Lawn mower wont stop. 11 Reasons Your Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running

Reasons Your Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running

A lawn mower that starts and won’t stay running isn’t getting sufficient air, fuel, and spark. This can be due to old fuel, clogged fuel line, plugged fuel filter, dirty carburetor, plugged air filter, bad spark plug, faulty ignition coil, clogged fuel cap, or an incorrect choke setting.

Performing routine maintenance on your lawn mower can help prevent this issue. I’ll go through the different reasons your mower may just quit in the middle of your lawn so you can get back to mowing.

Other articles that may help you with your mower:

  • Reasons your mower starts then dies
  • Why your lawn mower is getting hot and overheats
  • Adding too much oil to your engine can cause it to stop running

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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Reasons Your Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running

Bad or Old Fuel

Running bad fuel or fuel that has been sitting around for a long time can have negative effects on your mower. Fuel becomes less stable and attracts moisture from the air. This can cause corrosion in the fuel system.

The ethanol and moisture in the fuel system will leave behind gummy deposits that will clog the fuel system preventing fuel from getting to the mower engine. Read more about the right type of gas to use in your gas-powered lawn mower here.

REPAIR: Drain the old fuel from the tank. Mix a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL to with fresh gas. Add it to the fuel tank.

The fuel stabilizer not only helps clean the fuel system and remove moisture, but it also keeps fuel stable so it last a little longer.

Restriction in the Fuel System

Fuel system problems often cause the engine to stall. When moisture evaporates in the fuel system gummy deposits are left behind that can plug your fuel components.

Your lawn mower doesn’t stay running when there is a blockage in the fuel system or faulty carburetor.

Read more about why your mower is not getting fuel and how to fix it in this guide for a push mower, riding mower or zero-turn mower.

Clogged Fuel Filter

A fuel filter is used to protect the fuel system and engine from dirt and other contaminates from the fuel tank.

You may have an inline fuel filter inserted between two fuel lines. If you don’t see one of the plastic filters on your mower, chances are your filter is located at the bottom of the fuel tank.

When the filter isn’t replaced regularly or you are running dirty fuel, it can become clogged and not allow fuel to pass through it.

REPAIR: Shut off the fuel supply. Remove the clamps holding the inline filter and then remove the filter. Reinsert the new fuel filter between the fuel lines, install the clamps, and turn on the fuel supply.

If you don’t have an inline fuel filter that is easy to access, you may have a filter at the bottom of the fuel tank. When you aren’t getting good flow through the fuel line and your fuel line isn’t clogged, check this filter.

Do this by emptying the fuel tank first and then replacing the fuel filter.

Clogged Mower Fuel Line

Check for a restriction in the fuel line. This can keep a good supply of fuel from getting to the carburetor.

To find a clog in the fuel line follow these steps:

  • Shut off the fuel supply by turning the fuel shut-off valve to the off position. If you don’t have a valve, clamp the fuel line to stop the flow.
  • Remove the fuel line from the carburetor. (If your mower uses a fuel pump, remove the line from the pump).
  • Place the line in a container used to collect fuel. Make sure the container is placed lower than the fuel tank. Fuel will follow gravity and is unable to flow uphill without the use of a fuel pump.
  • Start the fuel flow by turning the fuel shut-off valve to the on position or removing the clamp.
  • Watch the flow into the container. If you have good flow, move on to checking for other fuel issues.

REPAIR: If you aren’t getting good flow through the fuel line, shut off the fuel supply and remove the section of the fuel line from the mower.

Spray carburetor cleaner into the line to help loosen the clog. Then push compressed air through the line to remove the restriction. Repeat as needed.

Replace a fuel line when you are unable to remove the restriction. You will also want to remove it if it is dry and cracked.

Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor regulates the amount of fuel that is mixed with air to form a combustion in the cylinder. When a carburetor is dirty from old fuel, the small parts that allow it to function can become plugged or stuck.

Your lawn mower will not be able to get sufficient fuel. A sluggish mower that won’t stay running will often signify a dirty carburetor.

Before you remove the carburetor from the lawn mower, perform these quick steps to isolate your fuel problem with the mower carburetor.

  • Confirm you are getting fuel flow to the carburetor and don’t have a fuel restriction elsewhere in the fuel system.
  • Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your mower. If it runs fine and then dies, there is a good chance your carburetor must be cleaned and inspected for any failed parts.

REPAIR: You can find instructions on cleaning your lawn mower carburetor here. If cleaning doesn’t work, you’ll have to rebuild the carburetor or replace it with a new one.

Plugged Air Filter

With all the dirt and grass clippings that get thrown into the air when mowing, the air filter can become plugged. It’s important to regularly check and clean the filter. When your engine isn’t able to get the clean air it requires, it will fail to stay running.

Not only will running a dirty air filter cause running problems, but it can also cause significant engine damage.

Keeping the filter clean and replacing it with a new one when needed is a small investment in time and money towards keeping your mower running at its best.

REPAIR: Replace your air filter annually and clean it several times throughout the mowing season using these steps:

Clean lawn mower paper air filter:

  • Remove the air filter from the housing.
  • Wipe out any dirt remaining in the housing. Be careful to not let any dirt fall into the air intake.
  • Tap your filter against a solid surface. What you are trying to do is knock as much dirt out of the filter that will come loose and fall out.
  • Hold your air filter up to a light source and make sure you can still see light shine through the paper element. If you can, go ahead and reuse your air filter. If you can’t, it’s time to buy a new one.
  • Reinstall the air filter and attach your air filter housing cover.

Clean lawn mower foam air filter:

  • Remove the air filter from the housing.
  • Wipe out any dirt that is in the filter housing. Don’t allow any dirt to fall into the air intake.
  • Inspect your filter. If you find any dark spots, or tears or your filter is dry and brittle, you must replace your filter with a new one. If it appears to be in good condition proceed with cleaning it.
  • Wash your foam filter with water and mild dish soap. Rinse to remove the soap from the filter.
  • Lay flat to dry. Placing your filter in the sun will help speed up the drying process.
  • Once the filter is completely dry, coat it with foam air filter oil. You want it completely covered with oil, but you don’t want it to be dripping with oil. If you get too much oil on the filter, ring out the extra oil or use a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  • Reinstall the air filter and attach your air filter housing cover.

Choke Set in the Wrong Position

If your mower has a choke lever, it might be set in the wrong position. The choke restricts airflow to allow a higher concentration of fuel into the combustion chamber when starting a cold engine.

When the choke isn’t adjusted correctly after the mower warms up, the mower will stop running because it isn’t getting sufficient airflow.

REPAIR: Make sure the choke lever is in the on position to close the choke plate and start a cold engine. It must then be adjusted to the off position for a warm engine.

If the choke is in the right position, make sure the choke plate is opening and closing correcting. You can view the choke plate by removing the air filter.

If the choke plate isn’t moving, use WD-40 to loosen the choke shaft and linkages.

On mowers with an automatic choke, a temperature gauge is used to open and close the choke. If the choke isn’t opening and closing correctly, the choke may be stuck or the temperature gauge placed near the muffler may be faulty.

Dirty Spark Plug

A dirty or damaged spark plug can cause your mower to run rough or quit running. A dirty spark plug is one that has carbon or oil buildup on the tip. A damaged one is when the porcelain is cracked or the electrodes are burnt.

REPAIR: Check your spark plug and replace it if you find any of these conditions. Make sure the plug is gapped to the engine manufacturer’s specification and that the spark plug wires are securely attached.

It is best practice to install new spark plugs annually.

Bad Mower Ignition Coil

The ignition coil (armature) can cause your lawn mower to stop running. The windings on the ignition coil can separate and short out when the lawn mower gets hot.

This will result in the spark plug not being able to create a spark because it is unable to get the voltage it needs.

REPAIR: Check for a break in the continuity using an ohmmeter. Replace a bad ignition coil.

Bad Lawn Mower Fuel Cap

A lawn mower fuel cap has a vent that allows air to pass through the cap. Without this vent, the fuel tank will act like a vacuum and not allow your mower to get fuel.

The fuel cap can get plugged which won’t allow air to pass through the cap and therefore causing your mower to stop running. Once the mower has stopped running, remove the fuel cap and start your mower.

Briggs and Stratton, Lawn Mower Engine Surges, Troubleshooting Surging, Low Idle RPM No Power Fixed!

If it starts and runs fine, place the cap back on your fuel tank while allowing your mower to continue to run. If your mower shuts off after isn’t been running for a while, you may have a bad fuel cap.

REPAIR: You can attempt to clean the gas cap and unclog the vent, but this doesn’t always work. You may have to buy and install a new cap.

Overworking the Engine

Your lawn mower may stop running when the engine is overworked. Check these items to make sure you are not overworking the engine or causing overheating problems:

  • Clogged cooling system including the engine cooling fins
  • Packed mower deck. Dull mower blades make the problem worse.
  • Running the mower too fast for the mowing conditions.
  • Running the mower with a slow engine speed.

Running Problems FAQ

A lawn mower only runs for a few seconds and then dies due to a dirty carburetor, a wrong choke setting, or bad gas causing fuel restrictions.

A faulty ignition coil, bad gas cap, dirty carburetor, and old gas are the most likely causes of a mower that runs for a few minutes and then dies.

A lawn mower keeps stalling when deposits are left behind by old gas creates fuel restriction in the fuel lines, carburetor, and fuel filter. A clogged air filter, bad ignition coil, bad gas cap, and overworked engine can also cause it to stall.

Still Having Problems with Your Lawn Mower?

The items listed above are the most common problems you will encounter into when your lawn mower stops running. If you have checked all the items above and still have problems or if you have a different type of problem, check out my guide Common Lawn Mower Problems and Solutions.

If you are running into engine problems or electrical problems, you may want to bring your mower to your local mechanic to troubleshoot.

Troubleshooting these issues can get a little in-depth for the average owner. I’ve seen owners just throw parts at their mower hoping to find a fix. This can get pretty expensive.

If you’re unsure of the cause and repair for your mower’s problem, it’s time to consult an experienced mechanic.

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Fixes For a Lawnmower That Won’t Stay Running

A lawnmower that keeps shutting down in the midst of operation can be a real headache. In this blog post, we will discuss with you four different fixes for your lawnmower that dies soon after it starts or does not stay running for long enough for you to completely mow all the grass in your lawn.

The most common reasons for a lawnmower that won’t stay running are problems with the:

lawn, mower, wont, stop, reasons, your
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug
  • Fuel system
  • Carburetor

We will discuss each of these reasons in more detail on how to solve them. Each of these four guides will help you save a fairly huge amount of money, as you can fix these basic issues yourself.

Why Lawnmowers Won’t Stay Running?

Mostly, a clogged and dirty air filter will cause your lawnmower to suddenly stop running. If you want to continue using your lawnmower when its air filter is clogged and dirty, it will ultimately damage your lawnmower’s engine. The engine will get limited air for cooling and ventilation so it will run poorly, and gradually, the engine of your lawnmower will fail.

The most common symptom of a clogged, dirty air filter is a constant loss of power. Your lawnmower will refuse to run on wet or high grass. You will notice that you were previously able to mow the entire grass in your lawn two full times prior to its tank running out of gas.

But now you are unable to complete your second mowing as your lawnmower won’t stay running. It means your lawnmower’s fuel consumption rate has increased because of the clogged and dirty air filter. The result will be a coughing and sputtering engine that cannot draw in enough fresh air and will not turn over when you pull the cord or turn its key.

Maintenance of the Air Filter of Lawnmower:

There are different types of air filters available online and in stores, the foam filters need oil, while the paper and the hybrid filters, both have foam as their pre-filter and paper as their main filter. Now I will share with you a step by step guide on how to clean, replace, discard or maintain the air filter of your lawnmower. Tools that you will need include an adjustable wrench, four in one screwdriver, needle nose pliers, a pair of rubber gloves, rags and a socket or ratchet set.

You must read the user’s manual to locate your air filter. In most models of lawnmowers, it is located on the side of its engine behind a metal or plastic cover. Depending on your lawnmower’s make and model, you must use either a wrench or a screwdriver to loosen its bolts and screws that hold its cover in the proper place.

  • Turn off the engine: First of all, you must turn off the engine of your lawnmower, and wait for a while for all of its parts to completely stop moving. Now, you must disconnect the wire of its spark plug. Now, remove the cover and pull the old air filter out.
  • Use a dry cloth: To clean your air filter housing, you must use a dry cloth. Never use any detergents or solvents, as they are harmful. Never clean the housing of your air filter with compressed air as it will force the dust and dirt down the throat of the carburetor of your lawnmower.
  • Examine the filter: You must now carefully examine its frame to detect any cracks. You must also check its paper pleats for any holes or tears. If you find any cracks, holes or tears, you must at once discard the air filter because it cannot be cleaned now. You can gently tap a paper filter to dust off any debris inside it. A shop vacuum can also be used to clean a paper filter.
  • Wash the foam filter: If you have a foam filter, you can easily wash it in warm water using a gentle detergent. It can be air-dried later on. It is always much better to replace a clogged and dirty air filter than try to clean it because the air inhibiting particles are too tiny to be removed by a vacuum.
  • Buy the correct filter: Consult your lawnmower’s manufacturer to discover which air filter is correct for your lawnmower. Once you buy the correct air filter, you can easily snap it into its proper place by means of tabs.
  • Remove the filter: To replace the air filter of your lawnmower, you must undo the clips and loosen the screws that hold your lawnmower’s protective cover over its air filter. You must examine the air filter carefully, by holding it up to a bright source of light. It is the proper time to discard the old air filter and replace it with a new one if your air filter’s paper element blocks enough light.
  • Examine the stains on foam filter: If you find any yellow or telltale brown stains on your foam filter, it is an indication that it cannot be cleaned anymore, instead, you will have to replace it with a new one. You must also examine the pre-filter carefully if its foam has become brittle, stained or stiff, you will have to replace it immediately.
  • Reassemble: After inserting the new air filter into the air cleaner assembly, reattach the protective cover carefully. Avoid pinching or harming the filter element. Never apply any pressure or force to push the protective cover in its proper place, if it does not reassemble easily, it means you have probably inserted your new air filter incorrectly.

According to the engine manufacturer Briggs Stratton, the paper or the foam filters must be replaced every twenty-five hours of operation, while the paper filters that have a foam filter pre-cleaner last for at least one hundred hours of operation. You must never use the compressed air to blow out a paper air clean as you may run the risk of perforating the paper. It only takes a single speck of dust that gets past the air filter to badly damage the engine.

Having a properly working air filter is the first line of defense for your lawnmower against the dust and dirt that is kicked up while mowing. A well-functioning air filter will prevent the dust from getting into the engine through its carburetor. If the air filter of your lawnmower is broken, cracked or dirty, dust will make its way straight into the engine.

Maintenance of the Spark Plug of your Lawnmower:

I will assume that you have cleaned or replaced the air filter of your lawnmower. Now the next step is to check the spark plug. The spark plug of your lawnmower is little more than a small, contained fire, that is harnessed to turn its driveshaft.

To light a fire you need a spark and the part of your lawnmower that makes the spark is its spark plug. If your lawn mower won’t stay running it could be an indication that its spark plug is worn out. You must replace the spark plug every season or after one hundred hours of use.

If you are troubleshooting why your lawn mower won’t stay running, the following three-step guide will provide you with the resources that are needed to keep your lawnmower running right. You must make sure that the electrodes of your spark plug are always sharp and tidy to be able to produce the strongest spark needed for ignition. The more old or greasy your spark plug is the more voltage and greater tug on its rewind needed to make a powerful spark.

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If you have not tuned the engine of your lawnmower recently, you will have to tug many times to turn the engine on. Your damaged spark plug is the culprit that is responsible for deposits on the cylinder, excessive fuel consumption, and oil dilution. Fortunately, the spark plug is one of the simplest and one of the most inexpensive engine parts to repair or replace.

  • Remove the spark plug cable: First of all, you will have to locate and disconnect the lead of the spark plug of your lawnmower. In most models, you will find it on the side of the engine, facing sideways. It is not visible as it is hidden under a protective rubber cap, this cap is connected to the wire of the spark plug.
  • Remove the cap: You will notice that this protective rubber cap creates a ninety-degree angle to help keep the wire attached near the engine. You must hold the rubber cap and pull it straight out. This is how you can release the cap and wire.
  • Remove the plug: You will need a deep socket connected to a ratchet wrench or a simple wrench to remove the spark plug. You must turn the wrench anti-clockwise, carefully. Never apply too much pressure or force or the spark plug will break off.
  • Inspect the spark plug: You must now inspect the spark plug to look for any signs of cracks, damage or wear. You must immediately replace the spark plug if you find heavy carbon buildup at the electrode or a broken or burned away electrode. Or if you find the porcelain insulator cracked, you must replace the spark plug.
  • Changing the plug: To change the spark plug of your lawnmower:
  • Find the right spark plug and adjust its gap settings.
  • Disconnect the plug lead then remove it from a spark plug socket.
  • Replace with the new plug, taking care, not to over-tighten then re-attach the lead of the spark plug.
  • Note: Four major problems that your lawnmower can suffer with include a dirty, disconnected, defective or loose spark plug. Dust, debris, grease, gunk or grass can infiltrate your spark plug and limit its capability to spark. Sometimes you can clean the minor deposits instead of discarding the spark plug straight away.
  • Cleaning the plug: To clean your spark plug safely, you must use a spray-on plug cleaner and a wire brush that is specially produced for ignition parts. To get rid of the stubborn deposits you can make the use of a knife also. But you must never use abrasives or shot blaster to clean the spark plug.
  • Check for moisture: Check the spark plug for any moisture, if it is wet, there is no way your lawnmower will stay running for long enough. A wet spark plug indicates a malfunction in the choke system of your lawnmower, an excessively rich fuel mixture or water in the fuel. A dry spark plug, on the other hand, indicates a clogged or stuck carburetor inlet needle or a leaking carburetor mounting gasket.
  • Add fuel: While you are removing your spark plug, you must pour one teaspoonful of fuel into the hole of the spark plug. You must clean your spark plug using a carburetor cleaner. Don’t attempt to clean it with compressed air alone as it is not enough, you will need detergent or solvent to get rid of oil residue, let it dry fully.
  • Clean using a cloth: Once you have disconnected the wire of the spark plug, you can use a piece of cloth to clean the area around it, before removing the spark plug itself. This step is really helpful as it prevents the dust from entering the combustion chamber after removing the spark plug. To clean the spark plug, unscrew it and then use a wire brush and a spark plug cleaner to remove the deposits.
  • Connect the wire: Your lawnmower won’t stay running if the spark plug is disconnected. The wire of the spark plug is sometimes visibly disconnected with its wire fully loose and hanging on your lawnmower’s deck. And sometimes its wire is slightly disconnected but its protective rubber cover makes it look as though it is still connected, the simple solution is to push back the wire firmly on the spark plug.
  • Use a spark plug tester: To determine whether your spark plug is defective or not, you can use a spark plug tester. You will notice a strong spark between your tester’s terminals while your lawnmower’s engine is cranking. If you don’t see any spark, it is an indication that your spark plug is defective and it must be immediately replaced.

These defects occur due to too much corrosion. If your spark plug is corroded, discard it and replace it with a new one. Never use a spark plug for more than one hundred hours of operation.

Sometimes, the spark plug itself not its wire has worked its way outward, it will lose contact with the engine. The simple solution is to tighten the spark plug clockwise using a ratchet wrench or a simple wrench.

If the fuel is more than one month old, you must dispose of it and refuel the tank with new gas. Now reinstall and reconnect the spark plug and try starting the engine of your lawnmower immediately. It can take a few pulls to fully suck the fresh gas into your lawnmower’s carburetor. If it takes too long to run properly it is recommended to clean and dry your spark plug a few more times.

Maintenance of the Fuel system:

If your lawn mower won’t stay running, it probably has problems with its fuel delivery system or fuel linkage system. You must make sure that the fuel system of your lawnmower is as clean as possible. The fuel that cannot reach the engine is a major reason why your lawn mower won’t stay running.

When the fuel is consumed by the engine of your lawnmower, it’s level in the fuel tank drops. To make up for it, the fuel cap makes the use of a small vent to allow the air from outside to get into the fuel tank. If this small vent of your fuel cap is clogged, the air from the outside will not be able to get into the fuel tank, this will create a vacuum or vapor lock.

This obstructs the flow of the fuel to the carburetor causing your lawnmower to stop again and again. To find out if the vent in the fuel cap is clogged or not, you can try slightly loosening the fuel cap, then starting the engine of your lawnmower. If loosening the fuel cap lets the lawnmower to stay running, it means that it is clogged and must be immediately replaced.

If you can see any dust or dry grass on the pinhole, remove the fuel cap then clean this pinhole or vent with a shot of compressed air. To repair the fuel line of your lawnmower, begin by practicing safety: put on a pair of nitrile or latex gloves for protection against caustic gasoline, then disconnect the spark plug as given above, wait for the engine to fully cool down, then completely drain the mower’s fuel tank. Keep a small container near the mower to catch any spills.

Make sure you have clean and fresh fuel in the tank of your lawnmower. After refilling, make sure the fuel shut-off valve is clean and open. Dust and stale fuel are the most common causes of your lawnmower not running long enough.

If you store your lawnmower throughout the winter season with untreated gas in its tank, gradually it will lead to engine damage. To prevent this problem in advance, you must use a fuel stabilizer.

To fix the fuel system of your lawnmower you must remove the air cleaner. Then inspect the choke plate which is mounted on a shaft at the opening of the throat of the carburetor. The choke plate must be free of dust, must move freely and close easily.

A greasy choke plate won’t let your lawnmower stay running. Use a spray-on choke cleaner or a spray-on carburetor cleaner to clean the choke plate so it moves easily. If your lawnmower has a fuel valve on the base of its fuel tank, then you must turn it off.

Now you can remove the fuel line from the tank of your mower. You must carefully inspect the fuel line to know if it is clogged. Clean the fuel line if needed.

Now reconnect the fuel line and turn on the fuel valve. If your mower has a fuel pump you must be sure that it is working correctly. You must close the fuel supply to the pump by either turning off the valve or clamping off the fuel line.

Now you can remove the fuel pump. You must carefully inspect to see any cracks. If you see any cracks you must replace the entire unit immediately.

If your pump’s inner parts are brittle or worn out, you will have to rebuild the fuel pump using the repair kit supplied by the manufacturer of your lawnmower. The best remedy for a gas-powered lawnmower is the use of fresh fuel with an Octane rating not less than eighty-seven and alcohol rating not more than ten percent. The alcohol content in modern fuels can oxidize inside the tank and attract dampness, it can also eat away at the plastic parts such as the hoses.

The air-fuel system is also crucial to the engines powering the lawnmowers. The air-fuel system is made up of cylinders, pistons, rings, and valves. This system controls how the air and fuel move through the engine.

The pistons move back and forth pushing the air-fuel mixture to the ignition system. The piston rings keep it sealed up tightly. The intake valve lets the air in and the exhaust valve pushes the air out.

If there is no proper clearance in the valve or the valve is leaking, this will not let your lawnmower stay running for long enough. You can detect the problem in this system, using a leak down tester.

Maintenance of the Carburetor

The tools that you will need to clean your carburetor include a carburetor cleaner, a stiff wire and a pair of plastic gloves. The tools that you will need to rebuild and replace your carburetor include an adjustable wrench, clamps, four in one screwdriver, needle nose pliers, nut driver, organic vapor respirator and a socket or ratchet set. It is always wise to avoid last moment shopping trips by having all the tools ready ahead of time.

– Remove the carburetor:

To take off the carb, you must turn off the fuel valve. You can now track its fuel line down to the carb to remove its hose. If your fuel line is cracked or damaged or it is leaking, you must immediately replace it.

You will see an overflow hose outside the carb, you must remove it. Now you can loosen the screws of the clamps in the back and front of your carb. Make sure the carb is fully loose to let you turn and twist it to take it off.

The carb is held in its place by a throttle cable. You can take off this throttle cable if you twist the top cap. Now you can unscrew it, as it will come off, you will see that the slide is still connected to it.

Once you have taken off your carb, you must now take off the throttle slide from its cable which is still connected to your lawnmower. After you unhook the cable, pull everything off the cable.

– Clean the carburetor:

To clean your carb, first of all, you must take apart the float from the bottom of the carb. To take apart the float bowl, you will have to unscrew all of the four screws from the bottom of the carb. Now you can pull off the float bowl.

Be careful enough not to damage the gaskets, otherwise, you will have to replace them. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to take off the float pin. First, remove the pin, then the float.

If your carb has splash plates, you must take them off too. The splash plates need to be taken off to get to the jets. Take out the float needle to clean it.

On the sides of your carb, you will see an air screw and an idle screw, take them off too. Take out the choke from the carb. Take off all the gaskets and O-rings.

The carb becomes clogged when you leave the fuel in your mower for a very long period of time. With the passage of time, some ingredients in the fuel can evaporate, leaving behind a sticky and thick substance. This thick, sticky substance causes your carb to clog and won’t let your lawnmower stay running.

The best way to clean the carb is to soak it in a gallon of carb cleaner, but this method is really expensive. You can use a spray-on carb cleaner instead, which is affordable and cost-effective. Before spraying, scrub the carb with a wire brush.

Carefully, spray into all the holes that the air screw, idle screw, choke, float needle and jets come from. To fully clean the jets, use compressed air. Use compressed air to blow dry all of these parts and the holes.

Install all the parts back into the carb in the opposite order in which they were taken off.

Final Remarks

In order to conclude this blog post, I would say that if the performance of your lawnmower does not improve after following all of the four maintenance guides given above, then you must show it to a reputable professional mechanic. It is really important to maintain the health of your lawnmower as it grooms the beauty of your lawn.

EASY FIX! Why Is My Lawn Mower Smoking And How to Stop It

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Is your lawnmower going up in smoke? Not literally, but is your lawnmower emitting different color smoke, and you can’t figure out what each color means! Well, here’s the lowdown on what different color smoke means, and how to fix the issue yourself or get professional help.

First things first, and regardless of the color, smoke emitted from your lawnmower is a sign of concern, and may require professional help. On a brighter note, blowing smoke is not an indication of a serious issue with your lawnmower, but can turn into one if left unattended.

Quick Troubleshooting Steps

Keep reading for different smoke colors as each has its own set of issues.

Smoke from lawn mowers are typically one of 3 colors:

I’ll go over each color below along with some suggestion solutions you can try right now and possibly avoid a trip to the lawn mower repair shop.

What does Black Lawn Mower Smoke Mean?

Black smoke from your lawn mower in most cases means your carburetor and fuel systems aren’t functioning properly. These aforementioned systems are responsible for regulating the ratio or gasoline to air mixture, and when the carburetor doesn’t get enough air, the fuel mixture will be too rich, resulting in a higher percentage of gasoline.

Or, black smoke coming out of a lawn mower means that the ratio of fuel to air is incorrect, which is usually caused by a dirty or worn-out air filter. To clean the air filter of the lawn mower, remove it and clean with soapy water or replace with a new one by referring to your owner’s manual.

Solution – If your lawn mower is creating black exhaust smoke, the first thing you’d want to check is the onsite air filter. Great chances are that the air filter may be clogged, and is blocking sufficient air flow to the carburetor.

Since all models vary by brands, it’s important that you refer to your owner’s manual on how to clean the air filter. But generally, you have to remove it, clean it or replace it if it’s clogged.

This Mower Isn’t Starting Unless I Put Gasoline Into the Carb But Then It Stops

After you’ve cleaned the air filter or replaced it, start your lawn mower, and let it run for a few minutes to see if the issue has been fixed. If the black smoke issue still persists after cleaning or replacing the air filter, then it may be your carburetor acting up, so you will have to make a couple adjustments.

Even though this step is just a matter of adjusting a screw or two by referring to your owner’s manual, your best bet is to have it looked at by a professional or better yet the manufacturer if your lawn mower is still under warranty.

What does White Lawn Mower Smoke Mean?

White is the most common color of lawn mower smoke, and most of the time will go away on its own. But if it doesn’t, there’re a good indication that you’ve got an overfull oil reservoir. An overfull oil reservoir will cause the engine to burn oil, which can be caused by one or more reasons.

These include spilling oil on the housing when you serviced the lawn mower and tilted it too much, or simply overfilling the crankcase.

An overfull lawn mower oil reservoir can also be caused if you mowed on a 15-degree incline, overfilled the gas tank if you have a 2-stroke mower (the correct ratio is 32:1 gasoline to oil ratio), or it’s a new mower with leftover oil residue.

See also my article on the type of gas to use for your lawn mower.

Solution – as mentioned earlier, the white smoke issue will go away on its own if you leave the lawn mover running for a few minutes, as this runtime will burn off the excess oil. If the white smoke isn’t gone after running your lawnmower for roughly 15 minutes or so, you may have a bigger issue to deal with.

The first issue may be that the seals of the combustion chamber have worn out, causing the oil to leak into it. Another reason may be an air leak in the crank case, or that both the cylinder and rings have worn out.

A serious reason for white lawn mower smoke will pertain to a malfunction of the head gasket, and will more than likely need professional attention. However, there’s no need to break a sweat just yet, but check if your lawn mower is still under warranty, and if it is, get it looked at by your nearest servicing dealer.

My Lawn Mower Is Blowing Blue Smoke, What Does This Mean?

The causes of blue smoke emitting from the exhaust of your lawn mower are pretty much the same as white smoke. These include overfilling the crankcase, or spilling oil on other parts of the mower when filling the crankcase.

Blue smoke can also be caused if using the wrong oil grade, or if you’ve tilted the lawn mower too much when mowing a ditch or hill, so make sure to keep the spark plug tilted if angled mowing is necessary.

Here is a great video from Steve’s Small Engine Saloon

How To Fix A Lawnmower: 5 Common Problems

Lawnmower won’t start? While some lawnmower problems are preventable, others are inevitable.

It is important to learn how the mower works and how to fix a lawnmower at home. Always consult the owner’s manual for any mower before attempting repairs at home. If the mower is under warranty, consult the manufacturer before trying to figure out how to fix a lawnmower at home.

Common Problems And Lawnmower Troubleshooting Tips

Fortunately, it is easy to learn small engine repair and basic lawnmower repair when it comes to simple issues. Most problems can be remedied with a few tools, replacement lawnmower parts, and patience. To save money, always use these lawn mower repair tips for fixing a lawnmower at home before running out to buy a new mower.

The Starter Rope Is Stuck Or Is Hard To Pull

This problem is usually caused by the engagement of the engine flywheel brake. Check to see if the flywheel brake is pressing against the handle before pulling the rope again. When the flywheel brake is not the issue and the problem persists, check the lawnmower blade.

A rope that is stuck or hard to pull may be caused by the blade dragging on the ground or by clippings getting stuck to the blade. To address this issue, place the mower on a hard surface. Make sure the engine is shut off and the spark plug wire is not engaged. Carefully clean the bottom side of the blade to remove any clippings or dirt, put the mower back into position and try pulling the cord again. If the problem persists, one or more lawnmower parts may not be functioning correctly and will need to be repaired. Consult the owner’s manual or search online for repair guides for the specific model and brand of mower.

The Lawnmower Loses Power While Moving

At some point in time, nearly every lawnmower owner will be pushing the mower along and suddenly hear it sputter as the engine stops.

  • One of the most common causes is a dirty filter. Use the owner’s manual to determine where the filter is. Remove the filter and clean it. If the filter is very dirty it may need to be replaced. This is one of the most inexpensive lawnmower parts to replace.
  • If the filter is not the issue, compare the height of the grass to the mower’s cutting height setting. If the grass is tall, adjust the cutting height accordingly.
  • Another way to fix lawn mower power issues is to clean the blade. Refer to the owner’s manual and use the manufacturers instructions to clean the mower blade.
  • If this does not fix the issue, check the spark plug. Many people are able to quickly repair their lawn mowers by cleaning or replacing a spark plug. Spark plugs are also affordable mower parts that are sold online or in home improvement stores.

The Lawnmower Starts Smoking

This is one of the most startling issues to encounter – most people assume that the engine is about to die or blow up. However, this problem is usually not very serious. The engine often smokes when the chamber that holds oil is too full. Check the chamber to see if this is the issue. Another problem may be a leak in the oil chamber. If the mower leans to one side while mowing on a slope, the oil may leak out onto the muffler and cause the smoking. When the mower’s engine is off and has cooled, inspect the oil chamber area for leaks. The issue may be that the cap is not on tight enough. If the part must be replaced, it may be easier to look for the part online than to search for it in stores.

In rarer cases, the smoke may be a sign of a serious issue. If the smoke is white or very light in color and the mower does not run continuously, it is time to have a professional repair company look at the mower.

The Lawnmower Will Not Start

The first step in learning to repair lawn mower starting issues is to check the gas tank. An empty gas tank is the most common cause of a lawnmower not starting. Mower owners who are diligent about keeping their tanks full should still check the tank to see if there is a leak. If the tank is empty but should not be, inspect the outside of the tank for leaks. Replacement tanks can be found using an online lawnmower parts site.

Remember, in order to keep your fuel fresh if you’re going to be storing your lawnmower, use STA-BIL® Storage. It will keep your fuel fresh for 12 months and help protect the fuel tank from the effects of ethanol gas. Also, if there is a shut off valve for the gas lines, by all means, use it.

If the gas tank is not the issue because the mower runs on a battery, check the battery for signs of damage. Lawnmower batteries may also lose their ability to hold a charge as they age. Look for replacement lawnmower batteries if the battery needs to be replaced. Lawnmower batteries vary in price depending on the brand and model of mower.

Another important step in learning how to fix a lawnmower that will not start is checking the spark plugs. If they are dirty, clean them thoroughly. Reconnect them if they are loose. Old spark plugs should be replaced with new ones. If the fuel is not getting to the engine, knock on the carburetor’s side to help the gas flow again. If this does not fix lawn mower issues of this nature, look for a new fuel filter online.

The Lawnmower Loses Speed

When a lawnmower slows down considerably, the issue is usually a dislocated or damaged drive belt. This part is located in the motor casing. Consult the owner’s manual to verify the location. With the mower turned off, inspect the drive belt. If the belt is loose but not damaged, reattach it. If it is damaged, replacement belts are usually easy to find online from a lawnmower parts site. A new belt should repair lawn mower issues of this type. If the lawnmower runs on batteries, check the battery. Some lawnmower batteries may cause this issue if they malfunction, however, it is not common for lawnmower batteries to slow a mower’s speed.

How To Prevent Lawnmower Problems

Knowing how to repair a lawnmower at home saves time and money. The easiest way to avoid frequent problems is to maintain the mower. Follow these simple tips to keep the mower in good condition:

– Always use the correct type of replacement lawnmower parts. – Clean the blade regularly. Make sure to pull the plug so there is no chance that the blades can move while you’re cleaning them. – Oil any moving parts when needed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. – Change the oil as recommended. – Use the correct type of fuel. – Recharge lawnmower batteries according to instructions but avoid overcharging them. – Store the mower in a cool, dry and covered space when it is not in use. – Have the mower serviced as recommended by the manufacturer or warranty.

Lawn Mower Stops After Starting a Few Minutes?

Some people enjoy mowing the lawn and many don’t. One thing’s for sure, though – if you have to fight with your Lawn mower to even make it work properly, a boring but simple chore can quickly turn into something far more frustrating that will have you pulling your hair out and kicking the machine in exasperation.

If your Lawn mower starts then stops after a few minutes, there could be several reasons. Here, we’ll look at what could be causing the problem and give you some suggestions for how to fix it.

Be systematic

If your Lawn mower is playing up, the key to fixing it is being systematic. To be able to repair a problem, first, you need to locate and identify the problem. To do this, you need to work through all the possibilities one by one to eliminate them until you find the cause of the issue.

Once you identify the problem in this way, you can then begin to think about what to do to rectify it.

Here, we’ll work through the different possibilities, starting with the most basic and common before moving onto the more complicated issues that can arise. In this way, you can eliminate each one until you discover what’s wrong with your machine.

Here’s a video that shows you how it’s done.

Lawn Mower Possible problems

Are you out of gas?

Since we said we’re going to begin with the most basic issues and work from there, we’ll start with this. Sometimes, people see their mower stop working and automatically assume the worst – but you could just be out of gas.

Check to see that your Lawn mower has not run out of fuel. If it has, you’ve already found your answer.

Is there another problem with the power supply?

The same is true if you are not using a gas-powered mower. Is the battery out of charge? Or if it is a corded model, has it come unplugged? Is there a power cut? You need to eliminate these kinds of possibilities before you move onto more technical areas.

If you have a self-propelled Lawn mower, an electric cordless Lawn mower or anything else that doesn’t run on gas, don’t forget to check the power supply before you look at anything else!

Are the fuel lines clean?

One problem can be that when you run out of fuel, if there is any debris in the tank, this will be sucked into the fuel lines and stop it from restarting. If your mower doesn’t restart after running out of fuel, make sure the fuel lines are clear and try again.

Is it a problem with a spark plug?

The next thing to check is the spark plug. Is it clean? Is it old? Is it properly attached?

If it is not properly fixed in place, simply make sure it is attached correctly and try again. If it is dirty, this will also prevent it from working correctly so give it a quick clean.

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If your spark plugs are old, they may also begin to fail – in this case, you should replace them. In fact, changing your spark plugs is not expensive and should be part of your annual early spring maintenance schedule before the growing and mowing season gets underway.

Is the air filter blocked?

Another reason a mower might start and then stop is that the air filter becomes blocked. If this is the problem, then it’s good news because it’s easy to fix since most mower filters are cleanable.

Check to see if the filter is blocked and clean as necessary – then try again to see if this has solved the problem.

Is the mower blocked by grass clippings or long grass?

These are two related problems. First, if grass clippings clog the blades, this may cause the engine to stop after running for a while. After checking the problems mentioned above, the next thing to look at is whether the blades are clogged with grass.

If you see that a build-up of clippings is preventing the blades from turning properly, this is another easy problem to fix. Simply clean underneath the mower and remove all lumps of grass and try again.

Sometimes mowers can also stop because the grass you are trying to cut is too long. If your mower stopped as you attempted to cut a longer patch of grass, this could well be what was to blame for the mower breaking down.

Again, check that no grass is clogging up the blades and then adjust the cutting height to a higher setting. You may find that this resolves the problem.

Dull, damaged or loose blades

If your blades are not sharp, are damaged or are not properly attached, this may also cause the engine to stop, especially when cutting thicker grass.

Making sure the blades are in good condition and are properly attached should also be a part of your annual mower tune-up in the spring. Even if they don’t cause the engine to stop, dull blades tear grass rather than cutting and can damage your lawn.

Low oil level

Another quick fix is to check the oil level. If you are running a Lawn mower that is low on oil, this could cause it to cut out after running for a while. If you check the oil and find it is low, simply ensure it is topped up properly and you’ll be good to go.

Compression problems

If you have checked everything above and still can’t discover the problem, you may have a compression problem. This may be because as the mower heats up, the valve changes shape slightly, making the engine less efficient.

This kind of problem is more difficult to diagnose, and unless you are comfortable tinkering with engines, you might be better off having a professional have a look at your mower for you.

With specialist equipment that you probably won’t have available at home, a professional can identify the problem – and can then resolve the problem. The fix will usually involve realigning the valve lash, something that not everyone is capable of doing by themselves.

Be systematic – work from obvious and simple to more complicated

The key to identifying the problem is being systematic. Start with the most obvious answers – like running out of fuel – and work from there. By eliminating each possible issue one by one, you will eventually be able to find the problem. Once you identify why your mower stopped you can start to think about how to rectify the problem.