Suggestions for new members seeking help
If you stumbled across this site from a Google search, and are planning to ask for help with your lawn tractor, here are a few suggestions from a long-time member (10 years, under various names):
1. Bookmark (add to Favorites) this site; it appears that some new members post a question and get responses asking for more info about the problem, but can't find their way back to the site.) It's discouraging to try to help somebody who never checks back in.
2. When you sign up, check mark the box that allows emails to you through Garden Web; I've never had a probem with getting spammed as a result of this. Sometimes responders prefer to contact you directly.
3. Keep in mind that saying an engine problem with a John Deere (or whatever) doesn't tell forum members what brand of engine you have. If your Craftsman won't start, the problem is likely to be Briggs & Stratton or Kohler or Tecumseh related. Lawn tractor manufacturers don't manufacture the engines they install Same goes for transmissions.
4. FULLY describe the problem. Saying "My Craftsman engine won't start" doesn't give potential responders as much as a HINT as to what the problem might be. If you will say "The 13-HP Kohler Command engine on my Craftsman will crank and fire sometimes, but will not start" then we've got something to go on.
5. Tell us what repairs you've attempted (and, by the way, don't start turning the adjustment screws on the carburetor as the first item.)
6. If the engine suddenly died and won't restart, describe the conditions under which it died ("It was running fine, mower blades engaged, and suddenly died clean - no rough-running or engine stuttering first." Or "The engine was running smoothly, but when I engaged the blades, it died and won't restart.)
7. If you don't know a socket wrench from an Ohmmeter, just take your machine to the repair shop.
I recently contacted a long-time member who always gave clear and concise advice, and asked him why he quit posting. He said that he was tired of answering questions that had answered many times before (and can be found with a site search), posters not describing the problem, and posters not following up when given advice or asked for an explanation of the problem Too bad - he was a guy who could get you back in the tractor seat again.
I don't mean to sound cranky here, but I've tried to get further information from folks who posted a question on the same day they signed up with the forum, only to never get a response ... this has happened repeatedly.
There are any number of knowledgeable members here who are willing to help out ... but we've got to understand the problem, YOU need to provide further information when requested, and you should have at least some mechanical skills and tools to go with; otherwise, your local tech is your best bet.