How to Start a Lawnmower – Easy Guide

An Easy Guide On How To Start A Lawn Mower

Did you just buy a new lawn care tool and are confused about its working? Has your lawn mower been sitting in the storeroom for ages now, and you’ve forgotten how to start it?

This article brings you the answer to the question – how to start a lawn mower?

Lawn mowers come in two varieties – the standard push lawn mower, and the riding lawn mower. We often need both in large lawns so if you are looking to buy a riding lawn mower then take a look at our guide for riding lawn mowers.

Ways To Start A Lawn Mower

Both the varieties of the lawn mower have similar starting mechanics. Let us now learn how to start a lawnmower. The first and foremost step to start a lawn mower is to ensure that it isn’t short on fresh gasoline.

Starting A Traditional Lawn Mower

Be it a new or an old lawn mower, it requires a full tank of fresh gasoline or gas. Check the lawn mower’s owner’s manual and make sure you fuel the lawn mower as per the guidelines.

Lawn mowers work best on fresh and unleaded gasoline. It can be the same fuel that you put in your vehicles.

The gas you use to fuel your lawn mower must be at least 87 octanes. Make sure it does not contain ethanol more than 10 percent. Gasoline that contains ethanol in a higher concentration can tamper with the interior of your lawn mower’s gas tank.

Step 1

Press the primer button five to six times. Doing this channels the gasoline in the lawn mower’s engine.

Check the diagram description given in the manual if you’re not sure about which one is the primer button.

Step 2

Standing at the back of the lawn mower, you will see a lever or a bar near the top of the handle. This is the position from which you will push the mower to mow the lawn.

Pull this lever towards you to bring it in the “starting” position. In this position of the bar, you should be able to hold the handle and lever together in one hand.

To keep the motor running, you will need to hold this lever in your hand while mowing.

Step 3

On the base of the lawn mower, there is the starting cord that has a plastic wire. Hold this wire firmly and give it a strong, quick, smooth, and long pull upwards. Make sure you pull it without any jerks.

This step might take two to three tries before the motor starts running.

Some models of the lawn mower have two handles attached to the cord. In that case, hold both the handles firmly in one hand and put great strength into pulling the cord.

Starting A Riding Lawn Mower

Old gasoline deposits gel, gum, and varnish inside the fuel tank of the lawn mower that tampers with the lawn mower’s functioning. Make sure you add new and fresh gasoline every time you start the mower to make it start quickly and smoothly.

Try to use up all the gas you put in the mower at once. If you leave it in the tank, it will start to corrode the insides of the tank and leave your mower useless.

Step 1

A Riding lawn mower has a throttle control device, also called ‘choke.’ We use it to control or adjust the amount of air that is to be pulled in the engine when it’s starting. The lesser the air pulled in, the richer the fuel blend pulled into the engine. It helps the engine start more readily.

Before starting the engine, set the choke to restrict maximum air from being pulled into the engine. If the choke device on the mower is manual, the settings are usually marked. Newer versions of lawn mowers come with in-built automatic throttle control.

Once the engine has started, adjust the choke to let more air in the engine. It will prevent your mower from dying while in use.

Step 2

Riding lawn mowers have comparatively larger engines than those of the traditional lawn mowers. You will need to push the primer button about five times. It pulls gasoline into the carburetor, making it easier for the engine to start.

Doing this right also reduces the number of times you will need to pull the starting cord. If you’re not sure of the position of the primer button, use the lawn mowers manual to learn about the parts of the mower.

Step 3

Locate the starting cord and its handle. Grasp the handle as firmly as possible and pull it rapidly outwards until you start feeling resistance. It might take four to five pulls before the engine catches and starts running.

Make sure you make smooth, jerk less pulls on the cord. Repeated yanking on the starting rope will lead to the breakage of the plastic handle or the cord altogether.

Troubleshooting The Lawn Mower

Hopefully, these steps will answer the question of how to start a lawn mower. However, if you are trying to start a lawn mower that has been sitting for a long time, it may have developed wrecks. Here’s how to fix them.

1. The Fuel

As mentioned earlier in the article, the lawn mower must have fresh fuel for it to work smoothly. If the mower has been sitting for a long time, especially for an entire winter season, the gasoline may have gone bad.

You will need to drain the gasoline and then dispose of it very safely. Some lawn mowers don’t have a drain plug. In such a case, you will have to use a length of hose and siphon the fuel out.

2. The Spark Plug

The spark plug needs to be clean and dry for it to work correctly. If it is wet with liquid or gasoline, remove it and clean it with carburetor cleaner and a damp rag.

Make sure the spark plug is completely dry before you put it back in the mower. Take the manual’s help while removing and reinserting the spark plug.

3. The Air Filter

The air filter is that component of the lawn mower that keeps dirt and grass bits from entering the mower’s engine. It is of two types.

  • Paper Air Filter – It is housed in a small cylinder inside the mower.
  • Foam-type Air Filter – It is housed in a sardine can-sized metal rectangle.

Use the manual for guidelines and remove this air filter from the mower. Check if it’s clogged by gasoline or dirty. You can’t clean an air filter, so you will have to replace it. An air filter is readily available in any local hardware store. A clean air filter allows the engine to work smoothly with ample air entering it without blockage.

4. Tips & Tricks

These methods are a sure shot solution to the problem. Here are some tips & tricks to keep your mower healthy and smooth-running.

If the mower has been inactive for a long time and has drained its battery, you can use your car battery to give it a jump start.

Clear off any foreign object from the lawn before starting to mow it.

To make it easier, technology has introduced electric start lawn mowers that are also self-propelled. Here’s some amazing picks on electric start self propelled lawn mowers. Have a safe time using your lawnmower.