Your lawn mower has been resting in the store for a long time. You have finally taken it out but despite various attempts, it is not ready to get started. You, being a non-mechanical person are now standing there wondering how to start a lawn mower that has been sitting for long. Yes, you do not need to take the mower to a workshop as this article has everything that will get your mower started, and that too, free.
Why is it difficult to start a sitting lawnmower?
Lawnmowers happen to start sluggishly after a long period of rest. They may need a good workout of rope pulling. However, there can be a few reasons if you still can not get it started. If the lawnmower is stored in a place with high humidity, the water may condense in the gas tank and ultimately the carburetor which may lead to mixing of water and gas. This makes it difficult for the engine to start. It may also interfere with the formation of spark.
What to do if your sitting lawnmower does not start?
When working with lawnmower, consider taking proper safety measures. Make sure you use safety gloves and glasses and are aware of the sharp blades and engine parts.
Drain The Old Gas
One reason that your lawnmower does not start can be the old stale gas that you forgot to drain before putting your mower in the store. If it is so, siphon the gas first.
Check The Oil
When starting a sitting lawnmower, make sure to check the oil before you even try to start it. Check if the oil is of good quality and there is enough of it.
If the oil has turned black, it is time to change the oil. The oil of a mower should be changed twice a year. If you have not done it recently, changing the oil may help in better performance even if it is not the primary reason for the mower not being started.
Insert Fresh Gas
A very simple yet crucial solution to this situation can be checking the level of gas. The mower may not start if there is not enough gasoline to start the engine. If the level of gas is low, add fresh gas and you are good to go.
Check the Air Filter
Oxygen is crucial for the combustion process. If the air filter is partially or completely clogged it may cause difficulty in starting the mower. Check the air filter. If it looks dirty and clogged, clean it gently. Be careful with the cleaning process as any perforation will allow the entry of dust particles which would damage the engine. It is a good idea to replace the filter instead of cleaning it.
Replace the Spark Plug
At the front end of the mower will you find a thick black wire attached to the spark plug. Check the wire if it is in good shape and well connected to the spark plug.
Now examine the spark plug. You can use a socket wrench to remove the spark plug. The spark plug will come out in a few twists. Once it is removed, look for any discoloration or corrosion of the side of the plug that was on the inside.
If you do not find it in good shape, try to clean it. If it does not work, prefer changing the spark plug.
Tighten the Brake Cable
Your mower may not start if the brake cable is too loose. If you notice that the brake cable is not fully tense when you pull it, it needs to be tightened. It can be quickly fixed using some vice grips and a wrench.
Clean the Carburetor
If you have already tried everything mentioned so far, a dirty carburetor can be the reason why your engine does not start. If the fuel is left in the tank for a long, it may clog the carburetor. The fuel evaporates leaving behind the sticky residue that damages the carburetor.
To remedy that, simply soak the carburetor in carb cleaner or some vinegar or even lemon and warm water.
Check the Flywheel Key
The large horizontal spinning wheel on the mower is called the flywheel. It is the part that starts to spin as soon as you pull the cord.
If the mower has bumped into a hard object, the mower may not start. Examine the flywheel and if found broken, get it repaired.
Now follow the steps below to start the mower without any difficulty:
Prime the engine. Find the primer button which will be somewhere near the carburetor. Now press and release the primer button thrice. You may start seeing feu in the glass window located behind the bulb.
If your lawn mower has a choke, turn it on and retry to start the engine. If it still does not start after a few attempts, turn off the choke and try again. Follow the remaining steps to start.
Fix the throttle on the handle of your mower at the “Fast” position and pull the cord. You may want to put your foot on the mower while pulling the cord for better grip and force.
If the mower still does not start, press and release the primer button three more times. Once the mower starts, pull down the throttle to the “Slow” position.
Let the engine run for 5 minutes before you start mowing. This will allow fuel to evenly circulate through the engine leading to smooth running.
Some Additional Tips
- If you have made several failed attempts to start the engine and you notice a strong smell of gas, wait for at least 5 minutes before you try again.
- Never forget to turn the choke off once your engine has started running
- If you are using an electric-mower, make sure that the battery is sufficiently charged.
- Avoid such a hassle by draining the gas if you are not going to use it for the next month or more.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does choke help in starting a lawn mower that has been sitting for a while?
The purpose of choke in any internal combustion carburetor as that of a lawn mower is to restrict the flow of air. The reduction in airflow reduces the pressure inside which increases the flow of the fuel into the carburetor. Choke is only needed when a lawn mower does not start normally.
How often should I service my lawn mower?
Regular maintenance of any machine will increase its life up to a couple of years. The engine oil should be changed twice a year. While the air filters should be cleaned twice every season. Keep checking the condition of the carburetor once in a while and clean it when needed.
Starting a lawn mower that has been sitting for a while can be quite a tedious task. However, examining every part of the machine will definitely give you a clue if there is any serious issue with your machine. We tried our best to help you explore every possible cause of your lawn mower being stubborn. This may have saved the dollars you had to spend to get it repaired at a workshop. Happy Mowing!
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