How To Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb? The Ultimate Guide. Lawn mower primer bulb

How To Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb? The Ultimate Guide

Gone are those days a long ago when people used to use their hands to mow the lawn. A lawnmower is an innovative machine that doesn’t only cut grass quickly but efficiently. It also ensures a beautiful and enchanting appearance. But all this is only possible when your lawnmower works smoothly.

So, How to start lawnmower without primer bulb?

To start lawnmower without primer bulb you need to follow the following steps-

  • Making Ready The Mower
  • Turning On The Parking Option
  • Looking For The Air Cleaner
  • Taking Off Screws
  • Taking Out The Air Filter
  • Using A Volatile, Flammable Liquid
  • Putting Back The Air Cleaner
  • Turning On The Engine

As a regular user of a lawnmower, it is needless to say how important the primer bulb is for this machine. Most old lawnmowers include a primer bulb since a carburetor covers a huge amount of space in a lawnmower.

Let’s get to the point. Do you know how to start lawn mower without a primer bulb, and is it actually possible? Yes! It is attainable, and you can do it independently if you know the right method.

In this post, we will share how to start lawn mower without primer bulb step-by-step. Scroll on!

  • What Is A Lawn Mower Primer And How Does It Work?
  • What Is A Lawn Mower Primer Bulb?
  • How does A Lawn Mower Primer Bulb Works
  • Step 1 —Making Ready The Mower
  • Step 2 —Turning On The Parking Option
  • Step 3 —Looking For The Air Cleaner
  • Step 4 —Taking Off Screws
  • Step 5 —Taking Out The Air Filter
  • Step 6 —Using A Volatile, Flammable Liquid
  • Step 7 —Putting Back The Air Cleaner
  • Step 8 —Turning On The Engine
  • Step 1 —Preparing Mower
  • Step 2 —Checking Primer Bulb
  • Step 3 — Removing Retaining Ring
  • Step 4 — Releasing Clips
  • Step 5 — Removing Primer Bulb
  • Step 6 — Cleaning Primer Bulb Casing
  • Step 7 — Installing New Primer Bulb
  • Step 8 — Attaching Retaining Ring
  • Step 1 —Identifying Press-Button Type Bulb
  • Step 2 —Preparing Mower
  • Step 3 —Pushing Bulb
  • Step 4 —Starting Engine
  • Step 5 —Repeating
  • Step 1 —Identifying Ignition System
  • Step 2 —Pumping Primer Bulb
  • Step 3 —Controlling Handle
  • Step 4 —Alternative Solution
  • What is a Corded Mower?
  • What is a Cordless Mower?
  • Which is Better?

What Is A Lawn Mower Primer And How Does It Work?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Before knowing how to start lawn mower without primer bulb, it is essential to understand what is a lawnmower primer is and how it works.

What Is A Lawn Mower Primer Bulb?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

The construction of the primer bulb looks like a tiny rubber switch or bulb, which you will push. When you press the button, it releases prime to help to start the machine.

How does A Lawn Mower Primer Bulb Works

Having an idea of how the lawnmower primer works is essential. The best example to understand how lawnmower primer works could be the human body.

You can take your heart as a pump. To move blood from your heart to every part of your body, you need a pump. So, the primer bulb is the pump for a lawnmower.

Without a primer bulb, you can start your machine.but not as efficiently as you do with a primer bulb.

How To Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb? Step By Step Guide

The location of the primer bulb is between the engine and the gas tank, which is also called the fuel line. So what is the job of a primer bulb for a lawnmower? The main task of this component is filling fuel at the correct amount inside the carburetor while your lawnmower machine is cold.

Most manufacturers use either plastic or rubber to make primer bulbs. If you are wondering how to start lawn mower without primer bulb, just follow these below steps. It will merely take 10 minutes to accomplish this job.

Before knowing the procedure, let’s first learn what items you will need to complete this task.

Serial No Things You Will Need

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Prime a Lawn Mower without Primer?

Step 1 —Making Ready The Mower

Choose a flat and open space before starting the procedure. Your garden sideways can be a good option if the surface is smooth. This will be an easy and convenient task for you.

Step 2 —Turning On The Parking Option

Keeping your mower in the parking mode will stop it from starting accidentally. Though it is a pretty basic task, we are still reminding you so that you don’t forget.

Step 3 —Looking For The Air Cleaner

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

The air filter of a lawnmower is mainly located on the engine side. Before finding the air filter, the air cleaner chamber will be visible to you.

On the top of the air filter, you will see a cover. Several screws are on the air filter lid to make it properly connected with the engine body.

Step 4 —Taking Off Screws

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Now, you want to loosen the screws using a screwdriver. And finally, remove them from their position and keep them in a safer place as you will need them again.

Step 5 —Taking Out The Air Filter

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Now put your hands inside the air cleaner chamber and take out the air filter from it carefully. After removing it from the chamber, the air cleaner chamber becomes more visible to you.

Step 6 —Using A Volatile, Flammable Liquid

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Different types of volatile, flammable liquid are available in the market. You can use a starter fluid, which many professional mechanics often recommends.

Spray the liquid inside the air cleaner chamber where you see a hole. Make sure you use it carefully — no fire is close to you.

Step 7 —Putting Back The Air Cleaner

So, you have already sprayed the liquid inside the chamber. Now, putting back the air cleaner in its previous spot is all you have to do.

Make sure you place the lid correctly and tighten the screws properly without overdoing them. Keeping the cover in a reversed position will prevent the free airflow, and it may clog up too.

Step 8 —Turning On The Engine

So, everything is done; now you want to start the machine. Hopefully, it will run smoothly. Now, you can use the lawnmower without a premier bulb.

So, these are all the steps you want to follow to get a clear idea about how to start lawn mower without primer bulb.

  • Don’t forget to wear hand gloves and eyeglasses for optimal protection.
  • Check the lawnmower’s manual before using it. You will have a clear view of how each part works and how they are co-related.
  • Use the screwdrivers very carefully.
  • Kids should be closed to you while you are doing this work.

How To Replace A Craftsman Lawn Mower Primer Bulb?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

So, you have learned how to start lawn mower without primer bulb. But having a primer bulb saves your time and gives your multiple benefits too. That’s why knowing how to replace a craftsman lawn mower primer bulb is essential.

Like other components, you may need to replace a craftsman lawn mower primer bulb after a certain time. You may see a cracking issue on the primer bulb due to long-time usage or sun exposure.

Before knowing how to replace a craftsman lawn mower primer bulb, you should know whether the primer bulb has become faulty or not. So, how will you learn? You will notice a gas leak issue, and also, it will not have adequate pressure after pressing it. Additionally, the rubber gasket of the carburetor may become a faulty float needle.

Replacing a lawnmower primer bulb takes only a few minutes if you know the right method. Plus, you don’t need so many tools as most of them might be available to you.

Let’s learn how to replace a craftsman lawn mower primer bulb step-by-step.

Step 1 —Preparing Mower

Before replacing the bulb, you want to keep the machine on a flat surface for easier work. Also, let the machine comes at a normal temperature if you used it recently.

Step 2 —Checking Primer Bulb

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Most lawnmowers have the primer bulb on the right side. You want to go on that side and inspect it. The color of the bulb is either red or black. It may come with a retaining ring or not.

Step 3 — Removing Retaining Ring

If your primer bulb has a retaining ring, take it out straight by holding it carefully. Now, you can see how the primer clip attaches to the primer bulb behind it.

Step 4 — Releasing Clips

Remove the plastic clip by pushing the flathead screwdriver into it on the other side. Release the second clip in the same manner.

Step 5 — Removing Primer Bulb

Now, use your flathead screwdriver at the back of the released clip to ferret out the primer bulb. Finally, use a versatile tool like long-nose pliers to take out the primer clip and bulb.

Step 6 — Cleaning Primer Bulb Casing

Next, take a carb cleaner and spray it inside the primer bulb casing. However, as the place is pretty small, you can first apply the cleaner on cotton buds and rub them out inside it.

Step 7 — Installing New Primer Bulb

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Now, attach the intact primer bulb clip over the intact primer bulb. Check out the circular area of your primer bulb, and make sure the tabs are lining outside of that area.

Carefully place the primer bulb inside the primer bulb casing, and a 17mm socket is needed to mount the clip.

Next, you want to insert the socket inside the primer bulb casing by pressing internally as long as the clip is positioned perfectly.

Step 8 — Attaching Retaining Ring

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Lastly, attach the retaining ring to the primer bulb if it is available.

That’s it! These are the required steps you will go through to have a complete idea of how to replace a craftsman lawn mower primer bulb.

How Do You Prime A Craftsman Platinum Lawn Mower?

What kind of lawnmower do you have? How do you prime a craftsman platinum lawn mower? This type of lawnmower includes a primer or a carburetor.

The main job of this primer is to supply air inside the carb. The carburetor includes a jet where gas is sent by the primer. Hence, starting a cold mower becomes a hassle-free task with the perfect mixture of air and gas.

Here we are mentioning “How do you prime a craftsman platinum lawnmower?” step-by-step.

Let’s go through the steps!

How do You Prime a Craftsman Platinum Lawnmower?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Step 1 —Identifying Press-Button Type Bulb

As you own a craftsman platinum lawn mower, you are supposed to have a press-button type bulb on the carburetor. This type of bulb is flexible and effortless to use. Most of them have a red color, so identifying them is easy.

Step 2 —Preparing Mower

Before priming the lawnmower, make sure you keep the machine in a flat position so you can work conveniently.

Step 3 —Pushing Bulb

Now, you want to push the bulb 2-3 times. It will create enough pressure to supply the perfect amount of air and fuel mixture inside the curb.

Step 4 —Starting Engine

Now pull the starter to crank the engine. It should start with one or two attempts. If not, give it some rest for few seconds. Then try cranking again.

Step 5 —Repeating

If you failed to start the engine, you should try it when the temperature is lower. Do the priming and cranking steps again to run the machine.

Hopefully, you have got a clear view about “How do you prime a craftsman platinum lawnmower?”

How Do You Start A Briggs And Stratton Lawnmower?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

A wide range of lawnmower engines is available in the market. Briggs and Stratton Lawnmowers are one of the most reliable machines that can start consistently. Hence, you don’t need to give much effort to start this handy mower—all you need is to provide a few pumps of the priming bulb to start it.

However, automobiles will show various types of problems over time. You want to address the problem soonest for smooth operation. You may face difficulty in starting it. How do you start a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower?

Here are the procedures you want to follow if you wonder, “How do you start a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower?”

Step 1 —Identifying Ignition System

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Different lawnmowers have different ignition systems; check out the instruction manual to identify your mower ignition system.

Ignition systems with Prime’ N Pull or Smooth Start mechanism require prime the mower when it is in cold temperature.

However, if it has Smooth Start Plus or Ready Start mechanism, no prime needs to use for that particular engine.

Step 2 —Pumping Primer Bulb

Now reach to the primer bulb, which is located on the side of the primer bulb. A rubber lid is included on this bulb to cover it.

You want to pull the bulb three times. Make sure you give a few seconds gap for each pull so that sufficient gasoline can get inside the carb.

Step 3 —Controlling Handle

If your lawnmower has a handle lever, you want to press it to release the mower brake. Hold onto the starter cord with both hands and pull acutely.

Continuing pulling until it does is the only way to make it happen. Even after trying several times, if the engine doesn’t work, you want to give it a rest for a few minutes.

You may smell gas. The flooding issue may have happened on the carb. Until you drain it, you may face difficulty in starting it.

Step 4 —Alternative Solution

If your lawnmower has a Ready Start Electric ignition system, you can start the engine by turning the ignition switch. You have no reason to take the hassle of priming. All you need is just releasing the key to involve the throttle, and the engine will start within seconds.

These are the required steps you want to walk through if you have a query about “How do you start a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower?”

Modern Small Engines – Why No Primer Bulbs?

Though you can start your lawnmower without primer bulbs, having one ensures fast and hassle-free engine running.

But modern small engines – why no primer bulbs?

Most primer bulbs are prone to be fragile or broken after a certain time. As a result, changing the bulb is the only option you have. Plus, starting your mower with primer bulbs is just a few more pulls. Nothing else!

Aside from that, most modern lawnmowers come with small engines, but they are power efficient. To save the space of the mower and make it less weighty, manufacturers are not using any primer bulb on modern small engines.

Hopefully, we got you covered on “Modern small engines – why no primer bulbs?”

Corded vs Cordless Lawn Mowers – Is A Cord Worth The Hassle?

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Electric lawnmower either comes with cord or cordless. Unlike gas-powered lawnmowers, they make less sound, are hassle-free to maintain, and are less costly. Which one is better?

What is a Corded Mower?

It is one type of electrical lawnmower, which comes with a cord or cable. To run the machine, it needs a continuous power source from a socket.

What is a Cordless Mower?

It is the other type of electrical lawnmower, which doesn’t need any cord while operating. This type of mower features batteries where electric power is stored. The power will be used to cut your lawn.

However, you can also plug it in the charger source while running the machine. The battery will be recharged while you use the stored power to cut the grass.

Which is Better?

If your garden is huge, you can’t reach too far with a corded lawnmower. In that case, you need to attach an extra extension for it.

For a cordless lawnmower, you can’t reach anywhere as it does not require any cord. However, you want to make certain it has a sufficient amount of charge.

With a single charge, you can run a cordless lawnmower for up to 1.5 hours. Charging it more than one time will be necessary if your lawn is huge.

When the charge is low, your cordless lawn mower won’t work as fast as it would do for a fully charged battery.

What’s more, a cordless lawnmower has a slightly higher weight than a corded lawn mower due to the battery.

As for user convenience, a cordless lawnmower is far better than a corded lawnmower because you have no obstacle.

Lastly, the price of a cordless lawnmower is higher than a corded mower. When you consider all their features, both have pros and cons. So, it depends on personal preference to decide which one is better.

Final Thought

Having a primer bulb in your lawnmower gives you advantages. However, that does not mean you can’t start your lawnmower without a primer bulb—all you need is just to know how to start lawn mower without primer bulb correctly with a step-by-step method.

We have already shared all the precise details on how to start lawn mower without primer bulb. Hopefully, you have succeeded in starting your machine properly.

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lee Safin was born near Sacramento, California on a prune growing farm. His parents were immigrants from Russia who had fled the Bolshevik Revolution. They were determined to give their children a better life than they had known. Education was the key for Lee and his siblings, so they could make their own way in the world. Lee attended five universities, where he studied plant sciences and soil technologies. He also has many years of experience in the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a commercial fertilizer formulator.

Thoughts on “How To Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb? The Ultimate Guide”

Lawn Mower Primer Bulb → Has Hole → Diagnosis

The primer bulb is one of the most important parts of a lawn mower. Without it, it can be almost impossible to start the engine. It functions by sending fuel into the carburetor bowl that would otherwise have to be sent there over many pulls of the starter (push mowers don’t have fuel pumps, this is why the primer bulb is so important).

One of the most common problems with a primer bulb replacement is purchasing the wrong one when the old one gets a hole. Make sure to pick up the exact one that is called for in the manual that came with your mower.

Vented vs Non-Vented Primer Bulb

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

  • Vented– If the primer bulb has a hole, it affects the air/fuel mixture going into the engine and can make the mower both difficult to start and run poorly. That being said, some primer bulbs do have a hole that is supposed to be there. This is known as a vented primer bulb. The hole would be tiny and centered. It would be more accurate to call a hole in a primer bulb that shouldn’t be there a crack.
  • Non Vented– Non vented simply means that the small hole in the center of the primer bulb is not there for your model.

Make sure when replacing a primer bulb that you look up the exact bulb that your mower requires. Even if it fits, and you replace a vented bulb with a non vented (or vice versa) you’ll end up messing with the air/fuel mixture entering the engine since that tiny hole can let in a tiny amount of air.

Primer Bulb Hole Symptoms

When the primer bulb has a hole in it, it changes the characteristics of how the engine runs. This is because a vacuum leak is created, much like a normal car or truck would have.

If you can get the mower started, you can wait for it to warm up running poorly. Then, shut it down. With a small standard screwdriver, try and close the hole in the bulb by pulling the parts of the bulb so that they are flush with one another. Now restart it without pressing the primer bulb in. It should fire right up and run better since you’ve effectively closed most of the hole. Clearly you should replace the bulb, but this trick can let you finish mowing for the day.

Replacing the Primer Bulb

Replacing the primer bulb is a relatively easy task. Here’s a great video that goes over how to replace a few different styles of primer bulb.

How Do You Know if a Primer Bulb is Bad?

The easiest way to tell if a primer bulb is bad is by doing a visual inspection. If it looks to be dry rotted, has a hole, or is cracked it is probably bad.

Another way to tell if it is bad even if it looks ok is to push it in and see if it is easier to push in than it used to be. The “snap back” from pressing it in takes a little bit of time (particularly if it does not have the hole in the middle). If it snaps straight back, there may be an air leak in or around the primer bulb.

Priming a Lawn Mower: Easy Steps To Do It Right Every Time

Priming a lawn mower can be a bit intimidating for first-time lawn mower owners, especially when they haven’t encountered this before.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

In this complete guide, we’ll discuss how to prime your lawn mower, its importance, and other related details.

How To Manually Prime Your Lawn Mower?

To manually prime your lawn mower, simply add fuel to the carburetor of the mower when there is no fuel. Some lawn mowers do this process automatically while others do not. A manual mower primer requires more attention due to the dedicated primer found on the carburetor.

Just by the term alone, priming the lawnmower should be the first thing to do when cutting grass. Here are the steps in priming your lawn mower:

– Find the Primer Bulb

Manual primers can vary in design, but they all have one factor in common: they are found on and near the carburetor. Manual primer bulbs are usually identified as clear rubber buttons that are attached directly to the carburetor. Sometimes, manual primers are also attached to a short fuel line that connects to the carburetor.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Priming small engines is always important, especially the ones found in most lawnmowers. The carburetors found in the engines are not sealed, which allows fuel to evaporate after some time and leaves the part dry.

Left in this condition, the carburetor will not function optimally. Even when the starter is pulled forcibly and repeatedly, the lawnmower’s engine won’t start. The carburetor needs fuel to ignite, and without it being primed, there is no pressure for it to pull fuel.

To resolve this, lawnmower manufacturers usually place a primer bulb as a manual solution to add fuel to the carburetor. Other models have an automatic internal inertia primer that works to power the engine by keeping some fuel inside.

When the manual primer bulb is pressed, fuel is driven to the carburetor. This process works by sucking the fuel through the gasoline system. Generally, lawnmowers use fuel pumps that rely on the pressure created by the engine of the lawnmower. When the engine doesn’t start, then there will be no pressure.

– Prime Manually

After locating your lawn mower primer. give it a firm but gentle push. Some people recommend two pushes while others suggest four. However, the most optimal number of pushes is three. Most homeowners would agree that three pushes to the primer bulb will give it enough starter fluid to feed the carburetor.

– Power the Engine

Once you have primed the carburetor by pushing the lawnmower primer bulb three times, you can start your lawn mower.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Pull on the starter once or twice, and your mower should begin to start up.

How To Avoid Mistakes?

To avoid mistakes when priming your lawnmower, make sure to add enough fuel to the carburetor and don’t push the primer bulb too many times. Even if the priming process is so simple, it can still be quite easy to make mistakes and get the whole method wrong.

Priming a lawn mower does not require much thought or effort, but it does require knowledge. Let’s look at two possible mistakes that can be easily avoided.

– Under-Priming Your Lawnmower

There is a possibility that the carburetor will not be primed optimally. This means that not enough fuel has been injected into the carburetor. Most likely, you have pushed the primer bulb once or twice only.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

When this happens, the lawnmower will have problems starting up, similar to when left unprimed. You can easily diagnose this problem when the engine does not start despite pulling on the starter cord several times. If it is very hard to pull the lawn mower’s cord the causes might be different but there are some easy solutions.

To remedy this, simply push the primer bulb one more time. Once you do this, try starting the engine again. If enough fuel has been injected into the carburetor by the last push of the primer bulb, your engine should start without issues.

– Over-Priming Your Lawnmower

Over-priming can happen when the primer bulb is pushed too many times. This can result in the engines of your lawnmower becoming flooded by fuel. The fuel can spread into the combustion chamber, where it can gather and pool. Under this condition, the spark plug can get too wet and will not ignite. You can either wait for it to dry or you can locate the spark plug and dry it manually.

If you find that you have pushed the primer bulb more than necessary, don’t worry. Even if the engine fails to start, you can still solve this issue. Simply leave the lawnmower alone for about 10 to 20 minutes. The excess fuel will evaporate during this time, allowing the parts of your mower engine to dry out slightly.

Once the time has passed, start your lawnmower once again. This time, do not prime it. If your engine does not start, it might have evaporated the fuel too much. To correct this, start the priming process all over again but this time with just three pushes to the primer bulb.

How To Diagnose Why Lawnmower Primers Stop Working?

To diagnose why lawnmower primers stop working, you will have to figure out if it is because of a cracked primer bulb, a clogged fuel filter, or a cold primer. There are many reasons that can cause this condition, but these three are the most common.

Sometimes, the primer bulb of the lawnmower’s engine can stop working. The top three causes are found below.

– Cracked Primer Bulb

The rubber button can become damaged due different such factors as age, environmental exposure, or just wear and tear. As a result, the primer bulb can end up cracked, broken, or torn.

The damaged bulb will be unable to inject fuel into the carburetor’s combustion chamber. Consequently, the mower will have issues starting up. To resolve this, replace your primer bulb that has shown clear signs of damage.

– Clogged Fuel Filter

The primer bulb takes gasoline from the fuel filter into the carburetor. However, when the fuel filter is blocked or clogged, it can be difficult for the primer bulb to access the fuel. You might as well check and clean the air filter while doing this check.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

This can result in the engine not starting due to the lack of fuel or starter fluid in the combustion chamber of the carburetor. To remedy this situation, either clean or replace the clogged fuel filter. Once this is done, try starting the engine of your riding lawn mower to see if it worked.

– Cold Primer

This usually affects automatic primers that have been idle for extended periods of time. The lack of activity can cause fuel to evaporate fully. The clearest sign of this situation is the inability of the engine to start because the combustion chamber does not have any fuel in it.

You can try cleaning the air filter and the fuel filter to keep everything in tip-top shape. Additionally, spraying the carburetor cleaner onto the part directly can help prime the automatic primer once more.


It is essential that homeowners learn to prime their lawnmowers in order to keep them in their prime condition.

For you to do the same, let’s recap what we’ve explored so far:

  • To prime the lawn mower manually, simply push the primer bulb three times.
  • If you have accidentally under-primed or over-primed, the lawnmower will not start and will still need to get primed again.
  • It is important to check the mower primer button or bulb for damages, which can interrupt the fuel injection to the carburetor.
  • Always check the air filter and the fuel filter for blockages and replace them when necessary.
  • For lawnmowers with automatic primers, ensure that the carburetor paths are clear and suitably primed.

Knowing how to prime your lawnmower is an essential skill, especially during the warm spring and summer months. Share your success stories with us by leaving us a comment or two!

Starting A Lawn Mower Without A Primer – In Under 5 Minutes

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Does your mower have a faulty, damaged or even a missing primer? With this article, we’ll show you how to get your mower going without using the primer. And have you back mowing within 5 minutes.

Starting a mower without a primer is quick, easy, and doesn’t require lots of tools or complications. You canhave your mower up and running in no time with this simple guide.

In order to start your mower without a primer, squirt starter fluid directly into the carburetor via the air intake. Simply remove the air filter cover, take out the air filter, and squirt starting fluid into the air intake nozzle. Quickly replace the air filter, and start your mower. It should start straight away.

I’d recommend reading this in more detail though. Ready to get starting a lawn mower without a primer – in under 5 minutes? Let’s get started!

What you’ll need

For this little work around you won’t need much:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Preparation

The first step is obviously to get your mower ready. Make sure it’s on a flat surface, so it doesn’t roll anywhere. You can chock a front wheel with a block of wood if you want to be safe. If the mower has a parking mode or brake, make sure it’s engaged.

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Usually, when your performing maintenance on your mower, you should remove the spark plug cable. This makes sure the blades can’t go around accidentally. But since this is about starting your mower, you can’t do that. Just make sure you keep your hands away from the blades at all times.

Step 2: A quick check

While you have your mower parked up, it’s worth giving it a quick visual check to make sure there are no other issues than the primer.

Pull the cover off the mower. Check the fuel tank and fuel line for leaks or damage. Inspect the connections around the carburetor to make sure they’re secure.

If nothing looks out of place, damaged or leaking, then you can move on to starting the mower.

Step 3: Removing the air filter

Locate the air filter housing. It’s usually a plastic box next to the carburetor.

Remove the air filter cover. This will either be clipped on with little plastic retaining clips or screwed down. You should always try to be gentle with the air filter housing so as not to damage the air filter.

Once the cover is off, make a note of how the air filter sits in the housing (or take a quick pic with your phone). This is just to make sure you know which way around to put it back. If you put the filter in the wrong way around you can damage it, and possibly your mower, and you’ll definitely have trouble starting it.

Gently remove the air filter. Behind the filter is the air intake nozzle. This hole leads directly to the carburetor, and it’s where you’re going to spray the starter fluid.

Step 4: Starter fluid

Starter or starting fluid is a highly flammable mixture of volatile compounds that is designed to help start cold or difficult to start engines.

Because the fluid is very volatile, it evaporates quickly. So, the trick to using it for your lawn mower is speed. Once you’ve squirted it into the carburetor, you need to get the air filter and cover back in place as quickly as you can.

A single 2-3 second squirt should be enough. Too much and you risk choking it (that’s not a major issue, you just have to wait a few minutes for the fluid to evaporate, before starting again).

Step 5: Replacing the air filter

As soon as you’ve squirted in your starter fluid into the air intake, get the air filter back on. An optimal balance between care and speed. You don’t want to damage the filter and you don’t want the fluid to evaporate.

This is where taking a careful note of how the filter sits before you take it off can help. With the filter back in, (the right way around) put the air filter cover back on.

Step 6: Start your mower

That’s it! Start your mower and it should fire up at once.

If your mower doesn’t start after a few pulls, try the steps again. Checking the air filter and the amount of starter fluid you use. If it still doesn’t start, the issue is probably not just your primer and you’ll need to investigate further.

Why do lawn mowers need a primer bulb?

A lawn mower has a primer bulb because the carburetor is quite small. A carburetor mixes air and gas in the right quantity before injecting it into the combustion chamber on your engine. A small reservoir of fuel collects in the carburetor bowl. The action of the engine naturally draws fuel from the fuel tank.

But when the engine hasn’t started, the only fuel in the carburetor bowl is what’s left from the previous time you used the mower. If some time has passed since last time the mower was running, the gas in the carburetor can have evaporated. So, for the engine to start, you need to pump new gas into the carburetor from the fuel tank. And that is what you are doing when you pump the primer bulb.

Without the primer bulb, you need an alternative method to get fuel into the carburetor to start the engine.

Alternatives to our steps

If the primer bulb is missing completely, you could try this quick trick. Using a syringe (or a turkey baster or similar), insert it into the hole where the primer was and pump it a few times. If you get suction, you might draw enough fuel into the carburetor to start it.

Just remember, the hole where the primer was leads directly to the carburetor. It is easy to get dirt and grime in there, which could choke up your carburetor and stop your mowing from running.

Last word

So, that’s how you can start a lawn mower without a primer – in under 5 minutes.

As you can see, it’s a straightforward fix that doesn’t require lots of tools or technical know-how. In fact, if you can use a lawn mower you should be able to follow these instructions and get your mower started without a primer.

Now it’s time to go grab a can of starting fluid and get your mower mowing again. Good luck and happy starting!

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more

start, lawn, mower, primer, bulb

Hi there! My name’s Craig, and I started Appliance Analysts back in 2017.

My mission is to help our readers solve appliance-related issues without paying through the nose for contractors or a whole new model. I’m joining up with experts from across the HVAC, Appliance Repair, DIY industries to share free expert advice that will save you time, stress, and money.

| Denial of responsibility | Contacts |RSS | DE | EN | CZ