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First post here. As a native Minnesotan, I feel a deep rooted connection with everything snow...including my Toro 824. Bought it in late fall 2014. Worked GREAT last year. Stored it properly and put it away.

Took it out this year to clear the first snowfall...nothing. Would. Not. Start. Safety key in, fresh gas. Tried both pull and electric start for 15 minutes. Nothing. Hmm. Tried feathering the throttle/choke to get it at least to sputter, or something...nothing.

I checked the safety switch (this one has the plastic key you insert). Switch is good. Ohm meter shows good circuit completion with the key removed, and wide open circuit with the key in. Great.

Just for grins, I tested the two terminals coming from the engine compartment that plug into the switch....circuit completed. Uh oh.

Am I misunderstanding something? Isn't there supposed to be an open circuit for the engine to run with these safety switches? What could possibly closing the circuit with the switch removed entirely? Any help/insight would be MUCH appreciated!
 

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Try the old fashion way. Put the throttle to run. Pull the plug and put it on the coil wire. Ground the plug and pull, to see if you have spark. Make sure the carb is getting gas, also.
 

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Motor City is right. Make sure it is a no-spark issue first by looking for spark.
It may be an interlock (ignition) issue, but lets rule out things like bad gasoline first.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestions! Unfortunately, no spark. Zero. I'm guessing this is due to the fact that something is grounding out/completing the cut off circuit? Again, this machine is only a little over a year old...not sure why the issues so soon. Perhaps corrosion?
 

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Thanks for the suggestions! Unfortunately, no spark. Zero. I'm guessing this is due to the fact that something is grounding out/completing the cut off circuit? Again, this machine is only a little over a year old...not sure why the issues so soon. Perhaps corrosion?
Thanks
I'm not that familiar with models that new.
Wow. Is the plastic key really the only thing attached to the coil leads?
https://www.toro.com/en/parts/partdetails/?id=44745
 

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No the plastic keys only function is to allow the ignition to get grounded when you pull it. It should create an open to ground installed - which he has proven it works so far.
 

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Try another spark plug. Its not common, but their are defective ones, every now and then. Go get an NGK equivalent, of whats in the machine. Its a cheap check. After that I would start checking the coil. You can check continuity with an ohm meter. Your looking for it to be open. It could have failed when it cooled down from the last time you ran it.
 

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I checked the safety switch (this one has the plastic key you insert). Switch is good. Ohm meter shows good circuit completion with the key removed, and wide open circuit with the key in. Great.

Just for grins, I tested the two terminals coming from the engine compartment that plug into the switch....circuit completed. Uh oh.

Am I misunderstanding something? Isn't there supposed to be an open circuit for the engine to run with these safety switches? What could possibly closing the circuit with the switch removed entirely? Any help/insight would be MUCH appreciated!
Do you have a throttle control on that machine, and if so, does it has a kill position at the very end of travel at the low speed end? Could have a ground short there as well if it's equipped.

One of the wires to the key switch should go to ground, and it you follow it to its source, you should find one screwed to the engine block someplace.

The other wire should go to the ignition module and should NOT be grounded. Trace that one as far as you can before it goes into the engine and look for someplace where its rubbing on metal and the insulation is gone.
If you can't find the short, then let the dealer do the warranty thing.

Could be a bad ignition module, or a short in the kill wire where you cannot get at it without starting to take stuff apart, which will probably void your warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you all very much for your input. After a bit of plastic cowling removal (I like to void warranties :) ), I followed both wires from the switch. The ground wire looks good. So does the one going to the ignition module. Looks like the module may be the culprit.
 

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Three basic systems to diagnose or eliminate... fuel, spark, compression.

You could eliminate all questions of kill switches and accidental grounding by temporarily disconnecting the kill wire from the "coil". If you still don't get spark you'll have an idea what to check next. If you do get spark.. you may need to flood the engine or pull the spark boot to kill it. Then you'd need to reconnect the kill wire and check all accidental grounding via switches and/or bad wires or wiring.

You could also check integrity of spark-plus-compression by eliminating and ignoring bad fuel, fuel supply issues and carburetor issues by spraying starter fluid or carb cleaner into the air intake or directly into the cylinder through the spark plug and see if it at least coughs and splutters and maybe runs for a few seconds. If it does that, you know you have spark and compression so you'd know to (probably) focus on fuel/carburetor next.

Hard to imagine why compression should have suddenly failed during storage.

EDIT: But re-reading the thread, it sounds like you've narrowed it down to spark. So the first test I mentioned would still be useful to confirm/eliminate accidental grounding.

$0.02
 

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After trying the above mentioned suggestions, try pulling the starter cover off to make sure the little mice didn't nest in there and chew wires. Very common over summer problem.
 
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