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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - SmallEngines.ca FAQ's
Why does my engine die when I engage the mowing deck?
CAUTION: Before performing maintenance on any unit, always shut the engine off and disconnect and ground the spark plug wire.
Usually if the engine dies when the cutting deck is engaged, there is one of the following three possible scenarios:
1) The riding mower is in a reverse gear. If the mowing deck is engaged and the unit is in reverse, the mower will shut down as part of a safety feature. (Search for 'reverse switch' above for more information about this feature.).
2) An object or obstruction (such as an ant hill, clump of matted grass clippings or large tree branch) is jammed underneath the cutting deck or in the cutting deck drive system preventing the moving parts from engaging properly. Inspect for obstructions and carefully remove if necessary.
3) The unit may be experiencing a pinch, electrical system short or improper ground somewhere throughout the length of the wire harness. This could be sending a false signal to the safety interlock system. This false signal may be sensing that the operator is up out of the seat or the unit is mowing in reverse even though that may not be the case. For this situation a thorough inspection of the electrical system and possible repair of the wire harness is needed.