How To Fix a Stump Grinder That Won’t Turn On (Stopped Working!)

Why is my stump grinder not turning on?

The reason your stump grinder isn’t turning on is because of an engagement cable that is broken and already detached or a belt that is damaged due to wear and tear. Another reason your stump grinder isn’t working is an idler assembly that is misaligned or not positioned properly.


stump grinder not working


A broken Engagement Cable

Once the engine has attained the minimum speed required to drive the grinder mechanism, the role of the engagement cables is to allow the grinder to begin turning so that the mechanism may be driven. It is built into the engine so it can start and idle without being required to continuously turn the grinder. This makes it possible to save wear and tear on the engine. Because of this, the engine’s lifespan is increased as it is protected from being overworked in certain situations.

After the engine has reached its optimum speed, the spring-loaded engagement cable will engage, and the drive belt will then be able to turn the grinder assembly. The blades will not rotate if the engagement cable is damaged in any way or if it is not positioned correctly. The engagement cable can wear out over time but is not too difficult to replace when necessary.

Note: If you need to replace this cable, the user handbook for your device will have the correct part number.


A damaged Belt

A damaged belt can be the reason your stump grinder is not turning on. When engaged, a self-propelled grinder will utilize a belt drive system to rotate the machine’s wheels. These belts are prone to breakage due to wear and tear over time. Should the belt become damaged, the entire drive system will be rendered inoperable.

It is necessary to remove the cover and inspect each of the belts to determine whether or not any of them have snapped or become dislodged from their respective pulleys.


Misaligned Idler Assembly

After evaluating the engagement cable and drive belt, and your stump grinder is still not turning on; the idler assembly should be inspected to ensure that the belt is maintained at the appropriate tension level.

It is possible that the idler will not be able to engage the belt with sufficient force if it is misaligned or not functioning properly. This would prevent the belt from turning the machine. This device is subject to wear over time and will eventually require adjustment.


How to fix a stump grinder that’s not turning on

You can fix your stump grinder that is not turning on by replacing the belt, adjusting the stop switch, and perfuming safety procedures.

Replacing the belt

If your belt is damaged, then it needs to be replaced. To replace your belt, follow these steps.

  1. Make sure the machine is turned off before you start working with it.
  2. Move the switch that controls the ignition to the off position.
  3. Move the switch that controls the gasoline cut-off valve to the off position.
  4. Take the spark plug out of its socket.
  5. Get a hold of the plastic housing at the end of the spark plug wire.
  6. Pull strongly in the other direction to detach the wire from the spark plug.
  7. Tilt the machine until the handle supports it and elevate the cutter wheel to its highest position.
  8. Take the belt guard out of the way.
  9. To enable the motor to be moved without restricting its movement, unscrew the four nuts attached to the motor’s base. It is not necessary to remove the nuts.
  10. To keep the bolts from moving as you work, use a wrench with a 1/2-inch opening in conjunction with the socket wrench.
  11. To enable the motor to slide without interference, loosen the two bolts behind the centrifugal clutch using a wrench with a half-inch opening. It is not necessary to remove the bolts.
  12. Mark the placement of the second nut on the tensioner bolt by wrapping a piece of tape around the upper portion of the bolt.
  13. To allow the motor to go forward as much as possible, loosen the nut on the lower half of the tensioner bolt with a wrench measuring 9/16 inches.
  14. To ensure that the belt is properly tensioned, refer to the tape when you are reassembling the component to place the outer nut in the same spot as previously.
  15. Move the engine, facing the blade being cut to loosen the driving belt.
  16. Raise the drive belt to parallel to the ground and away from the machine. Then, with the belt rolled toward the cutter head, lift it, so it is gradually rolled off the pulley.
  17. Take the drive belt.


Adjustment of the Stop Switch

The Stop Switch is an important part of your stump grinder. If the Stop-switch needs to be adjusted, you should follow the following instructions.

  1. Loosen Hex Nut.
  2. Rotate the Linkage Bolt in a clockwise direction to move the point of interaction with the Stop Switch lower or in a counterclockwise direction to move it higher. To determine the appropriate interaction distance, lower the Linkage Bolt onto the Switch Button until you hear a “CLICK” sound from the button.
  3. Afterward, turn the linkage bolt up by a quarter (clockwise).
  4. Screw the hex nut down.
  5. Before using the machine, you should check that the operator presence switch is operational by releasing the operator presence bar located adjacent to the handlebar.
  6. When the Linkage Bolt has been correctly adjusted, you should hear a “CLICK,” which indicates that the adjustment has been made.

Note: Under no circumstances should you attempt to change, tweak, or circumvent the settings of this switch.


Performing safety procedures

To ensure the grinder turns on when it is needed, do routine maintenance as instructed in the user handbook. Observe all of the safety rules. When you are going to service the grinder, make sure to read and comply with the following steps:

  1. Before working on the engine or the stump grinder, you should always turn off the grinder, remove the spark plug or spark plug wire, and disconnect the battery on electric start versions. This will prevent the engine or the grinder from accidentally starting.
  2. You should replace the guards and shields. After the grinder has been serviced, you need to check that all guards and shields have been replaced.
  3. If a part needs to be replaced, make sure to only utilize repair parts that are factory approved. The guarantee on the grinder will be null and void if it is used with replacement parts that do not live up to the manufacturer’s criteria. This could result in an increased risk of injury or the grinder’s inability to function properly.


Why has my stump grinder stopped working?

The reason your stump grinder stopped working is because there is inadequate oil quantity in the engine for it to start it or a worn-out ignition coil. Another reason your stump grinder stopped working is the lack of lubrication on some of the parts or lack of regular maintenance.


Inadequate oil

Your stump grinder will stop working if your oil isn’t enough. You know how important oil is to machines. Here are steps to check your oil quantity and how to replace it.

  1. Check the yellow wire leading from the crankcase to the connector located behind the on and off switch.
  2. Ensure that the engine has the right quantity of oil
  3. Unhook the wire and try to start your stump grinder
  4. If the grinder doesn’t start, you need to change the oil. It’s either too dirty or old.

Note: Always check your oil quantity before you use your stump grinder. Else, your stump grinder will stop working.


Worn-out ignition oil

The ignition coil itself is another reason your stump grinder can stop working. Although it doesn’t frequently have problems, this does not indicate that it can’t eventually become worn out.

  1. Remove it, then use #0000 steel wool or a green scrubbing pad to clean the pick-up on the coil and the magnets on the flywheel.
  2. The next step is to locate the specifications for the correct gap for the coil, then take a feeler gauge and use it to get the correct gap between the coil and the flywheel.


Irregular maintenance

The secret to your stump grinder working as expected is regular maintenance. Manufacturers have minimized the amount of time spent on stump grinder maintenance, but it is still crucial to be done correctly and promptly.

  1. Check the stump grinder every day before using it.
  2. Feel around the machine to make sure nothing is broken or loose.
  3. Check that all sharp objects are sharp and all dull objects are dull.
  4. Tighten or replace the hose connection if the hydraulic fluid is leaking.
  5. Bearings that have become dry should be oiled. Bearings that have accumulated too much grease should be cleaned.
  6. Verify that all cutters are securely fastened by using the manufacturer-recommended torque on the brazed joints of the cutter head.
  7. Be wary of damaged or creased cutters. This should be checked at least once per day, and preferably twice.


Lack of lubrication

Lack of lubrication will make it hard for your stump grinder to continue working. The first step before using your grinder should always be to ensure the equipment is properly lubricated. Quality lubricant should be used for all moving parts. These are steps to follow to ensure all your grinder’s parts are well lubricated.

  1. Every day, or every eight hours, whichever comes first, you should grease all the moving parts that have grease fittings.
  2. Before using the grease gun, ensure the grease fittings are clean so that you don’t accidentally introduce dirt into the machine.
  3. Excess grease on the grease fittings should be removed after use.
  4. Excess grease left uncovered might attract dirt, speeding up the wear process.
  5. Immediately replace any grease fittings that are damaged or missing.


Why has my Toro stump grinder stopped working?

Your Toro stump grinder stopped working because the safety bail is in the wrong position or the fuel shutoff valve is off. An empty fuel tank or a spark plug wire that is loose or disconnected are other reasons your Toro Stump grinder stopped working.

Wrong safety bail position

Your machine will stop working when your Toro slump grinder isn’t positioned correctly. To fix this, follow these steps.

  1. Check where the safety bail is facing
  2. Ensure you let it hold against the handle.


Off fuel shutoff valve

Your Toro slump machine won’t start if the fuel valve is off. Your fuel valve should only be off when it’s idle. Here are the steps below to fix this.

  1. Check if your fuel valve is on or off
  2. If it’s off, kindly switch it on
  3. Ensure to off it back when you are done with your grinder.


An empty fuel tank

No machine will work with an empty fuel tank, and your Toro stump grinder isn’t an exception. And in some cases, the old fuel might have left debris and dirt inside the tank, making it inoperable. To fix this, check the following steps.

  1. Open your fuel tank
  2. Check the oil and filter, and then observe the state of the oil.
  3. You should check for a broken line somewhere if it contains a few particles.
  4. If it does not contain debris, it could just be that the fuel is old.
  5. Change the oil, and if the filter has a problem, replace it.

Note: In any case, it is always best to have a clean hydraulic system so that you don’t have to worry about it when you need it to start working. This will help you avoid any problems.


Loose spark wire plug

Your spark wire plug must be connected and tightened before your Toro stump machine can work. Below are steps to follow for it to work.

  1. Firstly check the electrode gap.
  2. Clean or replace the spark plug.


Why has my Vermeer stump grinder stopped working?

The reason your Vermeer stump grinder stopped working is because of carbon deposits on valves causing it not to close properly, or a vacuum leak causing fluctuation. A clogged air filter is another reason your Vermeer stump grinder stopped working.

Dirty valves

Before the spark plug in your Vermeer stump grinder can generate light, you need to ensure that the valve is clean. If the valve is dirty and unable to close, your stump grinder will stop working.

  1. Check for your valve if it needs cleaning
  2. Clean it and ensure there are no deposits there
  3. You can now close it so your stump grinder can be turned on.


Vacuum leak

If there is a vacuum leak in your stump grinder, you will experience a loss of power and erratic changes in your machine. After a long time of working, vacuum hoses spilt, wear out, harden or deteriorate. Here are how to find your vacuum leak and fix it.

  1. Firstly, find the picture of your grinder’s vacuum from the manual or online.
  2. Try and detect the vacuum leak source by checking each hose
  3. Make sure your hose is properly connected, and try to listen to the hissing sound of the vacuum leak.
  4. When you find the leak, check to see what’s making it wear out.
  5. Then you can replace the damaged hose


Clogged air filter

After a while, your air filters will have accumulated a significant amount of dust and grime, effectively choking the entrance to the inside of the unit. If the regular airflow is stopped, air may be pushed to enter the unit via a new path, leading to unwelcome dust and filth and causing problems. You must ensure your Vermeer stump grinder is free from dirt and particles. Below are ways to have a clean air filter.

  1. Check your air filter to see if anything is obstructing the air inflow.
  2. Remove it and clean it.
  3. If it’s too old, you can replace it with a new one.

Note: It is essential to do regular maintenance on your Vermeer stump grinder’s air filters because, if they are not maintained, they can compromise the efficiency of your grinder.