I have a Husqvarna TS 242 with a Briggs and Stratton 40N877-0016-G1 engine that I'm having some trouble with. My suspicion is something with the electricals - here's what I'm seeing.

After a few weeks of wet weather, I went to start the mower, and the battery was drained, and would accept a charge. I replaced the battery and now when I hit the starter, it only cranks once. With some starter spray, I can get it to turn over, but it doesn't run.

To further elaborate on "cranking only once" - when I press (or hold) the starter button, the engine will complete only a single revolution. If I have some starter spray in the cylinder it will turn over and run for a few seconds. Without starter spray, nothing - just one rev and that's it.

I replaced the spark plugs and if I keep spraying ether into the air intake, it will run (smoothly), indicating that compression and plugs are okay. (correct me if I'm wrong)

From there I assumed fuel issue. However, none of the fuel lines are blocked - if I crank the engine I can catch fuel out of the pump-to-carby line, and I've replaced the fuel filter. The fuel in the tank is fresh, and I can't find any occlusions or blockages anywhere.

Now I'm thinking solenoid - coupled with the fact that the starter doesn't crank continuously - it feels like something is off with the electrics. The mower is a push button start with a security code. This functions as expected. The starter does not function if the blades are engaged, park brake is released or the seat is unoccupied, as expected.

So my questions are:

  • Is a starter cranking only once a common issue with an easily diagnosable fault?
  • If not, what should I be checking?
  • Are there any model specific things I should be aware of that make this difficult to remotely diagnose?
  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Did you check the voltage on the new battery? If so, what is it? Apr 7, 2021 at 9:27
  • I don't understand "cranking only once." Please describe the behavior you observe. Apr 7, 2021 at 21:11
  • Elaborated on "cranking only once." :)
    – Vocoder
    Apr 7, 2021 at 22:40
  • Thanks. I agree compression and ignition are demonstrated to be good. If you try to start it, and it cranks only once, and then you then turn off the ignition, wait a few seconds, and try to start it again...what happens? I wonder if there's something awry with the security system, and it's preventing the starter from turning because of...some problem. Apr 7, 2021 at 23:25
  • 1
    I don’t know much about lawnmowers but is there an equivalent of a starter clutch? If so there may be something wrong with it where it binds up after one revolution but frees once it disengages.
    – Mysterfxit
    Apr 10, 2021 at 2:36

1 Answer 1


So I thought I'd revisit this after getting the mower professionally repaired. The problem was with the keyless starter. It was letting through enough of a charge to turn the engine over, but then cutting out so the fuel solenoid wasn't triggering as it should.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

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