I have a 1993 model Craftsman (917.257560) mower. I was having problems with it last weekend when I was trying to get it out. Charged the battery, checked the carb and checked the starter. Everything looked fine. I bypassed the seat safety cause I thought that was the culprit. Put everything back together and it started and purred like a kitten. It was too late to start mowing so I put her up.

Yesterday I was going to mow so I started it up and went to engage the blades and it died. I think there is a safety switch of some sort at the end of the engage/disengage lever under the dash. That is a whole other problem cause I can't figure out how to take the dash off... please advise.

  • Cross posting to other sites is not good form here. If you want your question moved to a different stack, please flag it for moderator attention, and they can migrate it.
    – Tester101
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:10
  • Are the blades bound up? Are all the pulleys aligned and free of debris? Does the belt have a clear path?
    – Tester101
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:19
  • The blades are not bound. Pulleys are fine and belts are fine. I can move the blades by hand.
    – Atticus
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:25
  • This YouTube video might be helpful, as it shows you how to access the interlock switch. Though I would replace the switch, rather than bypassing it.
    – Tester101
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:26
  • I don't necessarily want to bypass it. I just want tips right now on how to get to it, if that is what we think the problem is. My mower is definitely not that easy to access.
    – Atticus
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Rather than bypassing the various safety systems, either replace it (23 years is not an unreasonable retirement age for a mower) or have it properly repaired (since your "repair" methods don't appear to be oriented that way, take it to somone who is oriented that way.) Rendering the safety systems inoperable is a good way to find out why they were installed in the first place. Perhaps you'll have a child mowing the lawn someday with your customized mower...

  • While I understand your concern, I'm not going to pour money into a 23 year old tractor. Which happens to be the reason I'm on the DIY forum...
    – Atticus
    Apr 26, 2016 at 15:46
  • Ecnerwal, there's nothing wrong with temporarily bypassing a safety interlock for diagnostic purposes. Atticus, parts are readily available cheap on Amazon of all places. If you're going to use it, maintain it. 23 years old says nothing about its remaining service life. May 26, 2016 at 20:49

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