Mower Won’t Start? Where To Spray Starting Fluid On A Lawn Mower
If you’ve tried several times to start your mower and it still won’t fire up, you might need to use a starting fluid to get it running. However, using starting fluid requires some knowledge to avoid damaging your lawn mower engine. In this article, we’ll guide you through where to spray starting fluid on a lawn mower.
Starting fluid, also known as ether, is a highly volatile liquid that’s used to help start gasoline and diesel engines. It contains a blend of chemicals that evaporate quickly and ignite easily, producing a combustible gas that helps the engine turn over.
Starting fluid is usually used when the engine is cold or hasn’t been used for a while, and the fuel in the carburetor has evaporated or become stale. By spraying starting fluid directly into the carburetor or air intake, you can provide the engine with a quick burst of energy to help it start.
However, it’s important to note that starting fluid should be used sparingly and only as a last resort. Overuse of starting fluid can damage your carburetor or engine and lead to costly repairs.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of starting fluid, let’s move on to where to spray it on a lawn mower. The location of where to spray starting fluid on a lawn mower varies depending on the type of lawn mower you have.
For a Push Lawn Mower
If you have a push lawn mower with a four-cycle engine, the carburetor is usually located on the side of the engine, near the air filter. To spray starting fluid, follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the air filter cover.
Step 2: Locate the air filter and remove it.
Step 3: Spray a small amount of starting fluid into the air intake port. Do not spray too much, as it can flood the engine and cause it to stall.
Step 4: Reinstall the air filter and cover.
Step 5: Pull the starter cord to start the engine.
Pro Tip: Here’s an example of location of air cleaner on a pushmower.
If the engine doesn’t start after the first attempt, wait a few minutes before trying again. If it still doesn’t start after a few attempts, you may need to take your lawn mower to a professional for a tune-up.
For a Riding Lawn Mower
If you have a riding lawn mower with a four-cycle engine, the carburetor is usually located under the seat or near the front of the engine. To spray starting fluid, follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the air filter cover and air filter.
Step 2: Spray a small amount of starting fluid into the carburetor through the air intake port.
Step 3: Attempt to start the engine, Once running make sure to rev the engine and let it run for a few minutes before shutting it off and moving to Step 4
Step 4: Reinstall the air filter and cover and start the engine.
Pro Tip: Here’s an example of location of air cleaner on a Toro Mower
If the engine doesn’t start after the first attempt, wait a few minutes before trying again. If it still doesn’t start after a few attempts, you may need to take your lawn mower to a professional for a tune-up.
For a Trimmer with a Two-Cycle Engine
If you have a lawn mower with a two-cycle engine, the carburetor is usually located on the side of the engine, near the fuel tank. To spray starting fluid, follow these steps:
Step 1: Remove the air filter cover.
Step 2: Locate the carburetor and remove the air filter.
Step 3: Spray a small amount of starting fluid into the carburetor through the air intake port.
Step 4. Attempt to Pull start the engine again, once running make sure to rev the engine for and run it for awhile before moving to step 5.
Step 5. Reinstall the air filter and cover. Turn the fuel valve back on and start the engine, and away you go!
Pro Tip: Here’s an example of location of air cleaner on a STIHL trimmer
Craftsman push mower won’t start after hitting stump
Hit blind stump, bent blade bad, replaced blade, no start. Replaced spark plug, air filter, still won’t start (needed it anyhow) Prime or no prime, similar behavior. I cranked over 150 times now, every once in a while I get but seems like a single ignition and a single black puff comes out, but it doesn’t really turn over more than that one firing. It seems like pulling the string is normal ease. Any thoughts? I did have to turn it on its side to replace the blade. Anything I should be looking for regarding that ? Can hitting a stump do something that damages more than just the blade(shaft bent, timing knocked off, etc).
I’m wondering if you’ve completely filled the carb with gasoline. I wonder if you could take the carb off of the engine, then drain everything which is in it, then put it back on and see if it will fire. Sounds like it could be flooding over and over again. This could have been caused by having it on its side. At least you’re getting your work out in by pulling on the cord! J/K. Let us know what you find.
emptied out the carb using the bolt on the bottom, which I inspected and it was very clean. I pulled off the top of the engine and found the flywheel was split in 4 places and off the key (which did not shear like it was supposed to do). Should I be simply replacing the flywheel now, or is there likely more damage that I cannot see to the crankshaft or engine?
As long as there’s no damage to the top of the crankshaft, you should be able to just replace this piece. I believe it may provide some of the “flywheel” action, but I believe its main purpose is for the magneto to provide power to run the engine (through the spark plug). You’ll need to ensure the magneto pickup is set at the right distance from the flywheel. I don’t know what that measurement is, but it should be pretty close, otherwise the induction pickup process won’t be strong enough and your engine won’t run.
With lawn mowers it’s not uncommon to shear the flywheel key when hitting something with the blade.
The crankshaft in a lawn mower sites vertically. At the bottom there is the blade. At the top there is a flywheel. The flywheel serves two purposes. The first is that it’s big and heavy allowing it to store kinetic energy so that the lawn mower can continue to spin through the 3 unpowered strokes. The second is that the flywheel has magnets embedded in it. The magnet is used for the ignition, sparking the plug when the magnets wiss by the ignition coil.
The end of the crank at the top of the mower is tapered and has key. The key is usually aluminum. The flywheel sits on the taper and is aligned with the key, With a big nut holding everything tight together. The key is aluminum so that when enough stress is applied it will shear. This is to protect the crank shaft and flywheel from damage. If the key was hard enough not to shear it could crack the crank shaft or the flywheel.
The symptom is that the engine will not start after hitting something with the blade. This is because when the key shears the alignment of the flywheel is no longer correct with the crank shaft. Because of the misalignment the ignition no longer sparks at the correct time.
To repair, remove the flywheel (not that easy to do), remove and replace the key.
Lawn Mower Won’t Start Fixes
You’ve just taken your lawnmower out of your garage, and when it’s time to start mowing the lawn, it won’t start. It’s a common problem to have, but there’s often a quick and easy fix if you can diagnose the problem. Some of the most common reasons a lawn mower won’t start include low fuel, spark plug issues, a clogged carburetor, a broken clutch, or broken gears.
Five Reasons Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start
A common reason why a lawn mower won’t start is low fuel. While that might sound a bit too obvious, low fuel could be the reason your lawn mower won’t start, especially if you had previously used your mower for an extended period without refueling. In some cases, it might be that your tank has old fuel. Old gasoline loses its potency, so it won’t be able to combust. The result is that your engine won’t start. So the first thing you should do is make sure you have enough fuel and that it is not too old.
Bad Spark Plugs
A bad spark plug is another common reason why your lawn mower won’t start. The spark plug is the component of your engine that creates the spark which ignites the gasoline. If you have the user manual, look up where the spark plugs are located. Make sure you handle the spark plugs carefully. You can buy a special solution from a hardware store to clean your spark plug from any moisture or grease. After doing that, try to start the lawnmower again. If that did not fix the problem, then you might need to buy a new spark plug. Make sure that you find one that is compatible with the type of engine that you have. Or else it will not work and could cause more damage. Your user manual should specify which kinds of plugs are compatible with your mower.
Another common issue that can cause a lawn mower to not start or to start and then die is a clogged carburetor. If your carburetor is dirty your lawnmower might start then die, or it might not start up at all. The carburetor mixes the fuel with air so that it can combust properly. If your engine does not get the right fuel/air mixture, then it cannot ignite, and your mower will not work. So we recommend checking the filter in your carburetor. The most common culprit is the air filter. Leftover gas can condense and solidify in the filter so it is unable to pull in air. If the air filter is dirty, then the carburetor will not be able to draw air into the engine. It could also be that your carburetor is not attached properly and is not sealed, so air is leaking out after it is drawn in.
If your lawnmower starts but the blades are not working, then the problem could be your clutch. The clutch is the thing that diverts power from the engine to drive the blades. Without a working clutch, you won’t be able to work the blades properly. You can repair the clutch yourself or you can get a professional to help. Unless you have previous experience working with lawnmowers, we would recommend getting a professional to fix it up and install a new piece.
Broken gears can also be the cause of your lawn mower not starting, but this isn’t that common. If you have checked all the other issues on this list but have had no luck, then the next thing to check is the gears. If your mower motor is rotating, but the engine is not working, then it could be a problem with bad gears. You can tell if the gears are busted if there is a slow response from the operating button. If your gears are the culprit, then we recommend getting a professional’s help to fix them. You can do this on your own, but we would not recommend that unless you have previous experience fixing lawnmowers.
If it has been a long time since you last used your mower, it might take a bit to warm them up. Most of the time, when you store a lawnmower for a long time, moisture will build up in the fuel tank. Water in the tank dilutes the fuel and can also make the spark plugs not work properly. So if you are just using your lawnmower after a long hiatus, we recommend taking out the fuel tank and trying to get rid of any excess moisture in it.
Why Is My Lawnmower Turning Over But Not Starting?
If you pull the cord and hear your engine turn over, but your mower is not starting, the most common reasons for this are low fuel, a broken gas valve, or a bad choke fault. A broker spark plug could also be the culprit. You may also have to change the fuel pump if it does not get fuel to the ignition system.
R110 30-in. Riding Mower (CMXGRAM1130035)
Mower effected: This recall involves CRAFTSMAN 30” mini lawn mower. The lawn mower is red and black. Craftsman is printed on the front column. Recalled lawn mower is not marked with a green X, were manufactured from July 20, 2021 through December 17, 2022, and have serial numbers 1G20MB20001 through 1L17MB20228. The month and year of manufacture are found on the model plate label under the heading DOM for Date of Manufacture. The third and fourth characters of the serial number identify the manufacturing day. For example, serial number 1G20MB20001 would mean the mower was manufactured on the 20th day of the month of July. Months are listed A (January) through L (December). The date of manufacture, the serial number, which includes the full manufacture date, and the following model or SKU numbers can be found on the model plate label on the bottom of the seat pan:
CRAFTSMAN Model Number CMXGRAM1130035
Hazards: The riding mowers can fail to come to a complete stop and continue to move at a speed of about one mile per hour when the clutch/brake pedal is fully depressed, posing a low-speed crash hazard.
What Consumers Should Do: Repair Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled lawn mower and contact CRAFTSMAN for a free inspection and repair. Consumers will be assisted in contacting a local repair shop to have a replacement drive belt installed at no cost to the consumer. Pickup and delivery of the lawn mower will be arranged, if necessary, at no cost to the consumer. Consumer Contact: CRAFTSMAN toll-free at 866-864-2949 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Saturdays, or online at https://www.craftsman.com/support/safety-recalls/cmxgram1130035 or www.craftsman.com and click the “Support” tab at the top of the homepage and then scroll down to “Safety Recalls.”
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
What about if you lose power during mowing?
If your mower shuts off while you are mowing and won’t restart, you might suspect that it is a heat-related problem, but it could also be something else. Here are some other possibilities that you should try to eliminate.
Are you out of fuel?
So we’re starting with the most obvious, but in the interests of being systematic, check it.
Having problems restarting after running out of fuel and refilling?
Perhaps your mower stopped because it was out of fuel but after you refill it, it still won’t start. This is probably not a heat-related problem at all. Here, it is more likely that there was some debris floating in the fuel and was sucked into the fuel line when the fuel ran out.
To rectify this problem, ensure that the fuel lines are clean and free of debris. After removing any debris, it should start again.
Cutting tall grass or build-up of grass under the mower
It is possible that the grass you are cutting is too long and is clogging up the mower, causing the engine to stop. Try clearing out the cuttings and then adjusting the cutting height.
Similarly, if the mower becomes too clogged up by grass cuttings, the same may occur. Try clearing it out and trying again.
Old or dirty spark plugs
This is another obvious one to check. If your spark plugs are old or dirty, replace them. This will probably increase your mower’s performance instantly.
This is the kind of problem that might make you think the problem is because the mower has been running when actually the problem lies elsewhere. Make sure your spark plugs are in good condition, clean and properly connected to eliminate this possibility.
Dirty air filter
As with the spark plugs, this is the kind of problem that can make you think the problem is heat-related when it isn’t. If your mower loses power and then won’t restart, it might be due to dirty air filters.
This is a simple problem to check and fix. Make sure the filters are clean and in good working order and try again. If this was the problem, it should start up again easily.
Eliminate all possibilities to find the problem
If you have a problem restarting your mower after it has been running, the first thing to do is to eliminate all the simple issues.
If none of the more obvious problems are to blame, you could well have a problem with compression due to a valve. If this is the case, unless you are very confident around engines, you might need to think about calling a professional.
How Do I Replace My Lawnmower’s Fuel Filter?
The spark plug is the first thing to check. A dirty or loose connection can impede the spark, which is necessary for the engine to run.
At the same time, a faulty spark plug can also lead to problems with the motor flooding with too much gas.
When this happens there is simply too much fuel for the air to ignite, and the mower sputters or doesn’t turn over at all.
Sometimes a clogged carburetor is the primary cause or is contributing to the spark plug’s inability to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber.
To tell if this is a factor, you should carefully remove the bad spark plug.
In the case of a riding lawnmower, the battery could also be a factor. If the battery lacks sufficient charge to start the motor, it will simply sit there.
Perhaps you’ll hear a little click, or it might even spin the starter slowly with a sort of slowly wheezing groan.
In a case like this, you can connect the battery to a charger for an hour or two and it should have enough charge to fire up.
If it still doesn’t then chances are either the battery itself has died, or there is a loose connection. Double-check the battery’s ground wire for any rust or corrosion.
What do you do when your lawn mower starts smoking?
Gas-powered lawnmowers can smoke from time to time. The type of smoke they produce can sometimes help you diagnose an underlying problem.
This can go a long way toward figuring out what you need to repair, replace, or simply adjust.
White or blue-tinged smoke is usually a sign that the lawnmower is burning oil.
If it’s a stroke-lawnmower, a little bit of smoke at startup is nothing to worry about. If it persists, then it likely means that you mixed the oil and fuel a little too rich.
This essentially means there is excess 2-cycle oil in the gas tank. Adding a tiny amount of straight, high octane gasoline, may help resolve the problem.
When in doubt, you can empty the tank and refill it with properly mixed fuel.
If you are certain that the fuel to oil was properly mixed, or you have a 4-stroke engine, persistent smoke could be a sign of a more significant malfunction.
Usually, this is a sign of a failing seal or gasket that is allowing the oil to enter the combustion chamber.
If you aren’t mechanically adept, you will likely need to take the lawnmower to a certified mechanic.
Black smoke is often the sign of a clogged air filter that is altering the fuel to air ratio. Taking out the air filter and giving it a thorough cleaning will usually help clear this up.
How to Prevent Your Lawnmower From Not Starting After Winter Storage
You shouldn’t let a lawnmower’s basic nature lure you into thinking it’s invulnerable. The truth is, it needs much of the same basic maintenance that your care does!
Putting fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and always using fresh gas will go a long way toward preventing carburetor and fuel filter problems.
Changing the oil periodically or making sure to mix two-cycle oil in the proper ratio helps prevent smoking and makes sure that the moving parts in your lawnmower’s engine are moving the correct way.
Keeping an eye on the air filter, and occasionally peaking at the carburetor helps make sure that the lawnmower’s engine is getting the air it needs to fire properly.
A seasonal inspection of the spark plug will also go a long way toward catching a bad plug before it leads to even more complications.
You also might need to sharpen the mower’s blades and clean the underside of the mower deck to ensure that it doesn’t bog down or stall when you need to cut a path of tall grass.
How To Lift, Remove And Change Riding Lawn Mower Blade
As kids, driving a riding lawn mower with our father was a fun experience. Now as adults, we have our own lawn to manage but riding a lawn mower can still be fun and relaxing.
Riding lawn mowers are convenient, easy to use, and trims your lawn evenly. Compared to a self-propelled lawn mower, it’s safer to use since the blade are not exposed in the open.
As with any expensive machine with a lot of moving parts, it requires periodic maintenance. A badly maintained machine can be expensive (sometimes, even more expensive than to buy a brand new and cheaper model) to repair and replace its parts.
You are also risking yourself to injury. That is why it’s important to keep a routine maintenance for your riding lawn mower.
Maintaining your riding lawn mower is no easy work. You need to pay special attention to detail and keep yourself safe while doing it. Riding lawn mowers have multiple moving parts, fixtures, and interchangeable parts.
One of the basic ways to maintain your riding lawn mower is to keep its blade sharp. To keep it sharp, you must remove or change the blade on a riding lawn mower. Read this guide to properly and safely remove riding lawn mower blade.
Why Do I Need To Change My Lawnmower Blades?
Before we start, we need to understand the lawn mower blade. The mower blade is the cutting component of a lawn mower.
The engine provides power to the blade, where the latter spins in high speed via the rotor attached to the spline. Size and material of the blade vary from each manufacturer.
The blade is an expensive part of the lawn mower due to its material and size. That is why it’s advisable to have it maintained rather replace it from time to time. Here are some benefits of a well-maintained blade:
How To Remove And Replace Riding Lawn Mower Blade
Safety Is Priority
Start your maintenance by practicing safety measures. The lawn mower’s blade are large and can do serious damage if you fail to observe proper safety measures.
Wear heavy-duty gloves and safety glasses. If you have overalls, better wear it over your regular clothes.
Park your lawnmower in a bright, well ventilated area. Make sure that the lawnmower is in park mode. Remove the keys from the ignition.
For extra measure, remove the spark plug. This will disable the whole lawn mower. There is no chance that the blade will suddenly turn on while you start your maintenance.
If you still have your lawn mower’s manual, study it. Ready your tools as indicated by the manual.
Lift Your Riding Mower For Easy Blade Access
Get the correct size of the wrench to remove the nuts and bolts of your lawn mower. Your manual may indicate what size of the wrench to use.
If you lost your manual, most likely there is an online source material from the manufacturer. If you don’t have any wrench that might be suitable, you can use locking pliers to twist them out.
Turn them in a counter clockwise. Remember the saying “left loose, right tight” when loosening and tightening nuts and bolts.
Once you remove all of them, store the nuts or bolts in a receptacle so you won’t lose one and you have them ready once you reassemble.
Remove The Blade
Check the interior of your lawn mower before installing the blade. Since it is still exposed, it’s the perfect time to check the overall health of your lawn mower.
Here are the parts of a riding lawn mower that you should check:
- Spark Plug. Check your spark plug. If you have a hard time starting your riding lawn mower, the engine doesn’t sound right, or dies in the middle of mowing, then it’s time to replace your spark plug. Spark plugs are inexpensive. It is recommended to replace your spark plug/s every two years.
- Undercarriage. This can be the greenest or dirtiest part of your riding lawn mower. The undercarriage catches most of the grass and can clog the chute if not cleaned often. Clean the undercarriage by spraying it with a hose and brush the surface. For the tight and difficult to reach areas, use a wire brush and spray.
- Oil. Check the appearance of your oil. If your oil has some impurities and having a darker hue, you better it change it. On some riding lawn mowers, there is a drain plug underneath. Open the drain plug and make sure it’s flowing to a container. Consult your manual on which type of oil to buy. It is advisable to change your oil annually or every 50 hours, whichever comes first.
- Air Filter. The lawn mower’s air filter protects the engine from debris that might get sucked in from the carburetor. To clean your air filter, find and remove the air filter cover. Once you opened it, there should be the air filter itself. If it’s a paper filter, check it under a bright light. If light can barely pass through the filter, then better change the filter. If it’s a foam filter, yellow stains are the indicator that you need to change them. After removing the filters, clean the air filter system with a damp cloth. Once you cleaned and replaced the filters, close the air filter cover.
- Belts. Riding lawn mowers have two belts, the upper and the lower belts. If any of the belt falls of the mower completely without even operating it, then you need to replace it. If not, then remember if there are times when you use your lawn mower and you can smell burning rubber and hear loud squealing noises. If there are no issues like the ones cited earlier, then check for any frays or signs of wear and tear.
- Idler Pulley. Better check the structural integrity of your Idler pulley. It may be a single pulley, but it’s the one that drives the belt system of the lawn mower. The pulley is actually sturdy but inspect for any wear and tears.
Refit/Install The Blade
Once you finished the additional checkups for your lawn mower, it is time to refit or install your blade. Before you start, consult the picture you took of the mower earlier.
Remember which part of the blade is facing the ground. If you have a new blade, consult the packaging.
The blade may also have a written instruction on which side to face. Slide it fully to the spline to prevent any damages.
Tighten The Nuts And Bolts
Get your nuts and bolts you stored in your receptacle. Make sure you tighten them properly. Once again, use your wrench to secure the nuts into its place.
As soon as you finished securing the nuts in place, check your picture again if everything is in place. Have some stress tests to make sure that it will properly hold.
Add some finishing maintenance to your lawn mower’s interior. Lubricate its bearings and parts which has grease fittings.
Consult your manual which part requires lubrication. It can be messy, but it will surely extend the lifespan of your lawn mower.
Lower down the mower slowly and carefully. Clean your lawn mower and your tools. Finish up by cleaning your workplace.
Put in the spark plug/s and run a diagnostics. Attempt to start the lawn mower. If it started, try to feel if there are any changes with the sound of the engine.
Then try to drive your lawn mower slowly. Once again, check if there are any unusual noises. Try to mow the lawn.
Observe if it can mow the grass evenly. Keep your ears open for any weird sound. Test your lawn mower until satisfied.
Conclusion On How To Remove Riding Lawn Mower Blade
Riding lawn mower maintenance is not easy, but it can be done. Removing the blade of a riding lawn mower can be dangerous for those who do not know what they are doing.
But after reading this full guide, you now only need to be careful when you disassemble and reassemble your riding lawn mower.
Not only did you save hundreds of dollars, you also know more how your lawn mower works.
Since you’ll be removing your lawn mower blade, take time to do some checkups on the other vital parts of your lawn mower.
It is extra work, but if you have the time to check, then you just gave your lawn mower the care it needs.
From his childhood obsession with gardening to the decade he spent operating a hobby farm, Eric has developed over four decades of experience in self-sufficiency. Not only does this include the organic elements of growing and tending plants, but it also includes a wealth of experience in lawn care, landscaping, and gardening equipment.