The only thing worse than having to break out your lawnmower for the first time in the spring, especially if it was a particularly wet spring and your grass has had a chance to grow like a jungle, is discovering that your lawnmower is on the fritz and just won’t turn over or turn on for you.
Luckily, most of the time we aren’t looking at a serious issue with your lawnmower just isn’t working the way that it should be. Small engines are pretty easy to diagnose and even easier to fix, so even if you aren’t particularly mechanically inclined you shouldn’t worry about resolving the simple and straightforward issues that are likely causing your lawnmower to misbehave.
Use the details below to troubleshoot your lawnmower and you should be able to get your machine up and running – better than brand-new – faster than you ever thought possible before. Let’s dig right in!
Dealing with a dead lawnmower?
The first thing that you want to do when you are dealing with a lawnmower that just won’t behave is to check to see that you have plenty of gas in the lawnmower and that the carburetor is clean. The overwhelming majority of the issues that stop a lawnmower from working in the first place can be traced back to these two root causes, which is exactly why you want to check out before you do anything else.
You’ll also want to make sure that your ripcord is connected and in perfect working order and that your key has been inserted completely into the ignition. If, after checking all of these things out first your lawnmower still won’t work, you want to move on.
Have a look at your spark plugs
The next thing that you want to take a look at is the spark plug that is responsible for firing up your engine in the first place.
You want to be sure that your spark plug looks new, is free of corrosion, wear, or tear, and it isn’t wet. It’s wet, there’s absolutely no way that your engine is going to start in the first place – so you’ll want to blow it off with some compressed air and then give it 15 or 20 minutes to finish drying after that. If that won’t work, you may need to apply a little bit of solvent to remove any oil residue left over that isn’t allowing the spark to fire, and then you should be good to go.
Move on to the carburetor bowl
If the engine can’t get gas because the fuel filter is plugged or the carburetor inlet needle is stuck, the odds are pretty good that you have an issue with your carburetor bowl that needs to be addressed. Check your fuel filter by removing the fuel line at the carburetor. If gasoline runs out, you are good to go, but if it doesn’t that means that you are dealing with a filter that is likely clogged.
Clean out your jets
Small engines have jets that pump fuel into the combustion chamber, and from time to time they need to be cleaned – especially after a considerable amount of use. If you haven’t ever cleaned your jets at the end of a mowing season the odds are good that you’re dealing with plenty of debris and backup. If the engine still isn’t getting any gas, you may have to replace the carburetor completely.
Call in the professionals
If none of the solutions provided in this quick guide are able to provide you with the relief you are after and a proper fix to your issues, it’s time to call in the professionals.
Almost every local area should have at least one shop that specializes in small engine repair, and at the very least you should be able to find a handyman in your network that knows how to troubleshoot these kinds of issues.
Don’t be shy about bringing in the experts if you can’t get your engine to work after using the information about. The odds are pretty good that you’re dealing with an issue more significant or more severe than the most common problems, so an expert would need to tackle the problem anyway.