Symptoms of a bad fuel solenoid on a riding mower are reasons that you can see by paying attention to the mower’s performance. You may already know these symptoms and not know about them.

Bad Fuel Solenoid on a Riding Mower

If you’re not properly aware of the issue and the symptoms, then you might think that these have something to do with other engine components or maybe a clogged fuel filter, which will cost you time trying to figure out what the problem is.

However, you don’t need to worry, as in this blog, we have put together a list of symptoms that can help you identify solenoid problems in your mower.

What Are Symptoms Indicating a Bad  Fuel Solenoid on Riding Mower?

The symptoms that indicate a bad solenoid on a riding mower are difficulty starting the engine, engine stalls or shuts off suddenly, reduced engine power and performance. Moreover, it would also go through a decrease in fuel efficiency, and an unsteadiness in idling, lastly, the engine cranks but doesn’t start.

Sometimes solenoids start working, and sometimes they suddenly fail and start up the next day again. So even if you identify the symptom, it may vary based on how the solenoid reacts.

– Difficulty Starting The Engine

A bad solenoid on a mower can cause difficulty starting the engine due to a lack of fuel reaching it. The simple reason is that if you are experiencing a difficulty starting your mower’s engine, you can be sure you’re dealing with a bad solenoid in this case as well.

The solenoid controls the fuel flow from the tank to the carburetor; if it fails, it can block the fuel system. This is simply due to the fact that the engine doesn’t have the proper power and the smooth functionality, hence it will become much weaker and give you a hard time to start and run. 

This blockage can make it difficult for the engine to start. It may take a lot of tries before the engine finally starts. In some cases, the engine may not start at all. This happens because the solenoid is not opening or closing properly, preventing fuel from reaching the engine. 

– Engine Stalling

This occurs when the solenoid is not properly controlling the fuel flow to the engine. As a result, the engine may receive less fuel. When the engine doesn’t get any fuel, it will cause the engine to shut down completely, which means, the engine is aiming to start, but it is taking such a frustrating trip, because it would go through different challenges and not start properly. 

If the engine receives very little fuel, it may abruptly stall. This issue can be particularly frustrating and can occur anytime, even when the mower is in use. Additionally, the engine may restart or need to be manually restarted.

– Reduced Engine Power and Performance

A bad fuel solenoid in a riding lawn mower can cause reduced engine power, and this would also place an effect on the performance of the machine. The fuel solenoid plays an important role in controlling the flue flow to the engine. If the engine is not functioning properly, it can result in a restricted fuel flow, reducing its power output, and this would give you such a hassle.

When the mower is put to work by driving or using the blades, you may notice a drop in power. The solenoids can become stuck in a “halfway position” rather than simply turning the engine on or even off. 

Symptoms Indicating a Bad Fuel Solenoid

In this case, the engine may idle smoothly and run okay at low speeds, but when it is subjected to higher RPMs and more demand, it can cause the engine to run slower or with less force, resulting in decreased performance. It can also cause the mower to move more slowly, making it more difficult to cover a large area, because the machine is not being satisfied in a sense that it would consume the right amount of fuel.

– Decrease in Fuel Efficiency

The solenoid is responsible for controlling the fuel flow to the engine, and if it is not working correctly, it can result in an inefficient fuel system. This can cause the engine to use more fuel than it normally would, resulting in decreased fuel efficiency, and it will see different challenges.

This can mean that you have to fill up your gas tank more often or that your mower doesn’t run as long on a single gas tank as it used to. Decreased fuel efficiency can also increase emissions, ultimately harming the environment, and the machine would become vulnerable. 

When the solenoid is not functioning properly, it can also cause the engine to run less smoothly, resulting in a less enjoyable mowing experience. If you notice that your riding lawn mower is using more fuel than it used to, it may be a symptom that the solenoid on your mower is bad. It is important to address this issue promptly to maintain your mower’s performance and fuel efficiency.

– Unsteadiness in Idling State

If you let the engine warm up for a brief time before using it, you may experience the engine suddenly turning off and making a strange sound. This happens because the solenoid loses energy and switches off.

This can cause the engine to idle inconsistently or unevenly, resulting in an unpleasant or even dangerous mowing experience. When the engine idles unsteadily, it can also cause the mower to shake or vibrate, which can be uncomfortable for the operator.

Unsteady idling can also indicate that the engine is not receiving the right amount of fuel, which can harm the engine over time. If you notice your riding lawn mower idling unsteadily, it may be a sign that your solenoid has gone bad. This issue should be addressed promptly to ensure your mower runs smoothly and safely.

– The Engine Cranks but Doesn’t Start

Some engines may crank but not start, while others may start but stall after a short period, this matter is what we already know the solenoid’s role in controlling fuel flow to the engine. A faulty solenoid will cause the engine not to start even if it is cranking.

This can be a frustrating experience and can prevent you from using your mower, because you would feel that the machine is firing its engine, but it isn’t fully functional. 

What Are Ways To Recover?

Ways to recover a bad fuel solenoid in riding mower is to check the visible damages first, and then ensure that the wiring is intact to the machine. On another note, you should also check the voltage, and check the continuity of the solenoid.

Recover Bad Fuel Solenoid

You must timely identify whether you have a bad solenoid disrupting fuel flow to your engine. Above, we listed the symptoms that will help you save time when you feel like your engine is troubling and not waste time figuring out whether it is a fault with another engine component.

After you have confirmed that it is a bad solenoid causing irregular mower fuel consumption, you need to solve that problem. You know the symptoms, but how do you confirm whether your solenoid has gone bad? A bad mower solenoid can be a frustrating problem, as it can prevent the mower from starting.

– Check for Visible Damage

First, inspect the solenoid for visible signs of damage, such as cracks or rust. If the solenoid appears in good condition, check the battery voltage to ensure it has a strong charge. This can be done using a multimeter set to measure voltage.

A healthy battery should measure 12 volts or higher, but in this case, since your machine has been through a difficult stage, hence, you should check for this issue and if it has a damage, you can either fix it, or replace it. 

– Ensure Wiring is Intact

Next, locate the solenoid and trace the wire connections to ensure they are clean and tight. A loose connection can cause the solenoid to malfunction, so check both the positive and negative connections.

This is because due to different issues, the wire should be properly placed so that the mower would run in a smooth matter. 

– Check Voltage

Once the connections have been verified, you can use a multimeter to test the solenoid’s voltage.

This can be done by setting the multimeter to measure voltage and placing the probes on the small terminal while the engine is cranking.

If the solenoid functions properly, you should see a battery voltage reading, which is on average, 12 volts or higher.

– Check The Continuity of The Solenoid

Finally, you can check the continuity of the solenoid by measuring the resistance between the small and large terminals. To do this, set your multimeter to measure resistance and place the probes on the two terminals. 

A healthy solenoid should have a low reading, which would be less than five ohms. Once you have performed all these checks and figured out that the solenoid is damaged, has loose connections, or has no voltage or continuity, it may need to be replaced. 

A new solenoid can be easily installed and typically resolves the problem, allowing your mower to start and run smoothly. You may have to do so if this part of the engine has been damaged by the bad fuel running in it. 

Check the Continuity of The Solenoid


Now you know what the symptoms are, and when you identify that it is a bad solenoid, you should go towards replacing it.

Following are some of the key points that you should remember:

  • Always keep an eye out for bad engine performance that may help you identify problems with your engine quicker.
  • Replacing the faulty fuel solenoid can help to restore proper fuel flow and alleviate starting difficulties.
  • If you need clarification about what is causing the problem, it is best to consult a professional who can diagnose and repair the issue.

Diagnosing these symptoms can sometimes be a challenge without the right knowledge. But you’re lucky because now that you know how to spot these symptoms, you can take action against them and ensure your mower runs effectively and efficiently.

5/5 - (5 votes)
Evergreen Seeds