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Craftsman DLS 3500 Troubleshooting

The Craftsman DLS 3500 is a two-wheel drive lawn tractor. This model was manufactured by AYP built from 2007 to 2008. The Craftsman DLS3500 tractor is powered by 30.6 cu.in (501 cc) Briggs and Stratton 31P777 4-cycle single cylinder OHV vertical shaft air-cooled gasoline engine with a rated power of 20 hp (14.8 kW).

The Craftsman DLS 3500 is fitted with 2 types of transmission. 1st type: 6-speed transmission with 6 forward and 1 reverse gears. 2nd type: hydrostatic transmission with infinite forward and reverse gears.

Max. forward speed - 5.5 mph (8.8 kph), maximum reverse speed - 2.4 mph (3.9 kph). The Craftsman DLS 3500 is equipped with a sector and pinion type steering system, mechanical disc brakes, 15x6.00-6 front tires, and 18x9.50-8 rear tires. The tractor is compatible with 42" and 46" mid-mount 2-blade mower decks with cutting height of 1.5-4.0 in (37-100 mm), six cut positions, and mechanical lift system.

Engine Troubleshooting
Engine is not starting or hard starting
Gas tank is empty - Add gasoline
Wrong grade of gasoline - Change gasoline
There is air in the fuel system - Bleed the system
Faulty spark plug wire connection - Inspect the spark plug wire connection, replace or repair
Spark plug is defective - Change spark plug
Plugged fuel filter - Change fuel filter
Safety contact for brake pedal defective - Install new part
Incorrect carburetor adjustment - Adjust carburetor idle mixture screw
Poor cylinder compression - Check cylinder block and change worn parts
Choke cable is unadjusted or damaged - Change cable or adjust properly
Unstable engine running
Air intake grill is clogged - Need to clean or wash
Ignition system malfunction - Check ignition and replace faulty components
Throttle cable is faulty or stuck - Replace or service the cable
Plugged air filter - Replace or service air filter
Fuel pump is damaged or dirty - Inspect fuel pump and change as required
Engine starts and stalls suddenly
Spark plug is faulty - Spark plug need to be replaced
Faulty or dirty carburetor - Replace or service carburetor
Ignition coil is not working - Ignition coil must be replaced
Valve springs are weak or broken - Valve springs need to be changed
Stuck valves - Service the valves
Engine overheats
Insufficient engine oil - Check oil level and add oil as required
Excessive engine load - Reduce engine load
Plugged cooling fins - Clean and wash as required
Carburetor mixture is too lean - Use proper settings
Ignition timing is wrong - Set the ignition timing properly
Incorrect valve setting - Adjust valves correctly
Engine noises or knocks
Stale fuel - Use correct gasoline
Engine is overloaded - Load reducing is recommended
Engine oil insufficient - Add oil to the engine crankcase
Improperly adjusted low idle speed - Adjust idling as required
Fuel pump is damaged or dirty - Clean or change fuel pump
Main bearings or crankshaft failure - Have bearings or crankshaft replaced
Valve clearance is incorrect - Need to adjust valve clearance
Worn piston rings or cylinder bore - Replace defective components
Engine power is too low
Carburetor is clogged or improperly adjusted - Clean or properly adjust carburetor
Air filter is dirty - Change or service air filter
Fuel pump is defective or dirty - Service or replace fuel pump
Ignition system problems - Inspect ignition system and change faulty parts
Defective cylinder head gasket - Replace cylinder head gasket
Valves are burned or stuck - Change or clean valves
Worn or damaged push rod - Push rod should be replaced
Faulty cylinder block components - Change defective parts
Engine uses too much fuel
Throttle did not open fully - Replace or adjust throttle cable
Incorrect adjustment of carburetor main jet - Adjust the carburetor main jet correctly
Loose or defective spark plug - Spark plug need to be tightened or replaced
Worn, stuck, or burned valves - Change or clean valves
Sleeve, rings, or piston are damaged - Replace defective parts
Valve clearance is wrong - Check and adjust
High engine oil consumption
Gaskets or seals are excessively worn - Replace worn parts to avoid leaks
Valve stems or guides are damaged - Need to replace the valves
Worn or stuck piston rings - Install new piston rings
Scored cylinder liner or piston - Check liner and piston, change as required
Plugged breather hose or pipe - Service or replace

Transmission Troubleshooting
Difficult to shift gears
Rusty or worn gear shift linkage - Install a new gear shift linkage
Bent or worn shift forks - Shift forks need to be changed
Gearshift mechanism is worn out - Repair or replace worn components if required
Transmission makes noise
Insufficient transmission oil - Checking transmission oil level and add if necessary
Transmission oil contamination - Change the oil
Damaged bearings or worn gears - Install new gears or bearings
Transmission jumps out of gear
Incorrectly installed or damaged shift lever - Reinstall the lever properly or change it
Gears are damaged or worn - Change gears
Faulty shift rods or shift forks - Change defective forks or rods
Transmission slipping
Drive belt/shaft is damaged or incorrectly adjusted - Adjust belt/shaft or install a new one
Defective brake/clutch or incorrect brake/clutch adjustment - Replace brake/clutch or adjust it
Drive pulley is defective or worn - Change pulley

Hydrostatic Transmission Troubleshooting
HST transmission makes excessive noise
Worn or out of adjustment speed control linkage - Repair or adjust linkage
Transmission is under excessive load - Reduce transmission load
Contaminated transmission fluid or low fluid level - Pour fresh fluid or add transmission fluid to proper level
Transmission components are damaged or worn - Replace or repair defective components
Shifting is hard
Shift linkage is worn or rusty - Replace or lubricate the linkage
Hydrostatic pump is seized or faulty - Change or repair pump
Unadjusted or damaged transmission shift control parts - Adjust correctly or replace
Loss of power
Insufficient transmission oil - Fill up the transmission oil
Drive pulley is defective or worn - Change pulley
Unadjusted or broken shift linkage - Adjust correctly or change linkage
Speed control pedal linkage is bent or not adjusted - Adjust or change linkage
Transmission leakage
Worn transmission seals or gaskets - Install new gaskets or seals
Leaking final drive shaft - Install new shaft seals
Transmission housing is cracked - Install a new transmission housing

Mower Deck Troubleshooting
Excessive mower vibration
Drive pulley of mower deck is damaged or dirty - Service or replace pulley
Worn or loose drive belt - Belt needs to be adjusted or replaced
Unbalanced or warped cutting blades - Balance blades or replace it
Loose blade bolts tightening - Bolts should be tightened
Discharge chute keeps clogging
Fast mowing speed - Use a lower speed
Tall grass - Must be set to low cutting height
Engine runs at low revs - Open choke fully
Mower cuts too low - Must be set to high cutting height
Incorrect mower drive belt installation - Reinstall drive belt properly
Lawn mower leaving uncut grass
Discharge area is clogged - Need to clean the mower deck
Blades are excessively dull - Blades need to be sharpened
Blades are defective or worn - Blades need to be replaced
Fast mowing speed - Select a lower speed
Mower deck set to low cutting - Need to set high cutting height
Full grass bag - Empty the grass bag
Blades scalp the grass
Uneven or bumpy lawn - Roll or level the lawn
Mower cuts too low - Must be set to high cutting height
High mowing speed - Select a slower speed
Mower deck is not leveled properly - Level the deck properly
Blades are bent or worn - Install new blades
Low tire inflation - Inflate tires correctly
Mower cutting is uneven
Low tire inflation - Inflate tires as required
Mower deck is not leveled properly - Adjust the level of mower deck correctly
Excessive blade dullness - Sharpen the blades
Blades are worn or damaged - Blades need to be replaced
Deck clogged with grass clippings - Check cutting deck and clean as necessary
Damaged mower deck shell - Repair or replace the deck
Mower spindle is loose or defective - Repair or change the spindle

Electrical Troubleshooting
Battery is not charging
Loose or corroded electrical wiring connections - Tighten or service cable connections
Electrical terminal connectors are faulty - Terminal connectors need to be changed
Battery faulty cell - Use a new battery
Starter turns slow
Low battery voltage - Low battery charging, charge as required
Battery runs out quickly - Service charging system or replace battery
Bad battery terminals or disconnected wiring - Check cables and clean or change terminals
Starter is not working
Battery is low or faulty - Need to charge or replace the battery
Wiring is improperly connected or disconnected - Check wiring and connect properly
Battery voltage is low - Recharge the battery
Spark plug dirty or improperly gapped - Replace or clean and gap
Damaged starter motor or solenoid - Replace solenoid or repair starter



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