If you have ever mowed a lawn before, then you know that operating a manual push mower can be pretty tiring. Keeping your lawn tidy usually involves quite a bit of work. However, with the right maintenance and upkeep, it’s not something that needs to take up too much of your time. But what happens when your lawn mower breaks?
Fortunately, it is usually not something that will remain broken forever. If you are having trouble getting your lawn mower started, there are several things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and get back to cutting grass again as soon as possible.
Why is My Lawn Mower Turning Over But Not Starting? (Causes + Fixes)
If your lawn mower is turning over but not running, there are a few things you can try to figure out what’s wrong.
First, check the fuel level. If it’s low, add more fuel. Then check the battery (or charging system). If the battery is fully charged, but the engine won’t start, make sure the battery cables are connected properly and that it is seated correctly in the engine housing.
Another possibility is that the machine has a technical issue with the electrical system which could be caused by a faulty electric starter. If you’re still unsure what’s going on with your lawn mower, have it checked by an experienced professional.
Main Reasons for Lawn Mower That Doesn’t Run
All the reasons are listed below, and you need to be careful with your lawnmower.
- Dirty or fouled spark plug
- Faulty recoil starter
- Faulty engine stop switch
- Poor fuel quality
- Faulty ignition coil
- Loose or faulty wiring or battery cables
- The lawn mower is flooded
Now read below to understand each of the reasons in depth.
1. Dirty or fouled spark plug
The spark plug is the heart of the modern lawn mower engine. To create a spark inside the combustion chamber, lawnmowers have a spark plug that is connected to an ignition coil. This ignition coil uses electricity to generate a high voltage at low amperage.
That travels down the spark plug wire to the plug and jumps across the small gap between the electrodes, creating a spark that ignites the fuel inside the cylinder.
If the spark plug is dirty or fouled with oil or carbon deposits, it will not generate a spark or will generate a weak spark that won’t ignite the fuel properly. You can clean the spark plug and/or replace the plug with a new one if it is fouled or worn out.
2. Faulty recoil starter
The recoil starter is a device that uses a spring-loaded mechanism to pull the flywheel of the engine backwards and turn the engine over. If the starter is faulty or broken, it won’t be able to turn the engine over. This can cause the engine to turn over but not start.
If the engine is turning over but not starting, it is more likely that there is a problem with the fuel system or ignition system. You should check the engine stop switch and the spark plug. If these items are in good working order, you will need to have the starter replaced.
3. Faulty engine stop switch
The engine stop switch is a safety feature found on many modern lawnmowers that shuts off the engine when the handle is released. If the engine stop switch is faulty or broken, it will not turn off the engine when the mower is no longer in use.
If the engine is running but the mower is not in use, it may indicate a faulty engine stop switch.
The engine stop switch may also become faulty if it is connected to the mower with loose or faulty wiring or if the battery cables are loose or faulty. You can check the engine stop switch by disconnecting the wiring from the switch and turning the lawn mower on. If the engine stops, the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced.
4. Poor fuel quality
Dirty or low-quality fuel can cause an engine to turn over but not start. This can be caused by old fuel that has lost its potency or a lawn mower that is not compatible with the fuel used in your area. Check the fuel in your mower closely for dirt or water, which can cause the mower to clog or misfire.
If the fuel appears clean and fresh, you may be able to solve the problem by changing the fuel type to one that is compatible with your mower. If the fuel appears contaminated or watery, you can clean it by filtering it through a paper coffee filter or by letting it sit in a clean jar with a lid for a few days.
5. Faulty ignition coil
The ignition coil uses electricity to generate a high voltage at low amperage that travels down the spark plug wire to the plug and jumps across the small gap between the electrodes, creating a spark that ignites the fuel inside the cylinder.
If the ignition coil is faulty, it will not generate enough energy to create a spark strong enough to ignite the fuel properly.
You can check the ignition coil by disconnecting the spark plug wire from the plug and using a multimeter to check the voltage being generated by the coil. If the coil is faulty, you will need to replace it or the entire ignition module.
6. Loose or faulty wiring or battery cables
If the wiring connecting the spark plug to the ignition coil is loose or faulty, the spark plug will not be receiving enough voltage to generate a spark. You can check the wiring by disconnecting the spark plug wire from the plug and using a multimeter to check for loose wiring or corroded terminals. If the wiring is faulty, you will need to replace the wiring or terminals.
If the battery cables are loose or faulty, the mower will not be able to start. You can check the battery cables by disconnecting the cables from the battery terminals and using a multimeter to check for loose or corroded terminals. If the cables are faulty, you will need to replace the cables.
7. The lawn mower is flooded
A flooded engine is caused when too much fuel is injected into the cylinder and is not ignited by the spark plug. This can happen because the fuel has been over-injected into the cylinder or because the engine is not receiving enough fuel. If the spark plug is receiving electricity but the engine is still not firing, you may have a flooded engine.
You can try to clear the flooded engine by removing the spark plug and spraying carburetor cleaner into the cylinder. After spraying the carburetor cleaner into the cylinder, try to start the engine again. You may also need to clean the carburetor and air filter.
If these solutions do not work, you may need to disassemble the engine and clean the fuel passages with a cloth or paper towel dampened with solvent.
You can try to start the engine again after cleaning the fuel passages and make sure to clean the carburetor thoroughly. If these solutions do not work, you may need to replace the lawn mower engine.
How to Fix a Mower That Turns Over But Doesn’t Start?
1. Clean the Carburetor and throttle with a Vacuum
If your lawn mower doesn’t start, the carburetor is a good place to start looking for problems. All carburetors have a float bowl, which is usually located under the mower deck.
The float bowl is connected to the carburetor throttle, so if anything is stuck in these parts, you won’t be able to start the mower.
To clean the carburetor, the first vacuum float bowl to remove debris. Then take the carburetor off the mower. You may need to remove a few screws and/or the air filter housing to access it.
After the carburetor is off, use carburetor cleaner to clean the carburetor, the throttle, and the inside of the float bowl.
2. Disconnect and Inspect Carburetor
If the carburetor still isn’t working properly after you clean it, you may want to check the parts inside the carburetor. Disconnect the carburetor from the engine and remove the carburetor cover. Then remove the carburetor float, bowl, and fuel screws.
After you’ve done this, you should be able to see if any parts are broken and need to be replaced. You may also be able to see if there’s a piece of debris stuck in the carburetor that’s preventing it from working properly.
3. Fixing a flat tire on a Lawn Mower
Some lawnmowers have tires that are inflated with air while others are filled with fluid or oil. You can check which type of tire your lawn mower has by looking at the owner’s manual or by checking the tires themselves.
If you find that your lawn mower has a flat tire, don’t attempt to fix it yourself. Instead, find a local lawn mower repair shop near you that can fix it for you.
If you decide to attempt to fix the flat tire yourself, you’ll need to remove the wheel from the lawn mower. To do this, you’ll need a jack and lug wrench for your lawn mower. Jack the mower up and remove the wheel. Use the lug wrench to take off the flat tire and replace it with a new tire.
4. Test Your Battery and Charging System
A lawn mower that doesn’t start may have a bad battery, so you’ll want to test your lawn mower’s battery first. To do this, you’ll need a voltmeter and some jumper cables. First, inspect your battery to make sure it’s clean and the right size. Next, remove the battery from the lawn mower. You’ll usually find a negative and positive terminal on the battery.
Attach the voltmeter to these terminals. If the voltmeter reads 0 volts, your battery is dead and needs to be replaced. If the voltmeter reads more than 0 volts, your battery is charged and you can proceed to the next step.
5. Check the Air Filter
You may have a clogged air filter that’s preventing your mower from starting. To check your air filter, remove it from the engine and look for any debris caught in it. If there’s a lot of debris stuck in the filter, you’ll want to clean or replace the filter.
If only a little debris is caught in the filter, you may want to try cleaning the filter before replacing it. To clean the filter, first, remove it from the engine. Then use water and soap to clean the filter.
6. Check the fuel
If your mower has a fuel problem, it won’t start. To test your fuel, drain some fuel from your tank and put it in a jar. Let the jar sit for a few days so you can see if there are any particles or contaminants that are preventing the fuel from flowing. If there are contaminants in the fuel, you’ll need to clean the fuel tank before your mower will start.
If you find that your mower’s engine is cranking but not reaching a high enough RPM to start, you may have a clogged fuel filter. You can check your fuel filter for clogs by removing the filter and inspecting it. If the filter is clogged, you’ll need to clean it before your mower will start.
7. Change the Spark Plug
If you find that your spark plug is covered in carbon deposits, it may be time to replace it. Spark plugs usually need to be replaced every 100 hours of use or every couple of years, depending on the type of plug you have.
You can buy a new spark plug at your local hardware store or online. Before installing a new spark plug, clean off the old carbon deposits with fine-grit sandpaper.
Once you have a clean spark plug, you can install it by removing the old plug and screwing the new plug in its place. When you’re finished, test your mower to see if the spark plug solved your problem.
How Can I Start Lawn Mower that Refuses to Work?
There are a few different ways to start a stubborn lawn mower. The most common is to soak the grass in a bucket of water for a few hours. This helps loosen up the soil and makes it easier for the blade to cut through.
Another option is to use a spray-on oil designed for starting lawnmowers. These products have an easy-to-use spray applicator, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty. Most of these oils are also safe to use on your vehicle as well.
Finally, you can try using WD40 as a lubricant. The product works best when it’s applied directly to the blade area of the mower deck. However, WD40 is not necessarily meant to be used as a lubricant in general; it will just work better on some types of equipment than others.
Drive belts in drive-trains on mowers and other mechanical equipment can wear out over time, causing the drive-train to over-break or the engine not to start. Inspect and replace worn drive belts as soon as possible, because the longer they are out of service the more damage they cause. Loose, frayed, or broken belts should be replaced immediately.
A drive belt is attached to the crankshaft, which rotates the engine, and one or more pulleys, drive the mower blades. If a drive belt is frayed or broken, it can break, causing the engine to over-break and reduce power. To prevent this, you need to inspect and replace a drive belt as soon as it becomes loose or frayed.