How to Test an Electric PTO Clutch

Updated April 17, 2017

An electric PTO is found on higher-end lawnmowers, located under the engine on the engine's crankshaft. It allows the engine crankshaft to turn freely while the blades are not in motion. When the PTO clutch engages, an electrical current flows to the clutch engaging a brake. This brake connects to a pulley with the mower deck's primary belt attached. This allows the blades to turn. When the blades no longer engage when the PTO switch is on, testing the PTO clutch is necessary. The procedure takes only 10 minutes.

Park the lawnmower on a hard, level surface and set the parking brake.

Slide the jack under the frame on the front of the lawnmower. Raise the lawnmower about two feet off the ground and place the jack stands under the frame, in front of the wheels. Lower the jack until the frame of the lawnmower is resting on the jack stands.

Disconnect the PTO clutch wire from the wiring harness directly below the engine.

Turn the ignition key to the "on" position without starting the engine. Turn the PTO switch to the "on" position. Turn the voltmeter on and set to 20 V, place the two leads into the terminal on the wire harness. It should read 12 volts. This is to ensure power is going to the clutch. Turn off the PTO switch and remove the key from the ignition.

Turn on the voltmeter and set it to the 1x ohms scale. Place the two leads coming from the voltmeter to the two terminals in the wire terminal on the clutch. The resistance should read between 2.4 to 2.7 ohms. If it reads lower then the 2.4 omhs, the clutch needs replacing.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Volt meter
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About the Author

Based out of Orlando, Fla., Yvonne Grant has since 1997 done everything from designing and outlining company handbooks to preparing reports for the IRS. She maintains a popular interior design blog where she gives advice and design tips. Grant has bachelor's degrees in both business and interior design from the University of Central Florida and the International Academy of Design and Technology.