Common Lawn Mower Problems

August 22, 2011



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Like all machines with combinations of interlocking parts, lawn mowers require regular maintenance and may occasionally break and need to have parts replaced.

Once you familiarize yourself with the basic workings of your lawn mower, you’ll be able to troubleshoot common lawn mower problems and save time and money on expensive repairs.

The first step is to acquaint yourself with your lawn mower owner’s manual. Knowing your equipment will ensure that you follow proper procedures for safety and avoid unintentionally damaging your lawn mower.

Most basic and commonplace lawn mower problem is the user’s inability to start the machine.

Here is an easy checklist:

  • Is the fuel line switched on? This is a common complaint at the beginning of the season, because a number of months have passed since you last used your lawn mower.
  • Is there enough gas for the engine to fire?
  • If your machine has at least half a tank of gas and the fuel line is switched on, but it still won’t start, check to make sure that the  fuel line is clear and that enough gas is getting to the carburetor.
  • Did you remember to add fuel stabilizer to the gas at the end of last season? If you didn’t or if your aren’t sure, replace the gas.

    Fuel Stabilizer

    Fuel Stabilizer

  • Is the spark plug dirty or faulty in any way? The spark plug should be clean and dry for the machine to work trouble-free.

    How to change the spark plug on your lawn mower?

    How to change the spark plug on your lawn mower?

  • Is the air filter on your lawn mower clean of dust and debris? Try cleaning the air filter first, but if it looks oily and is caked with dirt, the lawn mower air filer needs to be replaced.

    How to change your lawn mower air filter?

    How to change your lawn mower air filter?

  • If your lawn mower is leaving a ragged, uneven edge on your lawn, you need to sharpen the blade. A dull lawn mower blade not only does a bad job but also pulls the grass roots and damages the lawn. If the blade is bent or damaged, it needs to be replaced.

    Lawn Mower Blade

    Lawn Mower Blade

  • Lawn mower blade, as well as the entire lawn mower, should be cleaned of grass, dirt and garden debris after every mowing.
  • Check your lawn mower engine oil regularly, just like you do for your car. The oil lubricates the engine parts of your lawn mower protecting it from rust and damage.

    Tune Up Kit

    Tune Up Kit

If you have gone through this checklist and your lawn mower still won’t start, it is time to take it to a professional for an expert check up.

More lawn mower parts, repair advice and videos, maintenance information and more

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