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.
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
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!
Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".
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.
Approximate Time: 20 minutes
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Here are questions related to Fixing a Lawn Mower That Won't Start.
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
By devin (Guest Post)07/15/2008
Spray starting fluid in the air filter hole and where the spark plug goes or put gas in the air filter hole.
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?
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.
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
By Judy 03/24/2010
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.
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
By Dinah Ackerson 01/07/2015
Try this Briggs and Stratton parts site:
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?
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.
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
By Carol Swanson 06/25/2012
The man who works on my lawnmower told me that gasoline with ethyanol added has been wreaking havoc with small engines.
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
By Paula Jo C. 02/03/2011
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!
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
By Laura Brown 12/03/2010
If your not getting fire to your plug check your coil pack.
I own a 6.5 horsepower Craftsman lawnmower, model number 917.377662 which has a Briggs and Stratton 4-cycle engine. It won't start without using a starting fluid spray. I changed the air filter, fuel, spark plug, and serviced the carburator using a carburator kit, with the same results as before. I needed to use starting fluid. Suggestions? Thanks!
By Allan J
I have a Craftsman 6.5 HP self propelled mower. It is maybe 10yrs old and runs great once I get it started. I have the problem every week. I have to prime 15+ times, then pull the thing until my arm is about to fall off. I have had it serviced, oil, plug, carbkit, and the base air cleaner replaced. This one has the primer bulb. It is not bad gas, I drain and run it out every year. Once I have it started it will run and restart without an issue. A week later, same issue.
I have a Craftsman mower, model #917375622. I cleaned the carb and it starts for about 8 seconds then dies. It's fairly new, but I can't get it to keep running. It has a good plug and filter; choke works. What now? Should I try recleaning the carb again?
So what is the next step, when the primer doesn't seem to be working properly?
By Cynthia E.
My Yardman push mower won't start. I went to start it up, but it won't start.
My mower has 12 volts at the starter, but it will not engage the starter.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
My mower won't start and my lawn is getting out of control. It has gas. Anyone have some tips? I used it a few months ago. It's a 10 year old gas mower.
By Linne Dodds
By David Graham
By bubba mechanicRE: Mower Won't Start Turn the mower over... clean all the gunked up grass off the bottom of the mower deck. You should do this every 2-3 times you mow. If there is too much grass built up it will not allow the blade to spin when you pull the rope, to start. ,P> Also some times tiny pieces get into the fuel line and will cause the mower to cut in and out unless you are a mechanic, find some who bleed the fuel line. ,P> Make sure the oil reserve is full this to on some mowers will not allow it to start. Lastly get a book on home improvement. Go ahead and laugh but they are so easy to use. I got one as a gift and have repaired my dryer, a washer a mower and my dishwasher. I have saved us hundreds of dollars in the past 10 years. I even made a few bucks helping neighbors with their appliances. (01/04/2007)
If the spark plug fires try this. Put a little gas directly in the spark plug hole on the engine (this is over the piston). You can use about a teaspoon of fresh gas. Screw Spark plug in position and pull the rope several times to see if engines fires. If engine starts and stops immediately or if it at least makes a rough attempt to start, you have a carburetor problem. Check the reason why your engine is not getting enough fuel from carb. It may be dirt, stucked floater, kinked lines etc. Also, be sure to use fresh fuel and clean carb from old fuel. (03/26/2007)
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?
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.