Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor won’t start

Hi, I have a Sears Craftsman Lawn Tractor model 917.254661 that won’t start. It was working fine. I turn the key and the “depress clutch” light comes on. Other than that there is complete silence. Front headlights are working. I replaced the battery, still silence. Someone online suggested I replace the fuse. I downloaded a copy of the electrical diagram but it is confusing. Can someone please tell me where the fuse is located on this model? Besides the fuse what else might be the culprit here? Thank you.


8 answers

  1. The headlights work off a different circuit than the battery. The 30 amp fuse would be the first place to start. The fuse is attached to the harness beneath the fuel tank. Lift the fuel tank from the rear. The side panels are held in place by one screw on each side. The fuse can be obtained from the following site: . I hope this helps. You can reply with further details for further assistance.

      • San Jose, CA

    And, you HAVE tried pushing in the clutch/brake pedal while turning the key, right?

  2. It sounds like the battery and fuse are good because the headlights come on and the depress foot pedal light also. There is a white wire from the ignition switch to the pto swith(the switch to turn on the clutch) and also to the foot pedal light which goes to ground through the clutch/brake pedal interlock switch. when you depress the pedal does the light go out? if not the switch may be bad. If you turn on the clutch can you hear it click?
    A test you can do at the start solenoid is to take a jumper wire from the red battery cable at the terminal on top of the solenoid and jumper to where the white wire is located on the solenoid, this should energize the solenoid and you'll hear the engine turn over. If this happens then the problem is either at the pto switch or the brake/clutch pedal interlock switch or there might also be a broken wire or loose connector on one of the switches. If the solenoid doesn't energize when you jumper to the white wire, check for a good ground for the solenoid.The solenoid could also be bad.

  3. #First make sure the Gear shift on the tractor is in neutral position and blade engagement lever or switch is in the off position.
    #Make sure the brake pedal is pushed down when starting.
    #Check the fuse. The fuse should be located between the starter solenoid and the ignition switch in the small red wire.
    #Clean any corrosion deposits on the battery terminals making sure you have protective eye glasses and clothing that will not be damaged by the acid in the battery.
    #It still is a possibility that the battery may be the issue.
    #If you have jumper cables, I would suggest that you try to jump off the engine. If it starts or turns over quickly the battery is still the issue.
    #I will go through the proper procedure in using jumper cables for starting your tractor.
    #If you are using a vehicle to use as a power source please make sure the engine is _NOT_ running when attempting to jump off the tractor.
    #To get the tractor ready for jumping off the battery, push the clutch foot pedal all the way down and hold it while you lift up on the parking brake lever and then release the clutch foot pedal. This will hold the clutch pedal in the down position.
    #Lift the seat forward to access the battery.
    #Take one Red end of the jumper cable and attach it to the red battery terminal on the known good vehicle battery making sure the other end is not touching any metal surface or the tractor. Put the tractor end of the Red jumper cable to the Red or + terminal on the tractor battery. Next put the Black cable on the Black or - terminal on the supply battery and take the other Black end of the jumper cable and clamp it onto the tractor draw bar at the back of the tractor and make sure is making good connection.
    #With the blade engagement lever in the off position you should at this time be able to turn the key and start the engine on the tractor. As soon as the tractor starts remove the cables in the reverse order. Black from the draw,Black from the power source, Red from the tractor battery and Red from the power source battery.
    #If this does not work or you do not have a set of jumper cables, we can now consider some of the other components to check.
    #The Red cable that comes from the battery and ends at the start solenoid needs to checked for corrosion and cleaned if any is found. You can also jump across the big Red cabled terminals on the solenoid which will go around the solenoid and eliminate that as cause.
    #Carefully take a large flat blade screw driver and short across the two large terminals on the solenoid. When you do this, it will arc or spark and the starter should engage and turn the engine over.
    #If this works check the dc voltage to the solenoid. Have someone try to start the tractor while you check the voltage on the small wires on the solenoid. If you have 12 volts dc the solenoid is defective. if you do not have the needed 12 volts to the solenoid I would suspect a blown fuse or faulty safety switch.
    #The last possibility is that the starter is bad and is drawing to many amps with bad internal windings and or the motor has dry bearings in the starter motor.
    #There could be other electrical wiring issues with in the tractor but I think we covered the most likely possible causes.

    1. In response to markexpert

      Very helpful advice about the multiple electrical components involved in the start process. Be sure to open the choke to aid in starting the tractor since some carb flooding may have occurred

    2. In response to markexpert

      You said the fuse "should" be on the red wire from the ignition. Well, mine isn't. Is there another place to look for a fuse?

    3. In response to markexpert

      Hi there, raiderbubba! Thanks for your question. Our Expert will be by in just a bit to clarify!

    4. In response to markexpert

      Thanks for a quick response. I found the fuse. It is on a wire bundle down low near the deck. Sadly the tractor is still blowing fuses but it is under warranty.