Power indicator (needlessly) flashes, and mower will not start.

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My 2016 LM2102SP mower will not start.  Blade pathetically spins 2-3 times, the power indicator flashes to indicate motor is overloaded (which it apparently isn't), and motor stops.  First time using it in 7 months, when it had worked fine. The handle rails are extended and locked into a proper place.  Have taken the battery in and out (it's fully charged).  There is absolutely no debris around the blade or chute, and the blade spins by hand just fine.  Tried starting over concrete as well as low grass. Nothing worked after 30 times of trying different things. Any ideas?
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Larry Beason

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Posted 2 years ago

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Blue Angel, Champion

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Official Response
That’s not a good way to start the season!

I’m guessing it may be a battery issue. You could try using another battery to verify (if you have a spare). Regardless, a call to Ego Customer Service is in order. They’ll help you troubleshoot and get you fixed up.

Try calling early in the day to avoid waiting on hold.
(Edited)
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Larry Beason

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Thanks for the quick response.  I tried another battery, and it didn't work either.  I figure I'll llikely wind up calling customer service but will give it a day to see if someone else has a suggestion. BTW, there are 2-3 little 'boxes with buttons' in certain places (such as under the start 'key' and around the handle-lock) that some people say get stuck.  Not even sure what these things are called, but pics and videos suggest it wouldn't be an easy fix if that 'doo-hickey' is indeed the problem.
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Blue Angel, Champion

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The only simple user fix I’ve seen was a loose connector, accessed by removing a cover on the bottom of the mower. Be advised, opening the mower will void your warranty so tinker at your own risk! :-)
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TheAtomTwister

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I do think someone did do a warranty repair himself on this forum, but this guy was really good at working with electronics and had all the tools for the job.
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Larry Beason

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If it were a loose connector, would the motor even start up for a couple of seconds?  It starts but then very quickly stops and the motor is overloaded.  I'm thinking if it were a connector, would it even start at all?
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Blue Angel, Champion

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Agreed, your issue doesn’t sound like a loose connection.

I was more suggesting that diy repairs are not really feasible unless you’re really prepared to dive in and get technical, and even then you may not be able to fix it yourself. ;-)
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Ken Higginbotham

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If you have a meter you can do some basic tests. My first guess is connector issues. For example you can rig up a drop voltage test under load to check the battery circuit, etc...
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Larry Beason

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I'm not very wise in the ay of voltage.  If the headlight comes on just fine, I'm assuming that doesn't really tell me anything about the battery circuit etc.  Or does it?
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Howard Hoffman

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Larry, I have had this handle apart to replace a variable speed switch, it wasn’t a a easy task, so if your not mechanically incline would not suggest to tackle that handle. Try the operation of the self propelled only, the green light should come on the mower, and the mower will move. If that orange light comes on, I would say the contacts on the mower are either corroded, or dirty.
The mower sat for seven months, storing the mower in cool and dry space is very important. They tell you not to cover the mower with plastic, because it will trap moisture. Cleaning and maintenance of course is very important, these mowers does not like water, used damp wash cloths to clean underneath the mower. Following the owners manual on operation and care is very important to this machine.
If none of these suggestions help you, your mower should still be under warranty. When you call Ego, they will tell you to take it to your authorize dealer. They ask me where I purchased my mower, I said Home Depot. She said take it back there. But beware the turnaround when you see your mower again may be 4 to 6 weeks. That part sucks I know, but still very happy with the mower.
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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You say you tried a different battery and the same problem exists. So, that's pointing toward the mower. Was the different battery a known good battery? Meaning it was in a different tool and that different tool worked fine with that battery? If so, install the mower's battery into that different tool and see if the mower's battery works fine in the different tool. Again, if so, then you know for sure it's the mower.
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Larry Beason

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True, the battery worked fine in other equipment, and a different battery in the mower produced the same result (no start beyond a couple of twirls of the blade).  I read where someone gave it a day, and the mower started up after a similar problem.  But mine has been out for 3 days, with no luck in starting.
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Ken Higginbotham

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My suggestion is to go to the auto parts store and get some deoxit spay and electronic parts cleaner spray. Spray the battery contacts on both the battery and the mower with the deoxit. Then put the battery in and out a couple times while the deoxit is still on the contacts. Then take the battery out and rinse the deoxit off all parts. Give it about 15 mins to evaporate away, put the battery in and see if it works...
(Edited)
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TheAtomTwister

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Is that some kind of rust remover?
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szwoopp, Champion

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What are your suggesting to use to "rinse" the battery and other electrical contacts ?
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Larry Beason

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I'll likely try that, but if it were a connection problem, would the headlights come on?  They work fine.  The mower just claims that the motor is being overworked (the blinking orange light).
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Ken Higginbotham

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So... Two things in play, volts and current. If the contacts were slightly corroded it may allow a small amount of current to flow through and run the light. But when you try to pull enough current through the corroded connection to run the high amp motor the electrical connect good break... Hope that makes sense.

 

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TheAtomTwister

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Either that or there is a motor controller problem... oh wait, this mower has a brushed motor.  Still, there may be a possibility like that.  Here is what I would recommend you do.  When EGO sends you the new mower, if they do not want the old one back, then you can do whatever you want with it.  They'll recommend that you bring it to electronics disposal, but you can instead do what I tried to do once they sent me my replacement 575 unit.  I tried to get the old one working again.
(Edited)
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Also, my guess is (drum roll), the logic board will throw a disabling fault for any number of reasons, like over current motor, open circuit, grounded circuited, etc. But because they didn't want 10 different leds they just listed the most common error as the one for that led, over current motor.
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Ken Higginbotham

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It's an electrical contacts conditioner / cleaner. If cleaning with deoxit does not work My next suggestion is to either take it apart and clean / replace the switch the other person just mentioned or take it back to HD. If your handle with a meter there are some other test you can do to find faults...


Edit: there's a lot of volts/amps in play so be careful if you take it apart...

(Edited)
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Ken, Champion

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It's under warranty, so I wouldn't recommend taking it apart.
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Ken Higginbotham

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I'm really guessing it's the switch the other person mentioned but, the parts stores carry an aerosol electronics cleaner that will rinse away oily type residue, etc. and it evaporates quickly. I would not clean/rinse the entire battery, just the area in and around the contacts.

Edit: One more note - Deoxit is supposed to leave coating film to isolate the metallic electrical contacts from humidity in the environment, which cause the corrosion in the first place. So after you clean up with the electronics cleaner, shoot a second small amount of dexoxit on contacts as a preventative measure. And if possible keep the equipment in the carport instead of an out building... 

(Edited)
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Howard Hoffman

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Agree, spraying, taking things apart is a unauthorized repairs will void your warranty!
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TheAtomTwister

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With that said, there is one of two options: Let EGO service it as per warranty agreement, or instead take over the job of servicing the tool yourself.  Many of my EGO tools I never bothered to register because I wanted to service them myself.  My 530 unit runs more smoothly and more quietly than it ever did before because I switched the EDF in it, for example.  You really do not want to take over the job of servicing the tools unless you know what you're doing and/or are ready to pay the price if you mess up the tool.  Sometimes the best way to learn how to do something is to do it and mess up a few times.
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If a person skilled with circuits, etc., like an automotive diagnostics person, had access to the device and could tear it down and perhaps even had access to the schematics they could probably come up with some basic procedures to test the motor, switches, etc. that a person just starting with electrical trouble shooting could follow and a narrow this down in short order. It would most likely mean taking something apart and voiding the warranty but it would help bridge the gap between sending it back for who knows how long vs giving up on it...
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TheAtomTwister

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Whatever the case turns out to be, it is completely unacceptable to me to have a 6 to 8 week down time.
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100% agree. Real close to no warranty at all. Kind of like saying 'Here it is, good luck'.
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Ken Higginbotham

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Ditto on the work on it myself. Not much use taking it apart if you don't want to learn volt meter basics though...
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If you do keep the old one, send me the old ecu, I'll rig it up to my SnapOn Verus and trouble shoot it :)

(Just kidding of course)

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Well, here's the update.  At the advice of several of you, I called customer service, and they said it sounds like a defective circuit board.  It's under warranty, but I have to get it diagnosed at Home Depot anyway, which is reasonable.  But Home Depot said it could could take 6-8 weeks just for their store to look at it, and then they might send it to Atlanta to be worked on.   I don't see I have an alternative except piddle with it myself, but I think it's beyond the scope of repair that most mortals could do, and I don't want to void the warranty.
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That would make me really mad.  I would never want to wait that long, and top that off with the fact that I run a lawn business.  That right there is a good reason to stick with gas.  I have a gas mower that needs to be fixed, and I guarantee you I could take it into the shop and they'd have it all fixed up in less than 1 week.  How much is your grass gonna grow over that 6-8 weeks?  

Man... well, if you really want to stick with electric and you want to spend the money to make your own mower, then find a good cutting deck (one form a gas mower would do), get a RC helicopter brushless motor and speed controller and adapt it for a mower.  You will need to do some work on the motor shaft so that it is compatible with mower blades, get the blade fixed at the correct height and orientation, calibrate the blade speed system, create some kind of cooling system and some kind of battery port (a dual port for a 10S (40V Li-ion) or 14S (56V Li-ion) would work, or with a voltage divider (divide voltage by 2), an 80V port (20S)).  There are many ways and setups for building your own mower, and it is a task not for the faint of heart or for people who don't want to go to that trouble and just want a mower to get the yard mowed, but if you're interested in doing it, it is possible and can be fun.  I'd recommend a Toro 22in. cutting deck that comes with their 20333 model.  That is a good deck, but any deck would do.

As for your current mower, the controller would have to be replaced, that would be my first guess, and RCPW might have the part you need.  You might be able to call EGO and let them guide you through a repair process if you are up for it.  They might be able to diagnose the problem and/or tell you which part you need and may even be able to send it to you.
(Edited)
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TheAtomTwister

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Wait a minute: Howard Hoffman, it was you that did that repair.  here is the post: https://community.egopowerplus.com/ego/topics/how-does-the-lm2101-mower-perform-on-st-augustine-gras...  You might be able to give a better idea of what exactly you did and give a better idea of a way quicker than a 6-8 week wait. 
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Oregon Mike, Champion

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You have to use the Home Depot loaner program so you won't be without a mower all those weeks. Turn yours in for  warranty service and buy a new one. Take the new one back within 90 days and get a refund. 
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Larry Beason

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I didn't think of a loaner--didn't know they might have such a thing.  I'll check it out.
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They don't.   OM is suggesting creating your own loaner program by purchasing a mower and then returning it with in the HD 90 day return window.  Something that has been discussed before on this board to combat against HD stating 8 weeks for a repair.
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Larry Beason

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Ah--I get it.  I'd rather not, but if it indeed takes as long as they say (or longer), I'm going to do something so I don't go without.  Thanks.
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My guess is HD has some kind of program to deal with people that abuse return policy. Just saying....

 Although I am one that likes to purchase a little more of something than I think I may need and return the balance to keep from having to make multiple trips if I run out. 
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Truth be told, if I had to wait that long, I'd either try a different brand or go back to gas.  A third option is to try corded.  Kobalt has a 13 amp 21 inch corded push mower that my neighbor has and likes.  If you mow starting close to your power outlet and mow in swaths perpendicular to the outlet, you should be able to avoid hitting the cord easily, plus the mower is only $199.  Corded mowers I believe would be the lowest maintenance and highest reliability of all the mowers you could buy.
(Edited)
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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Larry, that is not our agreed upon repair policy with Home Depot. If you do not have your mower back in 4-6 weeks (often far less than that this time of year), please call us. We want to make sure your tool is serviced and returned as quickly as possible. 
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Howard Hoffman

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Hey Amber, was wondering about protocol policies on warranty work as you mentioned. I’m sure it would rely on parts and delivery and repair times. I depend on my mower year round, during winter months in Florida I can go 2 weeks without a mower, but summer 7 to 10 days. As a mower owner of your product was wondering what would be the turnaround time before authorizing the store to replace the product with new. Again thank-you for coming out today, and joining us about Larry’s concerns.
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Larry Beason

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Thanks Amber. I can't take the mower in until 1-2 more days, but I'll check again on their timeframe.  Perhaps the person I talked to was trying to give the worst-case scenario plus 2-3 more weeks, just to make me not rush them.
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If you ever want an update on your tool's repair status, please call 1-855-284-3349. This is the number for Home Depot's warranty department, where associates can instantly assist with your case(s). However, if the process takes more than 4-6 weeks, we urge you to call our service team at 1-855-346-5656. They're happy to jump in and resolve any potential issues as quickly as possible. 
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Thanks for the follow up Amber, Good info. Would you happen to have info on a source for schematics for out of warranty do-it-your-selfers?
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Amber F., Official EGO Rep

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Unfortunately, I do not. You'd need to speak with customer service directly for that sort of thing.
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Larry Beason

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Amber, I took in my EGO mower to Home Depot and spoke with another person in the service dept who said it would take at least 8 weeks.  She said they don't really work on electronic mowers there, so they would have to send it to Atlanta, with it being two weeks just for shipping time (and I think she meant 2 weeks just to send and 2 to return).  I guess they use the stage, as Atlanta is barely 6 hours away.  Anyway, that's the second person in their dept who said we're looking at 8 weeks minimum.
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I had an issue with our local cable company that went on for several years and kept getting the run around. I friend suggested I post to a cable company twitter. I did, had to learn what a twitter account was first :), and with in 3 weeks of back and forth they had it fixed. Maybe you could do the same. I see there is an '@egopowerplus' twitter account. Maybe tweet it and ask for options...?
(Edited)
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Howard Hoffman

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Larry whatever you invested in your mower you are taking a big risk losing it by you digging into this problem. But my problem was easy diagnosed by hands on, and having mechanical experience. So I believe since this mower sat for 7 months moisture got to the electrical contacts on the mower, again this is hands on disassembling the motor. Now if you call Ego they will send you a email of schematic drawing that has breakdowns on your model. I suggest has you disassemble to take a lot of pictures to help you putting back together. I would take Ken’s suggestion with spraying these contacts, and use a little fine emery cloth to clean corrosion probably can’t see without disassembling. Your description of the problem blade turning a couple times, orange lights on the mower, arcing across the contacts could be causing your overload light to come on.
Again this is where the hands on comes into place and having knowledge. Did you put the battery in and use the self propelled lever to see if the mower moves. The power would have to come through those contacts to operate the self propelled motor, if that works start digging in to find that print board Ego was talking about. Again all hands on, Good Luck!
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Larry Beason

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The motor doesn't kick in long enough for me to try the self-propelled lever.  I'm going to hold off for a couple of days before taking it to Home Depot.  I'll buy the recommended cleaning spray and give that one last try.
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szwoopp, Champion

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SP works without the blade motor engaged, so you can test that just like the headlights.
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Larry Beason

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I tried SP, and it doesn't kick in the overload light (I don't think it's designed to do it with SP).  But it just sits there.  The green light on the battery flashes, but I think it does that anytime you start the motor or SP.
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Larry Beason

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Good news.  Though it took right at 6 weeks, Home Depot managed to fix my mower, and the warranty covered everything.  They had to ship it to Atlanta to be fixed, and no one here can tell me what the problem was with the mower, but it seems to be running fine after a small test-mow yesterday!
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Glad it worked out, Larry!

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