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Fixing a Lawn Mower That Won't Start

The lawn is getting taller by the minute and your mower won't start. This is a guide about what to do when your push lawn mower won't start.

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March 17, 2015 Flag
2 found this helpful

I created a video blog on fixing a mower. It is a step by step process. It was much simpler than taking a thousand pictures and typing all that I wanted to say. It is very professional and you can use the description to find any specific part of the mower to fix. This particular mower I found in the trash. Hope you enjoy!

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May 10, 2013 Flag

We have a Craftsman mower (with a Briggs and Stratton engine) that we have not taken very good care of. Not only did we not remove the gasoline before wintering it over, but we also did not maintain the air filter or spark plug. So it was not surprising that when we went to use it this spring it wouldn't start. However, with these simple steps we were able to get it running as good as new.

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Approximate Time: 20 minutes

Supplies:

  • spark plug
  • air filter
  • fresh gasoline
  • carb cleaner
  • gas siphon
supplies

Steps:

  1. Begin by siphoning out the old gasoline into a container for proper disposal. It is best to use one intended for this purpose, instead of using your mouth and a hose.
  2. siphon out gas
  3. Now add fresh gasoline and put the cap back on the gas tank.
  4. add fresh gas
  5. Remove the spark plug using a spark plug socket. Put the new plug in and reattach the wire.
  6. remove spark plugold and new spark plugs
  7. Open the air filter housing and remove the filter. Some air filters can be washed and reused, however if it has been a long time you may want to just replace it.
  8. take out old filterdirty air filter
  9. Once the filter is out you need to spray carb cleaner directly into the carburetor. A few good sprays should do.
  10. spray carb cleaner
  11. Put the new air filter in and close the housing door.
  12. put in new filter
  13. Now is a good time to try starting the mower. Be sure to prime the mower with the priming button. It may take a few tries to get the mower going.
  14. start mower
  15. I suggest running it for a few minutes the first time you start it. This will help get the new gas running through everything. Happy mowing!
  16. mowing the lawn
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May 11, 2016 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have purchased a used, well kept Husqvarna self-propelled push lawn mower from a friend. It worked fine last year and this year I changed the dirty air filter, spark plug, and added gasoline and oil. It worked a couple of weeks ago and last night started in order for me to cut for 5 mins. or so. It puffed out white smoke and conked-out. I primed it, but to no avail, it will not start.

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    January 6, 2015 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a Briggs and Stratton classic/sprint/quattro, model series 90,000-100,000. I just need a belt, but what size is it?

    By Mike from Morbihan, France

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    January 7, 20150 found this helpful

    Try this Briggs and Stratton parts site:

    http://www.briggsandstratton.com/us/en/shop/parts-and-accessories

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    March 23, 2006 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I'm looking for assistance in getting my gas lawn mower to start more easily. Last year I had minor back surgery. After that I had trouble pulling the cord hard and fast enough to get the motor to "catch" and run. I often ended up needing to pull the cord over and over to start - probably as many as 20-25 times.

    It was maddening, frustrating, painful, and exhausting. I'm 58 years old and not in the best physical condition. The mower is 7 years old. I do all the recommended maintenance. Last year my neighbor was able to get it going in 6 or 7 pulls, so I don't think there's a mechanical problem. It's probably just me. I'm not currently in a financial position to buy a new mower or to hire a lawn care service.

    Does anybody know anything I can do to make it easier for me to get the mower started? Thanks for any help.

    Hardiness Zone: 5a

    Amy from Lafayette, IN

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    June 3, 20070 found this helpful

    I have a an commercial mulcher /mower which doesn't start on occasion. I replaced the spark plug, checked if it had spark after, and then cleaned the air filter by dipping it in gas of paint thinnner. I then sprayed the choke and carburater assembly with (brake) cleaner. I then adjusted the choke handle cable at the carburator site. So far so good.

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    July 15, 20080 found this helpful

    Spray starting fluid in the air filter hole and where the spark plug goes or put gas in the air filter hole.

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    March 22, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I tuned up my Scott 6.5hp push lawnmower. I changed the oil, spark-plug, put in fresh gas and a new air filter. The mower started, ran for 1 min, then shut off and will not start again. Can anyone tell me what might be the problem? Thanks.

    By Mike from Houston

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    March 23, 20100 found this helpful

    Hi Mike, I have had the same trouble. Make sure spark plug is tight. The right oil is in. The lever to lift mower is not down low. Leave a while as might be flooded. Michelle.

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    March 24, 20100 found this helpful

    Maybe the tiny hole in the gas cap, the one that lets the gas breath by letting the air in and out, is stopped up.

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    August 6, 2007 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    Lawnmower problem. Bought a new Poulan self-propelled in June 07. Briggs and Stratton engine. Very hard to start. Have used twice. Requires maybe 30 compressions of the primer (3 is recommended). I think it's a lemon--but are mower lemons returnable? My guess: needs some carburetor adjustment. Anyone have advice?

    Robert

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    August 13, 20070 found this helpful

    Anything is returnable - it just depends on the policy of the store and the sympathy of the store manager from which you bought it!

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    June 8, 20090 found this helpful

    What can cause this is a primer bulb or the line going to it has a air leak. I've seen a bunch of these bad. Cost about five dollars at Lowes for repair kit. That's if the store won't take it back.

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    August 20, 2012 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I haven't used my mower in about 2 months. I tried to start it today, no luck. I dumped the old gas out and cleaned the filter just like the internet said to do. I just purchased it in May of this year. What do I do?

    By Larry

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    August 27, 20120 found this helpful

    Take back to store for replacement or at least get help to return to manufacturer. Most equipment has one year manufacturer's warranty against defects.

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    June 18, 2012 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    My Honda HGR 536 lawnmower is not starting. I have tried all the normal things, ie. change spark plug, checked the spark, and made sure it has enough fuel and oil. I also checked that the cut of fuel tap is in the correct position.

    By S Jarratt from London, England

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    June 25, 20120 found this helpful

    The man who works on my lawnmower told me that gasoline with ethyanol added has been wreaking havoc with small engines.

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    May 16, 2013 Flag
    1 found this helpful

    We have a Craftsman mower (with a Briggs and Stratton engine) that we have not taken very good care of. Not only did we not remove the gasoline before wintering it over, but we also did not maintain the air filter or spark plug. So it was not surprising that when we went to use it this spring it wouldn't start. However, with these simple steps we were able to get it running as good as new. View the full project here: Fixing a Lawn Mower That Won't Start

    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    January 31, 2011 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a mower and when I pull the string sometimes it will jam up. This is killing my hand and shoulder and it also does not want to start. It tries to start, but all you see sometimes is white smoke coming out.

    By Bryce from Round Rock, TX

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    February 3, 20110 found this helpful

    Glen had the same problem with a mower last summer...after discussing it with his 80 year old father we all discovered that the 'jets or jet openings' inside of the mowers carberator were plugged up from trash that had been in the gas. They pulled the carberator, cleaned out all of it around inside and out, reassembelled it and the mower has run smooth since. Good luck though if your like me and not mechanically inclined you may need to go to someone who does this sort of thing on the side. IT would be less costly then replacing the mower itself though!

    Good luck and keep us posted on what you end p doing with your problem mower! Have a great day!

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    December 3, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a Troy Bilt push mower with a 6.75 engine. It has no spark from the plug wire. Any ideas?

    By parkercarsfly from Columbus, OH

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    December 3, 20100 found this helpful

    If your not getting fire to your plug check your coil pack.

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    January 31, 2011 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a pretty new lawn mower that won't start. The blade won't move and the cord won't pull freely.

    By Dec from Ireland

    Answers:

    Mower Won't Start

    It could be a bent blade. If the blade is bent it won't allow the cord to be pulled out smoothly. Also clean the bottom of the mower, if it caked with dry grass it won't let the blade spin either. If you bent the assembly the blade is attached to you will have to buy another mower. (10/07/2010)

    By Firedancer67

    Mower Won't Start

    If when you try and pull start the blade is hard to move or jams it is the coil jamming on the flywheel. It will need to be moved back. That's what I think is the problem. If the mower has hit something it can shear the keyway, as this throws the timing out more likely to be the coil, it happens sometimes. (10/08/2010)

    By rustyreks

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    October 7, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a 2010 Briggs and Stratton push mower that won't start. It has new gas, the carburetor is clean, and it has a new spark plug. It has been taken apart and put back together to see if it was the timing key, but it wasn't. Before it stopped, it was acting like it wasn't getting enough gas, but was still cutting the grass. Then it died and wouldn't start back up. Could it be the fuel filter, and where is that located? I'm running out of ideas. It was only used 4 times.

    By Mac from Altus, OK

    Answers:

    Mower Won't Start

    On my riding mower the gas filter is located on the gas line just before the line enters the carb. Not every mower has a filter. Do you have the owners manual to look at for this info. With ethanol in the gas and if the mower is not used often the gas can be a problem. I would look to see if the gas is getting to the cylinders. If not the gas line may be clogged. (06/17/2010)

    By foxrun41

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    June 17, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I have a Troy Built lawn mower. I have already used it this year, but when I went to use it today, it just sputtered and wouldn't start. There is gas in there, so I know that's not it. Any suggestions?

    By L. Flood

    Answers:

    Mower Won't Start

    We got it. Thanks anyway.

    L Flood (05/16/2010)

    By flood831

    Mower Won't Start

    I have this trouble all the time. I remove the spark plug with spanner and see if the end is open and spray with CRC. Mine always works when I do this. Good luck. (05/18/2010)

    By shellmax

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    May 16, 2010 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    I just tried to start my push mower and the cord is sticking, not pulling out all the way. Also gas is squirting out of the carburetor every time I try. The mower ran fine last week. What could this be?

    Hardiness Zone: 8a

    By Deji from Augusta, GA

    Answers:

    Mower Won't Start

    My hubby says that the cord probably needs replacing. It could have grease on it or be worn. He also said that the diaphragm in the carburetor may need replacing. You might want to take it to a small engine place. (09/08/2009)

    By quiltmum

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    September 8, 2009 Flag
    0 found this helpful

    When I try to start my mower the first few times it seems to try to start, then the next time it's silent. What's wrong with it?

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    July 31, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful
    Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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    April 15, 2008 Flag
    0 found this helpful
    Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
    Comment On This PostWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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