Whether you rent or own a mini excavator, one of the most typical problems (especially during the winter) is if mini excavators won’t start or turn over. Knowing how to operate a mini excavator is one thing; setting it up early in the morning is another.

Of course, operating the small excavator yourself saves time and money, but it can also cost you more if something goes wrong. So, when a mini excavator doesn’t start, what does that mean? What are your options for resolving the issue? What’s the matter with it today if it worked well yesterday?

The first step is to try again, this time paying attention to any clicking sounds as you twist the key. If it doesn’t start, it doesn’t necessarily imply you’ve sunk tens of thousands of dollars into it. Instead, the spark plug may have an issue (condensation, battery, or a simple clog). However, how do you figure out what’s wrong? Let’s dig a little deeper to find out!

Why Doesn’t a Mini Excavator Turn Over?

When you turn the key on your tiny excavator, you have two options:

First, the engine will not start. When you twist the key, nothing happens. A safety feature or a technical issue may be stopping the system from starting up.

The engine turns over but does not start. There might be a few challenges to deal with here.

Let’s take a closer look at the two.

The Key Is Twisted However, the engine does not start.

Mini excavators are equipped with a variety of safety features. The shift lever location is the first thing you should examine before starting your small excavator. Many various models, especially the 6th, 7th, and 8th generation mini excavators, have this safety feature:

This safety feature prevents the engine from starting when the vehicle is in gear. In this situation, the unexpected shove you feel may cause harm to your surroundings or perhaps cause injury to someone. Also, because of the raw power of a small excavator, there is a risk of the axle breaking in this situation.

Check that the lever is in neutral gear by moving it a few times. Please try again.

If it still doesn’t start, you might have to bypass this switch for a while. When avoiding it, use extreme caution. Here’s how you can do it:

The safety switch is located between the floorboard and the bottom of the clutch pedal on your mini excavator.

Use an open-end wrench with a 1/4-inch (or whatever size the lock nut is) opening. To loosen the nut, turn it counterclockwise.

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Turn the screw underneath the clutch clockwise with a crescent wrench until it is clear of the clutch. This will allow you to work in a larger area.

Cut the black and red wires coming from the switch with wire pliers. Remove the cables.

Connect the two wires and tighten the connection.

And that’s all there is to it!

Take a look at the battery if the problem isn’t with the shift lever. The battery connectors may have a whitish coating on them. Lead sulfate or anhydrous copper sulfate can be used. Disconnect the battery and clean both terminals if this is the case.

Check the voltage of your battery if possible. Either the main panel or a multimeter can be used. You can get one from a battery post if you don’t have one. This will assist you in removing a significant number of potential problems.

Then, check the battery switch and circuit breaker on the side of your mini excavator. This should only require a tester (screwdriver). When testing, make sure the battery is attached. While measuring the voltage, have someone crank the engine.

The options would then be:

  • If this is the case, the issue is with the battery or the battery connector. It’s also possible that the ignition switch circuit is broken.
  • 0-8. The battery may need to be replaced in this scenario. With an alternate battery, start the small excavator. Check to see if the generator is running and the battery is being charged.
  • Voltage ranges from 8 to 12 volts. You might have a seized starter or engine here. The circuitry has an excessive amount of resistance. Look for a wire that is overheated. If there isn’t one, you’re looking at a significant outlay.
  • The voltage must be more than 12 volts. This indicates that the starter is the issue, not the battery. The starter is likely to be rusted or corroded.

Stop cranking if your engine has seized; otherwise, you risk hurting anything else in the process, such as the pistons.

The engine turns over but won’t start.

Let us now analyze the alternative. Your engine turns over as it should, but it does not start. If this is the case, proceed with caution. Don’t over-crank it, or you’ll risk flooding the engine and causing other difficulties. Instead, allow 15 seconds between each attempt and use 5-8 second spurts.

The battery isn’t an issue because the engine is revving.

Air, fuel, compression, and an engine computer are the four components that make up a diesel engine (ECU).

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Air isn’t an issue if you worked with the small excavator one day and tried to start it the following.

Check for a clogged air filter or obstructed exhaust if it’s been a while since you started it. Mini excavators can be damaged by condensation and dust.

The compressor would not be the problem if the excavator ran without any smoke yesterday. If there was smoke, though, you might have an oil leak, and the compressor may be inundated. Then it’s time to bring in the experts. But, again, compression wouldn’t be an issue if it ran without smoke.

Mini excavators left in the open are prone to fuel blockages and blocked supply valves. You could have a pinched or closed O-ring, or you could have accidentally bumped into a shutdown valve.

Begin by looking at the valve positions near the fuel tank and the oil filter.

It occurs to everyone, including pros, so there’s no need to be embarrassed. Instead, consider checking the fuel levels as well while you’re at it.

Pull off the gasoline pipe near the filter if you think you’re capable of doing so. Once you’re out, open the valve and check for enough gasoline flow. You’ve got a blockage if the fuel is moving slowly.

Clogs cause your excavator’s RPM to drop, preventing it from running correctly. In addition, air or frozen fuel can cause clogs. To clear these jams, properly inspect the fuel pipelines.

These are a few of the most typical problems with mini excavators, particularly those that you can inspect and solve yourself. However, if you’re still having trouble starting your mini excavator, something profound is likely wrong behind the hood, and you should get professional help.

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