Lawn mower starter switch. Cub Cadet Ignition Switch Problems: Easy Troubleshooting Steps

Cub Cadet Ignition Switch Problems: Easy Troubleshooting Steps!

It’s not uncommon for the ignition switch on your Cub Cadet mower to malfunction and prevent you from starting the mower.

Most problems with the ignition switch are caused by bad wiring or a broken solenoid. Common fixes include rewiring the terminals, replacing the ignition coil, and replacing the ignition switch.

Read on to learn more about the Cub Cadet ignition switch, the problems it can cause, and the solutions that can help you get your engine running again!

lawn, mower, starter, switch

How Does The Ignition Switch Work on Cub Cadet?

It is essential to have a functional ignition switch when using a Cub Cadet lawn mower. When the lawnmower’s key is turned, the ignition switch supplies power to the engine. The engine cannot start without a functioning ignition switch.

The first step in the four-step procedure is to press the ‘Start’ button. The ignition switch transmits electric impulses to the coil of the solenoid. The coil obtains power from the battery wire, completes the circuit, and provides power to start the motor.

How To Identify Lawn Mower Ignition Switch Problems?

To test the ignition switch on a Cub Cadet, first separate the negative battery connection. Next, remove the seat and detach the ignition switch’s cables. Using a multimeter, check for continuity between the ignition switch’s terminals.

If continuity exists, the switch is functioning appropriately. If no continuity is present, the switch is defective and must be replaced.

What Causes Ignition Switch Failure on Cub Cadet Mowers?

When there is an issue with the ignition switch, there are likely loose wiring and connections, faulty coil, or rust.

Let’s look at a quick table of potential reasons and straightforward solutions for ignition switch problems on Cub Cadet mowers.

Possible Causes Solution
Wring issues Check and fix wiring problems
Damaged Connection Repair/replace the terminals
Corrosion Dirty Pins Use cleaner spray and clean thoroughly
Faulty Solenoid/ignition Coil Ignition coil needs replacement
Poorly Installed Ignition Switch Properly Install the Ignition switch

Wiring Issues

If your mower starts up and works for a time before suddenly shutting off, it could be a wiring issue. Inadequate current flow to the solenoid could be caused by frayed or disconnected wiring.

It could be that the ignition switch’s ground connection isn’t properly connected or the stop switch wire is sloppy.

The Fix

  • Locating the ignition switch’s connections and components must come first.
  • The ignition switch must be grounded.
  • Change to a connection using a solenoid.
  • Connect the magneto’s open terminal.
  • Install the battery.
  • Attach the lights to the terminal of the ignition switch.
  • Adjust the switch safely. With a screwdriver, secure the ignition switch in place after all connections are done.

Damaged Connection

Loose connections can render the ignition switch inoperable, preventing you from starting your Cub cadet. While mowing, faulty ignition switch connections could cause the engine to shut off, which could be unsafe.

The Fix

If there isn’t enough room in the connector to squeeze the terminals, you can attempt removing the terminals by hand. A pair of pliers will be enough to do the work.

If this is not an option and the terminal cannot be repaired, you may need to replace that section of the wiring harness.

Corrosion Dirty Pins

Rust and clogged up dirt on the pins of ignition switch can cause the ignition switch to go bad. This may cause ignition failure and eventually make u unable to operate your mower.

The Fix

Using electrical contact cleaner spray, a cleaning cloth, and sandpaper/metal file, filth and grime can be easily removed from ignition terminals.

The pins can be cleaned by spraying and wiping it down with a towel.

The connector can be kept in good working order by spraying with connector spray. Use small piece of sandpaper or a file to remove rust.

Faulty Solenoid/ignition Coil

If the ignition coil is damaged, the lawn mower motor overheats after a few minutes of mowing and shuts down. Keying the ignition switch activates battery voltage to the ignition coil, sparking the engine. Bad coils prevent starting.

lawn, mower, starter, switch

The Fix

Check to see whether the ignition coil is faulty; if the coil is faulty and there is either very little or no spark, replace the coil as soon as you can.

Poorly Installed Ignition Switch

Sometimes problems with your Cub Cadet’s ignition switch can be traced back to sloppy installation of the switch. The ignition switch on your lawn mower is vulnerable to harm from breakage, corrosion, and loosening if it wasn’t put correctly.

The Fix

The ignition switch must be installed correctly. Inspect the switch for wear and tear, rust, loose connections, and filthy terminals, and then follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting it up.

How to Fix Damaged Ignition Switch on your Cub Cadet? (Troubleshooting Steps!)

Let’s examine in depth how to repair the defective ignition switch on your Cub Cadet lawnmower.

Step-1 Remove the Battery

First, remove the battery, but be sure to put on some gloves first. Make sure the engine is turned off and remove the key from the ignition.

Attach the mower’s negative cable to the battery and remove it carefully so that the battery doesn’t hit the post.

lawn, mower, starter, switch

Step-2 Disassemble the Ignition Switch

Get the ignition switch from the rear of the lawnmower and disassemble it.

In that case, release the locking tabs. Now, pull the switch through the front of the dashboard and insert it into the appropriate slot.

Take out the ignition switch and detach the wires from the back. If the plug is really stubborn, try jiggling it before attempting to take it out.

Step-3 Install New Ignition Switch

The pack section of the ignition switch must now be connected to the wire harness. The new switch for the ignition should then be fastened to the dashboard. The last step is to secure the locking tabs and then lower the mower’s hood.

Step-4 Connect The Battery Again

The procedure was initiated by removing the battery. At this point, you should go ahead and reconnect it. You must always ensure that the negative cable is linked to the negative battery terminal.

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How To Test A Lawn Mower Ignition Switch [Step-By-Step]

The ignition switch of a lawn mower is the most crucial component which helps to start the engine. And if your mower fails to turn on, then there is a chance of having an issue in the ignition switch.

To figure out the fault in the switch, you need to understand how the switch works and it’s defective symptoms. And for that you must know how to test a lawn mower ignition switch.

That’s why today I’m here with you. In this article, I will guide you step by step of how you can test a faulty ignition switch. Also, I’ll be providing some symptoms of having a bad ignition switch as well.

In this content you’ll learn:

Symptoms Of A Defective Ignition Switch

If you are facing an issue with your engine, there is a chance of having a faulty ignition switch in your lawn mower. So, if your mower’s ignition switch has any fault, you will notice the following signs.

Key Won’t Turn On

If the key gets stuck and doesn’t turn on to the start state of the engine, then there is a fault in the ignition switch.

lawn, mower, starter, switch

Overheating Issue

It’s another prominent issue where one end of the wire might become excessively overheated.

Lawn Mower Stalls

While starting or moving the lawn mower, it might stall after some time.

Engine Won’t Start

Another significant issue is that the engine attempts to start but fails every time. This might be due to faulty or broken ignition switches.

Steps Of Testing A Ignition Switch

Different types of procedure can be followed to test the lawn mower ignition switch with the help of digital and analog multimeter. You can follow any of the methods to test your mower’s ignition switch.

1st Method Of Testing The Ignition Switch

  • Get the “fuse panel”, lying under the “steering”, and open it. Now, get the starter signal fuse from the panel and check carefully whether the metal strip is in good condition.
  • Change the metal strip with a good one if it’s found to be damaged or defective. Make sure the new one comes with the same amperage as the damaged one.
  • Connect the digital multimeter to the positive and negative terminal on the battery. Recheck whether the red lead of the voltmeter is connected to the positive side of the battery.
  • The voltmeter marking should be at least 12.6 volt for moving the engine with its full speed. But if it becomes less than 12 volt, then probably the battery is dead.
  • To check the ignition switch, start your engine by putting the key to the switch. If the engine fails to start and at the same time, you don’t hear any clicking sound, then the ignition switch isn’t working.

On the other hand, if you are hearing the clicking switch but the engine fails to start, then the issue is in the battery.

Lastly, if the engine starts successfully, both battery and ignition switch are okay.

2nd Method Of Testing The Ignition Switch

Replace the spark plug with an old plug to the end of the boot and power the engine placing the key to the ignition switch.

Now check the ignition switch by checking whether there is a continuous spark to the old plug. If there is no spark, surely the switch of the lawn mower is faulty.

Connect the voltmeter to the coil’s positive and battery’s negative terminal of the lawn mower. If the voltage of the battery is on the positive side, your ignition switch is okay. Otherwise for lower reading, there can be an issue with the switch.

3rd Method Of Testing The Ignition Switch

  • For beginners, check the multimeter carefully and turn on the key. Place the multimeter’s positive end to the power supply and the negative end to the distributor’s base.
  • Place the key to the running position in the ignition switch and inspect the voltage of the battery using the multimeter.
  • If the reading of the voltage is lower than 90% of the main battery’s voltage, then there is a huge chance of having an issue in the ignition switch or wire.

Replacing The Ignition Switch

Once you have done testing the ignition switch, it’s time for taking the necessary steps, depending on the problem. Identify the underlying problem and replace the ignition switch if needed.

Replacing an ignition switch is complex work. However, if you have a good technical knowledge, you can simply change the ignition switch without any trouble. Otherwise, you can visit any nearby engine repair shop to take help from professionals.


In some cases, testing the ignition switch’s issue and resolving it becomes very frustrating and tiresome. But hopefully, following the above method will make your work easier.

Nevertheless, regular cleaning and operating the lawn mower will lessen the tendency of having technical issues in the inner components.

Lawn Tractor Won’t Start No Click – Fix it now!

Before we assume there’s a problem, let’s take a minute to check that we’re following the correct starting procedure. All mowers will have safety sensors fitted, and if the sensors are open, they won’t start.

So why won’t your lawn tractor start, not even a click? The most common reason for a no start, not even a click sound, is a totally flat battery, but other likely causes include:

A tractor mower won’t start if the blade lever/button is on, manual mowers need to be in Neutral gear, and some mowers won’t allow starting if the oil level is low or the hood is open.

If you are in any doubt about the correct starting procedure for a lawn tractor, check out – “How to Start Husqvarna Ride-on Mower.”

If you do hear a click sound when you turn the key, check out – “Mower Wont Start Just Clicks.”

Check Battery Connections

To test a battery, you need a voltmeter, but if you don’t have one, try this basic check. If your mower has hood lights or dash lights, go ahead and turn them on. If they light up and are bright, your battery is most likely not the problem.

Dash Lights are Dim

Check – Check the battery cables; they should be clean and tight. When connections are loose or corroded, it prevents available power from flowing to the starter.

Charge Battery – If your battery is completely flat, it will take a couple of hours and will require a battery charging hack, or check out this Smart battery charger the NOCO Genius1 on

Jumpstart Mower – This is the fastest solution, but it may not be the long-term fix. (see Jump starting below)

Battery Check Hack

  • Turn on the lights to check for power supply
  • If they work – the battery is likely OK
  • If lights are dim – check battery cables
  • If cables clean and tight – charge battery
  • If you have no lights – check battery with a volt meter

Volt Check – Need a voltmeter for this test. Check b attery voltage – 12.65v is 100%, 12.30v is 70%, and 12.05v is 50% charged. This battery needs a charge.

Very low volts indicate the battery is likely faulty, and it may not recharge. To test a battery, it must be charged, so a battery charger may be required. However, it is possible to jump-start the mower (see below), and given time, the mower’s alternator will charge the battery, assuming it isn’t faulty.

Once the battery is sufficiently charged (about 70%), try the crank test.

Battery Crank Test – Attach the Voltmeter and crank over the engine; if the volts read less than nine, replace the battery. (The battery must be over 70% charged for running this test)

Check out the Amazon link below for quality mower batteries delivered to your door.

Voltmeter – If the lights don’t work at all, you’ll need to use a voltmeter to check the battery’s state of charge. You may have blown a fuse (see below).

If you have very low volts, the battery is likely faulty. The average life of a battery is four years, more if well cared for.

Jumper Cables

If you don’t have a charger, you can still get it running, but you’ll need a set of jumper wires, and a car or any 12-volt battery will do the job. Follow this link for a more detailed guide to Jump Starting.

Jumpers – Use good quality jumpers.

If you are unfamiliar with jump-starting, you’ll find a complete guide here, “Jump starting riding mower.”

Add the cables in sequence 1, 2, 3, and 4 to start the mower, and while idling, remove jumper cables in reverse order 4, 3, 2, and 1.

Dash Lights Don’t Work

Main Fuse – If the battery is fully charged and still no go – check the main mower fuse. Some mowers will have the blade-type fuse; others will have the old-style bottle type.

When the fuse blows, all power is lost; changing it is simple. It is important to replace the fuse with the correct amp rating. If the fuse keeps blowing, the rating is too low, or there’s a short-to-ground wiring fault.

Fuse Location – Places they like to hide include under-seat, under the hood, behind the fuel tank, and control module incorporated. Modules are usually under the dash panel.

Replacing the fuse is simple, just pull out the old one and push the new one into place. It’s important to replace it with the correct amp rating. Otherwise, you can damage the wiring circuit and components.

Check Safety Sensors

Riding mowers are designed with safety features built in to protect us from operator error or accident. Safety features on mowers are controlled by sensors/switches, and most modern mowers will wire those sensors into a control module.

The sensors are a very simple on/off switch type and rarely give trouble; it’s more common for the striking plate that pushes on the sensor to be misaligned; when this happens, the sensor is open, and the engine won’t start or stops depending on where the sensors fitted.

Over-riding – Sensors can be overridden for test purposes, remove and join the wires, and some sensors are wired in reverse – meaning, just disconnecting them will override the sensor. You can check sensors for continuity using a voltmeter.

Starting Procedure

As you know, there’s a starting procedure that must be followed before your mower will start. You can check out the starting procedure here – “How to Start a Husqvarna Ride-on Mower.”

There are several sensors that must be engaged; the location and number of sensors are dependent on the make of the mower and differs between manual and hydro-static (type of transmission).

The main sensors are the brake pedal; seat; gear lever; blade engage control switch or lever, and some models, such as John Deere, will have one fitted to the hood (Hood open – no start).

Safety – For our safety, sensors are fitted to the seat, blade engages lever or button, transmission selector, brake pedal, and on some models, the hood. Any of these sensors will prevent your mower from starting.

On older manual transmission mowers, the gear selector wears, and although the selector points to the Neutral position, it’s often still in gear – confirm it’s in Neutral by pushing it forward or back; it should be easy to push.

Sensors – This older style Craftsman / Jonsered / Husqvarna blade lever causes lots of no-start problems.

The lever spring gets weak and leaves the sensor in the open position which prevents starting.

Sensors – The quick fix, hold down the lever to start the mower. The complete assembly is available and not too difficult to fit. Check that all sensors are working, and look to see if the striker plates are closing the sensors fully.

Check wiring to sensors for chafing and that the connectors are secure and corrosion-free.

Check Control Module

Most modern mowers will have a Control module; they are a printed circuit with relays and resistors – they do give trouble. Because the specs vary, I can’t be more detailed.

The function of the control module is to receive a start/stop command from the ignition switch and only output a start command to the starter (via the solenoid) if all the correct sensors have been engaged.

Replacement modules can be on the spendy side, so it may be time to access your old mower; if she needs a ton of love in the blades bearing and belts department, it may be time to look at a new set of wheels.

Module – Wires come loose, have a helper attempt to start the engine while you wiggle the wiring connectors.

Check also for damage, water, or scorch marks on the panel itself.

Check Ignition Switch

Ignition switches are an important part of the ignition system; bad connections here can cause lots of problems. Ignition switches – send commands to the control module if fitted.

If your mower doesn’t have a control module, then the safety sensors are wired inline to the ignition switch – meaning any sensor that is in the open position will leave the ignition switch with an open circuit (No start). These systems are basic and tend to be the most reliable.

Common Problems

Issues with ignition switches: loose wiring at the switch; corroded terminals; broken terminals; spinning ignition switches.

Wiring specs for ignition systems vary, so I can’t be more detailed. Check the ignition wiring for damage, corrosion, or loose wires. Have a helper sit on the mower and attempt a start while you wiggle the ignition wires and connectors.

  • Check ignition inputs – ground and 12-volt supply.
  • Check ignition outputs – 12v to the starter solenoid (or to the control module, if fitted) when the ignition is in the start position.

How to test lawn mower key switch

Switch – Spinning ignition switches cause damage to the wiring and pins.

Corrosion is another common failure. This usually causes unreliable starting and shutdowns.


Wiggle – Try wiggling the wires at the back of the ignition switch while attempting to start the engine; you may need a helper. Often wires simply come loose but do check them for corrosion.

Related Questions

Lawnmower ignition switch problems? Common Ignition switch problems include:

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