Murray lawn tractor carburetor. 16 Reasons a Murray Lawn Mower Won’t Start
Reasons a Murray Lawn Mower Won’t Start
You finally get some time in your schedule to get your lawn mowing done. You go out to your mower and start it. Nothing happens. Finding a Murray mower’s starting problem can be frustrating.
Especially when you don’t have a lot of time and just need to get it running as quickly as possible before your lawn becomes unmanageable.
A Murray lawn mower won’t start when the fuel tank is empty; old fuel is clogging the fuel components; the spark plug is bad; the air filter is plugged; the battery is bad; the charging system is failing; the carburetor is dirty, or a switch is bad.
Keep reading for additional items that will cause your Murray lawn mower to not start. Follow all safety precautions in your Murray operator’s manual to avoid injury.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons Your Murray Mower Won’t Start
Fuel Tank is Empty
Murray lawn mowers require gas to run. I’m sure you already know this. I only mention it because, in the heat of the moment when you’re frustrated because your mower won’t start, you can easily forget to check for this simple requirement.
If you feel like you are going through more gasoline than normal, check the fuel system for a fuel leak. This includes leaking from the tank, fuel lines, fuel filter, carburetor and also the fuel pump if your mower uses one.
Repair: Add fresh fuel to a fuel tank low on fuel. Check for fuel leaks on your Murray lawn mower and perform necessary repairs.
Old gasoline can have bad effects on your Murray lawn mower. Most types of gasoline contain ethanol. This is a corn-based fuel that is added to gasoline to make it a more environmentally-friendly product.
While gasoline with ethanol is okay to use in most vehicles, it can cause problems for the small engines used on a Murray mower.
Ethanol naturally attracts moisture from the air. This moisture and ethanol mixture will cause fuel restrictions when it evaporates and leaves behind gummy sticky substances. It can also corrode the fuel system and degrade fuel components.
Gasoline can begin breaking down and becoming less effective as soon as 30 days after purchase. Because of this, always use fresh fuel in your mower and consume it within 30 days, or stabilize it with a fuel additive so it lasts a little longer.
Repair: Drain the fuel tank using a fuel siphon. Add fresh fuel with a fuel additive to stabilize your fuel and clean your fuel system like Sea Foam Motor Treatment. You can find out more about its benefits here.
Murray Mower Fuel Cap
A Murray lawn mower uses a fuel cap that allows air to pass through the cap to equalize air pressure so fuel will flow through the fuel system. When the vent in the cap becomes plugged, vacuum forms in the fuel tank that keeps fuel from flowing out of the tank so the mower won’t start.
Isolate whether or not you have a problem with your fuel cap by starting and allowing your mower to run with and without the cap.
If your mower starts and runs without the fuel cap in place, but eventually dies with the cap in place, you may have a fuel cap problem. Do not allow any debris to get into the tank while your fuel cap is removed.
Repair: I prefer to replace the gas cap when I run into a bad cap. You can attempt to clean it. If you are unable to remove the clog, it’s best to purchase and install a new gas cap.
Bad Spark Plug or Loose Connection
The spark plug can become dirty with carbon buildup and oil. When this happens, the spark plug will misfire keeping your Murray mower from starting. Loose spark plug wires or an incorrectly gapped spark plug will also cause a starting problem.
Repair: Remove your spark plug and inspect it for signs of carbon buildup, a cracked porcelain insulator, or a burnt electrode. Replace with a new spark plug(s) if you find any of these conditions present.
Make sure the plug is correctly gapped according to the specification provided by the engine manufacturer.
As an alternative, you can attempt to clean the dirty tips with a wire brush, but I recommend replacing them. They are the least expensive maintenance item on your mower and should be replaced annually.
Clogged Air Filter
The air filter is necessary to protect your engine from dirt and debris. Contaminating the engine can result in significant damage and a large repair bill. Never run your Murray lawn mower without an air filter, even for a short time.
It’s good practice to start each mowing season with a new air filter. Your air filter maintenance doesn’t stop there.
You must check and clean the air filter several times throughout the mowing season to keep it from being plugged. A plugged filter, restricting airflow, will cause your lawn mower to not start.
Repair: Inspect your air filter to see if it needs to be replaced or if you can clean and reuse it. Follow these instructions for cleaning your type of air filter:
Paper Air Filter
- Remove your paper air filter from the air filter housing.
- Wipe out any remaining dirt in the housing being careful not to allow dirt to fall into the air intake.
- Tap your air filter against a solid surface to loosen dirt and remove it from the filter. Do not use compressed air to clean the filter as this can damage the paper element.
- Hold your clean filter up to a light source. If you can see light shine through the paper element, it is safe to reuse it. If you don’t see light, you must replace your old filter with a new one.
Foam Air Filter
- Remove the foam filter from the air filter housing.
- Wipe out any dirt that remains in the housing. Don’t let any dirt fall into the air intake.
- Inspect the air filter to see if it can be reused. If you find dark spots or the filter is dry and brittle, replace it with a new filter.
- Proceed with cleaning a foam filter if it is still in good condition. Use mild dish soap and water to remove dirt and any oil found on the filter. Rinse the filter until the water runs clear and all soap is out of the filter.
- Lay the filter flat and allow it to dry. Placing it out in the sun will speed up the drying process.
- Once the filter is completely dry, or if you are using a new foam filter, lightly saturate the filter with clean engine oil. You want the filter to be completely covered in oil, but you don’t want it dripping with oil. (Too much oil will cause smoking when oil is pulled into the engine to burn off).
- Install the air filter and reattach the housing cover.
Fuel Pump is Bad
A fuel pump is required when the carburetor sits above the fuel tank. If you have a push mower, you most likely won’t have a fuel pump installed. A fuel pump is used to get fuel to the carburetor.
When the pump is no longer able to build pressure using the vacuum in the crankcase, it must be replaced.
Sometimes you can visibly recognize damage. The housing may have a small crack or fuel may be leaking from the seams when a pump is bad. Other times you will have to test fuel flow to determine if the fault of your Murray mower starting problem is due to a bad fuel pump.
Repair: To identify you have a bad fuel pump, first verify you are getting fuel flow to the fuel pump by checking for fuel out of the line connected to the inlet port on the pump.
Once you confirm you are getting fuel to the pump, you will proceed with testing the pump to make sure a steady or pulsating flow of gas is being pumped out of your fuel pump.
Use the fuel shut-off valve or fuel clamps to start and stop the flow to test fuel flow. You can also use hose pinch pliers to crimp the line to stop the flow. With the fuel flow stopped, remove the fuel line from the carburetor and place it in a container.
Start the fuel flow and start your mower. Watch for a steady or pulsating flow out of the line into the container. If you aren’t getting sufficient fuel flow, your fuel pump may be damaged and will need to be replaced.
Plugged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter is designed to prevent dirt and debris from entering the fuel system. If the filter is plugged or cracked keeping fuel from passing through the filter, it must be replaced.
Repair: Install a new fuel filter with the arrow on the side of the filter pointing in the direction of your Murray mower’s fuel flow. The arrow should point toward the carburetor and away from the fuel tank.
Blockage in the Fuel Line
Old fuel sitting in your machine can develop gummy deposits that can block the fuel line. To identify a clog in the fuel line, you will need to start and stop fuel flow while you check each section of the fuel line for good flow.
Use the fuel shut-off valve found at the bottom of your fuel tank or pinch-off pliers to stop fuel flow. Check a section of the fuel line:
- Shut off your fuel flow
- Determine which section of the fuel line you are checking.
- Remove the end furthest from the fuel tank and place it in a container.
- Turn on the fuel flow and check for a good flow out of the fuel line.
- If the flow is good, shut off the fuel and reattach the fuel line.
- If there isn’t flow because the line is clogged, proceed with the repair
Repair: Remove the fuel line, spray carburetor cleaner into the tube, and use compressed air to blow air through the tube until the line is free of debris and gummy residue. If you are unable to clear the clog you will need to replace the fuel line.
Clogged Dirty Carburetor
A small amount of fuel collects in the carburetor bowl once it leaves the fuel tank. The carburetor is the part that regulates the amount of fuel that gets mixed with air to form combustion in the cylinder.
Old fuel will gum up and clog the carburetor so it no longer can function properly.
Repair: If you are a little mechanical you should be able to handle cleaning your carburetor. Clean the carburetor by taking it apart and using carburetor cleaner to clean it including the float bowl and needle.
You can find steps for cleaning your carburetor here. If your carburetor is too dirty to clean adequately, you should replace it.
Bad Battery, Loose Cables, or Corroded Terminals
A Murray mower will not start with a bad battery, loose cables, or corroded terminals. Confirm your battery terminals are not corroded and are attached securely to the battery. If you own a push mower, a battery may not be used.
Repair: Clean corroded terminals in a baking soda solution containing 2 cups of water and 3 rounded tablespoons of baking soda. Use a wire brush to scrub the terminals clean.
Test your battery with a multimeter. You want a reading at about 12.7 volts. Place on a charger to charge your battery if your reading is less than this. Read more about the steps and items needed to charge your battery here. If your battery does not hold a charge, you will need to replace it with a new battery.
Bad Safety Switch
Your Murray lawn mower uses several safety switches designed to keep the operator safe. The manufacturer installs safety switches to prevent the mower deck to run without the operator present.
It also has a safety switch involved to not start when your parking break isn’t engaged. If these safety switches fail, your mower may not start.
Never operate your Murray lawn mower without the safety switch. Never run a mower when a safety switch is bypassed. You never know when you will encounter a situation where the safety switch can save you from serious injury.
Repair: Test the switch using a multimeter or you can temporarily bypass the safety switch to identify a bad switch.
Bad Ignition Switch
You insert the key into your ignition switch and turn it only to find your Murray doesn’t start or even turn over. The ignition switch could be the problem.
Repair: You can use a multimeter to test the ignition switch. Replace the switch if bad.
Bad Starter Recoil
If you own a Murray push mower without an electric start, you will have a recoil to start the engine. The recoil can fail so you are unable to start your mower. A bad pulley; loose or missing spring; or broken clips can keep your recoil from working.
Repair: You can attempt to replace the spring and restring the recoil. If it does not work because other components in your recoil are damaged, such as the clips or the pulley, you are better off just replacing the recoil assembly.
Bad Ignition Coil
The ignition coil provides voltage to the spark plug so it can fire and start the engine. The engine will not start if the spark plug isn’t able to fire.
Repair: After you verified your spark plug is in good condition, check the continuity of your ignition coil using a multimeter. Replace the ignition coil if you find a break in the continuity.
Faulty Charging System
While the charging system isn’t the main reason your Murray riding mower won’t start, it can contribute to a weak battery that prevents the mower from starting.
When the charging system fails to charge the battery, the battery may not be able to start the mower the next time you go to use it.
A bad stator or alternator can be the problem along with several other electrical parts. Read this article to test your charging system here using an ohmmeter.
Repair: When you find your Murray starting problem is due to the charging system, take your lawn mower to your local lawn mower repair shop for further troubleshooting and repair.
If you don’t have experience with charging systems, you will most likely just throw different parts at your mower hoping to fix it.
The cost of all of these parts can get pretty expensive if you don’t guess right the first time. Most lawn mower centers do not allow you to return electrical parts so you will be stuck with the part whether it is the problem or not.
Incorrect Starting Operating Procedure
Murray implements safety precautions with their lawn mowers that require certain steps to be followed when starting and operating the lawn mower.
Repair: Refer to your Murray operating manual to ensure you are operating your lawn mower correctly, so you don’t set off the safety features that shut off your lawn mower.
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There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.
By Tony Carrick and Manasa Reddigari | Updated Aug 8, 2022 4:03 PM
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Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.
Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.
A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.
Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.
Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.
The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.
The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.
Check the spark plug.
Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.
Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.
Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.
Clear the mower deck of debris.
The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.
If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.
Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.
The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.
To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.
Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.
An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.
(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)
Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.
Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.
First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.
Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.
Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.
The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.
Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.
Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.
The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.
If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.
If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.
Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.
While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.
- You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
- Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
- The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
- A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.
Learn the reasons why a lawn mower won’t start after winter or during peak season, and how to fix those problems.
Most of the time when a lawn mower won’t start the cause is a problem with the gas or the lawn mower carburetor.
What to Do if Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start
Whatever kind of lawn mower you’ve got, the last thing you want once winter finally lifts and spring has sprung is a lawn mower that won’t start.
If you’ve taken the proper steps to winterize your lawn mower, you’re far less likely to be dealing with such issues. It’s also why you should tune up your lawn mower at the start of every season. However, it’s not out of the ordinary to find your gas-powered lawn mower not starting from time to time, so it’s important to know why your lawn mower isn’t starting and how to fix it.
Project step-by-step (6)
Check the Gas Tank
Let’s start with the obvious. Before you have a heart attack pulling on the rip cord, you’ll want to check the fuel. Like any gasoline-powered engine, lawn mowers run out from time to time. Maybe you forgot it was running on fumes when you finished mowing last time. It sounds simple, but we’ve all overlooked the gas tank from time to time.
Even if there is gas in the mower, if the fuel’s been in there more than a month, that could be the problem. Gas sitting around too long in the tank can get contaminated with dirt and extra moisture.
So if your gasoline has been in the mower for more than month, drain the gas properly, dispose of it correctly, and fill up the mower with new gas. It may take quite a few pulls to suck the new gas into the lawn mower carburetor, so be prepared to clean and dry the plug a few more times.
Add fuel stabilizer when you fill up the tank to help protect the gasoline in there from dirt and moisture.
Check the Spark Plug
Start by making sure the lawn mower spark plug cable is connected to the plug itself. It’s quite possible that it got pulled off there over the winter while the mower was being stored in the garage.
If that’s not the issue, the next step is to remove the spark plug to see if it’s wet. There’s no way the engine will start if it is. So clean the plug with carburetor cleaner and let it dry. Cleaning it with compressed air isn’t enough; you need a solvent to remove oil residue. If it’s really grimy and dirty, it might be best to change the spark plug.
Check for Debris in the Mower Deck
Grass clippings can get clogged in the mower deck, which can prevent the blade from turning. This is a common problem if you’ve cut wet grass or let the lawn get especially long and bushy between cuttings. If the cord is hard to pull, that’s a good sign that there’s debris clogging up your mower’s deck.
This is a pretty easy problem to solve. With the mower off, flip it on its side or upside down and scrape out the gummed up grass clippings. Once that’s done, you can flip it back over and start it up again.
JJ Gouin/Getty Images
Check the Air Filter
The lawn mower’s carburetor regulates the mix of gasoline and air going into the engine where it’s burned to create power. Before air goes into the carburetor it passes through the air filter which prevents dirt and debris from getting into it.
If the air filer is clogged or dirty, it throws the ratio out of whack. Sometimes that results in your lawn mower smoking, and sometimes it prevents it from starting entirely. So take a look at the air filter to see if it’s dirty. If so, you can clean it or just change it outright.
Robert Maxwell for Family Handyman
Check the Carburetor
Another common reason for a lawn mower that won’t start is a clogged or dirty carburetor. It can also cause your mower to run rough or spew black smoke when you’re trying to cut the grass. If that’s the case, you may need to clean the carburetor.
To get to the carburetor, you’ll have to remove the air filter. Once that’s out of the way, you can remove the carburetor in order to clean it.
Once it’s out, check for corrosion. If you see chalky/powdery white corrosion like this, it’s probably better just to replace it. To clean it, take it apart and spray carburetor cleaner on the parts and inside the housing. After that, put the carburetor back together and reinstall it in the mower.
Check the Fuel Filter
Like the air filter, the fuel filter prevents dirt and debris from getting into the combustion chamber of your lawn mower’s engine, taking that stuff out before the gas gets mixed with air in the carburetor. Problems with the fuel filter might also result in the engine sputtering or rough idling, even before it gets to the point of preventing the mower from starting.
To start, tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas. If that doesn’t work, you might have a clogged filter.
Not all lawn mowers have a fuel filter, but for the ones that do, it’s usually located in the fuel line or the fuel tank. To find out where the fuel filter is at, check your lawn mower’s owners manual, which will also tell you what type of filter it is.
If the filter is in the fuel tank, you’ll need to drain the gas from the mower into a drain pan, assuming you can’t run the engine until it’s out of gas. If the filter is in the fuel line, clamp off the fuel line before removing the filter. Once you have the filter off, you can check to see if it’s dirty and clogged by holding it up the light. If it is, install a new one. Make sure it works with this lawn mower maintenance checklist.
Lawn Mowers (504 items found)
Landscaping can be a challenge, no matter the size of your yard. Luckily, Ace carries a variety of quality lawn mowers for sale to maintain all grassy areas of your lawn. And because yard work is never really finished, finding a durable and reliable lawn mower helps you keep your backyard looking its best all year.
From basic to high-tech, our lawn mowers from name brands come in a range of sizes and models to fit your needs, no matter how much grass you have to mow.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Riding mowers are perfect for large lawns or fields that require heavy-duty maintenance and can cut your lawn maintenance time in half. Riding lawn mowers are more powerful than other grass lawn mower styles, so you can drive at an incline while hauling materials as well.
Look for riding lawn mowers with zero-turn capabilities for greater versatility on the job. A zero turn-radius lets you better maneuver around edges and mow cleaner lines in more fluid motions. Ride in style while you level the lawn, saving time and energy.
Gas Lawn Mowers
Gas lawn mowers pack a lot of power into every job and include riding mowers, push mowers and self-propelled lawn mowers. Push lawn mowers cut through thick grass and, as their name implies, require your strength to push them forward – whereas self-propelled mowers just require you to steer, while the machine does all the hard work. Find gas lawn mowers from leading brands like Craftsman, Ariens and Toro for quality mowing you can trust.
Electric Lawn Mowers
Electric lawn mowers are perfect for households with small- or medium-sized lawns. These mowers are more environmentally friendly than gas lawn mowers as they don’t emit the fumes that gas-powered mowers do, and they run quieter than other types of mowers. With many options available from brands like EGO, STIHL, Craftsman and Toro, electric self-propelled mowers only require you to steer and keep them charged up.
Hand Reel Mowers
Hand reel mowers work best if your lawn is small and doesn’t have many bumps or curves, since these mowers are manually powered. You can go back to the basics with reel mowers, as they require little maintenance and don’t need gas refills or access to power. Plus, as a huge bonus for you and the environment, they don’t emit pollutants, making a low-maintenance and eco-friendly option.
Our mower shop also features multiple types of accessories for lawn mowers like baggers, mulching kits, lawn sweepers, blade sharpeners, replacement wheels and blades, filters and different types of maintenance kits to keep your equipment in working condition for years to come.
Shop Ace for Lawn Mowers Near You
Our selection features mower models from some of the most popular names in the industry, including Craftsman, EGO, Toro and many more. Check out our full range of mowers online or visit your local Ace store to explore the lawn mowers for sale near you. Ask our friendly associates for detailed information about specific lawn mower models and get answers to all your lawn equipment questions.
Need lawn mower accessories to accompany the job? MaxPower, Arnold and other top brands have you covered. For more lawn care advice from the experts, you can read through our lawn mower maintenance tips and tricks and find resources to help you tune up your mower, change the oil and more. We provide everything you need to keep your mower going strong and your lawn looking pristine.
Where Is Carburetor On Lawn Mower? Beginners guide with pics
Mower engines are quite compact, locating components can be difficult, not to worry, this guide will clearly identify your carburetor, fill you in on what it does, and the fastest way to find it. I also share a top mechanics tip to prevent the common carburetor problems. (Gumming)
A mower carburetor is located behind the air filter on the side of the engine, opposite side to the muffler.
In this post, you’ll learn how to locate and identify your lawn mower carburetor and your mower air filter.
Identifying The Mower Air Filter
A mower carburetor lives behind the air filter and is often hidden from view. So first we’ll locate the air filter, finding the air filter means we found the carburetor, make sense? The air filter is positioned to one side of the engine, makes and models differ as to which side. But no matter what engine or model, they all tend to use a black plastic air filter cover. Once you’ve located the cover, finding the carburetor is a ton easier.
Most mower’s air filter covers are rectangle in shape and employ easy tools less access for on-the-fly air filter cleaning. A regular type of carburetor lives behind the air filter housing and is identified by its shiny metal bowl shape, but we’ll look at carburetors a little later. For now, check out these pictures and try to identify the air filter cover.
What Does A Mower Carburetor Look Like?
Most carburetors look very similar, with small metal components with levers and springs and the characteristic bowl shape under the carburetor body.
Carburetor – Standard carburetor type with the bowl.
If you had a carburetor in your hand you’d notice an opening front and back, that’s where air enters the carburetor and is forced through the venturi, drawing fuel from the bowl as it travels onto the combustion chamber. What I have described are the standard and most common type of carburetor, but not all carbs look like this.
Briggs Stratton carburetor and tank assembly – A common Briggs and Stratton carburetor fitted to the Classic and Quantum engines, it’s a plastic carb and metal gas tank assembly.
This type of carburetor is somewhat similar, as it lives under the air filter and employs levers and springs to control engine rpm. However, it doesn’t use a conventional gas bowl, instead of the gas tank assembly and carburetor work together to perform all the functions of a carburetor.
New Type Plastic Carburetors – It’s worth noting the latest carburetor types are plastic, they still live behind the air filter housing and employ levers and springs and a gas bowl. However, the bowl may not be as pronounced as the traditional bowl.
Common Carburetor Problems Fixes
Carburetors although small and insignificant looking are in fact very sophisticated and crucial to your mower engine performance. A mower engine requires a mixture of fuel and air in order to run. The ratio of fuel to air also known as the AFR (air-fuel ratio) is 14.7 to 1 (written 14.7:1).
The carburetor is tasked with maintaining this ratio, and that’s no easy task. Fuel demands change as the engine cuts grass or idles or traverses up a steep hill, the carburetor needs to make adjustments immediately.
If the carb supplies too little gas to the mix, the engine loses power and/or dies. If on the other hand, the carb supplies too much gas to the mix, the engine stumbles, blows black smoke, and operates at reduced power. When the ratio is off, it may be the fault of the carburetor, however many times it’s not.
A blocked air filter will prevent enough fresh air from reaching the carburetor, this often results in black smoke and poor performance. A common fix for many carburetor problems is gas bowl draining, it’s easy to do and for many fixes, there is a poor running, mower. Check out draining the gas bowl video here.
A blocked fuel line or fuel filter will prevent enough gas from reaching the mower. However, the most common type of carburetor issue is contaminated gas (old, dirty, or water in the gas). The next most common carburetor problem is dirt in the fuel jet and emulsion tube.
The jets and tube are tasked with metering the fuel through small holes, as you can imagine when these holes are obstructed, the ratio is off. The most common repair I make to mowers in a season is carburetor cleaning.
Old gas gums up the carburetor and causes a ton of easily preventable problems. I replace a ton of carburetors. Gumming and is such a preventable issue. I’ve covered this common repair in this post “Mower stats then dies”, or check out the video library if you need video help with carburetors or other common mower problems.
This mechanics top tip – Use a gas stabilizer. Adding a gas stabilizer will prevent carburetor gumming over the winter hibernation months, come spring it’s pull and mow, Nice! Check out the gas stabilizer video here and you’ll find a link there to the stabilizer I recommend.
Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.
I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.
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