How to Test a Lawn Mower Starter With a Multimeter?

How to Test a Lawn Mower Starter With a Multimeter?

Maintaining your lawn mower and ensuring it’s in good working order is essential for getting the best performance out of it when you need it most. To do this, a quick test to ensure the starter motor and its associated wiring are operating correctly can be performed using nothing more than a multimeter. This blog post will take you through the steps to get your mower ready for cutting season with confidence by teaching you how to use your multimeter to check that everything is as expected. Read on to pick up some essential tips about testing the starting system for optimal performance!

How Does a Lawn Mower Starter Work?

The starter for a lawn mower is responsible for starting the engine. It does this by turning over the flywheel and sending an electrical current through to the spark plugs, which then ignite the gasoline in order to turn on the engine. In order to do this, the starter has a coil that creates an electromagnetic field when it’s energized. This magnetic field interacts with the armature of the flywheel and causes it to spin, thus starting the engine. The starter is powered by a battery connected to it through two wires, positive and negative. When you press down on the start button or pull on its cord, current flows from one wire into the other, creating a circuit and activating the starter. [1]

How Does a Lawn Mower Starter Work?

Safety Tips

When troubleshooting the lawn mower starter with a multimeter, safety should be your number one priority.

Make sure you are wearing gloves and safety goggles to protect your eyes and hands from any possible sparks that may occur during testing.

Additionally, make sure you shut off the power source (battery or wall outlet) before making any connections with the multimeter. When working on the lawn mower’s engine, be aware of any loose wires or components that could come in contact with hot metal parts of the engine.

Lastly, always unplugging the spark plug when testing electrical parts so as not to create an electric shock hazard. Following these safety tips can help make sure that your work remains safe and effective.

After confirming that safety measures are in place, testing the lawn mower starter using a multimeter is straightforward. [2]


Tools required for testing a lawn mower starter with a multimeter include the multimeter itself, an adjustable wrench or pliers, and insulated wire cutters. Before beginning, make sure to disconnect the spark plug and switch off the ignition system of the lawnmower.

Testing the Lawn Mower Starter

Testing the lawn starter with a multimeter is an easy and straightforward process. First, you’ll need to locate the lawn mower’s starter motor. It should be near the bottom of the engine and look like a small metal cylinder with two wires coming out of it.

Once you’ve located the starter motor, attach one of the multimeter probes to each wire. Set your multimeter to a low voltage setting, such as 2 volts or less. If there is power running through the starter motor, then your multimeter will indicate that there is a current flowing through it by showing some kind of reading on its display.

If your multimeter has no readings at all, this could mean two things: either the starter motor isn’t receiving any power or it is malfunctioning and needs to be changed. If this is the case, it’s best to take your lawn mower to a qualified mechanic who can diagnose and repair the issue.

You should also check for any loose wires which may be preventing power from reaching the starter motor. If you find any, then make sure that they are securely connected to their respective terminals on the lawn mower engine.

After testing your lawn mower starter with a multimeter, it’s important to ensure that all connections remain secure before starting up your machine. This will help prevent damage from occurring as well as ensuring maximum safety when using your lawn mower. [3]

Testing the Lawn Mower Starter

Testing the Lawn Mower Battery

Once you have made sure that the spark plug and other connections are properly working, it is time to test the battery of your lawn mower. To make sure your battery is disconnected, switch off the engine and then unplug the negative terminal from its connection on the battery.

Then use a multimeter to measure the voltage of your battery by connecting one end of the black lead from your multimeter to the negative post of your battery and then connecting the other end of your red lead to its positive post. If you get a reading between 12 – 14 volts, then this indicates that your battery is functioning correctly; however, if you get a reading lower than 12 volts, then it may be time to replace your lawn mower’s battery. [4]

Testing the Lawn Mower Solenoid Frame

  1. For your safety, be sure to detach the spark plug wire from its corresponding spark plug before you commence working on the lawn mower.
  2. Locate and remove the solenoid frame, which is typically found mounted near the battery on electric start models or on top of the flywheel cover in pull-start models.
  3. Set your multimeter to measure AC voltage if you are testing an electric start model, or DC voltage if you are testing a pull-start model.
  4. Connect one lead of the multimeter to one of the terminals leading into the solenoid frame; connect it firmly by tightening its wing nut against a flathead screwdriver inserted into its slot.
  5. Connect the second lead of the multimeter to the opposite terminal; be sure this connection is secure as well by tightening its wing nut firmly against a flathead screwdriver.
  6. Turn on your lawn mower and check the multimeter’s reading. The voltage should measure within three volts of what is specified in your manual for your specific model. If it does not, you may need to replace or repair the starter or solenoid frame.
  7. Once finished with testing, turn off your lawn mower and disconnect the multimeter leads from the terminals before replacing and securing the solenoid frame back into place with its bolts or screws. Finally, reconnect the spark plug wire back onto its respective spark plug.

You have now successfully tested your lawn mower starter with a multimeter! By following these simple steps, you can detect any issues that may be causing problems and take the necessary actions to keep your lawn mower running smoothly. [5]

Testing the Lawn Mower Solenoid Frame

Causes of Starter Failure

There are several common causes of starter failure in a lawn mower.

One of the most common is lack of lubrication, which can cause problems such as sticking and grinding gears, or a seized motor. The brushes may also wear out due to high use, and may need to be replaced if they do not work effectively in providing power to the motor.

Corrosion on the parts can also reduce electrical conductivity and prevent them from working correctly.

Testing with a multimeter is an effective way to identify these kinds of issues before replacing any parts.

It’s important to make sure that all wires and connections are secure so that electricity is able to flow freely throughout the system.

Replacing worn-out spark plugs or faulty wiring can also help improve the starter’s performance.

It can be helpful to refer to the manual for your lawn mower to determine which parts need to be tested, as well as what type of multimeter should be used. By using a multimeter and following the steps outlined in the manual, you can accurately identify and diagnose any issues with your lawn mower’s starter. This way, you can make sure that your machine is running efficiently and safely all season long!

Types of Multimeters

There are several different types of multimeters, each designed for a specific purpose. An analog multimeter uses a needle to display the voltage or current being measured. Digital multimeters use an LCD screen that displays numerical values such as AC/DC voltage, current, resistance, etc. Some digital multimeters also come with additional features such as temperature probes and frequency counters. When testing a lawn mower starter with a multimeter, it’s best to use either an analog or digital type since these are able to send accurate readings faster than other models.

When using a multimeter to test a lawn mower starter, you will need to have some safety equipment on hand including safety glasses, gloves and insulated tools. Also make sure to disconnect all power sources before attempting to test any electrical systems.

Types of Multimeters

Testing A Starter Solenoid Could Be Dangerous

With all of the complexity associated with lawn mowers, it is important to remember that testing a starter solenoid could be dangerous. This is because of the power and voltage involved in operating a starter solenoid. If you do not know how to use a multimeter correctly, or are unsure about your safety when working around electricity, please consult an experienced professional before attempting repairs on your own.

It is also important to wear protective gear such as goggles and gloves during any electrical repair work. Doing so will keep you safe from electric shocks or sparks while handling exposed wires and other components.

Once you have gathered the necessary materials and taken the appropriate precautions, you are now ready to begin testing your lawn mower’s starter solenoid using a multimeter.

Benefits of Testing a Lawn Mower Starter with a Multimeter

Testing a lawn mower starter with a multimeter offers several advantages.

Firstly, it provides a more accurate test result than other methods such as visual inspection or manual testing. This helps you determine the cause of any issues quickly and accurately.

Secondly, it’s easy to use, requiring few tools and little to no experience.

Lastly, it can save time and money by avoiding unnecessary repairs or replacements due to faulty parts. Testing a lawn mower starter with a multimeter is an excellent way to keep your machine running smoothly for years to come. [6]

Benefits of Testing a Lawn Mower Starter with a Multimeter


How do you test a lawn mower starter with a multimeter?

To test a lawn mower starter with a multimeter, you will need to set your multimeter to the Ohms setting. Disconnect the cables from the starter solenoid and connect one lead of the multimeter to each terminal on the solenoid. The resistance should be close to zero ohms if the starter is working properly. If not, then there may be an issue with either the wiring or the starter itself that needs to be addressed.

What can cause my lawn mower’s starter motor not to work?

The most common cause for a lawn mower’s starter motor not working is a lack of power from its battery. Check that all connections are securely attached and that it has enough charge. Other possible causes include worn out brushes in the starter motor, corroded or broken cables, a faulty solenoid, or a faulty ignition switch. If all of these components have been checked and are working properly, then the problem may lie within the flywheel.

What should I do if my lawn mower’s starter won’t turn?

If your lawn mower’s starter won’t turn, first check that it has enough power from its battery. Also inspect the wiring and connections for any damage or corrosion. If everything appears to be in order, you may need to replace either the starter motor or the flywheel. It is also important to check for any obstructions that may be preventing the engine from turning over.

What is the difference between a starter motor and a starter solenoid?

A starter motor is responsible for turning over an engine to initiate combustion. A starter solenoid, on the other hand, is an electrical switch that sends power to the starter motor when it receives a signal from the ignition switch. The solenoid provides additional protection by preventing direct current from flowing through the battery cables when the engine is not running.

How do I know if the starter on my lawn mower is bad?

Using a multimeter, you can test the starter on your lawn mower to determine if it is in working order. To test the starter, first make sure that all power sources are turned off and disconnected from the lawn mower before testing. Once you have done this, connect the two leads of the multimeter to either side of the battery terminals on your mower and set the meter to “DC voltage”. If your reading is above 12 volts then your battery is charged and working properly.

Can you bypass a starter?

Yes, you can bypass the starter on a lawn mower. To do this, you will need to connect the two battery terminals and the solenoid terminal together with a jumper wire or an alligator clip. Once this is done, your mower should start without having to use the starter. However, it is important to note that bypassing the starter may damage other components of your mower if not done properly. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you consult a professional before attempting to bypass the starter on your lawn mower.

Can I test my lawn mower’s spark plug with a multimeter?

Yes, you can use a multimeter to test your lawn mower’s spark plug for functionality. First, disconnect the spark plug from the engine. Then, set your multimeter to measure resistance (ohms). Connect one of the meter’s test leads to each end of the spark plug and check for a reading between 5K ohms and 10K ohms. If you get any other reading, replace the spark plug as it is faulty. Make sure to install a new spark plug with correct gap distance according to your manual instructions before reconnecting it. Proper installation is important in order for your lawn mower starter to work properly. You should also inspect all wire connections connected to the ignition system such as those leading to and from the ignition switch, coil or magneto, which can cause starting problems if worn or frayed. Additionally, inspect the spark plug wires for any signs of corrosion or damage and replace them if necessary. Once you have ensured all connections are in good working order, complete an ignition system test using your multimeter. Set the meter to measure resistance (ohms) and connect one test lead to each end of the spark plug wire (or magneto) while it is disconnected from its other connection. If there is any resistance other than 0 ohms, then you know that something is wrong and should inspect the wiring further or replace it altogether.

Why is my starter not clicking?

If you are experiencing an issue with your lawn mower’s starter not clicking when the key is turned, it could be a sign of a faulty connection or bad wiring. Testing the starter with a multimeter can help to determine if there is an electrical problem. A multimeter is an electronic device used for testing and measuring electric current and voltage in a circuit. Before testing the starter, make sure that all safety precautions are followed including unplugging the power cord from its source and removing any spark plugs or fuel lines connected to the engine.

Useful Video: RIDING LAWNMOWER WON’T START .. Is it the SOLENOID or Starter Motor? HOW TO TEST


Testing the starter on a lawn mower using a multimeter is easy. After unplugging the spark plug, connecting the test leads to their respective terminals and setting the multimeter to measure resistance, you can get an accurate reading of the starter’s electrical circuit. To ensure that your measurements are accurate, always double-check your readings with other testers such as ohmmeters or continuity testers. If there is any discrepancy in results, contact a professional mechanic for further troubleshooting and repair. Taking these steps will help make sure that your lawn mower’s starter is running correctly so you can enjoy another wonderful season of cutting grass!