Troy Bilt Bronco Riding Mower Won't Start? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

When it comes to keeping a lawn happy and healthy, your lawnmower is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can own. And given the costs involved in getting a quality mower, it only makes sense that you would want to protect it and keep it in working order.

Troy Bilt’s line of mowers is one of the most trusted on the market. That said, they are not impervious to issues. So, what happens when it won’t start? Well, the most likely issues are the battery and the solenoid. Check those and you will likely find the solution to your issue. Of course, there are other potential issues that we will cover later on.

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The Most Likely Issues

When your Troy Bilt Bronco mower will not start, there are generally two issues at hand: the battery and the solenoid. Your mower’s engine works in quite a similar fashion to that of the average car. There are a few differences to note, but the general principle is the same.

The battery. The battery, as it would in a car, is responsible for delivering power to the various components in the mower. When it is damaged or not functioning properly, then it is incapable of delivering said power to the various components.

Test the battery to ensure that it has a charge. If it is dead, replacing it is a quick fix and can be done for relatively cheap. Moreover, you should probably consider replacing the battery after a few years anyway, even with routine maintenance.

Solenoid. The solenoid, meanwhile, is composed of the housing, a coil of wire, and a moveable plunger known as the armature. When that electrical current is introduced, there is a magnetic field that forms around the coil. This all works to draw the coil in. The solenoid then converts that electrical energy into power for the various components.

Replacing the solenoid is a bit trickier, but definitely not impossible. It does take a little bit of mechanical experience, otherwise you may need to look into professional intervention to get the necessary repairs.

Troubleshooting Your Troy Bilt Bronco

When you sit down to start up your Troy Bilt Bronco and it doesn’t turn over, don’t panic. There are a few things that you can do to properly troubleshoot the issue. This will not only help you to find the source of the issue but will likely give you a clearer idea of how to remedy the issue as well.

  • Check the cutting deck. Make sure that the cutting deck is engaged, and your parking brake is set. You don’t want the mower rolling off as you try to work on it. Moreover, make certain that the safety switch is not on. You will need to access the internal components and the safety switch prevents you from reaching them.
  • The battery. Take a quick look at the battery. Look to make sure that there is no built-up dirt or acid residue. If you notice a lot of the latter, it could indicate that there is a leak of battery acid which can damage the battery. Make sure that the battery is properly installed. You can even use a voltmeter to verify that the battery has a full charge. Should you notice any of the aforementioned issues, swapping out the battery is usually the easiest fix.
  • Check the fuse box. If the battery is fine and has no discernable issues, then the fuse box should be your next destination. Check to see if there are any visibly burned-out fuses that need to be replaced. Check to ensure that the ground wire is completely intact. The ground wire is the black wire that goes from the engine of the mower out into the frame. Make certain that all the connections are solid and that none are loose. Loose connections are another common reason for mower malfunction.

What to Do if the Mower Engine Turns Over But Doesn’t Start

So, let’s say you have done your troubleshooting above and the engine turns over, yet won’t start. There is further troubleshooting to be done to help find and solve the issue. Follow the first step above and ensure that the parking brake is on and the cut deck is engaged. Then, you are ready to move on to the next step.

  • Engine throttle choke. Start by inspecting the engine throttle choke and control. Sometimes it can get lodged out of position and prevent the engine from starting. Make sure that it is positioned properly before moving on to the next step.
  • Do you have gas? There is a saying that the simplest explanation is usually the right one. It happens more often than you would think but running out of gas is a very real possibility. Check to ensure that you have gas in the tank and fill it up if you do not.
  • Check the fuel line and filter. While you are checking to see if you have gas, check the fuel line and filter. Sometimes, either or both can get clogged up with debris, dust, and dirt. If you aren’t 100% certain, consider replacing the fuel filter just to be safe.
  • Spark plug. There are times where the spark plug can be disconnected or failing, not delivering the necessary spark needed to get the engine going. Verify that the spark plug is connected. You may want to consider replacing it anyway; this is a relatively cheap fix.

What to Do if the Engine Vibrates or Smokes

There are myriad other issues that can revolve around any type of engine. Vibration is somewhat normal but the last thing that we want to see is smoke of any kind. So, if your mower starts to seriously vibrate or emit smoke, follow these troubleshooting steps to find the potential issue.

  • Check the blade. One of the most common issues with vibration is that the blade is bent or damaged. Give it a good visual inspection to see if there is any bending. That is the most likely issue when it comes to excessive vibration in your Troy Bilt Bronco.
  • Check the belt. There is a belt responsible for turning the blade. From time to time, it can become worn or damaged. If you notice any visible damage, replace it immediately. A damaged belt can also lead to major vibrations when your mower is in operation.
  • Mount bolt. Another common issue is when the mounting bolt comes loose or breaks off. That bolt mounts to the blade, keeping it in place. Not only can the blade come loose, but it can hit the body of the mower or the ground, causing vibration and smoking. Make sure that the bolt is properly secured or consider replacing it if it has broken.

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Related Questions

Facing other issues with your Troy Bilt mower? Just have general questions to get a better understanding of the various components and how they work? Here are a few frequently asked questions that can help you get a better knowledge of your Troy Bilt Mower.

Where is the Solenoid on a Troy Bilt Mower?

Given that the solenoid can be an issue from time to time, it helps to not only know how to access it but how to identify it. The solenoid tends to be one of the most common problems when it comes to Troy Bilt mowers not starting.

The solenoid works to connect the battery, starter, and ignition switch together, eventually turning the engine over. It works by channeling electricity to the other components in order to start the mower. It is generally located near the starter motor. You can find it relatively easily by tracing the red cable from the positive terminal in the battery to the solenoid.

Identifying the solenoid. If you are trying to visually identify the solenoid, look for the small plastic black box that has three or four different terminals. Generally speaking, the solenoid is mounted to the engine’s framework. The exact location can vary, so it may take a moment to locate it. It all depends on the model of Troy Bilt mower that you are working with.

When in doubt, check out the operator’s manual. It should have a diagram of the entire electrical system. That also includes the part number and exact location for the solenoid.

Where is the Fuse on a Troy Bilt Bronco?

Think that a faulty fuse may be at play? Find the fuse, which is installed in the wiring harness. The wiring harness is generally located near the battery. Just make sure that you cut the power to the motor and then look beneath the rear fender and you should find the wiring harness.

You can then remove the fuse to take a closer look. If you notice burn marks, that means the fuse has burnt out. You can take it to your local outdoor supply store and replace it accordingly. Installation is just as easy and is one of the quickest fixes that there is.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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