Having trouble starting your lawnmower after it has been sitting? Follow these easy fixes to get it up and running again.

Lawnmower Won’t Start After Sitting? 7 Powerful Fixes That Actually Work!

Credit: dengarden.com

Understanding The Problem

Is your lawnmower refusing to start even after it has been sitting idle for a while? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many homeowners face this frustrating problem with their lawnmowers. However, before you give up and call a professional, there are several easy fixes you can try yourself.

By understanding the problem and identifying its possible causes, you can troubleshoot and potentially solve the issue without spending a fortune. So, let’s dive in and explore the signs that indicate your lawnmower won’t start after sitting and identify the possible causes behind it.

1. Rule Out Fuel Issues

Rule Out Fuel Issues.

If your lawnmower won’t start after sitting, the first thing to check is whether there are any fuel-related issues causing the problem. Here are some easy fixes to rule out fuel issues and get your lawnmower up and running again:

Check Fuel Supply And Quality:

  • Ensure there is enough fuel in the lawnmower’s tank.
  • If the fuel has been sitting for a long time, consider draining it and adding fresh fuel.
  • Check the fuel level regularly to avoid running out or using old fuel.

Inspect The Fuel Filter:

  • Locate the fuel filter, usually situated between the fuel tank and the carburetor.
  • Remove the fuel filter and inspect it for any signs of clogging or debris.
  • If the filter appears dirty or blocked, clean it thoroughly or replace it if needed.

Clean Or Replace The Fuel Lines:

  • Examine the fuel lines for any cracks, leaks, or blockages.
  • If you notice any damage or dirt, clean the fuel lines using a small brush or replace them altogether.
  • Ensure the fuel lines are securely connected to both the fuel tank and the carburetor.

By following these easy fixes, you can effectively rule out fuel-related issues as the cause of your lawnmower not starting after sitting. Taking the time to check the fuel supply and quality, inspect the fuel filter, and clean or replace the fuel lines can help get your lawnmower running smoothly again.

Remember to perform regular maintenance and store your lawnmower properly to prevent future starting issues.

2. Address Sparking Problems

Having trouble starting your lawnmower after it has been sitting idle for a while? One of the common culprits behind this issue is sparking problems. When the spark plug is not functioning properly, it can prevent the engine from starting.

But fret not! There are a few simple steps you can take to address sparking problems and get your lawnmower up and running in no time.

Check The Spark Plug Condition

The first thing you should do is check the condition of the spark plug. Over time, spark plugs can become dirty or damaged, which hinders their ability to generate a spark. Here’s how you can determine if your spark plug is the root cause of the starting problem:

  • Inspect the spark plug visually and look for any signs of fouling, such as a buildup of carbon deposits or a worn electrode.
  • Remove the spark plug and check the gap between the electrode and the ground strap using a spark plug gap gauge.
  • Ensure that the gap falls within the manufacturer’s specifications. If it is too wide or too narrow, you may need to adjust it accordingly.

Clean Or Replace The Spark Plug

If you find that the spark plug is dirty or damaged, it’s time to clean or replace it. Follow these steps to clean the spark plug:

  • Use a wire brush to remove any carbon deposits or dirt from the electrode and the ground strap.
  • Reinstall the spark plug and try starting the lawnmower again.

If cleaning the spark plug doesn’t solve the issue, it’s best to replace it with a new one. Remember to use the correct type and heat range of spark plug recommended by the lawnmower manufacturer.

Inspect The Ignition System

If the spark plug is in good condition and the lawnmower still won’t start, it’s worth inspecting the entire ignition system. Here are a few key points to consider:

  • Check the ignition coil for any signs of damage or wear. If necessary, replace the ignition coil following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Examine the ignition wiring and ensure there are no loose connections or frayed wires. Replace any damaged wiring as needed.
  • If your lawnmower has a magneto ignition system, inspect the magnets on the flywheel and clean off any accumulated debris.
  • Test the ignition module using a spark tester to ensure it is producing a spark when the engine is cranked.

By addressing sparking problems and taking the appropriate steps to clean or replace the spark plug and inspect the ignition system, you’ll be well on your way to fixing your lawnmower’s starting issue. Say goodbye to the frustration of a lawnmower that won’t start and hello to a perfectly functioning machine ready to tackle your lawn care tasks with ease!

3. Tackle Carburetor Problems

Tackle Carburetor Problems

Is your lawnmower refusing to start after sitting idle for a while? One of the most common causes for this frustrating issue is a faulty carburetor. The carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel to create combustion, which is essential for the engine to start and function properly.

If the carburetor isn’t working correctly, it can prevent your lawnmower from starting.

Identify Signs Of A Faulty Carburetor

Before diving into the troubleshooting steps, it’s important to identify any signs that indicate a faulty carburetor. Keep an eye out for the following indications:

  • Rough idling or stalling: If your lawnmower starts but struggles to maintain a consistent idle or stalls frequently, it could point to a carburetor problem.
  • Difficulty starting: If you have to repeatedly pull the starter cord or use additional starting fluid to get your lawnmower running, it may suggest a carburetor issue.
  • Fuel leakage: A carburetor leak can result in fuel dripping from the lawnmower’s engine or carburetor housing. If you notice an unexplained odor of gasoline or wet spots near the carburetor, it’s worth investigating.

Clean Or Rebuild The Carburetor

Once you’ve identified signs of a faulty carburetor, it’s time to take action. The first step is to clean the carburetor thoroughly. Over time, dirt, debris, and old fuel can clog the carburetor jets and prevent the proper flow of air and fuel mixture.

Here’s how to clean it:

  • Begin by removing the air filter and disconnecting the fuel line.
  • Use a carburetor cleaner to spray and clean all the carburetor parts, paying close attention to the jets, needles, and float.
  • Inspect the small passages and make sure they are clear by using compressed air.
  • Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it in your lawnmower.
  • Reconnect the fuel line and air filter.

If cleaning the carburetor doesn’t resolve the problem, it may be necessary to rebuild it. This involves replacing worn-out or damaged parts with new ones. Refer to your lawnmower’s manual or seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about the rebuilding process.

Adjust The Carburetor Settings If Needed

In some cases, a simple cleaning or rebuild may not be enough. Your lawnmower’s carburetor settings may require adjustment to ensure optimal performance. Here are a few steps to help you:

  • Locate the fuel mixture screw on the carburetor and turn it clockwise until it is fully closed, then turn it counterclockwise a specified number of turns as suggested in the lawnmower’s manual.
  • Next, adjust the idle speed screw to achieve a smooth and consistent idle.
  • Start the lawnmower and let it warm up for a few minutes.
  • Fine-tune the fuel mixture screw by gradually turning it in or out until you find the sweet spot where the engine runs smoothly without stalling or running too rich.

Remember to make slight adjustments and observe how the lawnmower responds after each tweak. Take note of the ideal settings, so you can refer back to them in case you need to readjust in the future.

By tackling carburetor problems and following these easy fixes, you can restore your lawnmower’s functionality and get back to maintaining a beautiful lawn with ease.

4. Resolve Compression Problems

Experiencing trouble getting your lawnmower started after it’s been sitting for some time? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this section, we’ll focus on resolving compression problems, which can often be the culprit behind a lawnmower’s refusal to start.

By understanding the role of compression in starting the lawnmower and performing a compression test, you’ll be well on your way to getting that engine up and running smoothly again. Let’s dive in!

Understanding The Role Of Compression In Starting The Lawnmower

Compression plays a crucial role in the combustion process of your lawnmower’s engine. It refers to the pressure that builds up inside the cylinder when the air-fuel mixture is compressed before ignition. If the compression is too weak or non-existent, the engine will struggle to start.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Proper compression ensures efficient combustion, leading to reliable engine performance.
  • Low compression can result from worn-out piston rings, a faulty cylinder head gasket, or a damaged valve seal.
  • Weak compression may cause symptoms such as difficulty starting, loss of power, and excessive smoke.

Perform A Compression Test

To determine if compression problems are causing your lawnmower’s starting issues, you can perform a compression test. This simple diagnostic procedure will help you identify any deficiencies in the compression system. Here’s how:

  • Begin by ensuring the lawnmower is off and the spark plug wire is disconnected.
  • Locate the spark plug and remove it using a socket wrench.
  • Attach a compression gauge to the spark plug hole.
  • Hold the throttle open and crank the engine a few times using the starter cord.
  • Take note of the reading on the compression gauge.

A healthy lawnmower engine typically generates a compression reading between 90 and 110 psi (pounds per square inch). A significantly lower reading indicates compression problems that need attention.

Repair Or Replace Damaged Engine Parts

Once you’ve identified the cause of the compression problem, you can proceed with the necessary repairs or part replacements. Here are a few common issues and their potential solutions:

  • Worn-out piston rings: Replace the piston rings to restore proper compression.
  • Faulty cylinder head gasket: Inspect the gasket for any signs of damage or leakage. If necessary, replace it.
  • Damaged valve seal: If a faulty valve seal is causing compression problems, it may need to be replaced.

Remember to consult your lawnmower’s manual or seek professional assistance if you’re unsure about the repair process.

By resolving compression problems, you’ll give your lawnmower the kick-start it needs to get back in action. With a little bit of troubleshooting and possible repairs, you’ll be able to enjoy a well-functioning lawnmower for your yard maintenance needs. Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll explore another common issue and its easy fixes.

5. Deal With Airflow Issues

Lawnmower Won’T Start After Sitting? Try These Easy Fixes!

If you’re ready to tackle your lawn after it’s been dormant for a while, but your lawnmower won’t start, it can be frustrating. Before panic sets in or you spend money on expensive repairs, there are some easy fixes you can try to get your lawnmower up and running again.

One common reason for a lawnmower not starting is airflow issues. Let’s take a closer look at how to deal with that problem.

Check The Air Filter:

  • The air filter is an essential component of your lawnmower’s engine and can become clogged over time, preventing proper airflow.
  • Locate the air filter, usually on the side or top of the engine, and inspect it for dirt, debris, or damage.
  • Remove the air filter and give it a thorough cleaning to remove any contaminants that may be causing the blockage.
  • If the air filter is beyond cleaning or damaged, it’s best to replace it with a new one to ensure optimal airflow.

Clean Or Replace The Air Filter:

  • To clean the air filter, tap it gently to dislodge any loose dirt, dust, or debris.
  • If the air filter is heavily soiled, you can wash it with mild soap and warm water, then allow it to air dry completely before reinstalling.
  • On the other hand, if the air filter is torn or worn out, it should be replaced with a new one to maintain proper airflow and engine performance.

Inspect The Muffler For Clogs:

  • A clogged muffler can restrict airflow, leading to starting issues for your lawnmower.
  • Check the muffler for excessive dirt, debris, or carbon buildup.
  • Use a brush or compressed air to clean out any obstructions and ensure a clear passage for exhaust gases.
  • If the muffler is severely clogged or damaged, it may need to be replaced to restore proper airflow and engine function.

By addressing any airflow issues by checking and cleaning or replacing the air filter and inspecting the muffler, you can often get your lawnmower to start after sitting for a while. These simple fixes can save you time, money, and frustration, allowing you to get back to maintaining your lawn with ease.

Remember to perform regular maintenance on your lawnmower to avoid similar issues in the future.

6. Check For Electrical Problems

Is your lawnmower refusing to start after sitting idle for a while? Don’t worry, there are some easy fixes you can try before calling in a professional. In this blog post, we’ll explore the sixth step you can take to troubleshoot the problem: checking for electrical problems.

Here’s what you need to do:

Inspect The Battery (If Applicable):

  • Check the battery terminals for any signs of corrosion. Use a wire brush to clean them if necessary.
  • Measure the voltage of the battery using a multimeter. If it’s below the recommended level, you may need to recharge or replace the battery.
  • Ensure that the battery is securely connected to the mower. Loose connections can prevent the mower from starting.

Examine The Wiring And Connections:

  • Inspect the wiring harness for any visible damage, such as frayed wires or loose connections. Repair or replace any faulty wiring.
  • Check the safety switches, such as the seat switch and the blade engagement switch, to ensure they are functioning properly. Faulty safety switches can prevent the mower from starting.

Replace Any Faulty Electrical Components:

  • If you have checked the battery, wiring, and connections, but the mower still won’t start, it’s time to consider replacing any faulty electrical components.
  • Common electrical components that can cause starting issues include the ignition coil, spark plug, and solenoid. Consult your owner’s manual or seek professional help to determine which component needs replacing.

Remember, always refer to your lawnmower’s owner’s manual for specific instructions and safety precautions when dealing with electrical components. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to getting your lawnmower up and running again. Happy mowing!

7. Other Considerations

Is your lawnmower refusing to start after sitting idle for a while? Don’t worry, there are a few easy fixes you can try before calling for professional help. In this section, we will cover some other considerations that might help you get your lawnmower up and running again.

Let’s dive in!

Empty The Old Fuel Before Winter Storage

One common issue with lawnmowers that refuse to start is stale fuel. If you didn’t empty the fuel tank before storing your lawnmower for the winter, chances are the fuel has degraded and is no longer suitable for use. Stale fuel can clog up the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting.

To avoid this problem in the future, make sure to drain the fuel tank before putting your lawnmower away for an extended period.

Use A Fuel Stabilizer

To prevent the fuel from degrading during storage, it’s a good idea to use a fuel stabilizer. This additive helps to keep the fuel fresh and prevents it from breaking down over time. Simply add the recommended amount of stabilizer to the fuel tank before storing your lawnmower.

This will ensure that the fuel remains in good condition and ready for use when you need it.

Properly Maintain Your Lawnmower Throughout The Season

Taking proper care of your lawnmower throughout the season can help prevent starting issues later on. Here are a few maintenance tips to keep in mind:

  • Regularly change the oil: Old and dirty oil can hinder the performance of your lawnmower’s engine. It’s recommended to change the oil every season or after every 25 hours of use, whichever comes first.
  • Clean or replace the air filter: A clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, making it difficult to start. Clean or replace the air filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Check and clean the spark plug: A worn-out or dirty spark plug can cause starting problems. Inspect the spark plug regularly and clean or replace it when necessary.
  • Keep the mower deck clean: A buildup of grass clippings and debris on the mower deck can hinder the cutting performance and strain the engine. Clean the mower deck after each use to prevent these issues.

By following these maintenance practices, you can ensure that your lawnmower stays in top shape and starts easily every time.

Remember, troubleshooting a lawnmower that won’t start can be a process of trial and error. If none of these fixes solve the issue, it may be time to seek professional help. But hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be able to get your lawnmower up and running without any further trouble.

Happy mowing!


When your lawnmower won’t start after sitting for a while, it can be a frustrating experience. However, with a little troubleshooting and some simple fixes, you can get your mower up and running again in no time. Start by checking the spark plug and cleaning or replacing it if necessary.

Next, inspect the fuel system, including the fuel filter and carburetor, and clean or replace any clogged or dirty components. Don’t forget to also check the oil levels and ensure they are at the appropriate level. Lastly, give your mower some tender loving care by cleaning and maintaining it regularly to prevent future starting issues.

By following these easy fixes, you’ll be able to enjoy a well-maintained, high-performing lawnmower throughout the mowing season. Happy mowing!

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