Lawn mower shuts off. Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies: How To Fix

Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies: How To Fix

Is your lawnmower starting then dying seconds later? This can be frustrating.

It wastes your time trying to fix it and prevents you from tidying up your lawn.

Taking the lawnmower to your local garage for a check will waste even more time. You may be forced to wait for a couple of days to get it fixed.

So what should you do when you find yourself in such situations? Fix it yourself.

It’s less costly and may save you the time required for repair. Also, walking to and fro from a repair shop is an ordeal in itself.

This article outlines the troubleshooting steps you can take to understand the reasons behind your lawnmower starting and stopping.

Lawn Mower Starts Then Stops: Common Causes

Your lawnmower just started but ran briefly? The following are the top reasons why this could be happening.

  • A dirty, clogged, or faulty carburetor
  • Broken or worn-out spark plugs
  • A dirty air filter
  • Old or stale gasoline
  • Blocked Muffler
  • Moisture in fuel/ fuel line
  • Blocked gasoline cap
  • Build-up of debris
  • Excessive oil in the mower engine

Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these problems and see how we can fix them.

A Dirty, Clogged, or Faulty Carburetor

The primary function of the carburetor is to mix fuel and air in the right quantities. Subsequently, this mix needs to go through a compression chamber where it burns under high pressure— moving the crankshaft and rotating the blade.

A dirty or clogged carburetor compromises the above process, making your lawnmower start and sputter a few seconds later.

Clogging of the carburetor occurs when you leave fuel in it for long periods.

Fixing The Problem

You can fix the problem by cleaning the carburetor. A carb cleaner removes all the dirt and residue, optimizing gas flow.

Go for a branded carburetor cleaner; preferably, an aerosol can efficiently blow out the dirt.

There is a range of options on Amazon that could work out for you.

  • Spray nozzle type carb cleaners work at all angles allowing you to use them upside down to eliminate any residues effectively.
  • High-pressure aerosol sprays clean your carburetor from the outside without the need to open it. They also remove engine oil and any other dirt outside.
  • Solvent cleaners can be easily added to the fuel. They disperse moisture and other dirt from the carburetor.
  • Use a nylon brush to clean the hard-to-reach surfaces.

If cleaning doesn’t work, you are better off replacing the entire carburetor.

Dirty or Worn-out Spark Plug

You can tell a spark plug is functional by the intense sparks it produces during engine cranking. If there are no sparks, it is broken or defective, and you should replace it.

To be hundred percent sure, remove the spark plug from the lawnmower. Reconnect the spark plug to the ignition coil and ground it by attaching its threaded part to the metal surface of the engine.

Make sure to unplug the fuel pump and its supply from the engine. Crank the engine and observe what happens.

You should notice a tiny spark close to the bent electrode and the bottom pin. The spark produced is responsible for igniting the air-fuel mixture in the engine. Without a spark, your engine will not start or may start and stop short.

The latter is likely to occur if the spark plugs generate intermittent sparks.

A bad spark plug leads to decreased engine fuel efficiency. The missing sparks lead to fuel filling up in the ignition chamber and the production of white smoke.

Fixing the Problem

Most lawn mower manuals recommend using a spark plug for 12 to 24 months before doing a replacement. There is no need for a replacement if you have no problems starting the mower.

However, if your spark plug is acting weird before the elapse of the recommended period, a quick fix would be to clean it up.

Carbon may build up at their tips, rendering the plugs ineffective in delivering an efficient spark in the ignition chamber.

To remove the carbon buildup, remove the spark plugs from the lawnmower and clean them up using a wire brush. You also want to get rid of any oil deposits that appear at the tip of the plug wires.

If your spark plug is cracked or worn out beyond repair, go for a total replacement. However, do check for the correct size while purchasing.

A Dirty Air Filter

Another cause for concern is a dirty air filter in your lawnmower.

An efficient air filter prevents your mower from sucking dirt and debris— protecting the pistons, valves, and cylinder walls.

A clogged-up one restricts proper airflow, which results in your lawnmower dying shortly after starting due to incomplete fuel combustion.

Given the work environment of a lawnmower, it’s bound to accumulate dirt particles that quickly find their way in.

lawn, mower, shuts, starts, then, dies

How To Fix

Luckily, you can clean the air filter. One way to clean it out is using warm water and soap.

Ensure to leave it outdoors for a while to let it dry. The other option is to clean it with compressed air.

Also, lawn mower manuals recommend replacing the air filter box once every year.

Old or Stale Gasoline

Old gasoline stored in your lawnmower for extended periods will cause trouble with the engine. The old gas evaporates pretty quickly— leaving behind a gummy residue.

The residue causes the clogging of the internal parts of the engine. What you have next is restricted gas flow that causes it to start and sputter.

Quick Fix

If the gasoline is not more than half the tank, top it with fresh gas. The new gas helps to dilute the impurities causing the clogging.

Should the gasoline be more than half the tank, you want to siphon it and replace it with new gas. It’s also ideal to add a stabilizer to the fresh gasoline.

Stabilizers prevent the clogging of the engine parts for up to two years and speed up the mower. You can buy the stabilizers online or at your local store without spending much.

Be keen on the stabilizer fuel ratio to ensure you are putting in the correct proportions.

Blocked Muffler

A muffler is meant to silence or suppress the engine’s noise during operation. One of the reasons your lawn mower starts then dies is because of a blocked muffler.

It could be blocked because of rock, dirt, or excess oil leaking.

A Lawn Mower That Starts then Stalls

Fixing the Problem

The quickest way to take care of a blocked muffler problem is to clean it.

If you had started the lawnmower already for a couple of minutes, turn it off to allow it to cool.

The muffler is still always too hot to operate with bare hands. Ensure to put on safety eyeglasses and hand gloves as well.

Remove the muffler from the engine by turning it in an anticlockwise direction.

Once it is out, remove any residues or debris and deploy a carburetor cleaner to eliminate the remnants.

Lawn Mower starts and then dies, turned out to be an easy cheap fix.Loctite!

To do this, allow the cleaner to settle for a while and shake the rear end of the muffler downwards.

Finally, reconnect it to the mower, ensuring that it fits properly.

Moisture In The Fuel Line

Water in the fuel line of your lawnmower is a recipe for disaster. It causes your lawnmower to stop briefly after starting or stall on the throttle.

Fixing the Problem

Inspect the plastic fuel line for any defects and replace it. If your gas has moisture, add an additive that gets rid of the dissolved water.

lawn, mower, shuts, starts, then, dies

You can purchase the additive online or locally.

If the moisture level in the gas is substantial, drain it off, and let the tank dry before refilling.

For optimal results, always use high-grade fuel.

Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies Right Away – 5 Solutions To Solve This Problem

It’s the start of spring and the first heavy rain just came to wash away the last of the winter snow. And then you see those sprouts of green start to shoot up faster than you’d like. So, you grab your lawnmower to keep it nice and short.

You’ve checked it has gas and oil already and pumped the primer – and then you give it a pull and it starts. Great! But what if it dies out after a few seconds. If you keep trying this multiple times and it keeps dying you might have a few different issues happening that you can try to tackle fixing.

Lawnmowers are fairly simple small engines and don’t require a lot of knowledge about their inner workings in order to troubleshoot/maintain them. If you start your mower and it dies after a few seconds, try out the following tricks.

In this article, I give 5 solutions for this a common problem.

Read more details in each of these solutions below in this article.

Check the Fuel Line

The fuel line typically should be clean from any debris or dirt as the only thing traveling through it should be the transfer of gasoline from the pump to the mower.

But when you open the gas tank often small particles can fly in and even the gasoline itself may have some particles in it which may end up getting into the fuel line.

Some lawn mowers may have a fuel filter in the fuel line between the gas tank and the carburetor. If yours does, you can easily replace this if it seems to be clogged with dirt and other junk. This will cause the gasoline not to be able to easily flow to the engine which will cause it to stop after a few seconds.

Old Gasoline

While typically gasoline doesn’t get old and stale easily unless open to the elements, it can “varnish” which is a term that means the gas has produced a type of solid substance on the walls of the gasoline tank or the internal parts.

This typically happens when the lawnmower sits between mowing seasons (in those pesky winter months).

You might be able to notice this if you smell the gasoline and find that it has a sour smell (don’t smell the fumes very long as this can be quite dangerous to your health). To fix this you’ll need to drain your lawnmower gas tang of its entire contents.

Place a large plastic/metal pan next to the lawnmower and open the fuel tank to drain the contents of the gas tank out, clean the fuel lines and then add fresh fuel back into the tank.

Dirty Gas Tank

Just as the gasoline may often become dirty/stale and needs to be replaced and the fuel line needed to be cleaned, the gas tank itself may also need cleaning. All aspects of the gasoline storage, intake, flow, and the liquid itself can all become old and dirty which means good cleaning is in order to get it working properly.

Cleaning the gas tank is a bit more difficult as you’ll need to drain it and then either flush it with fluids or remove it in order to clean it.

Additionally, one key part of the gas tank that can become dirty is the cap on the gas tank. You may not know it, but there is a pinhole in the top of the cap that allows air to flow through into the tank. If this hole is clogged then no air can get back into the tank as the fuel is used up and it ends up killing the motor as the gas can’t enter the motor as well at that point.

Clean off the cap and flush water through the pinprick if possible, to clean it out. Place it back on and start it up again to see if that fixes the issue.

Here’s the video that also might help:

Mower Tune-Up

While this isn’t a specific fix to the lawn-mower starting and then dying, it will prevent most of the similar issues with your lawn mower automatically as it will keep everything flowing through it cleanly and maintained. It is suggested to have your mower serviced at least once per year typically in the spring (if you’re in a colder climate).

For this, you’ll need 3 basic supplies including:

Typically to make it easy when purchasing these, take out the air filter/spark plug from your lawnmower and take them with you to the store when you purchase the new ones. This way you’ll be able to easily know which one you need to purchase.

The air filter should be replaced once a year along with the spark plugs so that you know the juices flowing in and out are kept in tip-top shape. Start by removing the spark plug from your mower and then drain the oil from the mower by removing the cap and tipping it on its side. Make sure you don’t let the oil just go into the ground as it is very destructive/toxic.

Next, remove the blade from the bottom and give its edges a little sharpen so it doesn’t have to work overtime to keep the grass cut. You can use a file to do this. Ensure to clean under the mower deck so all of the build-ups from last season is removed. Put the blade back on and install the new spark plug on your mower. Lastly, fill up the lawnmower with oil again and you’re good to go!

Carburetor Issue

The most common issue when a lawnmower starts up and then stops a few seconds after is a carburetor issue. Typically, if this is the case, you’re best to let a professional take a look and clean it out as this can get a bit more complicated.

If you do feel comfortable enough to work with them this would be the last step in the troubleshooting process for why the motor won’t keep running. When dirt and varnish from the fuel end up going through the lawnmower it can cause things to get sticky, orifices to get clogged, jets to get clogged, or gum to end up inside it which makes the engine sputter out while it’s running.

By doing an in-depth cleaning of the carburetor including all of its internal components will normally fix this up easily as long as you haven’t let it go too long and it ends up needing replacement. Most times cleaning will get the job done.

If you do plan to clean it there are different ways of doing it depending on the cleaner you get. Some simply require you to remove all of the connectors and spray all of the connectors/openings. After letting it sit for a while you then wipe it down and re-connect everything.

Another way is by taking apart the carburetor (make sure to take photographs of how all of the pieces went together first as this be helpful when reassembling it).

Once all of the pieces are separated then place them in a container filled with carburetor cleaner. You can then let them soak for about an hour or however long the instructions on the cleaner state. Once completed, rinse the parts with water and let them dry completely. You can use an air compressor to speed up this process if needed.

You will need to ensure that all of the water has dried completely as water should not be present here as it will cause issues with starting the lawnmower.

Once all of the parts are cleaned and dried you can then reassemble the carburetor and re-mount it on the mower again connecting all of the pieces and parts. Because this can be a bit of a complicated process you only want to do it if you have some experience/confidence with this type of task. If you are unsure, find a local handyman who has experience with it and asks them to teach you so you can self-sufficiently do this in the future.

If in doubt, it’s best to contact a professional for the carburetor cleaning.

Wrap Up

Lawnmowers can be pesky to keep maintained but if you follow many of these simple steps to make sure everything is cleaned it will often fix all of the issues you may encounter. As a last tip, although you won’t be in contact with many dangerous chemicals, oil and gas are still not good to come into contact with your skin.

Ensure you use gloves whenever cleaning the parts of the lawnmower. Additionally, do not ever spray any liquids onto the electrical connectors including the spark plugs, and if they do get wet ensure they are dried off completely prior to starting up the lawnmower again to avoid any permanent damage to the motor components.

Hopefully, after following these steps your lawnmower will be running in perfect condition all season!

My Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies (What’s Wrong?)

If you have a lawn, you know how good it feels to have a nicely moved lawn. The smell of that freshly cut grass… aah, feels amazing, isn’t it? A morning at such a place is just what is needed.

Some people just love the entire process of mowing the lawn all by themselves. But the fun is shattered as soon as your machine decides to break in between, and you must struggle to work with it.

This simple work can also turn into a big hassle and seem challenging if the machine starts throwing up.

If your lawnmower starts and then dies immediately, there can be many reasons associated with it. Here, in this article, we will discuss the possible reasons for it and provide you with some suggestions on how you can fix it.

What Can Be The Causes?

If your lawnmower starts, runs briefly, and then dies, it can be due to one or all the following common reasons,

  • A dirty carburetor or a clogged carburetor bowl
  • Defective or dirty spark plugs
  • Old Gasoline
  • There is too much oil in the reservoir.

We will discuss each one of them deeply in the following sections, know why it can result and what can you do to fix it.

Carburetor Problems

This is the most common reason behind a lawnmower starting initially and then dying. It can be due to a lack of proper maintenance.

It is very logical as in winters you do not really use the machine and it sits there all day long.

While in temperate areas, you use it hard all year round. So, problems with carburetors can be quite common.

Let us understand what a carburetor is and what is its role?

What is it about Carburetors?

A carburetor is basically responsible for mixing gasoline with just the correct amount of oxygen to create combustion. A steady flow of gasoline is required for the engine to run smoothly.

Once you start the engine, gasoline flows from the tank through the hose and runs down into the carburetor bowl. Inside the bowl, there is a floater which controls the outflow and inflow of the gases.

As the engine starts, the air is sucked in the air vent and the air pressure is created by the engine, atomizes the gas, and mixes it with the oxygen.

This air-gas mixture is now evenly sprayed in its finest form into the spark plug chamber creating a spark.

The crankshaft thus is rotated continuously by the combustion which is necessary to allow the mower engine to run.

When the carburetor is dirty or clogged the major functions of the carburetor is compromised. So, your engine may start initially but will not run smoothly and eventually after you pull up the cord.

Fixing the Carburetor Problem

To fix a dirty carburetor you need to give it a good blowout. You can use an aerosol can of carburetor cleaner for this purpose. It is cheap costing less than 10 and is enough for a month or two.

You can check out this CRC Carb and Choke Cleaner, 12 oz Aerosol Can. This cleaner uses low volatile organic compounds (VOC) formula. It is a fast-acting carburetor and chokes cleaner that dissolves carburetor deposits such as sludge, gum, and varnish.

  • CRC INDUSTRIES- A market leader that offers impeccably designed chemical solutions to maintain, protect and repair different marine, heavy-duty motor.
  • CARB CHOKE CLEANER- A fast-acting carburetor and choke cleaner that removes sludge, gum, and varnish from carburetors.
  • FORMULA- Our low VOC formula maximizes carburetor efficiency, improves fuel system function, and ensures optimal fuel economy.
  • APPLICATIONS- Ideal for automatic chokes, carburetor components, crankcase breather element, exhaust gas recycling valve (EGR), heat risers, and.

Its Volatile Organic Compounds formula is designed to maximize carburetor performance, improve fuel system performance, and ensures maximum fuel economy.

However, it does have a drawback of not having a straw for targeted spraying. You get this from any local store or online.

How to Use

For carburetor maintenance, all you should do is before starting the mower engine, give a light spray near the intake hole. It is generally present behind the air filter. Just remove the filter, give the spray in the hole, and replace it back.

Unscrew the bowl and clear it with the cleaner. Clean the screw and hole with carburetor cleaner as well. So, it is better to use a spray with directional spraying straw.

Once you start the mower, it is pulled inside the engine and cleans the dirt in your carburetor.

Defective or Dirty Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are basically responsible for producing the sparks that ignite the fuel mixture in your engine which in turn powers the engine.

Sometimes the spark plugs get damaged, burned out, or damaged due to which carbon builds up inside them producing weakened sparks. This may prevent the engine from starting or run briefly and then quickly die.

lawn, mower, shuts, starts, then, dies

Hence, it is important to keep checking them and changing them when required.

If you have a newly installed plug, you should clean it up and wipe out the dirt, carbon deposits, and oil regularly. But if it is degraded you should replace it immediately.

How to Fix

You can easily locate the mower’s spark plug. In a commonly used walk-behind lawnmower, the spark plug is covered with black cable and is present in front of your mower.

Just remove the plug using the right side of the wrench (mentioned in the user manual). If it is not coated heavily coated with buildup you can try cleaning them yourselves. You can use a wire brush and cleaner to clean the spark plugs. If it is just dirty, this will do the job.

Never use a shot-blasting cleaner to clean your spark plugs.

Replacing must be done if you observe heavy carbon coating or deposition in the spark plugs. This is not a challenging task. You easily purchase a new spark plug from local stores costing around 8-10.

What Should You Do?

Spark plugs should be replaced every couple of years. You can also do it yearly as a part of annual maintenance.

Change the air filter and the oil as well. It may cost you some 20 dollars, but it is worth keeping your mower in perfectly working condition.

If the spark plug is having heavy deposits of carbon, you should immediately replace it.

To remove a spark plug, first unhook the spark wire. Then remove the old plug with a spark plug socket.

It may sound a bit challenging but trust me is not that difficult and you can easily do it by yourself.

Measure the distance between the two electrodes present at the tip of the plug using a spark plug gauge. You can check the specifications of the model mentioned in the manual provided to know the recommended size.

If required, you can use the gauge to adjust the gap by bending the curved electrodes. As you pull the gauge through the gap, it will drag if the gap is correct.

Now install the new plug and attach the plug lead. Make sure not to over-tighten it during installation.

You can take help from the online tutorials if you are just a beginner and stop immediately if think you are not able to do it to prevent any unlikely damage.

Old Gasoline

Gasoline is the fuel required to run your mower. Therefore, both its quality and quantity are very important.

If your mower is just sitting there, inactive for a while now, it can result in the evaporation of the gasoline present in there.

Gas, when left out for a long time in the tank, can form residues due to the evaporation of its volatile components. This leads to the formation of insoluble particulate residues.

These particulate residues can clog the interior parts of the carburetor and restrict the flow of gas. This would result in your mower starting and dying shortly or not starting at all.

How to Fix?

If the gas present inside the tank is less than half full, you can try adding new gas and dilute the impurities. But if it is more than that, it is better to siphon it out and fill it with new fresh gasoline with some fuel stabilizers.

Stabilizers enhance the quality of fuel and prevent the formation of residues while making the gas-efficient for up to two years.

Check out this STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer. It will keep the fuel fresh for 24 months during storage which means you will not have to drain fuel prior to storage.

  • Keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months during storage
  • Eliminates the need to drain fuel prior to storage
  • Ensures quick, easy starts after storage
  • Prevents gum and varnish build-up

It also ensures a quick, easy start after storage and prevents gum and varnish build-up. They are very inexpensive costing around 4.43 and keeps your machine running smoothly.

Before mixing, check the instruction for the correct ratio of fuel to the stabilizer.

What to Do?

Mix the fuel with the stabilizer in the correct ratio. You can use a stabilizer or whichever brand you prefer. There are expensive options also available like TruFuel.

This will help you be at peace and you will not have to worry about starting your mower or snow blower machine. It helps to get your machine started in the first pull itself.

To purchase the stabilizers, you can either do them online or find them in any local store.

Too Much Oil in the Reservoir

If there is no issue with the spark plug and there is no deposition as well, the problem might be with the oil.

Possibly you must have over-filled the mower tank reservoir while adding fuel into it, especially if you are not handy with this. It can happen sometimes, and it is completely fine.

You can confirm this as an issue if you see white smoke coming out of the engine. It is a sign that the problem is excessive oil.

When you see a lot of smoke coming out, your machine will continue running for a short time after which the excess oil will drown out of the engine and it will die.

What to do?

For starters, confirm the culprit. Tilt the mower and put a heavy object on its handle to hold it up. This will allow the oil to circulate to other parts of the engine.

After an hour, try running the machine again. See if it runs for a good amount of time before stalling. if it does, well the cause was extra input of oil.

How to Fix

Fixing this issue is quite easy. If you have added an excessive amount of oil, you can simply use a siphon or if you use a walk-behind lawnmower, you can tip your mower on its side and drain excess oil from the input hole.

Now, that you know the aftereffects of adding excess oil, you should just slow down while filling up the mower reservoir and avoid overfilling.

If you are new, use a dipstick to fill the tank to the correct level. Also, while releasing the excess fuel measure the amount of oil in the reservoir before removing and then again after to make sure you get it at the right level.

Excess oil is not only the issue that can occur. Not enough oil is another problem. So, after removing the oil check for the level and add extra to get it to the right amount. When you have the adequate amount, start the mower again.

lawn, mower, shuts, starts, then, dies

Serious Problems

Mostly the reason behind your machine starting and dying eventually are the ones discussed above. But if those are not the reasons, the following can be the more serious issues associated with it.

Faulty Choke

This problem needs a more expert observation to be identified. So, if you want your machine to work smoothly identify this problem early to avoid any further damage.

Worn out Carburetor.

Your carburetor can be more than just being dirty. If it is, better to replace it than to waste your money on repairing it.

Gas line Blockage

If the gasoline is not reaching your engine, it will not start. Any kind of blockage will prevent the flow of gas and will require professionals to detect and repair it.


We hope the article was helpful in letting you know the possible causes of the mower starting and dying soon. Keeping a regular maintenance check is the key to keep your machine running smoothly.

Riding Mower Keeps Shutting Off

I have a Poulan 15.5 38in riding mower. It will start and run for a few minutes and then shut off. Then it will not start until it cools down. I have cleaned the carburetor, replaced plug, and cleaned the air filter. The carburetor is overflowing with fuel.

I have taken the switch off of the fuel bowl and hooked it up to the harness and the plunger comes down when I turn the switch on, but when I turn it off it does not come up. Is that the problem?


The carburetor isn’t suppose to be holding that much fluid. I asked my husband about this problem and he thinks something is screwed up with the carburetor, like the float that is suppose to regulate amount of fuel.

The coil is probally no good. When coil cools off, it will start again, then when it is hot again, it will shut off.


Ask a Question Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Question: Huskee Lawn Tractor Keeps Shutting Off?

It’s my first time on here and I have read some other Комментарии и мнения владельцев on lawn tractors shutting off after about 10 minutes of cutting. I have a LT 4200 lawn tractor that is running and cutting for about 10 minutes then just shuts off. After it shuts off I try cranking it again and after about three tries at cranking I can hear that start which to me sounds like it’s not getting enough juice from the battery.

The engine is a Powermore 420 cc. Does this particular engine run off the battery after it is cranked? I don’t believe it does, but I am not good on small engine diagnostics.


I would clean the carburetor first and see what happens.

If you have left gas in your engine after use this will cause a gunk build up in the engine and gas. It appears that the gunk has entered into your carburetor now. This needs to be cleaned. Your battery is draining because of trying to start this mower several times.

I would make sure your battery is fully charged and clean your gas tank, remove all gas and then clean the carburetor.

I had one do this turned out to be the switch under the seat, I just cleaned it and now it works fine.

Cleaning your mower carburetor and removing all gas from your tank/mower sound easy. right??Well if, as you say, you may not be very good on small engine diagnostics then either of these tasks may not be very easy for you. Note: Huskee mowers are made by MTD for Tractor Supply so most likely you can call your local Sears Service Center for help or for any parts you need (at least as a comparison price).

Check the coil: may need replacing. When the coil cools off, it will start again, then when it is hot again, it will shut off. Spray carburetor cleaner in the carburetor.Old or Bad GasolineThe carburetor might be clogged. A clogged carburetor is most commonly caused by leaving fuel in the lawn mower for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel may evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and cause the engine to stall. If the carburetor is clogged, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. If cleaning the carburetor isnt effective, rebuild or replace the entire carburetor. Check videos on YouTube for repairing the carburetor for your mower (you will need a complete rebuild kit).

Old or Bad Gasolineremove all fuel. easiest way is with a hand-powered siphon pump.Check videos on YouTube for your mower.

Fuel CapAs fuel is consumed by the engine, the level in the fuel tank lowers. To make up for this, the fuel cap uses a small vent to allow air to enter the tank. If the fuel cap vent is clogged, air wont be able to enter the tank and a vacuum or vapor lock will occur. This stops the flow of fuel to the carburetor causing the engine to stall. To determine if the fuel cap vent is clogged, try slightly loosening the cap and then starting the engine. If loosening the fuel cap allows the engine to stay running it is likely clogged and will need to be replaced.Spark PlugInspect the spark plug for signs of wear or damage. If the porcelain insulator is cracked, an electrode is burned away or damaged, or there is heavy carbon buildup at the electrode, replace the spark plug. Unscrew the plug and see if there is carbon residue or debris around the electrode. If so, you can clean it with an old toothbrush. However, do know that most lawnmower manuals recommend replacing the spark plug every year.

Air filter:The easiest way to check if your problem is related to the air filter is to remove the filter, and then try to start the mower. If it starts right up and the engine sputtering ceases, you’ve found the culprit. Foam air filters can be cleaned with detergent and water. Once the filter is dry, soak it in clean engine oil and put it back in the air filter compartment. Paper air filters should be replaced. In any case, don’t let the engine run very long without an air filter.

Here are some links that might help you to get started.

This is an interesting link to read sometime.

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