What To Do If Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start

Small engines are those used in lawn mowers, pressure washers and other small pieces of equipment. When these do not start, it can turn your day of yard maintenance into a nightmare of tearing the equipment apart and checking various systems for the problem. You can also find a repair shop in your area specializing in these types of engines for diagnosis and repair but knowing some basics of diagnosis can help you determine if you can do it yourself.

Check for Fuel Problems

Chances are that the engine stalled or did not start because it is not getting any fuel. To check for this you can remove a spark plug and see if it is covered in fuel, which confirms that the engine has enough gas, or you can shoot some petroleum-based aerosol lubricant into the carburetor’s throat by removing the air filter. If it starts and then dies, you have a fuel problem and will either need to track down the source or find a Westside Small Engine Repair shop to go over the system.

Check for Spark Plug Problems

If the engine does not start after you have primed the carburetor and there is fuel on the spark plugs when pulled, it means that there is an electrical problem. Since spark plugs are relatively inexpensive, your best bet is to replace the old ones and try starting the mower again, if it still fails to start, then check the ignition coil. This is best and easiest done with a tester, but if you only have one small engine, then it may not be worth the cost and a shop is a better bet.

Check If the Engine Rotates

One last thing you can check before taking the engine to the shop is whether it is seized. This can happen due to rust, warping from heat or something getting caught in it. Because it is a smaller engine, you can usually try to rotate the crankshaft by hand after taking the spark plugs out. Anything bigger than a lawnmower, however, may require a breaker bar for rotation. If it does not rotate, try some penetrating lubricant and let it go to work for a bit before trying again. It may be too rusted or warped for you to fix at home, or the crankshaft bearings could be shot if it still does not rotate.

Some repairs you can do yourself with the right tools, knowledge and time for them, but others will need the equipment and experience of a repair shop. You can try diagnosing fuel, spark plug or rotation problems on your own to see if it is an easy fix or a complicated repair.

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