By: Author John Cunningham. Published: 2020/01/27 at 4:10 pm
What a pain in the jacksie! Most mowers have the opposite problem; I don’t know which is worse. Anyway, if you want to shut your mower off quickly, pull the plug wire, but you’ll need insulated pliers. (Insulated pliers are any plastic-handled pliers)
So, what’s wrong with a Toro Timemaster that won’t shut off? The most common reason a Toro Timemaster won’t shut off is loose wiring behind the push-off button switch.
I’m a mower mechanic, and I see this problem with the Toro Timemaster a lot. I love Toro mowers; they build great machines. This is a minor problem, and you can easily fix it right now. In this guide, I’ll show you all you need to know, including shutting your Toro off safely.
Shut Off a Toro Safely
The fastest way to shut off that Toro is to pull the plug wire. It’s safe to remove the plug wire, but – You must use insulated pliers. Otherwise, the coil will give you a jolt. An insulated plier is any plier with plastic handle sleeves. Alternatively, see below re-checking the push button wiring.
Insulated Pliers – Any pliers with plastic handles. Pull the plug wire by twisting and pulling.
Fixing a Toro That Won’t Shut Off
Now that the engine is off, we can get to diagnosing the root cause and fixing it. While I see this problem many times in a season, it is possible that the cause lies not with a loose wire at the off switch but elsewhere. No matter, we’ll cover three other possible causes in this guide, too.
I won’t cover how the kill switch system works in this guide as I’ve covered it in this guide “How to turn off a mower.” But first, let’s look at the most common cause – Loose wiring at the push button off switch.
1 Loose Wiring At The Push Button Off Switch
The push button is, as you know, located on the handlebar. The button is a simple two-wire on/off switch.
The Fault – One of the push button push-fit wiring connectors simply comes loose and falls off.
The Fix – Reconnecting solves the issue. However, if the wiring is broken or loose, it will need to be repaired, and we cover that a little later. First, let’s check for loose wiring.
Step 1: Go ahead and remove the push button off the switch by pushing it from behind with your finger.
Step 2: With the switch removed, examine the wiring. This switch hasn’t just come loose; its terminal has come away. I’ll need to replace it. I will cover that a little next.
Loose Wiring Repairs
Fit new connector; you’ll find all these tools in the “Small engine repair tools page”
2 Faulty Push Button “Off” Switch
The next most common cause is a faulty push button switch. They’re usually pretty durable, but moisture is a switch killer.
The Fault – All-weather plastic shield cracks and corrodes the contact points.
The Fix – Replace the switch.
Step 1: Check the shielding; if the flexible plastic cover is cracked or worn, it’s a good indicator that the switch is water-damaged, but we’ll need to test it to be certain.
Step 2: To test the switch, we’ll need a Voltmeter set to ohms as we’ll check for continuity between the two switch terminals.
A good switch shows continuity, but only when pressed. With your voltmeter set to ohm’s, check continuity. If the reading doesn’t change (stays at 1) when the button is pressed, the switch is faulty.
Check out “Small engine repair tools” page to see my recommended voltmeter.
3 Disconnected Engine Side Wiring
The next most common cause is a disconnected engine side wiring. The wiring harness is connected to the engine side at three points.
The Fault – Cutting under fencing or heavy shrubbery can catch and break or disconnect the wiring.
The Fix – Reconnect any disconnected wiring.
Step 1: Check all three wiring harness points as per the pictures below.
Step 2: Reconnect wiring or repair if necessary.
4 Broken Wiring Harness
As you’re still reading this post, I’m guessing you haven’t found the problem. This is the least likely issue.
The Fault – Broken wire in the wiring harness.
The Fix – Find and repair the break.
Step 1: Check for obvious signs of wiring damage. Common areas are where the wires bend and turn sharply. Mice and other wildlife like to eat wiring.
Step 2: Using a voltmeter, check for continuity in each of the wires. A jumper wire may be needed to connect the voltmeter. As before, no change in the reading indicates a break in that wire. You’ll need to chase the wiring and repair it.
Faulty Coil Circuit
This is rare, presumably as I have replaced a ton of coils, but not one for this reason. So, in the interest of having a complete list of all possible causes, I’ve included it.
The Fault – Broken internal grounding wire circuit.
The Fix – Replace the coil.
Step 1: Remove and check the ground circuit of the coil.
Step 2: Replace the coil. I cover replacing the coil in this video.
How does a lawnmower kill switch work? A lawnmower kill switch works by grounding the coil. This diverts the voltage away from the spark plug, which shuts off the engine.
- About the Author
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.