Lawn mower stopped working. Lawn Mower Repair: 11 Common Problems And How To Fix Them

Lawn Mower Repair: 11 Common Problems And How To Fix Them

Lawn mower repair knowledge is a must-have for DIYers who want to maintain a pristine-looking garden. If you own a lawnmower, here are 11 common problems you’ll most likely encounter and the corresponding checkup tips you need to fix them.

Lawn Mower Repair | How to Fix a Lawn Mower and Its 11 Most Common Issues

Lawn Mower That Won’t Start

If your lawnmower won’t start, there are a couple of things that you should check out:

  • Fuel: Your lawn mower will not run on an empty tank. Similarly, if the fuel is older than 30 days, get rid of it before cleaning the carburetor.
  • Gas tank: Inspect the gas tank for any leaks. Seal any leaks you find if you can, but otherwise, replacements are usually available online in various lawn mower repair websites.
  • Battery: Just like cars, lawnmowers rely on batteries to run. At some point, their batteries will give in to wear and tear and need replacing as they lose the capacity to hold or carry a charge.
  • Air filters: Dirty air filters full of dust and dirt can also restrict airflow and prevent your lawnmower from starting. If the air filter is dirty, simply remove it and get rid of all that built-up debris. If it’s too damaged, then it might be better to just replace it altogether.
  • Spark plugs: Loose, dirty, or disconnected spark plugs may be keeping your mower from running. Make sure your spark plugs are tight, clean, and connected securely before you try starting your machine. Change old and defective ones as spark plugs are prone to wear and tear.

Lawn Mower That Won’t Turn off Unless the Spark Plug Is Disconnected

A lawnmower that won’t start is a headache, but one that won’t turn off can be just as problematic. Two culprits are often responsible for this problem.

First, the “kill” or ground wire, which may have been disconnected. Second, the ignition switch connections, which may no longer be working due to wear and tear.

Start by checking your ground wire. Make sure it is intact and connected to the area it “grounds” to.

If your ground wire is fine, move to your ignition switch and use an ohmmeter to check if the connection between the “B” and “S” terminals are active. If it’s not, replace your ignition switch and your lawnmower should work smoothly afterward.

Lawn Mower That Consumes Too Much Gas

Lawnmowers are not supposed to consume gas like a thirsty runner who just ran a full marathon without having a bottle of water. If yours does, a clogged air filter is typically your number one suspect.

This causes your mower’s engine to work overtime, forcing it to consume more gas to perform its normal capacity. To fix this, just clean your air filter thoroughly or replace it if it’s over a year old already.

Starter Rope That Is Either Stuck or Too Hard to Pull

An engaged flywheel brake is often the reason behind this simple problem. Before you pull the starter rope, make sure the flywheel brake is completely disengaged and doesn’t press against your mower’s handle.

If that isn’t causing the problem, check the blades. They might be touching the ground or grass might be clogging them, which blocks the startup process.

To fix this, just lay your mower down on a flat surface, disengage your spark plug, rid the blades of any dirt or grass cuttings, then try again.

Lawnmower That Overheats

When you feel that your lawnmower typically becomes too hot while mowing, don’t ignore it just because it’s still functional. Continuously using it in this condition may worsen the problem unnecessarily.

Start your lawn mower repair by checking the exhaust for any buildup of grass. The cooling fins are part of the head of your lawnmower engine cylinder. This tends to overheat when it gets clogged, so get rid of any grass, leaves, and other debris that may have found their way into your engine’s cooling fins.

Smoke Rising From the Lawnmower

While this is one of the most common lawnmower issues people face, surprisingly, no one knows exactly how to fix a smoking lawn mower. And no, DIYers, it’s not a sign that your lawnmower is about to explode.

Typically, an overfilled or leaking oil chamber causes this. Oil leaking into your lawnmower’s muffler can cause the engine to smoke as it burns the oil.

In such cases, simply turn off the engine and wait for it to cool before checking the chamber for leaks. Make sure the cap is sealed tight as well before you restart your lawnmower.

Rarely does a smoking lawnmower signal a serious problem. However, if it already affects the performance of your mower, then it is best to consult a lawn mower repair professional.

Lawn Mower With Reduced Speeds

A damaged or dislocated drive belt might be the reason behind your mower’s slow speeds. This drive belt is typically found in the motor casing, though it is best to consult the manual if you’re not sure how to access it.

To fix this, turn your mower off before inspecting the drive belt. Reattach it if it’s only loose or replace it altogether if there is too much damage.

Lawnmower That Fails to Cut Grass

Ironically, grass that’s either too long or too wet causes a lawnmower’s failure to cut grass.

First, keep in mind that you should only do mowing during dry conditions. It’s never a good idea to cut wet grass as this can clog your mower.

Second, the grass might be too long for your lawn mower’s setting. Raise the deck’s height above its standard settings before you begin cutting overgrown grass.

Additionally, try to mow at a slower pace when cutting taller and longer grass. Make sure to get rid of grass, leaves, and other debris that may accumulate under the deck as you mow to allow your mower to function at full capacity.

Lawnmower With Uneven Mowing

Uneven mowing is often caused by one of two things:

  • Dull blades: For your mower to function well, the blades underneath have to be equally sharp. You can either sharpen the blades using a metallic file, bring them to your local lawn mower repair shop, or replace the blades altogether if they are too worn.
  • Unbalanced buildup: Grass, leaves, and other debris might have built up on one side of your mower. Clean these out and empty as necessary.

Bumpy or Bouncy Mower

Inadequate oil is one of the most common causes of mowers that seem bouncy or bumpy while running. Check your oil levels and make sure to change it every once in a while for a smoother ride and a better performance.

Excessively Vibrating Mower

Damaged drive belts can cause lawnmowers to vibrate unusually and excessively. Make sure to have it installed properly and keep it in good shape. Worn out or damaged drive belts may need replacement if simple repairs can’t answer your problems.

Other factors that can cause this problem may include loose mounting bolts, an engine running below the advised RPM, or a cutting deck that isn’t in the right settings.

Pro tip: As much as possible, avoid running your lawnmower over hard objects like rocks and roots. These can damage different parts of your lawnmower, which might cause them to need repairs or even replacements.

Avoid lawn mower repair altogether by following this lawn mower maintenance tutorial by This Old House:

A well-managed lawn is the hallmark of any DIYer’s home. Learning these common issues and lawn mower repair tips for each of them should help make sure that your mower is always in tip-top shape.

Top Reasons Lawn Mower Not Self-Propelling — Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

Do you have other questions about lawn mower repair or maintenance? Ask us in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below!

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Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Got paint spilt on fly mower and is very noisy and rattly,can it be easily fixed or should I buy new?

I have a question Where are the Drive belts in a mower? You mentioned Battery has lawn mower got the battery? Where are the flywheel breaks? I have been mowing and after sometime it just switched off and does not start. I checked petrol. It is enough, I checked oil it look low but when I top up it went over the H mark. I reduced it but the mower still does not start. I replaced air filter that was old. But no starting. The gap of flywheel and Ignition coil looks ok. What can I try further.?

Lawnmower Won’t Start? Do this.

A lawnmower that won’t start, especially when taken from storage, is almost always due to one problem: bad gas.

lawn, mower, stopped, working

Storing a lawnmower in the fall without adding gasoline stabilizer to the fuel tank can cause the fuel to break down and plug the fuel passages. If fixing that problem doesn’t help, there are a few others that can help fix a lawnmower that won’t start, as we explain here.

How to Fix a Lawnmower That Won’t Start

Replace the Bad Gas

Over time (like the six months your lawnmower sat in your garage over the winter), the lighter hydrocarbons in gas can evaporate. This process creates gums and varnish that dirty the carburetor, plug fuel passages and prevent gas from flowing into the combustion chamber.

The carburetor bowl below formed corrosion and deposits during storage, which can easily plug fuel passages and prevent the engine from starting.

Storing equipment without stabilizing the gas can lead to deposits that foul the carburetor or injectors.

Ethanol-containing gas can absorb water from the atmosphere, which can lead to phase separation, which occurs when ethanol and gas separate, much like oil and water. Ethanol that has absorbed enough moisture and has sat long enough can foul the fuel system and prevent the engine from starting.

No matter how many times you yank the pull cord and pollute the air with your advanced vocabulary, the lawnmower won’t start if it’s trying to run on bad gas.

In extreme cases, evaporation of lighter hydrocarbons can change the gasoline’s composition enough to prevent it from igniting. The gas may be fueling the engine, but it doesn’t matter if it won’t ignite.

Bad Gas in Your Lawnmower? Here’s How to Fix It

If you neglected to add gasoline stabilizer to the fuel prior to storage, empty the tank and replace with fresh gas. If the tank is nearly empty, simply topping off with fresh gas is often enough to get it started.

On some mowers, you can easily remove and empty the fuel tank. Sometimes that’s more trouble than it’s worth. In these cases, use a fluid extraction pump or even a turkey baster to remove the bad gas. You don’t need to remove all of it; but try to get as much out as possible.

Clean the Carburetor

You’ve replaced the fuel, but your lawnmower still won’t start.

Next, try cleaning the carburetor. Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the intake. Let it sit for several minutes to help loosen and dissolve varnish and gums.

Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the intake. Let it sit a few minutes to loosen deposits.

On some carburetors, you can easily remove the float bowl. If equipped, first remove the small drain plug and drain the gas from the bowl. Remove the float bowl cover and spray the float and narrow fuel passages with carburetor cleaner.

This kind of “quick-and-dirty” carburetor cleaning is usually all it takes to get the gas flowing again and your lawnmower back to cutting grass.

If not, consider removing the carburetor from the engine, disassembling it and giving it a good cleaning. Be forewarned, however: taking apart a carburetor can lead to nothing but frustration for the uninitiated. Take pictures with your phone to aid in reassembly. Note the positions of any linkages or the settings of any mixture screws, if equipped. If you’re at all reluctant, visit the servicing dealer instead.

Consider replacing the carburetor altogether. It’s a fairly simple process on most smaller mowers and it’s often less expensive than taking it to the dealer.

Direct compressed air from the inside of the air filter out to remove debris that may be reducing airflow and preventing the lawnmower from starting.

Clean/Replace the Air Filter

With the air filter removed, now’s the perfect time to clean it.

Tap rigid filters on a workbench or the palm of your hand to dislodge grass clippings, leaves and other debris. Direct compressed air from the inside of the filter out to avoid lodging debris deeper into the media.

Use soap and water to wash foam filters. If it’s been a few years, simply replace the filter; they’re inexpensive and mark the only line of defense against wear-causing debris entering your engine and wearing the cylinder and piston rings.

An incorrectly gapped spark plug can prevent the engine from starting. Set the gap to the specification given in the owner’s manual.

Check the Spark Plug

A dirty or bad spark plug may also be to blame. Remove the plug and inspect condition. A spark plug in a properly running four-stroke engine should last for years and never appear oily or burned. If so, replace it.

Use a spark-plug tester to check for spark. If you don’t have one, clip the spark-plug boot onto the plug, hold the plug against the metal cylinder head and slowly pull the starter cord. You should see a strong, blue spark. It helps to test the plug in a darkened garage. Replace the plug if you don’t see a spark or it appears weak.

While you’re at it, check the spark-plug gap and set it to the factory specifications noted in the lawnmower owner’s manual.

If you know the plug is good, but you still don’t have spark, the coil likely has failed and requires replacement.

Did You Hit a Rock or Other Obstacle?

We’ve all killed a lawnmower engine after hitting a rock or big tree root.

If your lawnmower won’t start in this scenario, you probably sheared the flywheel key. It’s a tiny piece of metal that aligns the flywheel correctly to set the proper engine timing. Hitting an immovable obstacle can immediately stop the mower blade (and crankshaft) while the flywheel keeps spinning, shearing the key.

In this case, the engine timing is off and the mower won’t start until you pull the flywheel and replace the key. It’s an easy enough job IF you have a set of gear pullers lying around the garage. If not, rent a set from a parts store (or buy one…there’s never a bad reason to buy a new tool) or visit the dealer.

My Lawnmower Starts But Runs Poorly

If you finally get the lawnmower started, but it runs like a three-legged dog, try cleaning the carburetor with AMSOIL Power Foam. It’s a potent cleaning agent designed to remove performance-robbing carbon, varnish and other gunk from carburetors and engines.

Add Gasoline Stabilizer to Avoid Most of These Problems

Which sounds better? Completing all these steps each year when your lawnmower won’t start? Or pouring a little gasoline stabilizer into your fuel tank?

Simply using a good gasoline stabilizer can help avoid most of the problems with a lawnmower that won’t start.

AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer, for example, keeps fuel fresh up to 12 months. It helps prevent the lighter hydrocarbons from evaporating to reduce gum and varnish and keep the fuel flowing. It also contains corrosion inhibitors for additional protection.

I have a five-gallon gas can in my garage from which I fuel two lawnmowers, two chainsaws, two snowblowers, a string trimmer, an ATV and the occasional brush fire. I treat the fuel with Gasoline Stabilizer every time I fill it so I never have to worry about the gas going bad and causing problems.

You can also use AMSOIL Quickshot. It’s designed primarily to clean carburetors and combustion chambers while addressing problems with ethanol. But it also provides short-term gasoline stabilization of up to six months.

Use a Good Motor Oil for Your Lawnmower

Although motor oil has no bearing on whether your lawnmower starts or not (unless you don’t use oil at all and seize the engine), it pays to use a high-quality motor oil in your lawnmower.

This is especially true for professionals or homeowners running expensive zero-turn or riding mowers.

Lawnmower engines are tougher on oil than most people realize. They’re usually air-cooled, which means they run hotter than liquid-cooled automotive engines.

They often run for hours in hot, dirty, wet conditions. Many don’t have an oil filter, further stressing the oil.

In these conditions, motor oils formulated for standard service can break down, leading to harmful deposits and reduced wear protection.

For maximum performance and life, use a motor oil in your lawnmower designed to deliver commercial-grade protection, like AMSOIL Synthetic Small-Engine Oil.

Its long-life formulation has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to safely exceed original equipment manufacturer (OEM) drain intervals in the toughest conditions. It provides an extra measure of protection when equipment goes longer between oil changes than is recommended by the OEM.

My Self-Propelled Mower Won’t Work…Help!!

So, what happens when the wheels on your self-propelled don’t turn or the mower won’t go anymore?

It’s simple, here are 6 troubleshooting steps that you can use to get your lawn mower back on track!

Whether your push mower is a Honda, a Craftsman, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, or any of the best push mowers of 2020.

You will likely find the information you need to fix your self driving push mower in this article.

Step One: Inspect the v-belt.

Here’s the deal, the v-belt connects to the pulleys. This in turn drives the lawn mower wheels.

From time to time, the belt may wear out and needs to be replaced. Simply put. if that belt is worn out or broken. the wheels won’t turn.

lawn, mower, stopped, working

Below is a helpful video on how to replace the v-belt.

Step Two: Check the drive pulley.

The next step is to check the drive pulley. The drive pulley connects to the crankshaft and is turned by the v-belt. If that drive pulley is defective. the transmission will not be able to engage the wheel assembly and turn the wheels.

So how do you fix it?

It’s easy, with a few tools in the garage, the drive pulley can be replaced if defective. Start by removing the lawn mower blade. From there it should be pretty easy to remove the belt if it needs to be replaced.

Step Three: Check the self-propel cable.

This cable runs from the handle of the lawn mower to the transmission. The location and high use of this cable make it susceptible to breaking. It can be checked by seeing if the control cable moves freely. If it doesn’t, some WD40 should be used to lubricate it a little.

But, if that doesn’t work, it may need to be replaced.

To Check the Self-drive Cable:

  • Inspect the line for kinks
  • Check both connections of the line
  • Check for loose parts or cracking plastic
  • Make sure that the cable moves freely

If you have ever folded your lawn mower handles down and your self-propel feature stopped working. There is a good chance you kinked the cable and need to replace it.

Step Four: Check the transmission.

The transmission is powered by the drive belt that connects to the crankshaft. When working properly, the drive belt powers the transmission, and the wheels turn.

To check the transmission, carefully watch the transmission when the engine is running. If the pulley is spinning, and the wheels aren’t turning, the transmission is bad.

Unfortunately. if this is broken, it may be time to buy a new mower because this part is generally unreplaceable.

Fortunately. the transmission will often get clogged up with grass. Often times, you can remove the grass from around the transmission gears to get the self drive mechanism working again.

Step Five: Check gear box and wheels.

If the mower is lifted off the ground, and the other gears work The wheels have to be taken off to make sure that the toothed gear is engaging with the toothed wheel.

The problem could be that a clip slipped along with the washer or that either the gear or the shifting keys are broken or worn out causing the gears to slip.

For more information on checking the gearbox see the video below.

“My self-propelled mower only works in 1st gear”

Step Six: Check tension on v-belt.

Yep another belt issue! The v-belt tension should be tight. If it’s not, it could be slipping and only turning the wheels in first gear, or not at all.

Having the belt too loose can also cause long term engine damage.

In order to tighten the v-belt, refer to this video below.

lawn, mower, stopped, working

A Note on The Design of the Modern Lawn Mower

Lawnmowers and guns. These two items do not normally go hand in hand, but thanks to Edward Beard Budding, an English Engineer, they share a connection.

In 1827, Budding was working in the cotton mills and noticed blades sheering excess fibers from the surface of cloth and adapted the principle to the world’s first lawnmower.

Then in 1830, Budding designed a pistol more technically advanced than Sam Colt’s revolver of 1835, but it never saw full scale production.

Since Budding’s inventions, the lawnmower has been a ubiquitous marvel that keeps getting more efficient, easier to use, and cheaper to obtain. Mass production by companies like Murray and Honda have made mowers available to virtually every homeowner as well.

Although the lawn mower has gotten more complex throughout the history of the lawn mower. it has always improved.

The Bottom Line: Repairing your Own Self-Driving Push Mower

Most homeowners prefer the chore of mowing their lawn just for the exercise and to save money; any disruption of this can be a significant inconvenience and can even lead to fines by the city if not mowed in ample time.

In addition, regular mower maintenance can help in prolonging its life. For example, changing oil and sharpening blades regularly.

Additionally, using gasoline without any ethanol may also help to reduce build up in the engine, ensuring the mower will run smoothly for years to come.

Hope these tips have answered the call for help!

However, if none of these tips work, hiring a landscaping professional may be an option.

Hi, I’m Gene Caballero and I’m the co-founder of GreenPal. At GreenPal, we’re helping hundreds of thousands of Americans solve one of the trickiest problems: a reliable, fast, and affordable way to get lawncare taken care of. On behalf of GreenPal, I’ve been featured in the Indianapolis Star. the Sacramento Bee. Entrepreneur. and dozens more. Please feel free to say hi on or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Turning Over But Not Starting: Easy Fix

“Why is my lawn mower turning over but not starting?” is a question we get a lot from lawn owners. This is a common problem that may arise for a number of reasons.

The good news is that it is very easy to figure out why a mower is not starting despite it turning over. Read our comprehensive list of all these lawn mower faults and their easy solutions in this guide.

  • Why Is Your Lawn Mower Turning Over But Not Starting?
  • – Problematic Spark Plug
  • – Wire Not Connected to Spark Plug
  • – The Air Filter Might Be Dirty
  • – An Empty or Contaminated Fuel Tank
  • – A Faulty Carburetor Filter
  • – The Mower Deck Might Need Cleaning
  • – The Flywheel Brake Might Not Be Working
  • – Fix Your Spark Plug
  • – Connect the Spark Plug Wire Properly
  • – Clean the Dirty Air Filter
  • – Clean Your Fuel Tank
  • – Fix the Carburetor Fuel Filter
  • – Clean the Mower Deck
  • – Repair the Flywheel Brake
  • – How Do You Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It?
  • – How Do You Know if Your Lawn Mower Fuel Line Is Clogged?
  • – How Do You Get Your Lawn Mower To Start After Sitting All Winter?

Why Is Your Lawn Mower Turning Over But Not Starting?

Your lawn mower turning over but not starting due to several reasons, such as a faulty or disconnected plug, a disconnected spark plug wire, a clogged air filter, or a contaminated fuel tank. A faulty carburetor, a dirty cutting deck, or a dysfunctional flywheel brake can also cause this.

– Problematic Spark Plug

The most probable cause of a mower not starting properly might lie in a problematic spark plug. This plug is responsible for producing the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine.

This plug usually stops working when it becomes loosened or disconnected and cannot generate a spark. Over time, it can become coated with carbon or water residue and stop working properly. It is very easy to fix a faulty plug – you simply have to take it out and visually figure out where the problem lies.

– Wire Not Connected to Spark Plug

If the spark wire is not in close contact with the plug, the lawn mower naturally will not start, regardless of how hard you try. If the rubber cover over the plug is not placed properly, then this will also prevent the wire from contacting the plug. You will need to check the plug and the wire without removing either of them to see if this is where the problem lies.

– The Air Filter Might Be Dirty

The purpose of an air filter is to let air inside the engine so that the oxygen in it can help combust the gas and start the engine. Over time the airflow into the engine gets compromised because of a dirty filter.

Lawn Mower Will Not Start?.This is Probably Why! ‘Simple Fixes’

The filter naturally collects things like dirt, dust, and other impurities. Eventually, it becomes so clogged that it stops all but a little air from entering the engine.

Usually, this filter is located near the top of the filter and is covered by a plastic or metal coating. You will have to unscrew the coating to get access to it.

– An Empty or Contaminated Fuel Tank

An empty gas tank can commonly cause this problem. Also, if the gas in the fuel tank has been left standing for too long without changing, then such a fuel tank will not catch a spark either. Even if the gas is just one month old but is being used without a fuel stabilizer, you will face this problem.

Similarly, a gas that has somehow been contaminated with dirt or moisture is useless and will not work.

– A Faulty Carburetor Filter

Another common reason why push-type or riding lawn mowers do not start despite turning is a carburetor that’s filled with too much residue. That is why it is recommended that carburetors be cleaned up at least once a year as part of regular maintenance.

This is not such a common problem. That is why you must first check that the ignition switch, air filter, etc., are working properly.

Another common sign of a clogged carburetor is that the engine might turn and start stalling. There might be black smoke emitting from the muffler. There will also be increased fuel consumption by the machine or weird noises from the engine.

Weird sounds like something splashing in the engine also means something is wrong with the carburetor. Other signs are the engine backfiring or being unable to accelerate.

– The Mower Deck Might Need Cleaning

The concept of a cutting deck is that it collects grass clippings and prevents them from spraying into the air. However, these clippings eventually clog up the mower and prevent the blade from cutting grass.

This especially happens when you habitually mow wet grass because such grass clumps together. That is why mowing dry grass is better for the lawn and the lawn mower over the long run.

– The Flywheel Brake Might Not Be Working

The purpose of a flywheel brake is to keep the engine running smoothly. They also help cool the engine and maintain the speed of the power strokes.

When the riding mower hits a hard spot, the brakes help absorb some of the damage. If your flywheel has been damaged, the mower won’t start but will, in fact, turn.

How To Fix a Lawn Mower That Is Turning Over But Not Starting?

To fix a lawn mower that is turning over but not starting, you can fix your spark plug. clean the airway filter, clean the fuel tank, fix the carburetor fuel filter, clean the mower deck, and repair the flywheel brake.

– Fix Your Spark Plug

First of all, find where the faulty plug is located. Usually, it is present at the front of the mower. Disconnect the plug wire to reveal the plug present underneath. You will likely need a wrench to unscrew the plug and take it out for observation, especially the insulator and the electrode on the plug.

If it is dirty with residue build-up, then only an easy clean-up is needed. Use a brake cleaner spray on this build-up, let it stay there for a few minutes – so the dirt gets dissolved – and then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Reinstall the plug in the machine and see if the problem has been resolved.

In some cases, you will need to change the plug with a new one. See if the electrode is missing or burnt or if the plug coating has been compromised. You can easily find new spark plugs at a reasonable price at any hardware shop.

– Connect the Spark Plug Wire Properly

If the problem lies in the wire not contacting the plug properly, then all you need is to connect the two. See if the rubber coating on the plug appears loose and pushes down in that case.

Tighten the rubber covering and also make sure that the wire is exposed enough to make adequate contact. If the rubber covering has been burnt, torn, or damaged in any way, then order a new one and replace the old one.

– Clean the Dirty Air Filter

If your machine won’t start because of a clogged air filter, then all you have to do is to clean it. Before unscrewing and removing the covering to the filter. you must disconnect the spark plug first. Then remove the metal or plastic encasing protecting the filter.

Take the filter out and inspect it carefully before cleaning. In the case of a paper filter, tap it gently on a flat surface to remove dust and dirt. Hold the filter up to a light source and see if it is blocking light from it. If so, replacing the filter with a new one is best.

In the case of a foam filter, use water and any dishwashing soap to cut grease and remove dirt. Squeeze it to remove all extra water, and then dry it thoroughly. Apply oil to your hands and use it to lubricate the filter thoroughly. Ensure that the oil is not dripping off the filter but only lightly wetting its surface.

Before reapplying for a clean filter, you should also cover the fitting with which the filter will be attached. Only use dry cloth because using compressed air or solvents might damage it. Replace it carefully and then cover it with its covering that has been cleaned as well.

– Clean Your Fuel Tank

If the problem lies in bad gas within the fuel tank, then you need to take it out. Use an oil siphon pump to drain the old gasoline out. Use the good old gravity method if you do not have a pump. Disconnect the carburetor from the fuel tank and place a container underneath to collect the gas.

Be careful not to spill the gasoline anywhere because this can lead to several problems. After your tank is emptied, it is time to clean any impurities. First, use only boiling water to wash the inside of the tank. and then use water mixed with a good quality fuel detergent.

Use a brush to scrub the inner walls if impurities are stuck. Give a final wash using clean water, dry the tank, and then refill it with fresh gas. This time add a fuel stabilizer to the gas to keep it from going bad.

– Fix the Carburetor Fuel Filter

Before cleaning the dirty carburetor, it is better to clean the outside of the mower beforehand. In most riding mowers, the carburetor lies on top of the air filter. and you will need to disassemble it and take it out in order to gain access to the carburetor. For other mower types, use the instructions manual to find out where and how to gain access to it.

You can use a carburetor cleaner to clean the insides of the carburetor bowl while it is still attached to the mower. To clean it thoroughly, however, you must take the carburetor out. Unscrew the nuts first and then disconnect the cables attached to them.

Before disconnecting the fuel cable, put something underneath to collect the draining fuel. Notice the carburetor’s position so you know where to put it back.

One way is to spray carburetor cleaner all over it and allow it to soak for a while. Give it an hour until all the grime and grease get dissolved, and then rinse off with clean water. You can then allow the carburetor to dry in the air or speed up the process using a blow drier.

Please do not put the carburetor back until all its parts are completely bone dry. Make sure that everything is back exactly how it was beforehand.

– Clean the Mower Deck

If your blades seem unable to rotate and cut properly, it might be time to clean them. In fact, the deck needs to be cleaned at least twice during each regular mowing season. Cleaning the deck is a piece of cake, but you must do it properly.

Either run the mower or the lawn tractor for as long as it takes for the fuel to run out. Otherwise, you can drain the fuel yourself by collecting it into a can. Disconnect the plug that starts the engine because you should not risk the lawn mower starting accidentally while cleaning the blades.

Tip the mower on a flat surface over its side, making its blades easily accessible. The easiest method is to use a hose to blast the blades at full speed. Most of the grass clippings and dirt will be forced off by this alone. Then use water, soap, and a sponge to scrub off all the rest of the dirt stuck on the deck and the blades.

Wash everything off using clean water and allow the deck to dry. A clever hack we employ is to spray some vegetable oil all over the deck lightly. Move the mower back into the standing position and reattach the ignition plug. Start the mower to see if it has started working now.

– Repair the Flywheel Brake

First, check the brake pad to see if it makes adequate contact with the flywheel. Also, check if something is blocking the cutting blade and preventing the flywheel lever from moving freely.

Sometimes the flywheel brake’s covering gets torn when something particularly hard gets tangled in the cutting blades. You will need to change the brake in this case. In order to do that, the entire mower will need to be taken apart.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Do You Clean a Lawn Mower Carburetor Without Removing It?

You clean a lawn mower carburetor without removing it by getting a commercial mower carburetor cleaning solution. However, in order to gain access to the carburetor, the filter that cleans the air going into the engine must be unscrewed first.

Make sure you have removed the gasoline from the fuel tank beforehand and disconnected the ignition plug. After gaining access to the carburetor, spray the cleaning solution into it. Allow at least an hour, so the cleaning solution dissolves all the grease.

Use a sponge or a brush to scrub the insides of the bowl as thoroughly as you can. Then use hot water to clean off the cleaning solution and all the dirt.

– How Do You Know if Your Lawn Mower Fuel Line Is Clogged?

You know if your lawn mower fuel line is clogged if the engine will take a long time to start after significant spluttering. The overall performance of the mower engine will drop drastically, and you will experience a lot of random stopping or braking while using the mower.

Especially while driving at low speeds, your mower will frequently come to a halt by itself. This naturally happens when the fuel line randomly blocks the fuel supply to the engine.

– How Do You Get Your Lawn Mower To Start After Sitting All Winter?

You get your lawn mower to start after sitting all winter by charging your battery. If the battery has rusted over the winter, use hot water to clean it up first and then charge it. You’ll also need to empty the gas tank if you haven’t done it before winter.

So if your gas tank still contains fuel, the new spring season is the time to empty it. The carburetor will need to be unscrewed first. and then you need to disconnect the line connecting it to the fuel tank. Collect the old gasoline dripping down from the carburetor into a container.

Next, you must fill the fuel tank with fresh and clean gas. Smelling carefully is one of the easiest hacks to check if the gas is fresh. Check the oil in the mower and refill it with clean oil. Lastly, we suggest you clean the mower thoroughly before starting it after a long break.


Congratulations, this marks the end of our complete article regarding why your mower might not be starting properly.

Here is a summary of all the reasons and their quick fixes:

  • A faulty or disconnected spark plug is the number one reason why lawnmowers might not start. All you have to do is to fix it or have it exchanged in case it is beyond repair.
  • If the air or fuel filter is not working properly because it has clogged over, it will also need to be cleaned or changed.
  • A mower deck with wet grass clippings and grime should be washed off regularly to keep the mower going.
  • If your blades seem unable to rotate and cut properly, it might be time to clean them.

We have discussed all the common reasons that stop a mower from starting despite turning over. If your mower is giving you problems, our guide will help you find out the problem and solve them in no time.

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