My Toro GTS 6.5 wont start and this post is how to troubleshoot and repair the engine. We will cover troubleshooting steps and how to narrow down possible issues.
I have a Toro GTS 6.5 that worked fine. I put it away in the garage and when I pulled it out a few weeks later to mow the lawn, it did not start. Nothing really changed that I’m aware of, it just didn’t start.
Troubleshoot – Divide by 2
The first thing we want to do when troubleshooting a small engine is to figure out if it is a fuel problem or an electrical problem. It pretty much has to be one of the two problems. Once we figure this out, we have divided the problem in half.
To tell if it is an electrical issue, see if you have spark. I do this by removing the spark plug, hooking up the top part to the coil wire and using jumper cables, like you use to jump a battery in a car, to ground the base of the spark plug.
Then tie down the on/off/safety lever on the push handle so that is in the on position. Give a couple of tugs on the pull cord and see if you have spark. If you do, the engine likely has a fuel issue. If there is not spark, look future into the electrical system.
Make sure the base of the plug has a good ground connection. Make sure it is not too bright where you are checking for spark as it may be too bright to see the spark.
One of the things I check while the spark plug is out and you are tugging on the pull cord is if fuel is flowing. You should be able to smell a little gas mixture coming out of the hole where the spark plug is removed from. If not, there could be a fuel issue.
For a fuel issue check kinks or clogs in the fuel line, water in the fuel tank or fuel line, make sure there is gas in the tank, and clean the carburetor. Also check the air filter and make sure it is not clogged up. To work properly, your engine needs a fuel and air mixture.
Back to Electrical
My lawnmower had fuel and did not have spark, so I’ll focus on that part of the system. If you do not have spark, there are only a few things it could be. The spark plug itself, the coil assembly, or the safety mechanism that shuts the system off.
If there is no spark, there is no easy way to test a spark plug that I’m aware of, other than replacing it. Spark plugs are relatively cheap, so I just bought a new one. Make sure you have the right gap on the plug. Check your owner’s manual or look your mower up on the internet to figure out the right gap. I did mine right around 22 thousandths of an inch, measured with a feeler gauge.
The safety mechanism is on the handle and connects to the engine with a cable. When the safety mechanism is not pulled back in the running position, it is actually grounding out the coil so it cannot make a spark. To test and see if this is the problem, you can remove the wire from the safety mechanism to the coil. With the top off of the lawnmower this is easy to access. The wire slips onto a lug on the coil, so you do not have to cut the wire and can easily replace it.
Warning: Only use the bypass methods here for troubleshooting while doing repairs. Never bypass safety features during actual operation of your device.
There could be a couple of things with the coil. It could be spaced too far away from the flywheel to create a spark or it could be broken and need replacement. I measured mine to 22 thousandths of an inch. I also ended up replacing my coil.
After replacing the coil and spacing it at 22 thousandths of an inch, I have spark. I buttoned the system up and the lawnmower started right up.
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