How to Start a Lawn Mower?

Getting a lawn mower up and running should not be a complex task. Although it can be intimidating for beginners or for those that have switched from ones they are used to, operating your lawn mower can be straightforward. To equip yourself, you can start by learning about the different types and components involved. With that, you can easily adapt the setup for any lawn mower.


To start, there are a number of lawn mower types. From gas powered push mowers, electric-powered push mowers, to ridden mowers. If you happen to own a gasoline lawn mower, make sure that you always inspect for leakage before using. The spark plugs also need to be in good condition and have no damage or signs of corrosion.


For electric lawn mowers, make sure that all the wiring and connections are intact. Wires remain in good condition as well as the battery pack. If this is powered by plugging to an outlet, make sure that the cord is still firm on both ends.


For ridden lawn mowers, these are typically used for larger spaces. Make sure that aside from the normal checkup of components, that it is well maintained – similar to that of a car.


Part 1: How to Start a Lawn Mower?

Take it out to an open space

The first thing that has to be done to start your lawn mower is to prepare it. By preparing, it would mean that the lawn mower must be placed in an open space, clear of any rocks and rubble.


Check the fuel

If your lawn mower has an engine power that requires oil, you will need to check this before starting on the activity. You can do this by opening the fuel cap or with a dipstick. If you notice that the fuel is low, you can mix and replenish according to the instructions specified for your lawn mower engine. Ensure that there is proper ratio of gas and oil if you are instructed to mix them.


Check the ignition plug

In most cases, there is one spark plug point that is located at the back or side of the engine. Make sure that this is properly attached. Any looseness could mean that it is already faulty and needs to be repaired or replaced.


Prime the engine

The carburetor is your starting point for this. Usually it is a button that is colored black or red that you can push so that the fuel is pumped into the engine. Be careful in excessively pushing the button as you may discover your lawn mower engine, flooded. If your lawn mower is not designed to have a prime button, check the user manual for further instructions.


Position the throttle

If you open the lawn mower throttle, you should be able to find a lever for the lawn mower. You can set this medium to high so that the engine will not choke, especially when it’s a cold weather.


Warm up the engine

Similar to a car, you would need to start your motor and get it to warm before fully using. You can refer to the starter cord and pull on it repeatedly until the engine starts. Make sure that you pull it fast and firm to get it to spark. Once the lawn mower has is running, you can leave it for a few minutes to warm up.



PART 2: How to Start a Lawn Mower That Has Been Sitting?

If you happen to be one of those that own a lawn mower but has not used it for a long time, chances are it can be tricky to restart. Sometimes the frustration gets to you that you would prefer to leave it alone and dispose. However, there are countless others that have been put in the same experience as yours and have managed to get through them. Below, we tackle the process that you can use to approach any problem.


Exploration and Discovery

Find the root cause of the problem

In most cases, lawn mowers that have been sitting long in the cold weather will not function. And there are many things that could cause this. Before you move into applying any solution, it is important to first understand what the problem is. By bringing it to experts, they can deduce what is the issue. However, if this is not accessible to you, you can always surf the web for information and perform trial and error to isolate the problem.


Find a compatible solution

Whether your problem occurs on the carburetor, the spark plugs or other components – there is certainly a compatible solution for it. One of the most effective ways is to browse through online videos for expert and community opinions. Sometimes by typing a keyword in search engines, you will already get relevant result.


Trial and error

Trying the recommendations and performing trials will certainly move you further. Although it can be a tedious process, it is fulfilling – especially when you are finally able to solve the problem.


Part 3: Common Problems and Possible Solutions

Oil problem

For a lawn mower that has not been used for quite some time, it is a must to check it before it is used. Over time, oil that has been sitting a while turns black and builds up residue. This is already an indicator that you have to change your oil. You can do this twice every year just before you store it for the cold season.


For a mower that has been sitting for quite a while, it’s definitely a good idea to check the oil. The best time to change the oil in your mower is about an hour after you finish mowing. But if it has been sitting all winter, check the oil before you even try to start it.


Clogged Air Filter

One thing to understand about your lawn mower is that it needs good air ventilation for the engine combustion. If your air filter is full of dirt, your lawn mower will not properly run or worse, it will not run at all. To address this, you would need to check the condition of the filter. Sometimes, it is better to replace one rather than trying to clean it. A usual indication that your air filter is clogged is when your lawn mower stops in the middle of your work.


Corroded Spark Plug

Spark plugs can deteriorate over time making it prone to rust and corrosion. When this is prevalent, it is best to replace it immediately. Otherwise, make sure it is always cleaned dry to avoid moisture build up. If you are not sure whether the state of your spark plug is still in a good condition or not – go for replacement. It is best to be safe than sorry.


Loose Brake Cable

The impact of the brake cable being loose is that your lawn mower will not start. Thus, it is important to check the grip and tension of the brake. To do this, you can pull the lever of the brake and use the other hand to pull the cable. Look for signs of looseness or areas where it may give. If the cable is loose, you can easily tighten it with a wrench and some vice grips.


Carburetor is faulty

This is one of the most common problems known yet with lawn mowers. If the gas, filters, oil and spark plug is in good shape – chances are that it is the dirty carburetor that is causing the issue. Usual problems with the carburetor are that it is consumed with rust or that the fuel that has been sitting behind has clogged it. The quickest way to solve this is to clean the carburetor by letting it soak in proper cleaners. Make sure that what you are using is appropriate for the carburetor. If after cleaning this still does not work, then it might now be time to purchase a new one. Carburetors should still be cheaper and more affordable compared to buying a new lawn mower.


Defective Fuel Pump

In some cases when there is too much amount of oil in the lawn mower engine, the oil can spill and leak to the fuel pump. This causes blockage, preventing the fuel pump to function. To make sure that this is the issue, check the port lines and valves in the pump itself. If this is indeed the issue, you will need to replace the component since this part is not repairable.


Flywheel Key is Broken

When we talk about flywheel, this is the horizontal wheel that spins in the mower. If it gets caught through a hard object, tendency is that it breaks. This can also cause the lawn mower not to start anymore. To verify this, you would need to detach the flywheel from the lawn mower. It can be a tedious task to do as the bolts and nuts tend to be very tight in this area. If you happen to remove this part, make sure that you are removing it properly. By using force to counteract as you twist, it can break the blades in the flywheel. The best way to do this is to have a clamp that can securely hold and grip the flywheel when you loosen the nuts and bolts.


Part 4: How to Operate Different Types of Lawn Mover?

When it comes to operating a lawn mower, there can be slightly different approaches depending on the type that you own.


Gas-powered Lawn Mowers

When it comes to gasoline lawn mowers, you would need to check for fuel sufficiency before starting. The engine must also be primed so that fuel can get into the carburetor. To fully get it started, you would need to repeatedly pull the ripcord steadily and firmly. This allows the blades to spin fast enough that it can spark the plug for your fuel engine. When the lawn mower is running, do not leave it unattended. Otherwise, it can cause you injuries or damage your garden.


Electric-powered Mowers

To start lawn mowers that rely on electricity as a power source, you would need to ensure that the connections are good. If the lawn mower has a wiring to the power socket, then you need to make sure that the wires are taut and not worn. If the lawn mower is battery operated, then you would need to make sure that you have full battery charge. As for starting the engine, it is only but a simple push of the button. This is extremely easier to operate than gas powered ones.


Ridden Lawn Mowers

Aside from the usual lawn mower inspection for leaks, damage, and fuel sufficiency – operating such type of lawn mowers are similar to that of driving a car. It has a stick shift, a clutch, and gas pedal. To begin, you would need to disengage the clutch while the stick shift remains in neutral. Hold the clutch and press on the gas pedal to get the rhythm. To shift gears, you would need to hold the clutch again. If the timing of shifting and gas is incorrect, the engine will stall. If you are cutting on uneven terrain, place the blade position on the highest level. Make sure you also slow down on slopes because the weight of ridden lawn mowers could send you tumbling.



Now that we have explained how you can start a lawn mower, perhaps that fear of operating it is lessened. With this basic knowledge about lawn mowers, we hope that it was enough for you to learn from start to end. Even when your equipment is old, there should be a chance for you to revive and use them. One point to mention is that if you want to expand the life of your lawn mower, then we advise that you do not miss out on regular check ups and maintenance for your machine. This small practice allows you to get ahead of the breakage before the damage widens and gets out of control. Whether you have a brand new lawn mower or a used lawn mower, both practice should exist and be maintained.


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