Top 7 reasons your lawn mower won’t turn over
Picture this- it’s a warm summer’s day. You’re ready to mow your lawn and make it look fabulous for the family barbeque later that evening. You go to start your lawnmower, but it won’t start.
If this has ever happened to you, you might be wondering just why your lawnmower won’t turn over. In this article, we’ll discuss the top 7 reasons for your lawnmower not starting, as well as some vital safety tips when conducting lawnmower maintenance. Shall we take a look?
Safety Tips to consider if your lawn mower won’t turn over
Before you conduct any checks, or do any DIY, on your lawnmower, it’s vital that you bear in mind the proper safety precautions. Here are 4 tips to follow that will keep you safe:
1. Always unplug your lawnmower (if its electric)
You should always ensure your lawnmower is cannot be turned on before you start any DIY. This involves removing the connection to the battery, in the case of electric mowers. Otherwise, there’s a chance it could, potentially causing the blade to spin, and resulting in serious damage.
2. Wear the correct safety gear
If you’re going anywhere near a lawnmower, goggles, sturdy shoes and gloves are essential. Such equipment will keep you safe should any debris fly out of your lawnmower unexpectedly.
3. Ensure petrol is drained from the engine.
This is essential if you have a petrol-powered lawn mower just in case you need to turn the mower over. Having no gas in the tanks means the engine won’t leak or flood when engine is moved.
4. Don’t be afraid to call a mechanic:
If you’re able to diagnose the reason why your lawnmower won’t start but feel uncomfortable trying to fix it, then call a mechanic. It might cost you a little more money, but it’ll keep you safe, and could prevent further damage to your lawnmower from occurring.
Remember before you start investigating why the lawn mower won’t turn over make the mower safe to operate on first.
7 Reasons why your Lawn mower won’t start turn over or start
Here are the 7 most common reasons why your lawnmower won’t start:
1. The engine flywheel brake is engaged:
If your lawnmower won’t start when you pull the starter rope, then there’s a good chance that the flywheel is engaged. The flywheel helps to start and stop the engine and can be controlled via a bar on the handle. Make sure that this bar is pulled all the way down before you try to start your lawnmower. It’s a simple check to make and is normally the reason why your lawnmower is not starting if the starter rope feels stiff.
2. Build-up of debris:
No lawnmower is perfect, and some clippings and debris are bound to end up caught underneath your lawnmower. Over time, this can clog the blade, which may result in your lawnmower not starting. To fix this, take your mower onto a hard surface, and make sure to unplug it. Then, simply clean the underside with a brush, return to the grass and try to start it again.
3. Faulty Spark Plug:
A lawnmower’s spark plug is the tool used to first ignite the fuel when the engine starts. Problems with the spark plug will result in your lawnmower not starting. To fix this, remove any debris around the spark plug. You should also reconnect it, if it’s disconnected, and tighten the mounting bolts with a screwdriver. If your lawnmower still won’t start after this, then you may need to purchase a new spark plug.
4. Dirty Air Filter:
The air filter provides clean air to the mower’s engine. This air is mixed with the fuel to power the lawnmower. As such, a dirty air filter can result in sub-optimal air reaching your engine, which could result in it not starting. To fix this, you should first try cleaning the air filter by removing any visible debris. If your lawnmower still won’t start after this, you may need to have the air filter replaced entirely.
5. Fuel isn't reaching the engine
Your lawnmower won’t start if fuel doesn’t reach the engine. To check if fuel is properly reaching your engine, lightly tap the side of the carburettor, which will help the flow of fuel, and try to start your lawnmower again. If your lawnmower still isn’t starting, then you may need a new fuel filter or a carburettor.
6. Dirty Fuel:
One of the most overlooked reasons why your lawnmower won’t start is because the fuel in the tank is dirty. Fuel gets dirty when it’s left in a tank for a while, and its poor quality may cause your lawnmower to splutter and die when you try to start it up. To fix this, simply drain the tank and replace the fuel. This is always a good idea once in a while, especially if you’ve left fuel in your mower over the winter.
6. Low Oil:
Just like a car, a lawnmower’s engine requires oil to run. If the oil is low, the engine may not function properly, which can result in a failure to start. To fix this, check the oil level with the lawnmower’s dipstick and top up as necessary. You could also change the oil completely, to ensure the smooth functioning of your lawnmower’s engine.
What not to do if your lawn mower won’t turn over or start
If your lawnmower won’t start, there are some vital things that you should avoid. Here are the biggest no-goes:
• Don’t check your mower whilst it’s still plugged in
It’s a natural human reaction to check something out when it doesn’t work, but you should avoid doing this if your lawnmower doesn’t start. Always unplug your lawnmower or make it safe before doing any kinds of checks, as you don’t want it to turn on unexpectedly.
• Don’t continue mowing
If your mower turns on half the time, and won’t start the other, then don’t mow your lawn without fixing the problem. Continuing to use your lawnmower when it’s faulty could result in even more damage.
So, there are the most common reasons why your lawn mower won’t turn over. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and there could be many other reasons why your lawnmower is not starting. But, most of the reasons are simple to fix, and fixing your lawnmower will almost always be cheaper than buying a new one.