starter motor provides a comprehensive evaluation of its performance. This method involves removing the starter motor from the lawn mower and connecting it to a suitable power source to simulate the starting process. By conducting a bench test, one can assess the motor’s ability to engage and rotate smoothly, as well as its power consumption and potential overheating issues. The results obtained from bench testing can aid in pinpointing specific faults within the starter motor.

Professional Assistance

Seeking professional assistance for diagnosing a lawn mower starter motor is advisable when the issues are complex or beyond your expertise. Professional technicians possess the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to conduct in-depth assessments of starter motors. Additionally, they may utilize specialized testing equipment to accurately diagnose any underlying problems. Consulting with a professional ensures thorough and precise diagnosis, leading to effective solutions for starter motor issues.

How to Test a Lawn Mower Starter Motor: Expert Troubleshooting Guide


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Test A Lawn Mower Starter Motor

How Do I Know If My Lawn Mower Starter Motor Is Faulty?

To check if your lawn mower starter motor is faulty, listen for unusual noises, inspect the motor for physical damage, and use a multimeter to test the electrical connections. Look for signs of wear and tear, and make sure the connections are secure and free of corrosion.

What Are The Common Symptoms Of A Failing Lawn Mower Starter Motor?

Common symptoms of a failing lawn mower starter motor include the engine not cranking or spinning when the key is turned, a clicking sound when the key is turned, and a slow start followed by a sudden stop. Pay attention to any unusual noises or difficulty starting the engine.

Can I Test My Lawn Mower Starter Motor Without Removing It?

Yes, you can test your lawn mower starter motor without removing it by using a multimeter to check the electrical connections and inspecting for physical damage. This allows you to assess the performance of the starter motor and identify any potential issues without the need for removal.


Testing your lawn mower starter motor is a crucial step in ensuring your equipment runs smoothly. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can diagnose and troubleshoot any issues with your starter motor. Regular maintenance and testing can extend the lifespan of your lawn mower, saving you time and money in the long run.

So, take the time to test your lawn mower starter motor to keep your lawn looking its best.

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