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It’s early Saturday morning and you want to get all of your chores out of the way so you can spend the rest of the weekend relaxing and the unthinkable happens. Your push lawn mower won’t start or it starts and then dies. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Follow our troubleshooting tips and step-by-step fixes below and you will be up and running before you know it. If you need a place to keep your mower and all of your gardening tools once you’ve finished, find out how easy it is to Rent-To-Own your own quality built storage shed! Contact Classic buildings.

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Push Lawn Mower Won't Start Starts Then Dies

 

There are several common problems that you might encounter with your push lawn mower that prevent you from cutting your lawn. These include:

  • Push lawn mower won’t start
  • Starter rope is hard to pull or stuck
  • Mower starts then stops
  • Lawn mower is smoking

Read on as we outline some possible causes for these problems and give you solutions to fix each one. These problems and solutions are specifically for push lawnmowers.

Note Before You Begin: It is always a good idea to refer to your owner’s manual before trying any maintenance work on your own as each mower is different.

lawn mower

Push Lawn Mower Won’t Start

Possible Causes:

1. You’re Out Of Gas: This may seem like an obvious one, but many times the reason the mower won’t start is that it needs gas.

Quick Solution: Fill up your tank.

2. The Gas Is Too Old: Old gas in your tank can also cause your mower not to start. If this is your first cut of the season and gas from last year is still in the tank, or if you have filled the tank with gas that has been sitting around in a gas can all year, then that might be the problem.

Solution:

  • Step 1: Carefully drain your fuel tank.
  • Step 2: Re-fill your tank with fresh gas.
  • Safety Tip: According to Saint Louis County Health, if you have old gas you need to get rid of, you can use it up by mixing it in a 1:5 ratio with new gas until you have used it all.

gas can

3. Problem With Your Spark Plugs: If one of your spark plugs is loose, dirty, or disconnected then your mower may not start.

Solution:

  • Step 1: Clean the area around the spark plug to make sure you don’t get any debris in the combustion chamber when you remove it.
  • Step 2: Remove your spark plug with a spark plug socket.
  • Step 3: Examine it. If the center electrode is rounded and not flat or if it has any cracks or chips in the porcelain sheath, then it will need to be replaced.
  • Step 4: If the spark plug looks like it’s in good shape then it may just need a good cleaning with a wire brush to remove any black carbon or gasoline.
  • Step 5: Replace the spark plug and tighten it well, making sure there are no gaps between the electrodes.

4. Your Air Filter Is Dirty:

Solution: Clean or replace your air filter.  The following video shows you how to replace your air filter.

5. Fuel Not Getting To The Engine: Sometimes your fuel may be having a hard time actually reaching the engine.

Solution:

  • Step 1: Tap the side of the carburetor to try and help the gas to get flowing.
  • Step 2: If this doesn’t work, you may need to replace the fuel filter. The following video will walk you through how to safely install a fuel filter.

 

Starter Rope Is Hard To Pull Or Stuck

Possible Causes

1. The Engine Flywheel Brake Is Engaged: Your flywheel brake is the bar that you hold down on the lawnmower’s handle that stops the engine when it is released.

Quick Solution: Bring the bar all the way down to the handle before pulling on your starter rope. If this doesn’t solve the problem, try the following.

Solution:

  • Step 1: Turn off your mower and move it to a hard surface.
  • Step 2: Disengage the spark plug wire.
  • Step 3: Check to see if your mower blade is dragging in grass or is clogged with grass clippings. This can make the starter rope hard to pull.
  • Step 4: If there are any built up debris or excessive lawn clippings, clean those off of the blades.
  • Step 5: Resume a safe mowing position and try pulling the rope again.

lawnmower

Mower Starts Then Stops

Possible Causes:

1. Dirty Air Filter:

Solution: Clean or replace your air filter.  The following video shows you how to clean your air filter.

2. Cutting Grass That Is Really Tall: If you are cutting extremely tall grass, you mower may begin to do the job and then stop.

Solution:

  • Step 1: Turn off your mower.
  • Step 2: Adjust your cutting height to accommodate the taller grass.
  • Step 3: Resume cutting.

2. Dirty Spark Plug:

Solution:

  • Step 1: Before removing the spark plug, clean the area around it to make sure you don’t get any debris in the combustion chamber when you take  it out.
  • Step 2: Remove your spark plug with a spark plug socket.
  • Step 3: Take a look at it. The center electrode should be flat and not rounded. If it is rounded or is it has cracks or chips in it then it will need to be replaced.
  • Step 4: If the spark plug looks like it’s in good shape then clean it thoroughly with a wire brush to remove any black carbon or gasoline.
  • Step 5: Put the spark plug back and tighten it well. There should be no gaps between the electrodes. The following video shows you how to replace a spark plug on a lawn mower.

 

3. Clippings Or Debris Build Up:

Solution:

  • Step 1: Turn off your mower and move it to a hard surface.
  • Step 2: Disengage the spark plug wire.
  • Step 3: Clean off and remove any extra debris or grass clipping that have built up underneath the mower.
  • Step 4: Continue cutting.

Lawn Mower Is Smoking

Possible Causes

1. Clippings or Debris Build Up:

Solution:

  • Step 1: Turn off your mower and move it to a hard surface.
  • Step 2: Disengage the spark plug wire.
  • Step 3: Clear away any excessive grass clippings from the underside of the mower.
  • Step 4: Resume cutting.

2. Oil Chamber Is Too Full And Oil Has Leaked Out Onto The Exhaust Muffler When The Mower Was Tilted:

Solution: This may seem like a serious problem, however, it’s not. The oil just needs to burn off. If you see lighter colored smoke, though, then it is time to take your mower to a professional. The following video shows a lawnmower that was overfilled with oil.

 

3. Dull, Bent, Or Loose Blades:

Solution: Sharpen or replace the blades. The following video demonstrates how to sharpen your lawnmower blades.

Need To Buy A Portable Shed to Store Your Mower? 

Missouri Home Shows

If you are looking to purchase a portable shed, contact Classic Buildings or visit the location nearest to you.

Remember, before buying a shed you should be aware of the shed permit requirements of your municipality. Sometimes permit requirements depend on the size of your shed.

Classic Buildings has locations throughout the Midwest, including various Missouri cities (St. Louis, Arnold, Columbia, St. Charles, Rolla, Linn, Springfield, Jefferson City, Kansas City, and Washington Missouri). We are located in Swansea, Illinois and Kansas and deliver throughout the Midwest, and, in some cases, nationwide!

If you would like to take a look at Classic Buildings’ storage sheds, check out our brochure, or visit one of our locations to see our sheds firsthand! 

“It was a pleasure working with confident and qualified people. The workmanship and materials are second to none…I would recommend Classic Buildings to anyone who requires a building for storage, recreation or whatever your needs are.”
– Mike Dinello
 Read more testimonials here!

Sources:
Top 5 Mower Troubleshooting Tips
How to Tell When It Is Time to Change the Spark Plug in a Lawnmower