Mower Troubleshooting

Having trouble with your mower? Check the spark plug and fuel level for starting issues.

When it comes to troubleshooting your lawn mower, it’s essential to identify common problems that may prevent it from starting or running smoothly. Issues like a fouled or damaged spark plug, old gasoline in the tank, a dead battery, or a bad fuse can all lead to starting problems.

Additionally, old fuel, a clogged air filter, or a dirty carburetor can cause the mower to start and then stop abruptly. By understanding these common causes, you can quickly diagnose and address any issues with your mower, ensuring it runs effectively when you need it. Troubleshooting these problems early on can save you time and frustration, keeping your lawn care routine running smoothly. Keep reading to learn more about how to troubleshoot and resolve common lawn mower issues.

Common Reasons For Lawn Mower Not Starting

Common Reasons for Lawn Mower Not Starting

When your trusty lawn mower refuses to start, it can be frustrating and disrupt your yard work plans. Knowing the common reasons for a lawn mower not starting can help you troubleshoot and solve the problem quickly. Below are the most frequent culprits causing a lawn mower to not start.

Fouled Or Damaged Spark Plug

If the spark plug in your lawn mower is fouled or damaged, it can prevent the engine from starting. Over time, the spark plug can become coated with carbon, which inhibits the spark needed for ignition. Checking and replacing the spark plug if necessary is an essential step in troubleshooting a non-starting lawn mower.

Old Or Stale Fuel

Stale or old fuel is a common reason for a lawn mower not starting. As fuel sits in the tank, it can break down and lose its combustibility. It’s important to ensure there’s fresh gasoline in the tank to aid easy ignition and smooth operation of the lawn mower.

Dead Battery Or Bad Fuse

If your lawn mower is equipped with a battery or a fuse, it’s crucial to check these components if the mower is not starting. A dead battery or a bad fuse can disrupt the electrical system, hindering the starting process. Checking and, if necessary, replacing the battery or fuse can revive a non-starting lawn mower.

Mower Troubleshooting


Troubleshooting Steps For Lawn Mower Not Starting

Check The Fuel Level

The first step in troubleshooting a lawn mower that won’t start is to check the fuel level. Ensure that the mower has enough fuel to operate properly. If the fuel level is low, refill the tank with fresh gasoline to eliminate fuel-related issues.

Inspect And Clean The Spark Plug

The next troubleshooting step is to inspect and clean the spark plug. Remove the spark plug and check for any signs of fouling or damage. Clean the spark plug using a wire brush or replace it if necessary. A faulty spark plug can prevent the mower from starting.

Inspect And Clean The Carburetor

Another common issue that can cause a lawn mower not to start is a dirty or clogged carburetor. Inspect the carburetor for any dirt or debris that may be blocking the fuel flow. Clean the carburetor thoroughly using a carburetor cleaner to ensure proper functioning.

Test The Ignition System

Testing the ignition system is essential in troubleshooting a lawn mower that refuses to start. Check the ignition coil, magneto, and spark plug wire for any signs of damage or wear. A faulty ignition system can lead to starting problems and should be addressed accordingly.

Check Compression

Lastly, check the compression of the lawn mower engine. Low compression can be a result of worn-out piston rings or other internal engine issues. A compression test can diagnose any potential engine problems that may be causing the mower not to start.

Fixes For Common Lawn Mower Starting Issues

If you’re experiencing starting issues with your lawn mower, there are a few common fixes to try. Check the spark plug for damage, make sure there’s fresh gas in the tank, and inspect the battery and fuses for any issues.

With these troubleshooting steps, you’ll be back to mowing in no time.

Check And Replace The Spark Plug

One of the common reasons why a lawn mower fails to start is a fouled or damaged spark plug. Checking and replacing the spark plug should be the first step in troubleshooting this issue. To do this:

  1. Locate the spark plug on your lawn mower, usually near the engine.
  2. Use a spark plug wrench to remove the plug.
  3. Examine the spark plug for any signs of wear, damage, or carbon buildup.
  4. If the spark plug looks dirty or worn out, it needs to be replaced.
  5. Install a new spark plug and make sure it is tightened securely.

Empty And Refill The Fuel Tank

If your lawn mower still doesn’t start after checking the spark plug, the next step is to empty and refill the fuel tank. Stale or old fuel can cause starting issues. Follow these steps:

  1. Locate the fuel tank on your lawn mower.
  2. Use a container to drain the old fuel from the tank.
  3. Dispose of the old fuel properly.
  4. Refill the tank with fresh gasoline.
  5. Make sure the fuel cap is securely tightened.

Clean Or Replace The Air Filter

An air filter that is clogged or dirty can also prevent your lawn mower from starting. Follow these steps to clean or replace the air filter:

  1. Locate the air filter housing on your lawn mower.
  2. Remove the housing cover and take out the air filter.
  3. If the air filter is dirty, clean it using compressed air or wash it with soapy water.
  4. If the air filter is damaged or excessively dirty, it needs to be replaced.
  5. Install a new air filter or reattach the cleaned filter.
  6. Securely put back the housing cover.

Preventing And Managing Lawn Mower Starting Problems

When it comes to maintaining your lawn mower, keeping it running smoothly and efficiently is crucial. Here are some essential steps to prevent and manage starting problems effectively.

Use Fresh Fuel

  • Always use fresh fuel when filling up your lawn mower’s tank.
  • Stale or old gasoline can lead to starting issues and poor performance.
  • Replace old fuel with fresh, clean gas to prevent starting problems.

Regularly Clean And Maintain The Spark Plug

  • Clean and inspect the spark plug on a routine basis.
  • Ensure the spark plug is not fouled or damaged.
  • If necessary, replace the spark plug to maintain optimal performance.

Clean Or Replace The Air Filter

  • Regularly clean or replace the air filter in your lawn mower.
  • A dirty or clogged air filter can hinder starting and affect engine performance.
  • Maintaining a clean air filter ensures proper airflow for smooth operation.

Follow Proper Storage Practices

  • Store your lawn mower in a dry, protected area.
  • Avoid storing it with old fuel or in extreme temperatures.
  • Preparing your mower for storage can prevent starting issues upon next use.

Troubleshooting Resources For Lawn Mower Starting Problems

If your lawn mower won’t start, check for common issues like a fouled spark plug or old gas. You can troubleshoot using resources such as online tutorials and instructional videos from trusted sites like RepairClinic, Briggs & Stratton, and Family Handyman to resolve the problem.

Online Forums And Communities

Online forums and communities can be valuable resources for troubleshooting lawn mower starting problems. Platforms like Reddit, GardenWeb, and LawnSite have active communities where users share their experiences and offer advice.

Manufacturer’s Support Websites

Manufacturer’s support websites are another great source for troubleshooting. Companies like Briggs & Stratton, John Deere, and Toro provide detailed guides, FAQs, and videos to help users diagnose and fix starting issues.

Professional Landscaping Services

Professional landscaping services can provide expert assistance when troubleshooting lawn mower starting problems. Hiring a professional ensures that the issue is diagnosed accurately and repaired effectively, saving you time and frustration.

Mower Troubleshooting


Mower Troubleshooting


Frequently Asked Questions Of Mower Troubleshooting

What Is The First Thing To Check If A Lawn Mower Won T Start?

The first thing to check if a lawn mower won’t start is the spark plug. Replace if fouled or damaged. Ensure fresh gas, a good battery, and clean air filter. Stale fuel, clogged filter, or dirty carburetor are common causes.

Why Did My Mower Suddenly Stop Working?

There are several possible reasons why your mower suddenly stopped working. Firstly, check if the spark plug is fouled or damaged and replace it if needed. Ensure there is fresh gasoline in the tank as old fuel can cause starting issues.

The battery may be dead or a fuse could be blown. Lastly, check if the air filter is dirty and clean or replace it.

What Causes A Lawn Mower To Start Then Stop?

A lawn mower may start then stop due to a variety of reasons. Common causes include old fuel, clogged air filter, or a dirty carburetor needing cleaning.


If you’re experiencing trouble starting your lawn mower, there are several factors to consider. Check the spark plug to determine if it’s fouled or damaged. Ensure that you have fresh gasoline in the tank, as using old or stale fuel can cause starting issues.

Additionally, a dead battery or a faulty fuse could be the culprit. By addressing these common issues, you can get your mower up and running again in no time. Keep these troubleshooting tips in mind to ensure a smooth mowing experience.

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