Lawnmower Won't Start - Electrical?

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Spring has finally arrived! The sun is out and many of us are getting the lawnmower out for the first time this year, and getting ready to mow the lawn. For most, this is relatively painless, but for a few their lawnmower just won’t work. Find some of the most common reasons why your electric lawnmower won’t work and how to fix them.

The lawnmower won’t start. Being unable to get your electric lawnmower started is often not a problem with the lawnmower, but is usually caused by a fault with the extension lead being used. To test this try turning the lawnmower on without using the extension lead. If this doesn’t work try using an alternative plug socket and checking the fuse.

My hover mower doesn’t hover. This is a common complaint with people that are relatively new to hover mowers. 99% of the time you can sort this problem out by slightly tipping the lawnmower to one side (about an inch), so that air can get underneath it. Turn the lawnmower on and then gently tilt...

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Related to : Reasons Why a John Deere Lawnmower Won't Start Reasons Why a John Deere Lawnmower Won't Start by Walruz in Home & Garden Problems with the fuel or electrical systems are the main reasons that a John Deere lawnmower will not start. Most of these problems are easy to fix and are prevented with routine maintenance. If you follow the maintenance guidelines and the correct starting procedure, you should not have any proble
How to Start a John Deere L100 Automatic Lawnmower by seigel in Home & Garden Operating a John Deere L100 Automatic lawnmower may appear to be similar to operating a car but the dissimilarities begin as soon as you attempt to start it. You can't just sit on it and turn the key to start it. There is a procedure that you must be follow -- setting the parking brake, adjusting th
How to Start a John Deere L110 Automatic Lawnmower by boomhower in Home & Garden The John Deere L110 Lawn Tractor is a very nice machine that offers the consumer...
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Expert: John C. Bridgers Sr. - 5/11/2007


Hi There,

Bought a LawnBoy model 10685 from Home Depot a couple weeks ago. Oiled it up, gased it up, and it cut the lawn just fine. Loved the 'sensi-speed' self propel thing, kinda felt like magic. Mowed the lawn a week later and when it ran out of gas, my son filled it up, and it wouldn't start. It would run for 5 or 20 seconds, and then it would give out. I let it sit for a couple of days, and it's still doing the same thing. The oil may be slightly overfilled, for what that's worth. Do I have a dud, or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance,

Steve Bondy


Hello Steve:

Lightly Tap on the Carburetor Bowl. The Float May be Stuck or there May be Trash in the Carburetor Restricting the Gas to the Carburetor Jets. If this Doesn't Correct the Problem, then Return the Mower or have it Inspected Under the Warranty. Since this is a Tecumseh Engine, I have 2 PDF Site Addys that May be...

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I just tried starting my lawnmower (Lawnboy EasyMulch) after it had been sitting in my garage all winter. I pulled it out, cleaned it off (a lot of oil had spilled out), and gave it a basic maintenance (nothing fancy, just what I always do every spring):

Change oil Add gas Change spark plug Change air filter Scrape off any grass that is caked on to the blade or around the chamber where the blade spins in

I went to give it a start and the cord will not pull. It won't even budge. When I flip it on its side I am able to wiggle the blade back and forth a little bit, but not able to spin it. Any ideas as to what is going on, or how to diagnose? Again, I scraped off a small amount of hardened grass clipping from underneath the mower, but there's nothing that is blocking the blade from spinning...

Thanks in...

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Hello Jerry,

I'm sorry to hear that your mower will not start and I would like to assist you.

Before diagnosing or repairing your engine, be sure to remove the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting and use personal protective gear, such as goggles.

From the description, it sounds like the timing key on the crank and flywheel, has sheared. This key keeps the flywheel in the right position on the crankshaft and if it breaks or actually shears off, the engine will be out of time and the spark will occur at the wrong moment. The other possibility is that the magneto has come loose and is hitting the flywheel. The magneto is what generates the spark and has the spark plug wire attached to it.

Here is a video that shows a teardown of these parts.

Just be sure to check the magneto for tightness before removing the flywheel. Please let me know what you find and if you would like any further...

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Model No: HRT216KTDA
Engine Serial No: GJAEA-1235387

Found this on trash day last fall. Very clean outside, looked brand new. Closer look last week - Would not start; removed carb. Quite gunky inside (I have a Toro with a honda GCV engine, and similar if not identical carb - which is clean). Cleaned with carb cleaner and soaked nozzle and main jet overnight.

Also did research on web and found an excellent GCV Check Sheet for this model here.

Installed and tried to start. No good.

Looked closely at main jet and discovered the hole was plugged. re-cleaned. soaked again with nozzle. Nozzle not sliding in the hole as smoothly as my toro carb. Squirt, squirt. Finally satisfied that nozzle and main jet ungunked. took off idle set screw and and squirted down the pilot jet access. Did not mess with the pilot screw.

Installed and tried to start. No good. Shot some starter fluid into throat of carb (air cleaner off). Engine started but only for a few seconds....

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With the main mowing season running from March until October and it being recommended to mow your lawn on at least a weekly basis, your lawnmower understandably comes under a lot of pressure, wear and tear.

As a result faults can arise. One such problem, which is more common than you may think, is the lawnmower not starting. Thankfully, whether you have a petrol or electric lawnmower, rectifying such an issue can often be relatively easy.

Electric Lawnmower Not Starting

Electric lawnmowers are common in households where there’s a small /medium lawn. But, despite only cutting small areas of turf, they can still suffer from starting issues – and this is usually caused by one of five things.

Thermal Cut-Out Activated (if fitted) – the thermal cut out on your lawnmower protects the motor, and will be activated if a) the blade becomes jammed (see below) or b) the motor is overloaded. When the thermal cut-out is activated, your mower will not start, but such...
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Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Matt from eSpares.

Now if you’ve had problems starting your petrol lawnmower, you’ll know just how frustrating that can be. I’m going to run through some of the basic checks we need to go through to make sure your mower starts first time every time.

Now I’ve got a Qualcast Classic Oetrol 35s, but these checks will be applicable for any type of Qualcast, indeed any type of petrol lawnmower.

Now let’s start with fuel. A standard four stroke engine takes ordinary unleaded petrol, now the thing about petrol is it degrades over time, it goes off. So if you’ve left petrol in your mower over the winter, the best thing to do is to drain that off first and put some fresh petrol in there. The two things I want to drain, drain the main fuel reservoir just by uncoupling the fuel line there and drain that into a bowl, and then, you can see on the carburettor here there is a little release valve there, that will just drain the...

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While fuel and a good spark are essential requirements for an engine to start, good compression is also important. Compression is simply the ability of the fuel/air vapor to be compressed in the cylinder—also known as the combustion chamber—by the piston prior to ignition, without leaking out somewhere due to bad sealing.

You can get a rough idea of compression by sticking your thumb over the hole into which the plug screws and pulling the starter cord or turning the flywheel if this is easier. You should be able to feel the pressure on your thumb. However with the spark plug back in place, if compression is severely compromised, the starter cord will be easy to pull, with no resistance.

Bad compression can have several causes:

Loose Spark Plug it could be as simple as a loose spark plug, so tighten it up. don't use excessive force when tightening.

Bad Cylinder Head Gasket The cylinder head is the piece of the engine into which the plug is fitted. This...

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Does it seem as if your trusty old mower aged 10 years since you put it away last fall? Is it hard to start, have a sputtering engine, or just not perform like it did six months ago? The truth is that modern lawnmowers should operate well for years without suffering from diminishing performance. If your mower has suddenly begun to run like a lemon, and you can hear the engine misfiring, there is probably a simple solution.

Check the Gas

Believe it or not, gas can get old. If you, like most of us, didn't follow the owner's manual instruction to empty your mower's gas tank before storing it for the winter. Empty the tank, fill it with fresh gas (not with gas from the gas can that has been sitting next to the mower all winter), and see if that solves your problem.

Can Your Mower Breathe?

The easiest way to check if your problem is related to the air filter is to remove the filter, and then try to start the mower. If it starts right up and the engine...

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When you’re staring at a yard full of grass that desperately needed cutting two weeks ago, the last thing you want is a lawn mower engine that won’t fire up.

Before you have a heart attack pulling on the rip cord of your lawn mower (or snow blower), check the fuel and carburetor. They’re the root causes of more than 80 percent of all no-starts. I’ll walk you through the steps.

You’ll need hand tools and a socket set, a can of carburetor cleaner and your air compressor. And you’ll probably have to make a trip to the small-engine parts store. But after an hour of effort, you just might have an operational engine, and you’ll save a bundle by fixing it yourself. Let’s dig...

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