Small Engine Repair: How to Check a Solenoid Fuel Shut Off Valve on a Kohler V-twin Engine


**Always follow the instructions in your repair manual when doing repair or maintenance work on Outdoor Power Equipment. Manuals can be found at the manufacturers website.**

Solenoid fuel shut off valves are used to close the main jet or main fuel circuit in the carburetor when the key is turned off. The solenoid valve works by using a spring loaded plunger to press against the main fuel circuit passage and prevent fuel from entering the passage. When the key is turned on a magnetic field is generated in the solenoid and the plunger is pulled into the body of the solenoid, thus opening the main fuel circuit. By closing the main fuel circuit when the key is turned off, the fuel in the carburetor is prevented from entering the engine, and this prevents unburned fuel from entering the engine while it is shutting down, and this helps prevent engine back fires.

When the engine is stored with fuel in the carburetor for long periods, there is a risk of the old fuel causing contamination and corrosion to develop on the solenoid plunger causing it to freeze and no long move freely. When this happens the plunger is stuck in the fully extended position, and this closes off the main fuel circuit not allowing fuel to enter the engine when the key is turned on, and this prevents the engine from starting.



38 thoughts on “Small Engine Repair: How to Check a Solenoid Fuel Shut Off Valve on a Kohler V-twin Engine

  1. I have a generator with a stupid fuel solenoid on it…what I don't get is if I try to pull start it in the event of a dead battery how would that even work seeing how it needs the voltage from the battery to open up and let fuel into the jet?

  2. I have a command 23 that idles and runs poorly, I've narrowed it down to this part. At first I thought I had an electrical problem because when I disconnected the battery the idle smoothed out however, you couldn't throttle it up. Basiclly by disconnecting power I was disabling the fuel shut off my question is now why does it run poorly with the shut off valve working properly? I removed it and made sure it was operating properly. There wasn't a spec of rust, corrosion or bad fuel in it. Any ideas?

  3. My solenoid has two wires, so it doesn't ground through the carb. I took the rubber tip off the plunger, grabbed the shaft with pliers and worked it back and forth (with gas to lubricate it too). I tested operation, it pulled down and extended with the key on/off. It fired right up when I put it back together. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for the video, I was given this same mower because it didn't run. The only problem was the fuel shut off. After cleaning it, all works great and I have a new running mower.

  5. thanks you helped me, a repair shop was going to charge me $173.00 to replace my solenoid? needs cleaning! I did my other carb. this one in question is stuck, more cleaning!

  6. I have bought a hasqavama craftsman riding mower. I am having issue with start up the engine. It cranks but won't start. After putting some gas in carburator, it start right a way. Changed the fuel pump, spark plug, filter, air filter . All these did not help. Could help me finding the possible issue. Thanks

  7. When I turn my key on . I get no click of any kind. Wont run & I know fuel is making it TO the carb. Yet when I spray carb cleaner in wheile turning key it fires until the carb cleaner burns off.

  8. these solenoids are kind expensive, One thing I have done in the past is either remove the solenoid and put a plug in the bowl, or remove the plunger , just be sure to put a fuel cut off valve in the fuel line and turn fuel off when not in use

  9. You saved me!! Changed fuel because chipmunks chewed my fuel cap(and fuel can nozzle). Changed filter and was just about going to remove carb but I saw this. The "plunger" was stuck in upper carb! Cleaned and started right up!! THANK YOU!!!

  10. I have a 22 horsepower Kohler Courage engine will turn over but won't start. Spark plugs dry not getting gas check solenoid, solenoid works. Check to see if choke would open when throttle was put into choke. Cable was not engaging choke to open all the way. Adjusted cable linkage with one small adjustment screw by putting throttle lever to slow, loosen cable housing clamp (1 screw) located under carb, then move black throttle cable housing back about a quarter of an inch, or however much you need, retighten cable housing down with the screw. Now choke opens all the way when pushed into choke. It starts first turn every single time now.

  11. I have the same thing on my FR651V on a zero turn mower. The engine was surging so I wanted to take a look at the carb bowl. This solenoid has to be taken off but there is literally no room to get a wrench in there. Any ideas?

  12. My father gave me his 2011 Cub Cadet LTX 1450 that wouldn't start. The mower had sat fully fueled for 2+ years before he broke down and wanted me to get rid of it. I ran through the maintenance checklist and replaced everything (since it had never been) like plugs, air/fuel/oil filters, belts, blades, battery, etc. When I got it all together and fired it it would crank till next week but never catch. 2+2 didn't help, hell. I even took this solenoid off and because I didn't know what it was didn't know how to test it. Just got back in and am happy to report that was the problem! The plunger was crusted to the solenoid body and wouldn't retract when energized. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this explanation!

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