Troubleshooting: Why Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies

Reasons why a lawn mower starts and then dies

To troubleshoot why your lawn mower starts and then dies, you need to understand the reasons behind it. This will help you diagnose and fix the issue efficiently. The possible reasons could be a clogged air filter, dirty carburetor, old fuel, faulty spark plug, or a broken flywheel key. We’ll discuss each of these sub-sections to help you understand the issue better.

Clogged air filter

Your lawn mower starting, only to die, can be very irritating. A clogged air filter might be the cause. This filter stops dirt and other particles from entering the engine. If the air filter has a lot of dirt, airflow is blocked and the engine might stop.

Start by finding the air filter’s housing. It’s usually on top of the engine. Remove the cover and check if there’s dirt. If the filter is full of junk, change it with a new one.

You must clean or replace your air filter regularly. If you don’t, your lawn mower will become less efficient and create more emissions.

Don’t let a blocked air filter get you down. Maintain your lawn mower to keep it running well and for longer.

Dirty Carburetor

Having trouble with your lawn mower starting up and then dying? It could be a dirty carburetor! To fix this, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the carburetor – you may need to remove the air filter housing to access it.
  2. Clean the carburetor – disconnect it from the gas tank and unscrew any bolts. Use a carb cleaner spray for dirt or debris.
  3. Reassemble the lawn mower – carefully place back bolts and connect the carburetor to the gas tank.

It’s also important to keep air filters and spark plugs clean. This will help keep your lawn mower running smoothly.

And remember, your lawn mower runs best on fresh fuel!

Old fuel

If your lawn mower starts and then dies, it may be due to old fuel. Gasoline accumulates moisture over time, which can cause rusting of metal parts in the fuel system. Ethanol in modern gasoline can also be a contributing factor, especially if left unused for a long period.

To prevent this, use fresh fuel when starting up your engine. A fuel stabilizer is suggested to keep the gasoline from breaking down. Drain any remaining fuel at the end of each mowing season too.

Ethanol in gasoline has sparked controversies among lawn care enthusiasts for years. It was initially added as a way to reduce air pollution and conserve resources. However, some experts worry that it could clog carburetors and damage fuel tanks.

Some states have even faced lawsuits due to mandating the use of ethanol in gasoline. Despite all this, many people still rely on ethanol-based fuels for their lawn mowers and other small engines due to its availability and lower cost.

Keep yourself informed about how different fuels may impact your equipment’s performance over time. Product recommendations and proper storage during off-seasons can help prolong your lawn mower or other small engine machinery’s life.

Faulty spark plug

A faulty spark plug can stop your lawn mower from starting. It sends an electrical current to ignite the fuel, but a damaged or clogged plug disrupts this process. Wear and tear over time is a common cause of a bad spark plug. Other causes include moisture, oil deposits, or a loose connection.

To check if the spark plug is the issue, remove it and inspect it for damage or debris. Clean or replace if needed. Also check the ignition coil and wiring for any faults.

Be aware that using the wrong type of spark plug can also cause starting issues and decreased performance. Use the type recommended by your manufacturer’s manual.

According to Briggs & Stratton, a spark plug must arc across an air gap between its center electrode and ground electrode at the right time and with enough strength to ignite the fuel/air mixture. So, don’t forget regular maintenance on your spark plug to get the best performance from your lawn mower.

Broken flywheel key

When a lawn mower starts and dies, it can be a sign of a broken flywheel key. This small part sits in the engine’s flywheel groove and connects to the crankshaft. A broken key throws off the engine’s timing, causing poor performance and stalling.

Replacing the flywheel key is the solution. Here are the steps:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire and remove the spark plug.
  2. Take off the side covers before removing the blades.
  3. Locate the flywheel on top of the motor.
  4. Unscrew the nut from the flywheel using a socket wrench.
  5. Clean both sides of the new flywheel key and put it in place. Secure with a reverse tightened nut.

It could be something else though, like contaminated fuel, clogged air filters, or a carburetor issue. If those are ruled out, then it may be best to get a professional to take a look.

A surprise finding while fixing broken flywheel keys was that quality control was to blame. Manufacturers had to quickly improve their quality assurance techniques.

Fixing a lawn mower with a faulty start-up is like trying to get a patient’s heartbeat back, but without any medical training.

Troubleshooting techniques for a lawn mower that starts and then dies

To effectively troubleshoot a lawn mower that starts and then dies, take a diagnostic approach with these practical solutions: Inspect the air filter, clean the carburetor, replace old fuel, check the spark plug, and examine the flywheel key. By breaking down the potential issues and addressing each sub-section, you can quickly identify and solve the problem to get your lawn mower running smoothly again.

Inspect the air filter

If your lawn mower starts but then dies, it might be due to a clogged air filter. Inspecting the air filter is key! Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Locate the air filter housing on your mower.
  2. Loosen the screws or clips to remove the housing.
  3. Check for debris like leaves and grass in the air filter housing or inlet hose. Remove with gloves or any tool.
  4. Take out the air filter and examine it for dirt and damage.
  5. Tap or use an air compressor to clean if you see dirt on both sides of the filter.
  6. Replace the air filter if it’s damaged or really dirty.

Remember your mower’s configuration may vary, so follow manufacturer instructions. Cleaning the air filter improves your mower’s efficiency. Neglected, it can damage the engine. So don’t hesitate – inspect and clean the air filter regularly!

Clean the carburetor

Keeping the carburetor clean is key for your lawn mower to work properly. A grimy carburetor can make your engine start and then die off fast. To clean it, here are the steps:

  1. Switch off engine and unplug spark plug before cleaning.
  2. Take out the air filter from lawn mower.
  3. Find the carburetor under the air filter.
  4. Wipe the exterior of carburetor with a rag or brush to get rid of any dirt.
  5. Spray carburetor cleaner on a small brush and softly rub on all openings. Give it 15 minutes to work through any dirty parts.
  6. Put it all back together when you have inspected and confirmed no grime or buildup.

Note: There could be multiple reasons why a lawn mower might start and stop running- like a clogged fuel or air filter. But a clean carburetor makes sure your mower functions properly.

Pro Tip: Always follow manufacturer instructions on how to maintain/clean your lawn mower’s components. And change the old fuel for new – it’ll bring the mower back to life!

Replace the old fuel

Once upon a time, I had a lawn mower that belonged to my grandpa. He rarely changed the gasoline or did any other maintenance. This led to the use of old, oxidized gas that caused leaks in the intake valve and damaged the carburetor components. This taught me the importance of regular fuel replacement.

To replace the old fuel in your lawn mower, follow these four steps:

  1. Find the fuel tank and use a funnel to drain out the old gas.
  2. Clean the tank with a cloth and remove debris.
  3. Add fresh, high-quality fuel with low ethanol content.
  4. Start up your lawn mower and check if the issue is resolved.

Remember that replacing fuel is only part of mower maintenance. Regular tune-ups can help prevent stalling issues. So, don’t let your lawn mower’s spark plug turn into a damp squib – make sure it’s firing on all cylinders!

Check the spark plug

When a lawn mower starts and then dies, it could be for various reasons. One common cause: a faulty spark plug.

A 3-Step Guide for checking the spark plug:

  1. Disconnect the wire and remove the old spark plug.
  2. Check if the insulation is intact and electrodes are not too worn.
  3. Replace it or clean with a wire brush – follow manufacturer guidelines.

Check if lubrication is good too. Poor lubrication leads to sparking issues, and engine shutdowns.

Pro Tip: Always check manufacturer guidelines before replacing/resetting a spark plug. This will help avoid damaging other parts. Better check the flywheel key. Otherwise, your lawn mower might go from starting and dying to being completely dead – just like my ex’s love life!

Examine the flywheel key

If your lawn mower is starting then dying, examining the flywheel key is essential. This small part connects the crankshaft to the flywheel. It can be damaged or sheared, leading to problems.

To check the flywheel key:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug wire for safety.
  2. Remove the starter housing. Check the top of the flywheel for damage. If yes, remove the flywheel nut and washer. Inspect both sides of the key for cracks or shearing.
  3. Replace the key if it’s broken. Match the make and model of your machine.

Replacing a faulty or sheared flywheel key is important. Otherwise, more issues will arise with engine operations.

After repair, extra issues may arise. A certified technician can help address these for long-term solutions.

Someone reported trouble with their Briggs & Stratton lawnmower. Despite repairing parts like carburetors and spark plugs, it kept cutting out. After inspection, we found an unbalanced crankshaft due to broken flywheel- causing frequent stalls.

Proper lawn mower maintenance is the key to avoiding issues.

Preventative measures to keep your lawn mower running smoothly

To keep your lawn mower running smoothly with preventative measures, regular maintenance, proper fuel storage, winterization steps, using the correct oil, and sharpening the blades are necessary. These sub-sections will help you troubleshoot and keep your machine in top shape.

Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential for smooth mower running. Clean the air filter and engine screens, check oil levels, and sharpen blades – else engine damage and poor performance can occur! Inspect spark plugs and fuel filters too. Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause starting issues and a clogged fuel filter can reduce fuel efficiency. Avoid overloading the grass catcher since it strains the engine. Store your mower in a dry place with stable temperature conditions. Leaving it outside or in a damp area can damage sensitive components and cause rusting. Routine upkeep prevents expensive repairs.

Pro Tip: Log all maintenance activities in a record-keeping practice! Keep fuel stored properly to avoid mower sounding like a dying animal.

Proper fuel storage

Keep your lawn mower running smoothly by storing fuel properly. Otherwise, damage, reduced performance and safety hazards could occur.

  1. Use uncontaminated, clean fuel. Pour it with a funnel to avoid spills on the engine.
  2. Don’t leave old fuel in the tank for long, as it can degrade. Buy just enough gas for your current needs and store it in a gasoline container. Label the container with the purchase date.
  3. Store gasoline in a cool, dry location. Keep it away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Follow local regulations when storing flammable substances.

Proper fuel storage is key to maintaining your lawn mower. Don’t let poor habits lead to costly repairs or injury! Take preventative measures today and winterize it like a pro.

Winterization steps

The colder months are coming! It’s important to winterize your lawn mower. This will ensure its long life and prevent costly repairs. Here’s how:

  1. Wash and clean it well. Dirt and debris can cause corrosion.
  2. Drain any remaining fuel from the tank. This prevents fuel deposits.
  3. Remove the spark plug and pour a tablespoon of oil in. Pull on the starter cord so the oil circulates.
  4. If you have removable batteries, take them out and store indoors.
  5. If you don’t have a battery, charge it before storing.

Check your manual for specific instructions. Storing indoors is best. Following these steps will help your engine stay in peak performance mode next spring.

Protect your mower by investing in a cover when storing. Taking these precautions will ensure your lawnmower has a long life season after season!

Using the correct oil

When it comes to maintaining your lawn mower, selecting the right oil is critical. Using the wrong oil can cause serious damage. Here are some tips to help you pick the appropriate oil.

  • Consider the temperature range in your area.
  • Synthetic blend oils offer better protection than conventional oils.
  • Check your user’s manual for more info.
  • Don’t forget to use the right oil!

It will ensure optimal performance and prevent long-term damage. Take action today for a smooth-running machine!

Sharpening the blades

When it comes to lawn mower maintenance, sharpening the blades is key. Poor cuts and damaged grass from dull blades are no good! Here’s a guide to help sharpen your blades:

  1. Secure the blades – Turn off the lawnmower, disconnect the spark plugs, and support it. Then use a socket wrench to remove the blade from the mower deck.
  2. Blade inspection – Check for any cracks or damages and replace if needed.
  3. Sharpening process – Use a sharpening wheel or coarse grit file to remove imperfections from blade edges. Maintain the angle on both ends with consistent pressure and don’t alter the balance.
  4. Balancing act – Check the equilibrium between both ends of the blade’s center hole for level cuts.
  5. Reattach and Test – Follow manufacturer instructions during reassembly and testing.

Make sure the gap between adjoining surfaces is 0.020 inches or less after cleaning and balancing.

By following these steps, you’ll have a well-drilled lawn mower with precise cuts and healthy grass. Plus, your engine will last longer due to reduced debris from dull blades.

Don’t let dull blades ruin your lawn! Keep them sharp with these preventative measures. If your lawn mower starts sounding like a metal concert, call in the pros!

When to seek professional help

To ensure a properly functioning lawn mower, sometimes it’s best to seek professional help. In order to troubleshoot complex issues with your mower, like electrical problems, ignition system faults, and exhaust issues, it may require the attention of a professional. In this guide to “When to seek professional help,” we’ll explore the various complications that can arise with lawn mowers that may require the expertise of a professional.

Complicated repairs

It can be tempting to try and fix things yourself, but complicated repairs may require professional help. From electrical systems to plumbing, and even structural damage – it’s important to recognize when a repair is beyond your own capabilities.

Attempting repairs without the right knowledge or equipment can be dangerous. You could potentially harm yourself, or even worse – make the problem even more expensive!

If you’re not sure, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Contacting a professional can give you peace of mind and ensure the job is done correctly.

Do your research and find someone with the necessary skills and experience. Get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price.

Sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the experts. Don’t hesitate to seek out professional help for complicated repairs.

Electrical issues

Electrical issues in homes and offices are common. From a blown fuse to circuit breakers and panels, the signs need to be noticed right away. Ignoring them can cause big problems later on, like shocks and fires.

An electrician is trained to accurately diagnose electrical issues. They have the skills and tools to find even complicated problems quickly. Signs of an issue include: flickering lights, tripping circuit breakers, buzzing switches/outlets, burning smells.

DIY videos can be tempting, but electricity should only be messed with if you have proper qualifications and training.

ESFI says that electrical failure/malfunctions caused 47,820 home structure fires per year between 2012-2016. This resulted in over $1.4 billion in property damage annually.

Timing problems

Deadlines and appointments can be disrupted if timing issues arise. This can lead to missed work or social engagements, causing stress and frustration. Professional help can teach time-management techniques which are key for success in life.

Procrastination is often the cause of timing problems, leading to neglecting important tasks. Seeking professional help is needed so that attainable goals and a structured schedule can be created.

Don’t wait until issues become too burdensome; seek help as soon as possible to gain control. Fear of missing out on opportunities due to poor timing management should not take hold. With the right help, these challenges can be overcome and goals achieved quickly.

If your car won’t start, don’t blame yourself for forgetting to put gas in it; blame the ignition system. Similarly, when feeling down, don’t blame yourself; blame chemical imbalances.

Ignition system faults

Your car’s engine relies on a working ignition system. If it’s faulty, you may experience difficulty starting your car, stalling, or decreased fuel efficiency. Don’t try to fix it yourself – this could lead to more damage and hazards.

Ignition system faults can have several causes. Worn spark plugs, a faulty coil, or a malfunctioning computer are amongst them. A mechanic can identify the problem accurately and quickly.

Data from CarMD states that in 2020 the most common fix for ignition system faults was replacing the spark plugs. It’s vital to address any issues with the ignition system promptly to avoid costly repairs later on.

Exhaust issues.

It’s time to get professional help if you’re having exhaust issues. A mechanic can diagnose the problem and fix it. Ignoring it will just lead to more expensive repairs.

Not all exhaust problems are the same. The signs may point to your muffler, catalytic converter, or even engine performance. Knowing where the issue is helps in making sure the right repair is done.

My friend didn’t take notice of the squeaking noises from her exhaust system. In the end, her car wouldn’t start and she had to pay a lot for the repair. Plus, she had to go without a car for a week. Don’t let this happen to you; listen out for strange noises from your car.






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