Lawnmower Won’t Start: Resolve Your Problems Quicker

Lawnmower Won't Start

Many lawn mower owners find themselves in a tough situation when their lawn mower won't start. It can be frustrating and difficult to figure out what the problem is, but by following these steps you should be able to fix your lawn mower quickly and easily!

Steps you should follow for fixing lawn mowers that don't turn on include:

  • Check the gas tank and make sure it is filled. If it isn't, fill up with fresh gasoline. Also check your lawnmower's oil level. The oil must be full.
  • Inspect the lawn mower's air filter, change it if necessary. Dirty filters can prevent lawnmowers from running smoothly.
  • Put fresh fuel in the lawnmower and make sure the gas cap is secure on the tank.
  • Steps to take for lawn mowers that won't start include:
  • Turn your lawn mower on its side and check underneath for any grass clippings, leaves or other debris that might be blocking the lawn mower's air filter.
  • If your lawnmower is a riding lawn mower you will want to lift it off of the ground so you can get underneath and inspect the blades.
  • Try spraying some penetrating oil on lawn mower blades. If the lawnmower still won't start, the blade might be bent and need replacing or sharpening.
  • Check to see if your lawn mower's spark plug wire is attached to the spark plug cap. If you find that it isn't firmly connected, push it all of the way in so there is a tight connection.
  • Clean lawn mower's spark plug by removing it with a socket wrench, then use sandpaper to remove any build up on the tip of the lawnmower's spark plug. If the lawnmower still won't start, you might need to replace your lawn mower's spark plug completely.
  • If none of these tips help solve the problem, lawnmowers that don't turn on may be time to bring in a professional lawn equipment repairman.

What Are Some Tips on How To Fix a Broken Lawn Mower?

Fixing a lawnmower with these steps is an easy process that anyone can do to get a lawn mower up and running again in no time. Just follow these instructions for lawn mowers that won't start, but if your lawn mower still doesn't work after trying these steps you might need professional help or should look into buying a new lawnmower online.

  • Lawn Mower Handle Replacement

Lawnmowers with broken handles will not start and lawn mowing becomes more difficult as lawns grow longer. If your lawn mowers won't start it might be because of a broken or damaged lawn mower handle that needs to be replaced immediately before you hurt yourself getting the lawn mower started.

  • Lawn Mowers Engine Part Replacement

Lawn mower engine parts are loose, dirty or corroded which can prevent lawn mowers from starting up properly. Other problems include lawn mower spark plugs being clogged with dirt and oil build up on lawn mowers lawn mower blades.

  • Lawn Mower Engine Issues

Lawnmowers might have engine parts that are loose, dirty or corroded which can prevent lawn mowers from starting up properly. Other issues include lawn mower spark plugs being clogged with dirt and oil build up on lawn mowers lawn mower blades.

  • Lawn Mower Starter Not Engaging

Lawn mowers might have a lawnmower starter that is not engaging with the lawn mower's engine and lawn mower's starter cord will need to be replaced if this is the case.

What Are the Main Causes of Engine Starting Problems?

When lawn mowers won't start it is usually because of one or more lawn mower parts issues. The most common causes include:

  • Fuel Problems

Lawnmower's engine will not run if there is no fuel in the lawn mower's tank. If you ran out of gas, fill up with fresh gasoline and inspect the lawn mower's gas cap to make sure it is secure.

  • Lawn Mower Starter Cord Issues

lawn mowers usually have two starter cords, the one attached to the lawn mower handle and another on its engine housing section. If the lawnmower still won't start you might need to replace your lawn mower's starter cord completely or try replacing the starter cord if it is broken or damaged.

  • Lawn Mower Engine Issues

lawnmowers might have engine parts that are loose, dirty or corroded which can prevent lawn mowers from starting up properly. Other issues include lawn mower spark plugs being clogged with dirt and oil build up on lawn mowers lawn mower blades.

  • Lawn Mower Starter Not Engaging

lawn mowers might have a lawnmower starter that is not engaging with the lawn mower's engine and lawn mower's starter cord will need to be replaced if this is the case.

How To Start A Lawn Mower That Has Been Sitting

Check the Oil and Change If Required

For a mower that has been sitting for quite a while, it’s definitely a good idea to check the oil. The best time to change the oil in your mower is about an hour after you finish mowing. But if it has been sitting all winter, check the oil before you even try to start it. Bad oil might not be the main reason for your mower’s inactiveness, but it can be a major contributor.

If your oil has turned black or has residue, change it right away. If it’s in the right form, then make sure it is sufficient enough. Since mowers have small engines, they do not require a lot of fuel. So an oil change won’t cost you much.

Disposing of Your Lawn Mower Oil

When you dispose of lawn mower oil, make sure it is disposed of according to your local disposal laws. Your local mechanic or oil change shop will usually take your used motor oil. But if not, there may be disposal programs at your city dump.

If smoke is coming from the mower, that’s another sign that the oil needs to be checked and changed. A mower that won’t start obviously is not going to smoke.

Still, it’s worth mentioning as something worth watching for so you can stay on top of mower maintenance. A smoking mower could indicate that there is an oil leak somewhere. The leak causes the oil to burn as it comes into contact with hot metal. It could also indicate that there is not enough oil, which can permanently damage your engine.

Give Your Gas Tank a Glance

Check your gas tank to ensure you have enough of it. Old gas might have turned to sludge and will not provide enough fuel for your lawn mower’s engine. If it is too old or just doesn’t smell right, get rid of it and add fresh gas instead.

If you haven’t come across TruFuel, then I’d recommend you give it a try. It is ethanol-free gasoline, which can sit in your mower for a long time.

Check the Air Filter

The lawn mower air filter can prevent harmful dirt and debris from getting into the lawnmowers engine. If it is dirty, replace it with a new one to see if your lawnmowers will start up again. If you take care of your lawn mower's air filter by cleaning or replacing it when needed, then this should not be an issue.

Replace the Spark Plug

You will find your mower’s spark plug at the front end of the mower (especially with a walk-behind mower). It is easy to locate because it has a wire that attaches to it. This is usually black rubber and covers the spark plug to keep dirt and debris out. Check the condition of the wire attached to it along with the connection.

You may also want to check the plug itself. Use a socket wrench to disconnect the plug. Look for the signs of corrosion or any form of discoloration. If you find any, clean it off the plug and reconnect it to the mower. If the lawnmower won’t start after that, you’ll need to replace the plug.

Check the Carburetor

The carburetor is clogged with fuel residue. In any such case, you’ll need to clean or replace it. You can use a carburetor cleaner or vinegar to clean it on your own.

Why does my lawn mower only run for a few seconds then die?

When your mower starts then dies it can feel like you’re alone, but this problem is more common than you might think, and the fix can be an easy one.

Causes for Lawn Mower Starting then Dying

If your lawn mower starts, runs briefly, then dies these are the four most common reasons that’s happening:

Dirty or defective spark plugs

The spark plug ignites the fuel mixture in the engine chamber. A dirty or worn out spark plug generates intermittent sparks that cause the lawnmower engine to either not start or die quickly. You can use a wire brush and cleaning solvent to remove the carbon deposits or dirt.

You should never clean a spark plug with a shot-blasting cleaner. However, if your mower’s spark plug looks filthy or appears to have a dark carbon residue, you might be better off replacing it.

Too much oil in your reservoir

If your lawn mower has an oil reservoir, you’ll need to check if there is enough in it. If too much oil is present then the lawnmower will either not start or die quickly once started. Check how much oil your lawn mower manual recommends and use that one instead of adding more than needed.

Fuel mixture incorrect

If the lawnmower’s fuel mixture is incorrect, it can either not start or die quickly once started. The lawn mower will have a carburetor that you’ll need to adjust in order to get the right ratio of air and fuel for your lawn mowers engine. You do this by adjusting how far open the lawn mower’s throttle is.

Inadequate fuel supply

If your lawn mowers won’t start or die quickly once started, the problem could be an inadequate fuel supply. This means that there might not be enough gas in the lawn mower and you need to check if it has a primer bulb for this purpose.

If it does, then use the lawn mower’s primer bulb to get more gasoline into your lawnmower's fuel tank. You can also check the lawn mower’s fuel filter for visible signs of damage or dirt and replace it if needed.

Dirty carburetor / clogged carburetor bowl

When your lawn mower starts then dies, your carburetor is most likely involved somehow. Your dirty carburetor needs a good blowout with an aerosol can of carburetor cleaner. This will cost you less than $10 and will last for a season or two.

This cleaner uses a solvent formula to breakdown carbon contaminants, leaving your carburetor clean and gum-free.

Unscrew the carburetor bowl and give it a once over with the cleaner. Be sure to clean the screw and hole with the carburetor cleaner as well. This is where the directional spraying straw is particularly handy. When reattaching the bowl, don’t over-tighten the screw. This could strip the threads enough to distort the seal.

Old gasoline that has gone bad

If your lawn mower won’t start or dies quickly once started, then there is a possibility that the gasoline has gone bad. To check if this is the problem, use fresh gasoline in an amount equal to half of what you usually do for lawn mowers that are healthy. If it doesn’t start now, proceed with diagnostics.

If the lawn mower still won’t start or dies quickly after this, then it is time to purchase new gasoline. If lawnmowers don’t work with fresh gas, there might be another problem like a bad spark plug or dirty carburetor (see above).