Lawn Mower Stops after Starting

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Possibility #1: Clogged carburetor bowl

  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated time taken: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Tools required:
  1. Socket set
  2. Flat heat and phillips screw driver
  3. Vice grips or something to plug gas line
  4. Carburetor cleaner
  5. Paperclip

How to

Step 1: Prime lawn mower with push-bulb

  1. Push your primer bulb at least 10 times.
  2. Try to start it.
  3. If it starts for just a few seconds, then dies, you most likely have a clogged carburetor bowl.

Step 2: Remove components necessary to access our carburetor

  1. Usually you will need to remove your air filter first
  2. Remove anything else that may be in your way

Step 3: Plug the gas line

  1. A pair of vice grips works well. Close the vise grips onto the fuel line to stop gas from getting to the carburetor.
  2. You don't have to use vice grips. Anything that can plug, clamp, or just stop the flow of gas will work.

Step 4: Locate the carburetor bowl

  1. It's a cylindrical shaped device with one or two bolts on the bottom. If there are two bolts, the off-center one is a drain, which you can use to get rid of any fuel without removing the bowl.
  2. Place a container beneath the carburetor and remove the bolt. Any fuel present should trickle out.

Step 5: Remove the bowl

  1. If there is only one bolt, remove that and the bowl should come out.
  2. If you had two bolts, one of the bolts will remove the bowl, usually the center one.

Step 6: Inspect and clean the bowl

  1. Visually inspect the bowl
  2. Clean any gunk out
  3. Use a paperclip or something similar to clear the holes

Step 7: Put it back together















Possibility #2: Dirty carburetor

  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated time taken: 30 minutes - 1 hour
  • Tools required:
  1. Socket set (1/2" and 3/8")
  2. Flat heat and phillips screw driver
  3. Vice grips or something to plug gas line
  4. Carburetor cleaner
  5. Paperclip
  6. Small brush or rag for cleaning

How to

Step 1: Take a picture of your carburetor

  1. IT will be a nightmare if you forget how everything goes back together

Step 2: Remove components necessary to access your carburetor

  1. Usually you will need to remove your air filter first
  2. Remove anything else that may be in your way

Step 3: Plug the gas line

  1. A pair of vice grips works well. Close the vise grips onto the fuel line to stop gas from getting to the carburetor.
  2. You don't have to use vice grips. Anything that can plug, clamp, or just stop the flow of gas will work.

Step 4: Remove carburetor

  1. Usually two phillips screws
  2. One on the intake tube and one on the carburetor

Step 5: Remove carburetor bowl

  1. Clean any debris or goop left inside the bowl with carb cleaner and a small brush or rag

Step 6: Remove carburetor needle

  1. Remove locking pin holding in the float to gain access to the carb needle (See video)
  2. Remove float and needle

Step 7: Clean entire carburetor with carburetor cleaner

  1. Use a rag or brush where necessary. The cleaner the better
  2. Clean every little part you can

Step 8: Put it back together
















Possibility #3: Bad spark plug

  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Estimated time taken: 5 minutes
  • Tools required:
  1. Ratchet
  2. Spark plug sockets
  3. Spark plug gapper

Step 1: Locate your spark plug

  1. These are always out in the open and very easy to access. Refer to the video if you are having trouble locating it.

Step 2: Remove spark plug

  1. Using a 3/8 ratchet and a 13/16 spark plug socket, remove the old spark plug

Step 3: Install new spark plug

  1. Make sure your spark plug is gapped correctly. It should be clearly stated on your lawnmower or in your owners manual. Call your manufacturer if you can not find it.
  2. Thread your new spark plug in being careful not to cross thread the threads.

Step 4: Put the plug wire back on