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Yardman Riding Mower Won't Start

July 8, 2020

My 2003 Yardman Mtd. riding mower has been sitting for a year. It will turn over but won't start. Any ideas? I've got a fresh battery on and the air filter is clean.


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
July 8, 20200 found this helpful
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If the mower has sat this long the gas in the tank needs to be removed and clean gas needs to be added. You may need to get some new spark plugs for the mower because they can be dirty now. Chek the carburetor and make sure the gas is flowing into the carburetor.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
July 9, 20200 found this helpful
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You probably have sludge in your old gas and each time you try to start it, you add more sludge to your carburetor and without good gas your mower will not start or run if you actually get it started.

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You'll need to drain all of the old gas, add some gas, drain that to be sure all the old gas is gone, then you can add all new gas.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbmisJHvzBQ

You will probably need a can of carburetor cleaner (and maybe you will not have to remove the carburetor to clean) and a can of starter fluid. These can be purchased easily at one of your nearby auto parts stores (they have the best selection).
You can explain your problem to them and they'll help you find what you need. New spark plug is always good and, in the end, you may need gas filters. you can look any of these products up online to see what they are used for.
There are other things causing the problem but these are the basics.

Better to do what is necessary all at once so it will run well all season.

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You can read what experts are saying.

www.searspartsdirect.com/.../riding-lawn-mower-engine-spins-but...

www.jackssmallengines.com/.../

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10 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 2, 2017

When I started my Yardman 48" cut riding mower and engaged the blades, the blades wouldn't engage and the engine died. This happened a couple of times and now the engine won't start. There was some smoke that came from under the front of the deck.

Now it will turn over for a second; then stop. There isn't anything between the blades, but they won't turn. What could be the problem? Any and all help appreciated. The mower was bought new in 2009 or 2010.

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May 31, 20170 found this helpful
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Check the belt(s) on your deck. Quite possibly they have seized a pulley or pulleys causing tractor to sputter and die. Also check the Deck safety switch to make sure it is not disconnected or clogged.

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It happens quite a lot, especially with someone who does not clean their deck after each use. Not saying that is the case here but have seen quite a bit of dirty decks.

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June 23, 2018

I used evaporated milk instead of condensed and it doesn't set up. Is there any way to salvage it?


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 24, 20181 found this helpful
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You might not have cooked it long enough. You now have to be careful of sugar crystallizing, so you might want to use it as a fudge sauce.

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May 1, 2013

I had it tuned up two years ago and was told the engine and machine was in great shape. However, when I went to start it this season, it will not crank over or make a grunt/noise. The battery is fully charged and it has fresh gas. I jumped the two wires going directly to the starter and got no response. Is there something else I can do before having to replace the starter?

By eloricaldwell

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May 3, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check the fuses.

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January 29, 2012

My Yardman riding mower with a 20 horse Briggs cranks, but will not start. It has good spark to both spark plugs. Comp. check good/values adjustment checked, and fuel shut off OK. I tried starting fluid and was wondering if the coil gaps could be wrong. I would like to know what air gaps should be on the coil packs. Or am I missing something else?

By BH

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful
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Loosen both bolts that holds the coil. Put a business card between the coil and flywheel. Tighten the bolds and turn the flywheel by hand to remove the business card.

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October 26, 2010

I have a Yardman mower that is not a year old yet. It will not start. The motor turns freely, but won't engage. The last time it worked, when I cut it off it backfired. What could be the problem?

By LINDA T

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October 27, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Have you checked the spark plug? There is also a sensor on the seat, that if you are not sitting down, it will not crank. Safety reason.

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June 23, 2018

I have a Yardman 48 riding mower with a 13.5 hp engine. I started it and rode it to the worksite, but when I went to drive away the mower will crank, but will not start. Help!


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
June 24, 20180 found this helpful

There is a safety switch under the seat. Make sure it did not get disabled

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
June 24, 20180 found this helpful

There is a forum here on ThriftyFun about your Yardman Riding Mower here: www.thriftyfun.com/Yardman-Riding-Mower-Wont-Start-2...

Some responses:

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  • Check spark plugs
  • Theres a sensor on the seat, for safety reasons and you have to be sitting on the mower (otherwise it will not crank)
  • Check safety switch to see it is not clogged or disconnected
  • Check fuses
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July 6, 2019

I have a 1991 Yardman lawn tractor, that will not turn over. There is no electric. I changed the key switch and solenoid.

It still won't turn over. I can jump start it directly to the solenoid.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 7, 20190 found this helpful

Did you check the spark plug?

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June 2, 2013

I have a MTD Yardman Yardbug riding lawn mower. It's a 8.5 hp engine, model: 13b-325-401, year: 2000. It will not start, I turn the key and it sounds like its trying to start, but the belts underneath the engine won't move. They try to slightly, but then stop and nothing happens. And no sound at all. What could be the problem? Thanks!

PS. I just bought it from a friend and it was running fine for a few weeks and cutting the lawn. But I haven't used it in 2 or 3 weeks and now it is doing this and not turning on.

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By Cory

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April 16, 2013

I was on my 38/145 MTD Yardman rideon when it stalled. Tthen there was a loud bang and now I can't get it to start. Do you know what this could possibly be please?


By Dani

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 26, 2010

How do I fix my 15 hp Yardman riding mower? When I turned the key it tried to start. It would turn over once then stop.

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