Diagnosing lawn mower problems. How to Fix CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mower Problems

How to Fix CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mower Problems

CRAFTSMAN-riding gasoline-powered lawnmowers are fantastic for cutting larger expanses of grass, such as those found in golf courses or parks. Being able to drive the mower is much more fun and requires far less physical exertion than pushing a mower up and down in the blazing sun.

CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mowers offer many advantages but do occasionally develop problems:

Engine won’t start

Blades won’t engage

Runs for a bit, then dies

Won’t cut lawn evenly

Won’t drive forward

Doesn’t steer correctly

Exhaust billows smoke

And more …

Engine Won’t Start

We all know the disappointment when you’re all “dressed up” and ready to tackle the first lawn-cutting exercise of the season, only to find that your trusty CRAFTSMAN riding mower won’t start.

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is, of course, fitted with a gas engine which means several problems could be causing the engine not to start. The below covers the common reasons why the engine doesn’t start.

Solution 1: Drain and Replace Old Gas

Check that the gas tank contains fuel, especially if the mower has been standing for an extended period. Gasoline degrades over time and evaporates.

Old gas should be drained from the system and replaced with new to eliminate this problem.

Solution 2: Replace the Fuel Filter

Following the gas line from the gas fuel tank to the carburetor will lead you to the fuel filter. The filter may be dirty, restricting or preventing fuel from reaching the carburetor so the mower won’t start.

If the fuel filter is visibly dirty inside, replace the fuel filter to ensure the gasoline can pass through the filter.

Solution 3: Ensure All Safety Cutoff Switches Are Engaged

CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have two safety switches that ensure the mover won’t start accidentally. One switch is under the driver’s seat, and the foot brake controls the other.

Their design is such that the driver must be seated on the seat, and the brake must be depressed to disengage the safety switches for the mower to start. Standing next to the mower while trying to start the engine will not work.

Solution 4:Charge the Battery

All CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have a battery located under the driver’s seat to turn and start the engine. When turning the ignition key and the engine turns very slowly but won’t start, the battery is most likely discharged.

Turning on the ignition and hearing a clicking sound without the engine turning is a sure sign that the battery is drained and needs to be charged.

In both scenarios, the battery requires charging, or if the problem persists, the battery may need replacement.

Solution 5: Clean or Replace the Solenoid

The carburetor fuel solenoid is attached to the base of the carburetor. The carburetor controls the fuel and air mixture required for the engine to run. The solenoid is an electrically operated fuel supply and shut-off valve. When the valve doesn’t work, it prevents fuel from entering the carburetor.

Diagnosing if the solenoid is faulty is quickly done by getting an ear down close to the solenoid. A click sound will be heard when the key is turned on and off as the solenoid retracts and releases. If no sound is heard, the solenoid is likely faulty and requires replacement, or the mower won’t work.

The solenoid will need to be removed by unscrewing it with a spanner of the right size and cleaned or replaced if the cleaning doesn’t work.

Solution 6: Replace the Filter

The air filter is next to the carburetor and filters the air fed into the carb. When the air filter is filthy, it may get clogged up by dust particles. The clogged-up filter will prevent air from reaching the carburetor and the engine from starting.

The solution is to replace the filter with a new one.

Solution 7: Replace the Spark Plug

The spark plug performs the critical task of igniting the fuel in the cylinder head while the engine is running. The spark plug is constantly exposed to burning gas and oil residue; therefore, the spark plug can quickly become dirty.

Removing the spark plug is a simple exercise using a spark plug spanner. A dirty spark plug can be cleaned using a wire brush but will eventually need to be replaced. Instead, replace the spark plug to be sure it’s working well.

Blades Won’t Engage

Your CRAFTSMAN riding mower is running, you’ve reached the area that needs mowing, but now the blades won’t engage. What could be wrong?

We’ve found five possible causes for the blades not engaging with CRAFTSMAN riding mowers. These problems may differ depending on if your mower has a manual lever clutch or an electronic PTO clutch.

Solution 1: Replace the Electric PTO Clutch

Faulty PTO clutch. When power is supplied to the clutch, the clutch engages and turns the mower’s blades via the drive belt. When the PTO clutch doesn’t engage, the internal mechanism has failed.

The PTO clutch is not a repairable part as it’s a sealed unit, so it needs to be replaced.

Solution 2: Remove and Test Take-off Switch

The second reason the blades won’t engage on the electrically operated unit is a faulty power take-off switch. This switch is located on the dashboard of the mower and is usually yellow. Pulling the switch engages the blades, while pressing the switch disengages the blades.

Removing the switch and testing it for continuity using a multi-meter is the best to determine if the switch won’t work. If faulty, the switch would need to be replaced as you can’t repair it.

Solution 3: Replace Drive Belt

Before we deal with the manual clutch mowers, one common item between the electric clutch and manual version mowers is the drive belt.

Lawn Mower Electrical Troubleshooting

The drive belt is located underneath the mower and connects the crankshaft to the mower blades via the clutch assembly.

The drive belt is a high-quality V belt, similar to those used in model car engines. When this belt becomes excessively worn or is damaged or cut, it can no longer drive the mower’s blades, which won’t work.

The drive belt must be replaced when damaged or worn out.

Solution 4: Replace Lever Mechanism Unit

CRAFTSMAN riding mowers fitted with a manual clutch can suffer the following failures over time that prevent the mower’s blades from engaging.

The clutch engages and disengages the blades on the manually operated version. The clutch is operated by pulling down a lever on the right of the dashboard. A cable connects the lever mechanism to the clutch located under the mower.

The lever mechanism in the dashboard can fail over time, making it impossible to retract the cable connected to the clutch.

A failed lever mechanism will require the replacement of the unit.

Solution 5: Replace Broken Clutch Cable

Broken manual clutch cable or spring: The cable, as mentioned earlier, connects the lever mechanism, and the clutch, along with its tensioner spring, is wearing parts, so it can fail with excessive use and eventually won’t work.

A broken or severely worn clutch cable and its accompanying tensioner spring must be replaced should they fail.

Runs for a Bit, Then Dies, Won’t Work

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is reliable and generally doesn’t cause problems. Occasionally, you may find that your mower starts up and then dies. When you crank it, it starts, only to turn off again.


Briggs and Stratton’s engines used in CRAFTSMAN mowers are four-stroke engines, so they use unmixed fuel (no two-stroke oil required). They generally run very clean and shouldn’t develop any carburetor blockages.

Fuel starvation is the most likely cause of the engine starting and then stopping shortly after.

Assuming the fuel tank is sufficiently filled and contains fresh fuel. The motor dies because the fuel entering the carburetor flows in slower than the outflow of fuel into the engine; effectively, the carburetor runs dry, which causes the problem.

The cause is a blocked fuel line or clogged fuel filter. 10% Ethanol fuel is tough on rubber fuel hose and causes the fuel line to degrade internally. This degradation blocks or severely reduces fuel flow from the tank to the engine.

Replacing the fuel line and filter will restore the fuel flow to the motor and prevent the engine from turning off when you least need the problem.

Won’t Cut Lawn Evenly

Cutting a large section of lawn only to realize that you’ve cut a series of steps into the lawn’s surface can be disappointing. How does this happen?


An uneven cut results from the mower deck (cutting blades) not being set to the correct height, or your mower may have a deflated tire causing the problem.

A mower-cutting deck rides on a series of linkages. They allow the deck to be adjusted up and down to adjust the cutting depth.

An underinflated or flat tire can play havoc with the angle of the cutting blades. If the blades are not level with the ground and cut deeper on one side of the mower, it will result in an uneven cut. So make sure all the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.

Cutting deck adjustment is made through two adjustment bolts. One adjusts the height seen from the left and right of the deck, and the other changes the front and rear deck height. It’s quick and easy! We’ve attached the below YouTube video, which details how the adjustments are performed.

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Won’t Drive Forward

Like so many other mechanical devices, excessive use of a CRAFTSMAN riding mower will eventually take its toll. Occasionally something may go wrong, preventing it from driving. The gear lever is one of the items on a mower that sees a lot of use as it’s constantly shifted between drive, neutral, and reverse.


The linkage joining the gear selection lever and the actual gearbox may go out of alignment or get clogged up with dirt, preventing the gear levers from traveling the entire distance to engage or disengage a gear. Of course, the gearbox could be faulty, but this is unlikely as they’re robustly built.

Following the gear level selector down below the right fender of the mower will reveal the linkages that would need adjustment when gear selection becomes difficult.

Given that the linkages vary from model to model, it may be necessary to enlist a professional. Alternatively, some trial-and-error adjustments may do the trick.

A build-up of dirt inside the linkages is a real problem. The underside of the mower is exposed to a lot of dust generated by the spinning blades.

Carefully removing the various parts of the gear selection linkage will reveal dirt that prevents the levers from shifting their entire length of travel, preventing the shifter from working. Removing the dirt will enable the gears to be selected and allow the mover to drive.

Doesn’t Steer Correctly

The CRAFTSMAN riding mower follows a traditional tractor design, having two driving wheels at the rear and two front wheels that provide steering by turning left and right. The driver operates a steering wheel precisely like you would when steering a vehicle.

Over time the steering mechanism of the CRAFTSMAN riding mower is prone to developing a problem with turning to the left but normally turns to the right. Fortunately, this is a pretty simple fix.


The CRAFTSMAN steering mechanism is pretty basic, consisting of a steering column housing a gear that connects to a gear plate. The gear plate connects the left and right front wheels via a metal rod or linkage. The gear plate rotates as you turn the steering, changing the wheels’ direction.

The steering column’s base gear plate is slotted to limit the wheel’s rotation to either side. Over time the slot located in the gear plate becomes clogged with dirt which is compressed into a solid mass inside the slot or cut out, causing left turns not to work.

The dirt build-up inside the slot limits the gear plate’s movement, limiting the wheels’ ability to turn. The plate design seems to create the problem when turning left only.

The gear plate needs to be removed to get the wheel turning again, which is more straightforward than it may sound. The dirt and grime build-up must be removed from the slot in the gear plate, and the area housing the plate must be cleaned. Once the dirt is removed, the steering mechanism will function.

Exhaust Billows Smoke

Even a great engine such as the ones used in the CRAFTSMAN riding mowers can develop a problem where white smoke starts billowing from the mower’s exhaust. The problem can become so bad that the engine won’t work.


Worn piston rings can cause the mower’s engine to billow smoke, but this tends to happen slowly over time. If a perfectly good running engine suddenly starts billowing smoke, the cause is likely a blown head gasket.

The head gasket seals the space between the cylinder head, which houses the valves, and the part of the engine housing the piston. When smoke starts billowing from the exhaust, it’s a sign that oil and even water are entering the combustion chamber, where the oil ignites and starts smoking.

Replacing the cylinder head is a task best left to a mechanic as additional damage, such as a cracked head, may have developed and would require identification and repair.

Vibrates a Lot When Mowing

Vibrations are common amongst riding mowers as they bump and grind their way. Excessive or new vibration is not good, meaning something has a problem.

Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.

Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.

Solution 1: Replace Worn or Damaged Blade

CRAFTSMAN blades are made of high-quality hardened steel, which lasts a long time. Blades take the brunt of the force when cutting grass; although one tries to avoid it, they strike a rock occasionally. The impact can bend or even break a blade piece, which can cause vibration.

The solution is to replace the damaged blade with a new blade. A replacement will stop the blade from vibrating.

Solution 2: Replace Worn or Damaged Mandrel

A worn or damaged mandrel can cause the mower to vibrate. Although mandrels are a sturdy kit, they can eventually wear and fail, causing vibrations.

The mandrel needs to be replaced to fix this vibration, per the YouTube video below.

Husqvarna Self Propelled Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Problems

Husqvarna lawn mower is among the brands that have dominated the industry the longest—it has been around since 1620.

The Husqvarna self-powered lawn mower came into the picture in 1995. No wonder it has countless excellent reviews from verified buyers and users!

Still, you can expect a few issues along the way. Read on to discover Husqvarna self propelled lawn mower troubleshooting.

Here are the most common problems faced by Husqvarna self propelled lawn mower users and how to troubleshoot.

Husqvarna self propelled lawn mower problems

Regular servicing is vital for your Husqvarna lawn mower. Neglecting maintenance can cause costly damage.

We’ll cover nine common issues and provide a step-by-step troubleshooting guide to help you save money and keep your lawn looking great.

Drive pulleys

If you have trouble with your Husqvarna lawn mower, check the drive pulleys first for safety reasons. If the drive pulley is faulty, the lawn mower will run into unexpected stalling.

Electrical Diagnosis of Riding Lawnmower that Won’t Start

This belt runs across three movable components, including the clutch pulling system and contributes to driving the lawn mower wheels.

Sometimes Husqvarna self propelled lawn mower pulleys become unbalanced and shift away from the centre. The drive pulley connects to the machine’s crankshaft, steered by the V belt.

This rotation of the pulley and the belt turns the lawn mower wheels and moves the mower forward.

Therefore, when running the machine on a worn out or broken drive pulley, power transmission fails, wheels don’t rotate and it is impossible to move the mower forward.

Self propel cable

The self propel cable runs from the mower’s handles to the transmission. A plastic material covers the inner braided wire.

The plastic material is fragile at the ends that connect to the handle and the transmission. When the self propel cable breaks, the mower won’t self propel and, in most cases, requires replacement.

Always ensure you have reinforced the fragile parts of the cable. Also, ensure that the cable moves freely to avoid probable damage.

Lawn mower low on power

If your mower frequently experiences cut outs, it could be at the end of its life. If not, it’s not generating enough electricity. Sometimes it’s an easy fix.

Accumulated dust or debris in the vehicle’s air filtration system is another common cause of low power in Husqvarna mowers.

Another cause is a plugged air filter. If you have a plugged air filter, the engine will not receive enough air to burn the fuel.

The problem could also be your spark plugs. A dirty spark plug will not produce enough electricity to burn fuel in the combustion chamber.

After checking for dirt and dust in the air filter and spark plugs, inspect your blades. Sometimes, when cutting grass, debris, grass clippings and twigs get stuck in the mower deck and in between the blades.

When this happens, the blades do not rotate at optimal speeds, and this reflects as low power.

Lawn mower engine is hard to start

Petrol mowers can have many reasons not to start, and one of them is a spark plug that doesn’t ignite.

It’s impossible to start an engine if the plug does not ignite to burn fuel in the combustion chamber.

A dirty plug will always result in fuel combustion issues. The dirt is mostly from carbon deposits on the spark plug from partially burnt fuel or engine oil leaks into the combustion chamber.

The carbon deposits cause the plugs to require more voltage to ignite, which the battery cannot generate.

A faulty spark plug wire will also cause mower starting problems. A faulty spark plug wire breaks the circuit to the plug so it can’t ignite. The remedy in this case is to ensure there is proper wiring.

Sometimes, the mower presents starting issues if it runs on bad fuel or has a dirty fuel tank. This causes blockage problems to the fuel pump, and may block the fuel lines.

A blocked fuel line will not provide the combustion chamber with the correct fuel required to run the mower. To solve this problem, clean your fuel tank and use fresh fuel.

Sometimes the problem can be the mower blades. Read our article on why Husqvarna mower dies when the blades are engaged to find the solutions.

Engine transmission problems

This is a nightmare for any Husqvarna self-propelled lawnmower owner. That’s because it’s a problem with many related causes.

First, if you have a broken drive pulley or one worn out, it will not properly engage the crankshaft.

As a result, the crankshaft it connects to will not engage the flywheel, making transmission impossible.

A hydrostatic transmission problem is another component of this problem, especially if the machine uses old hydraulic fluids.

With a hydrostatic transmission problem, the machine responds with weak transmission. Another cause for transmission issues is low fuel levels.

Belt and engine problems

A worn out or loose Husqvarna self-propelled lawnmower drive belt is another problem. This happens when the belt has been in use over a long period.

When the belt is loose or worn out, the machine only operates at the lowest gear and the mower blade may not run.

Another danger of wearing a worn-out drive belt is that the particles might get into the engine and cause other issues.

Lawnmower uses excess fuel

If your lawnmower uses excess fuel, it may be worth checking for common maintenance issues. First, start with your air or fuel system.

In most cases, excess consumption is usually down to a blocked or leaking air or fuel system.

Faulty spark plugs will not burn the fuel efficiently. When this happens, the spark plugs will require more fuel to run the engine.

Some of the unburned excess fuel leads to fuel leaks through the exhaust pipe. The fuel leaks result in the mower consuming more fuel.

A blocked air filter or dull blades will also cause the engine to burn lots of fuel in order to produce the required power for proper functioning.

Lawnmower burning excess oil

The main reason for burning excess oils is running the engine with over-inflated cylinder gaskets that leak the oil.

When the oil leaks, the mower burns excess oil. Again, with a low engine oil level, the friction and temperatures rise, then the oil burns excessively.

Low grade oil also burns more than good quality oil. If you change your oil regularly, ensure it is of the correct quality.

And, even with the correct oil grade, do regularly change the oil in your Husqvarna mowers.

Tension on velcro belt

The belt needs to have the correct tension. If not, it will turn the wheel into the first gear or fail to turn it altogether and eventually cause engine problems. That’s why you need to tighten your velcro belt properly.

Husqvarna Self Propelled Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

Unleash the ninja within your lawn mower! In this troubleshooting section, we’ll tackle the mischievous mysteries plaguing your Husqvarna self-propelled mower.

Let’s slice through the weeds and get your grass-cutting game back on point.

Step one: Check the drive belt

The drive belt powers the drive pulley that connects to various transmission parts of the mower.

It directly connects to the drive pulley, which connects to the crankshaft and the transmission that moves the lawn mower wheels.

A worn out drive belt will not drive the mower wheels. Replacing them is the best solution although you can opt to repair the belts.

Step two: Check the drive pulley

The next step is checking the drive pulley. The drive pulley connects to the crankshaft that powers the mower wheels. If the drive pulley is unbalanced, the transmission will not work properly.

The only solution to a defective drive pulley is replacing it. You can replace the pulley on your own by first removing the mower blades and the belt.

Step three: Check the self-propelled cable

The wire runs from the mower’s handle to the transmission. Inspect the entire length of the cable to ensure it is unbroken.

Also, make sure it is loose because regular movement may break. If the control cable has kinked spots or broken, it needs replacement.

Step four: Check the transmission

The transmission operates with the help of an electrical drive belt connected to an engine crank.

Whenever the drive belt works normally, it drives the transmission, and the lawn mower wheels spin.

If a transmission has problems, the pulley rotates without turning the wheels. If you experience this, the drive shaft has a fault.

Unfortunately, this part of the mower is not repairable. Replace the transmission if you notice this issue.

Step five: Check gearbox and wheels

Gears with worn-out cogs don’t properly engage with other gears. This Husqvarna mower has a drive transmission gear that connects to the wheel assembly.

It’s impossible to engage the transmission with worn-out gears. The only remedy for this problem is replacing the wheel assembly or ensuring the cogs engage.

The next thing to check out is for broken shift keys or clips that have fallen off. This causes the gear to slide off. If either is the issue, fixing them should solve the problem.

Step six: Check tension on v-belt

Another problem with the belts is incorrect tension. A loosely tightened belt will turn the wheel into the first gear within its limits. In most cases, it will not turn the wheel at all.

It is always advisable to have a properly tightened velcro belt. In the long run, loose belts cause engine problems.

Step seven: Check the transmission

The drive belt powers the transmission, and when the two are working properly, they power the running of the wheels.

To diagnose the transmission, you need to get the engine to run and check whether the pulley and wheels are turning.

If the pulley spins and the wheels do not run, you have a broken transmission, specifically; the drive shaft.

Unfortunately, the only way to solve this is by replacing the transmission. A local Husqvarna dealer will help you with that.

Other times, a grass plugged transmission hinders the self-driving system from working. To correct this, remove the grass from the gearbox and your self-driving system will function properly.

Step eight: Check the engine’s compression

Should you discontinue mowers that have offered service for over 10 years? Probably yes, but diagnosing your engine compression may solve all your issues.

Sometimes there could be several solvable mechanical problems, especially if the machine overheats and does not start.

It could be a spark plug issue where the gap between the plug electrodes expands. If the gap between the electrodes expands, the mower will heat up.

The solution is restoring the gaps between the electrodes or replacing the plugs altogether.

Another thing to check is low engine compression from excessively large valve clearances.

These valves control the outlet of burned fuel and the input of the mixture of air and fuel. Fixing the issue requires the expertise of a small engine repair technician.

Step nine: Check the spark plug

Check if you have dirty or damaged spark plugs. You can use a multimeter for a continuity test between the two ends of the spark plug to ensure that the current flows.

If a spark plug fails the continuity test even after cleaning it, replacing it is the only remaining solution.

Specific Model Complains

Husqvarna lc221a problems

  • Engine starting issues
  • Stalling during operation
  • Self-propulsion problems
  • Poor cutting performance
  • Wheel alignment issues
  • Grass collection problems
  • Vibration and noise
  • Clogging of the discharge chute
  • Build quality concerns


How to fix self-propelled lawn mower cable Husqvarna

To fix a self-propelled lawn mower cable on a Husqvarna, follow these steps: 1. Locate the drive control cable. 2. Check for any visible damage or disconnection. 3. If damaged, purchase a replacement cable. 4. Disconnect the old cable and attach the new one using the appropriate connectors. 5. Test the self-propulsion feature.

Final Thoughts on Husqvarna Troubleshooting

The Husqvarna self-propelled lawn mower has great features. We understand why it’s a machine of choice for most users.

However, like any other machine, it can develop some problems with time. This includes steering problems, vibration issues, power issues, engine overheating, starting issues and such.

We’ve covered all that and now you know what to do when your Husqvarna self-propelled lawn mower acts up and needs some troubleshooting.

As you’ve seen, most of the fixes, even to mechanical problems, are easy, so roll up your sleeves!

Rhys Charles

Rhys is a passionate landscaper, a self-proclaimed barbecue expert and the author of this site. He combines his lawnmowing expertise with his engineering background to teach you about how to not just take care of grass, but also the equipment you use.

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Lawn Mower Stops After Starting a Few Minutes?

Some people enjoy mowing the lawn and many don’t. One thing’s for sure, though – if you have to fight with your Lawn mower to even make it work properly, a boring but simple chore can quickly turn into something far more frustrating that will have you pulling your hair out and kicking the machine in exasperation.

If your Lawn mower starts then stops after a few minutes, there could be several reasons. Here, we’ll look at what could be causing the problem and give you some suggestions for how to fix it.

Be systematic

If your Lawn mower is playing up, the key to fixing it is being systematic. To be able to repair a problem, first, you need to locate and identify the problem. To do this, you need to work through all the possibilities one by one to eliminate them until you find the cause of the issue.

Once you identify the problem in this way, you can then begin to think about what to do to rectify it.

Here, we’ll work through the different possibilities, starting with the most basic and common before moving onto the more complicated issues that can arise. In this way, you can eliminate each one until you discover what’s wrong with your machine.

Here’s a video that shows you how it’s done.

Lawn Mower Possible problems

Are you out of gas?

Since we said we’re going to begin with the most basic issues and work from there, we’ll start with this. Sometimes, people see their mower stop working and automatically assume the worst – but you could just be out of gas.

Check to see that your Lawn mower has not run out of fuel. If it has, you’ve already found your answer.

Is there another problem with the power supply?

The same is true if you are not using a gas-powered mower. Is the battery out of charge? Or if it is a corded model, has it come unplugged? Is there a power cut? You need to eliminate these kinds of possibilities before you move onto more technical areas.

If you have a self-propelled Lawn mower, an electric cordless Lawn mower or anything else that doesn’t run on gas, don’t forget to check the power supply before you look at anything else!

Are the fuel lines clean?

One problem can be that when you run out of fuel, if there is any debris in the tank, this will be sucked into the fuel lines and stop it from restarting. If your mower doesn’t restart after running out of fuel, make sure the fuel lines are clear and try again.

Is it a problem with a spark plug?

The next thing to check is the spark plug. Is it clean? Is it old? Is it properly attached?

If it is not properly fixed in place, simply make sure it is attached correctly and try again. If it is dirty, this will also prevent it from working correctly so give it a quick clean.

If your spark plugs are old, they may also begin to fail – in this case, you should replace them. In fact, changing your spark plugs is not expensive and should be part of your annual early spring maintenance schedule before the growing and mowing season gets underway.

Is the air filter blocked?

Another reason a mower might start and then stop is that the air filter becomes blocked. If this is the problem, then it’s good news because it’s easy to fix since most mower filters are cleanable.

Check to see if the filter is blocked and clean as necessary – then try again to see if this has solved the problem.

Is the mower blocked by grass clippings or long grass?

These are two related problems. First, if grass clippings clog the blades, this may cause the engine to stop after running for a while. After checking the problems mentioned above, the next thing to look at is whether the blades are clogged with grass.

If you see that a build-up of clippings is preventing the blades from turning properly, this is another easy problem to fix. Simply clean underneath the mower and remove all lumps of grass and try again.

Sometimes mowers can also stop because the grass you are trying to cut is too long. If your mower stopped as you attempted to cut a longer patch of grass, this could well be what was to blame for the mower breaking down.

Again, check that no grass is clogging up the blades and then adjust the cutting height to a higher setting. You may find that this resolves the problem.

Dull, damaged or loose blades

If your blades are not sharp, are damaged or are not properly attached, this may also cause the engine to stop, especially when cutting thicker grass.

Making sure the blades are in good condition and are properly attached should also be a part of your annual mower tune-up in the spring. Even if they don’t cause the engine to stop, dull blades tear grass rather than cutting and can damage your lawn.

Low oil level

Another quick fix is to check the oil level. If you are running a Lawn mower that is low on oil, this could cause it to cut out after running for a while. If you check the oil and find it is low, simply ensure it is topped up properly and you’ll be good to go.

Compression problems

If you have checked everything above and still can’t discover the problem, you may have a compression problem. This may be because as the mower heats up, the valve changes shape slightly, making the engine less efficient.

This kind of problem is more difficult to diagnose, and unless you are comfortable tinkering with engines, you might be better off having a professional have a look at your mower for you.

With specialist equipment that you probably won’t have available at home, a professional can identify the problem – and can then resolve the problem. The fix will usually involve realigning the valve lash, something that not everyone is capable of doing by themselves.

Be systematic – work from obvious and simple to more complicated

The key to identifying the problem is being systematic. Start with the most obvious answers – like running out of fuel – and work from there. By eliminating each possible issue one by one, you will eventually be able to find the problem. Once you identify why your mower stopped you can start to think about how to rectify the problem.

Major Red Flags That There’s A Problem With Your Lawn Mower

It’s February in Texas and it’s cold. Probably the last thing on your mind is mowing your lawn. When spring arrives, it will arrive quickly. It will rain a bit and the temperatures will warm. Suddenly your grass is needing to be mowed. If you don’t utilize a lawn mowing service this is a bad time to figure out that you have a lawnmower problem. Late winter, leading into early spring, is the time to fire it up, tune it up, and be sure that your lawnmower is working well.

If you have tried to start it and it hasn’t started or doesn’t sound just right, there may be a problem with your mower. There are a few things to notice when diagnosing your lawnmower issues.

  • Difficult to start or will not start
  • Starter rope is hard to pull
  • Screeching noise, loud knocking sound or sputtering
  • Smoke coming from the exhaust
  • Lawnmower’s engine is inconsistent or loses power while moving
  • Engine vibration
  • Using too much gas or oil (you may not now this until the cutting season begins)
  • Not cutting well

First Check For Your Mower’s First Use Of The Year

Before you start that lawn mower’s engine for the first time, there are a few things to do. Tune it up, change the oil, and fill it with fresh gas. Be sure you have a new or recently sharpened blade. Give the lawnmower a thorough cleaning and lube. Now you are ready to give it a start to test it out. If you find your lawn mower is having problems, it may be easy to diagnose the problem.

Why My Lawn Mower Won’t Start

If your mower will not start, the spark plug could be the culprit; the air filter could be dirty, or you may need a new fuel filter. On a riding lawnmower, your battery could be the issue. A starter rope that seems stuck or difficult to pull may be the result of the flywheel brake being engaged or the underside of your lawnmower is caked with excessive clippings.

A screeching engine is usually a simple fix. The lawn mower’s engine belt may need to be replaced. If it is sputtering or knocking, it may be time to replace the rings. Do you hear a knocking sound? You should check your lawnmower blades to see if it is broken or bent.

What To Do If Your Mower Is Smoking Or Vibrating

Do not panic if your lawn mower is smoking. Check your oil chamber to be sure it isn’t too full or leaking. The smoke is simply oil that is dripping onto the muffler and burning. On the other hand, if you are seeing very light or white smoke, this could be a more serious problem needing a professional.

Engine vibration is sign of a bent, loose or broken part. Lawnmower engine inconsistency is evidence of a clog in the air filter or carburetor, or you may need a new belt. If you are running your lawn mower in heavy grass when it begins to shudder, clean up the underside of any built-up clippings

Signs Your Lawn Mower Isn’t Cutting Optimally

When your cutting season begins, you may notice that your mower is using too much oil or gas. Check the spark plug or give it a good cleaning. Lastly, if you notice that your mower simply is not cutting well, it could be that the blade is damaged or dull. If that isn’t the problem, have your mower’s engine checked.

Skip Your Own Mowing with Executive Lawn Care

Knowing how to service your own lawnmower’s problems saves money and time. You can avoid repairs by doing routine maintenance. When it seems like your lawnmower problems are beyond your realm of knowledge, seek the help of a small engine professional.

If you just don’t feel like mowing your lawn yourself after a disastrous lawn mower malfunction let Executive Lawn Care do it for you. Get in touch with us today to put your property on our schedule!

diagnosing, lawn, mower, problems, craftsman, riding
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