6 Common Reasons Why Your Lawn Mower Won t Start. Lawn mower wont crank

Troubleshooting Lawn Mower Starting Problems

The air is warmer and the grass is growing – time to break out the lawn mower. Unlike your car, your lawn mower and other lawn and garden equipment are not used regularly and the time spent sitting in storage can lead to problems with them running properly.

When you take your mower out for the first time, you may encounter a variety of situations. If you are lucky, the lawn mower will start with the first pull of the cord. Unfortunately, after months of sitting around, it is likely your lawn mower may not run smoothly, or even start at all. Before you give up, here are some things you can do to troubleshoot the problem.

Causes of engine trouble

If your engine starts but does not run smoothly or doesn’t start, the culprit could be air intake or fuel system related. The problem could be the age of the fuel in the tank, dirt or debris in the carburetor or an obstructed fuel tank vent. Other causes could be a fouled spark plug or a dirty or clogged fuel filter that restricts the amount of fuel getting to the carburetor.

Change the gasoline

If this is the first time you have tried to start the engine since last fall, fresh fuel may be in order. Gasoline will go bad in as few as 30 days, especially when fuel is mixed with ethanol as it is in many areas. Ethanol attracts moisture and over time the moisture will dilute the gas.

If the fuel is old, it should be dumped into a container for proper disposal and fresh fuel should be added. Fuel additives are readily available wherever auto parts are sold and may be helpful in not only starting your engine, but also in cleaning out any gum or varnish deposits in your carburetor while the engine is running.

After adding new fuel, check the gas cap. In many small engines, the gas cap also has a vent that serves as the fuel tank ventilation. In order to work properly and supply a sufficient amount of fuel to the carburetor, the vent must be open and free of any debris.

Check the air filter

The job of the air filter is to remove dirt and debris from the air before it enters your engine. The filter may become clogged and not allow a sufficient amount of air into the engine for it to run smoothly. If the filter is dirty, it should be replaced.

Examine the spark plug

A dirty or fouled spark plug can cause your lawn mower to not start. It can also work itself loose, causing issues. If the spark plug appears to be seated correctly but the engine doesn’t start, a new one may be in order. For a few dollars, this easy fix can get your small engine working again. Be sure to use the correct replacement spark plug designed for your lawn mower.

Check the oil

Check the amount, color and consistency of the oil. If it appears dark black, change it. If the oil level is low, add the proper oil, identified by your owner’s manual, to the engine – but be careful not to overfill it!

Look at the Fuel Filter

The fuel filter keeps dirt and contaminants in the fuel from getting into the carburetor. If it becomes clogged, it can prevent a sufficient amount of fuel from passing into the combustion chamber, preventing your engine from starting. Check the fuel filter, replace it if it is dirty or clogged.

I’m still having issues with my mower – what should I do?

If you are still having problems, it might be time to take it to a small engine repair shop to have a mechanic look at it. With their expertise, they’ll get to the bottom of the problem in no time.

Learn more about Champion parts, find your car part, or find where to buy your auto part today.

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

Common Reasons Why Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start

It’s a beautiful late summer morning. The gentle hum of the neighbor’s lawn mower reminds you that it’s a perfect time to mow your lawn too. You pull your mower out of the garage and prepare for a routine you’ve done a million times before. You pump the primer bulb and pull the starter cord like you always do…but this time, something is different. The mower engine lets out a grumbling gurgle and refuses to turn, even after multiple attempts. You’re suddenly faced with the harsh reality that you have no idea what to do next.

There are a number of possible causes for a lifeless mower, but ultimately only two things are required for an engine to start: fuel and a spark. If the engine isn’t getting a spark at the plug or fuel isn’t reaching the engine, your lawn mower is never going to start.

The important thing to remember is that like any other machine, lawn mowers require routine care and proper maintenance to continue running properly. Some of the most common problems that mower owners encounter are the direct consequences of improper or neglected regular maintenance from season to season. The lawn mower not starting problem can develop just as easily when the mower sits in storage all winter as when it’s in heavy use during the spring and summer.

We’ve been repairing lawn mowers for over 20 years, servicing nearly every mower brand on the market. Our shop has seen it all, but there are certain issues that we deal with constantly. If you’ve ever stared helplessly at your lifeless lawn mower, this troubleshooting guide discusses the 6 most common mower problems that owners face based on personal experience.

Firstly, your engine needs to be lubricated well to prevent your lawn mower from overheating and smoking. If your mower runs out of oil and is run anyway while you do yard work, you WILL be either paying for engine repairs or a new lawn mower. CHECK YOUR OIL BEFORE EVERY USE!


Before you attempt to work on any lawn mower, the following precautionary measures should be taken:

  • Remove the spark plug or disconnect the lead. All controls should be switched off and the spark plug lead should be disconnected before working on the underside of an engine. Allow the engine to cool down before attempting any troubleshooting.
  • Check the owner’s manual for the proper way to tip your mower. Your mower’s manufacturer will have specific recommendations about whether to keep the carburetor side or the spark plug upright. However, no equipment should be turned so that its carburetor and air filter are facing downwards: doing so can cause engine oil to damage them.
  • Run the engine to drain the fuel. If the mower needs to be placed on its side or plug side up, drain fuel from the mower’s tank and bowl by running the engine until it cuts out. If the mower’s tank is full of fuel, it will leak out the vent in the cap of the tank and can potentially start a fire.

You should also note that gasoline is flammable and blades are sharp: never attempt repairs while smoking or near any potential sources of ignition, and never lift the equipment by the bottom to transport.

Always consult the user’s manual before servicing your mower to avoid personal injury or damage to your mower.


Embarrassing? Yes. However, forgetting to confirm whether there’s gas in the tank is actually a very common oversight, perhaps on account of its simplicity. The resolution for this particular issue should be fairly straight forward: check your mower’s fuel level, every time, before starting it up.

On a related note, gasoline has a shorter shelf life than you may realize. Stale, untreated gas is one of the most common types of fuel problems as it begins to break down after about a month. If left in the tank long enough, old, stale fuel will eventually lead to engine damage.

If the gas in your mower’s tank is older than 30 days, you’ll need to empty the tank and refill it with fresh fuel. Depending on the equipment, it may be possible to tip the mower and drain the tank. If not, the fuel will need to be siphoned out. Stale fuel is highly noxious, so always work in a well-ventilated area. Once the stale fuel has been removed, replace it with fresh fuel and fuel stabilizer.

PRO TIP: Always add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel, since it slows the buildup in carburetors. Using a quality gasoline stabilizer allows better fuel flow and can help to prevent many of the problems with a mower that won’t start. Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment Gasoline Stabilizer, for example, helps to prevent the lighter hydrocarbons from evaporating – this reduces gum and varnish and keeps the fuel flowing. It also offers additional protection by containing corrosion inhibitors. This will keep gasoline fresh for up to a year.

This is one of the countless lessons for understanding the importance of routine maintenance: neglected mower maintenance will always lead to future headaches.

On that note, get into the habit of always draining the fuel at the end of the mowing season. You’ll thank yourself when next year comes around.

NOTE: Ethanol fuel can cause serious issues with your mower’s carburetor, fuel line, and fuel filter. Ethanol that has absorbed enough moisture and has sat long enough can foul the fuel system and prevent the engine from starting. It eats the inner lining of the fuel line, which carries the debris through the fuel filter and into the carburetor. Using a fuel stabilizer formulated to combat ethanol or selecting non-ethanol at the pump can help. However, the first few gallons from the pump may contain ethanol. For that reason, we recommend filling your car before filling the gas can.

How to Start a Lawn Mower That Has Been Sitting

So your lawn mower has been stored in the shed or garage all winter long. Now you’re having trouble getting it started and you’re wondering how to start a lawn mower that has been sitting.

Or maybe you found or inherited a lawn mower second hand that hasn’t been used in years.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your introductory guide to lawn mowers and how to start a lawn mower that has been sitting!

First and foremost, proper safety measures are important when working with a lawn mower. Remember to use some safety gloves, safety glasses, and to be aware of the sharp blade and engine parts.

Use this article as your guide. You can also find how-to videos on YouTube specifically for your brand or model of mower

This article will provide you with the information you need to get your mower started.

It should help regardless of what type of lawn mower you own.

Check Change the Oil

For a mower that has been sitting for quite a while, it’s definitely a good idea to check the oil. The best time to change the oil in your mower is about an hour after you finish mowing. But if it has been sitting all winter, check the oil before you even try to start it.

First, check that the oil is good quality, doesn’t have residue in it, and that there is enough of it.

If the oil is very dark or black, it’s time to change the oil so your mower runs smoothly and lasts a long time.

I change the oil in my mower twice a year – once at the beginning of the season, and once just before I put it away for the winter.

If you haven’t done it recently, just give the lawn mower an oil change. Even if this isn’t the primary issue that’s preventing your mower from starting, it’s probably a contributing factor.

Mowers are small engines that don’t require a lot of oil at all. This makes it a pretty inexpensive tune-up to do yourself at home. With a walk-behind mower you’re looking at 10 minutes or less.

Disposing of Your Lawn Mower Oil

Be sure to collect the oil in an appropriate container (I use an empty Gatorade bottle). You want something that caps tight and that won’t spill. I bring it to my local auto shop for disposal.

Your local mechanic or oil change shop will usually take your used motor oil. But if not, there may be disposal programs at your city dump.

If smoke is coming from the mower, that’s another sign that the oil needs to be checked and changed.

A mower that won’t start obviously is not going to smoke. Still, it’s worth mentioning as something worth watching for so you can stay on top of mower maintenance.

A smoking mower could indicate that there is an oil leak somewhere. The leak causes the oil to burn as it comes into contact with hot metal.

It could also indicate that there is not enough oil, which can permanently damage your engine.

Check the Gas Tank, Genius

Have you ever called tech support and the first thing they ask you is if your computer/TV is plugged in?

Gasoline isn’t very stable. If the gas in your mower is more than 30 days old, you’ll need to empty the tank. You may be able to dump the tank by tipping the mower. If not, you will need to siphon it.

After you’re done, put fresh gas into the mower.

The exception to this fix would be if you personally put fuel stabilizer into the gas tank before storing it.

My Recommendation for No-Hassle Gas

Personally I use a product called TruFuel (you can get it at your local box store and most hardware stores carry it). This product is pure, “old school” gasoline without any ethanol added.

You don’t have to add fuel stabilizer, it runs clean, and it can sit in your mower all winter and your mower will start up first pull. I use it in my mower and snowblower and it’s awesome.

It’s expensive compared to regular gas, but it’s cheaper than replacing your mower or buying a new carburetor every few years.

If you do have to siphon out old gas and replace it, remember that mowers take the same gasoline that goes into your car. Rather than trying to dispose of it, you can usually just top off your car’s gas tank. Just make sure that it’s not contaminated gas – if that’s the case then make sure to dispose of it properly according to your municipal guidelines.

Change the Air Filter (it’s easy)

After checking the gas tank and changing the oil, check the air filter on your mower. These can get clogged.

Oxygen is a vital component for combustion in an engine. If your mower’s air filter is dirty your mower won’t run well (or at all).

It is best to replace a clogged filter as opposed to trying to clean it. Even a small perforation in the filter can let in dust or residue that will ruin your engine.

A particularly telling sign of a clogged air filter is if your mower starts but then stops while you are mowing the lawn.

Also, you can look at it. If it’s dirty, you’ll be able to tell because, well, it will look dirty.

Where to Get an Air Filter for Your Mower

Most box stores near you will probably carry the right size air filter for your mower. You can expect to pay around 10 for a new one.

I recommend replacing your air filter annually as part of your regular maintenance.

If you can find the air filter on your mower, then you can replace it. Don’t be intimidated. Replacing the air filter is as simple as removing the old one and placing the new one in its place).

A clogged air filter may not be your only issue. But it’s a good idea to replace your filter when you’re fixing up a lawn mower that won’t start.

Replace Your Mower’s Spark Plug

You will find your mower’s spark plug at the front end of the mower (especially with a walk-behind mower). It is easy to locate because it has a wire that attaches to it. This is usually black rubber and covers the spark plug to keep dirt and debris out.

Make sure that the wire is in good shape and that there is a good connection there.

The next thing to check is the spark plug itself.

You can remove your mower’s spark plug using a socket wrench. You may need to experiment to find the right size. Or you can look it up online. The old spark plug should come out with a few simple twists.

When you remove the spark plug it will be obvious if you need a new one. Look for corrosion or discoloration at the business end of the spark plug. That’s the end that was in the mower (the one with the threads and the small metal piece sticking out). There should not be any corrosion on it.

You can try to clean it up and reconnect it to see if it will work. But, when in doubt just replace the spark plug.

How to Replace a Lawn Mower Spark Plug

Like the air filter, this is not a complicated job. You just need to find the correct socket wrench for your plug and be careful not to over-tighten it when installing the new one.

My advice is to replace your spark plug, even if your spark plug looks relatively new. I replace mine every other year.

In my experience if your mower isn’t starting up after sitting over the winter and you’ve checked the oil and replaced the gas, it’s usually a problem with your spark plug. Parts can often be found at your local hardware store or on Amazon, and a new spark plug is only a few dollars.

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Speaking of spark plugs. This is a good time to remind you that it’s always best to disconnect the spark plug if you decide to troubleshoot anything with the lawn mower’s engine.

This is a safety measure to ensure that the engine doesn’t start while you’re working on it. Just unplug the black wire/cable that runs to and covers the end of the spark plug.

Tighten the Mower’s Brake Cable

If the brake cable is loose on your lawn mower, then the mower may not start. To check the tension on the brake, pull the brake handle and then use your hand to pull on the brake cable to see if it is properly tense or if there is any give.

One trick to check to see if this might be your problem is to try starting the mower while you old the brake cable tight. If the mower starts then you’ll know your brake cable needs tightening.

This is usually an easy job. You can complete it quickly with a crescent wrench and a set of vice grips.

What a Dirty, Dirty Carburetor

Issues with the carburetor (or the carb, as it is affectionately known in the biz) are an incredibly common reason for a faulty mower.

Lawn Mower Will Not Start. You Will Never Guess Why

After you check the gas, oil, filter, and spark plug, a dirty carburetor is probably the culprit if your mower still won’t start after sitting a long time.

Often, you’ll find that the carb is corroded or that it has clogged if fuel was left in the engine and left to evaporate leaving behind a sticky residue inside the mower’s carburetor.

It’s possible to try cleaning the carb by giving it a good, long soak in a carb cleaner or in vinegar.

If this doesn’t work, carburetors for lawn mowers are not incredibly expensive and they are also relatively easy to find online.

Can I Do This Myself?

Of all the repairs you can tackle, this is the one that people get most intimidated about, but if you’re handy, you can probably find and follow a YouTube video for your model mower that will show you the steps involved.

Are there Other Options?

One work-around if you don’t have the time right away to take your lawn mower engine apart to clean out the carb is to use some starting fluid spray.

A can will just cost a few bucks, and you spray it into the engine right behind where the air filter is (don’t spray it on the air filter). This will typically get your mower running until you have time to get it properly serviced.

Replace Your Fuel Pump?

The fuel pump does exactly what it sounds like … it pumps fuel from the gas tank into the engine via a series of three ports.

If there is too much oil in the engine, then the oil can leak into the fuel pump (specifically into the pulse port line) and make your mower’s fuel pump defective.

To see if the fuel pump isn’t working anymore, check the pulse port line, valves, and the diaphragm inside the pump.

If you’ve tried most of the other potential problems in this article and your mower still won’t start, replace your fuel pump.

Unfortunately it is not possible to repair the fuel pump, it must be replaced. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a new mower, though.

Check For a Broken Flywheel Key

The flywheel is the big horizontal spinning wheel in the mower.

This is the part that begins spinning when you pull the starter cord on your walk-behind mower.

Sometimes hitting a hard object with the mower can break the flywheel key, which prevents the mower from starting when you pull the cord.

While this probably isn’t the issue if you’re wondering how to start a lawn mower that has been sitting over the winter … if you hit a root, rock, or a large felled tree branch on your last mow of the season then this could be the culprit. So I thought it was worth mentioning.

To check the flywheel key, you will need to remove the flywheel on your mower.

Removing the flywheel is a tedious process because the nut keeping it on is very tight and the flywheel needs to remain stationary in order to loosen the nut.

What Not To Do When Replacing This Part

Most guys and gals trying to DIY this will stick a broomhandle or some tool between the blades of the wheel, but this is a bad idea. This can easily break the blades, which are expensive to replace.

I recommend that you use a clamp – which is secure and safe.

To find a method that will work with your mower, find a YouTube video. If your mower’s flywheel key is indeed broken, then you can replace it in less than an hour once you have the new flywheel key.

The fins of the flywheel itself can also get clogged with grass or clippings – this is easy to determine just by uncovering the flywheel itself. If there is any debris, use a clean paint brush to brush it away.

Don’t Give Up On Your Lawn Mower, it’s Probably Worth Saving

I cannot tell you how many people give up on a 3-year old mower that won’t start after the winter, sending it along to the land fill and shelling out big bucks for a brand new model.

There are exceptions, but most of the time a lawn mower that won’t start after sitting is not defective, it has just lacked proper maintenance.

common, reasons, your, lawn, mower

Don’t give up on that old mower just yet!

Troubleshooting most lawn mowers can effectively get them working again, and usually once you do resolve the issue with your mower successfully, you’ll be so much more knowledgeable about maintaining them that you won’t have any problems again.

Cost effective repairs are easy to do at home in your own garage, even if it’s your first time doing them. You can find the parts you need at the hardware store or online.

Not only does repairing your mower save it from the landfill, but it saves you money and can bring you great satisfaction.

Top Reasons Lawn Mower Not Starting — Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

However, if all else fails and you do end up needing a new mower, see if your old mower could be useful for spare parts before taking it to the dump. There are probably plenty of small engine repair shops nearby that would be happy to pay a few bucks for it, or take it off your hands for free.

Lawnmower Won’t Start? Do this.

Bad gas or a dirty carburetor are the most common reasons for a lawnmower that starts hard or runs rough.

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

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.

What to do If My Lawn Mower Won’t Start

After being in storage for the winter months, your lawn mower might not want to start at the first turn of the key. This is common, so don’t get too concerned right away. Continue reading to see what to do if your lawn mower isn’t starting for you.

Do you need lawn mower service right now? Get in touch with the team at Koenig Equipment to get the support you need and schedule an appointment with us today!

What’s the starting procedure for my lawn tractor?

The standard starting procedure for lawn tractors is rather simple and the same across most lawn mowers.

  • Put the choke lever in the full choke position.
  • Turn the key to crank the engine for about five seconds.
  • If your engine hasn’t started from the above steps, let the engine rest for about 10 seconds and then crank the engine for another five seconds. If the engine sounds like it is about to start, you can crank it slightly for more than five seconds.

In addition to the above steps, if you have a riding lawn tractor, there is a seat sensor included for safety. If you are not sitting in the seat, the sensor will know, and the mower will not start. For push mowers, there is a safety handle.

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Is the problem with the battery or with the starter?

If you are going through the proper starting procedure with your lawn tractor and it is not starting, it is time to check the battery and the starter. The best place to start with is the battery. Without enough electricity, an engine starter problem can’t be diagnosed. Check to ensure that all the connections are properly hooked up to the battery. If the lawn tractor still won’t start, you can try jump-starting it. Jump-starting your lawn tractor will rule out a weak battery. You can also utilize a voltmeter to test your battery health and strength.

After confirming your battery is not the problem, you can look towards the starter. An easy sign to see if the starter is your problem is if it makes a clicking sound when you are trying to start the lawn tractor by turning the key. If this is the case, we may recommend replacing the starter, but it will take a service appointment to correctly diagnose the issue.

Is there a difference between starting in cold weather and warm weather?

The starting procedure discussed above is the same for starting a lawn tractor in either cold or warm weather. If you are using your lawn tractor for tasks during cold winter months, make sure you are using the proper oil for the temperature. Some oils aren’t made for lower temperatures and can become thicker in the winter months, causing your equipment to not start properly. Your local technician or parts specialist can help you choose the right oil for winter weather.

Is it common to have starting problems after storage?

Starting problems with your lawn tractor can be rather common after storage. Before you put your equipment away for winter storage, be sure you are winterizing your lawn tractor properly to help reduce any starting problems in the spring. Ensuring you winterize your lawn tractor before storage will make it much easier to start up when you bring it out again.

Where can I find lawn tractor service near me?

When it comes time to mow again, you want your lawn tractor to work properly and start easily for the upcoming season. If you get your lawn tractor out and have issues starting it, even after following the standard starting procedure and checking the battery and spark plugs, the certified team at Koenig Equipment is here to help.

With the certified service department at each Koenig Equipment location, you can rest assured knowing they will solve any issues that may arise with your lawn tractor.