OMG… will someone PLEASE help me?? I have a Craftsman Lawn Tractor, Model # 917.273140 that simply died while I was cutting my lawn. It has fuel, there is spark to the plug and there is fuel getting to the carb but for some reason it is not getting to the spark. I took the air cleaner off the carb and poured a cap full of gas directly into the top and it fired and ran till that cap full was gone. I unscrewed the solenoid from beneath the carb and gas came out so I know it’s getting that far. The “plunger” on the top of the solenoid is stiff (it does NOT work like a plunger when I press it with my finger) and did not move when I had it unscrewed from the carb bowl and could visualize it (and I don’t know if it’s supposed to). Trying to get some info on this problem has been met with nothing but question marks. I live in Alaska and over a hundred miles from the nearest service dept. and need to know if it’s just a bad solenoid or what?? If it’s simply a parts issue, I can fix it but my knowledge on small engines is limited. PLEASE HELP!!


5 answers

  1. Thank you for your reply. I hope the solenoid completely solves your tractor problem. I am sorry it took so much effort on your part to get the answer you needed. Thank you for your constructive criticism. Your comments will be noticed and acted upon so that the next person can have a better experience. It does not bother me that no one knew the answer to your question but it does bother me that no one took the effort to find the right answer for you and that will be corrected. Thank you again for your constructive criticism and thank you for using the mySearscommunity site.

  2. Thank you so much SHC-FredM! (I hope you get to read this because it seems that the "Reply" feature as well as the "thumbs up" feature aren't working on this site.) I had a feeling that may have been the problem and you have verified that for me. The solenoid's little "plunger" on top does not freely move in and out either when I try it with my thumb or when it is hooked to the power outlet on the mower and I can visualize it. There is good compression (I checked that when I checked the spark of the plug)and the carb bowl was free of sediment of any type. Thanks again so much for your help. It's amazing that in calling three different Sears stores here in Alaska, not one person knew enough about what they sell (the Craftsman mower) to answer my question. Take care, FredM and God bless~!!!~

  3. Thank you for your question. I am sorry for the tractor problem. The short to the point answer is the solenoid should move freely and from the description you give it is the problem.

    There are three things the tractor needs to start. Fuel and Spark do not seem to be the problem from the description you give. You need to determine if the problem is no fuel, no compression, or no spark.

    Remove the spark plug and hold your finger or thumb on the hole the spark plug screws in. Have someone turn the key to start the engine. Compression should push your finger off the spark plug hole. This will tell you the valves are operating inside the engine and you have compression. If there is compression then the fuel system is likely the problem. Was the fuel changed from last year. Old fuel may clog the carb up.

    Remove the spark plug and connect the ignition wire to the spark plug. Hold the bottom of the spark plug to a clean area on the engine block. Use insulated pliers or gloves to hold the spark plug to prevent shock. Get someone to pull the starter rope or engage the starter and see if you get a blue spark from the anode of the spark plug to the base of the plug. If there is no spark the ignition module on the engine is bad.

    From the description you give replace the solenoid to correct the problem.

  4. Welcome, AKBadBoy! Thanks for posting your question today and giving us so many details! That will be helpful for the Lawn and Garden Experts to get you the best answer possible.

    Check back right here in a bit for their reply. I know they will be able to troubleshoot and let you know the next step.

      • San Jose, CA

    Shift posting over to the Craftsman Community site, where tool issues, including tractors are discussed by the Craftsman Club members.

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