Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Crank Over

Won’t crank over is a broad definition. So what does that actually mean? Do it mean that when you turn the key and nothing happens or you turn the key and the starter engages the engine but does not turn it over? Or does it mean that the starter turns the engine over but the engine does not start?

Definitions mean things and communicating the right thing to your small engine repair technician can help eliminate a lot of troubleshooting that could have been avoided.

When we know the exact problem to diagnose, we can get right to that problem and begin to systematically work on the riding lawn mower.

If nothing happens when the key is turned, we will check the battery first to see if it is fully charged. You want to see at least 13.1 Volts DC and then it should be load tested to ensure that it has the correct amount of cranking amps. Amps are the force that moves the electricity through the battery cables to the starter. If you don’t have enough amps, you may just hear a clicking sound coming from the starter.

If the engine cranks over but does not start, then an ignition system diagnosis will be needed and possibly the fuel system. You will need to systematically rule out which one is not working as it should and repair or replaced components in the system.

My Lawn Tractor Won’t Start

So you are dealing with a finicky lawn tractor that doesn’t want to start when you turn the key?

That is not uncommon and should not surprise you because it is a machine and every machine will breakdown from time to time. A machine is only as good as the quality of its parts and the maintenance that is performed each year.

Let’s check some easy stuff first.

Is the battery fully charged? Does it have at least 13 volts? Do you have the lawn tractor in neutral? Do you have the clutch pedal fully depressed?

Are you sitting in the seat so the seat switch is engaged?

Those are the most common problems that cause a lawn tractor to not start. The other not so common ones are that the main fuse has blown. You can check it by finding it under the hood or near the transmission area. It is normally close to the battery. If you find the fuse has blown, replace it with a new one and that will probably fix the non starting issue.

Continue to check for power to the starter if it doesn’t and if there is power to the starter, then most likely the starter is bad. Replace it and test the lawn tractor for proper operation.

Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Start

It is a frustrating experience when your lawn mower will not start. You are all ready to mow your lawn and turn the key and nothing! And it is not like you have time in your day to just wait around to figure out what is wrong with it and your yard need cut.

Let’s look at some simple things that you may be overlooking.

First, is the clutch pedal pushed all the way in? Is the mower placed in neutral? Those are simple but overlooked items that will prevent your lawn mower from starting.

Another common thing that happens is people leave the key turned to the on position. This eventually drains the battery and when you turn the key to start, you might hear a clicking sound or nothing at all. Check the battery to make sure that it is fully charged. If not, charge it on a trickle charger and try again.

One final item to check is the main fuse. It could be under the dash or under the rear seat above the transmission area. Check the fuse to make sure that it is not blown. If it is, replace it and your lawn mower should start unless there is some other electrical problem in the system.

Push Lawn Mower Won’t Start With Fresh Gas

So you just put some fresh gas in your lawn mower and it refuses to start when you pull the cord. You pull and pull and pull and it still won’t start or it may sputter a little. But how can that be when you just put fresh gas in your lawn mower?

Well, it could be that your lawn mower sat all winter long and the gas that is in it has gone bad. The gasoline with ethanol in it today only lasts about 90 days before it starts to go bad. Once it goes bad in the carburetor, it begins to plug up the idle and main jets and then the lawn mower is not going to run at all or barely run.

A mixture of fresh and bad gas doesn’t solve the problem either. It will still cause the same non starting problem and you will be pulling until your arm wears out and have the same results. The carburetor must be removed and cleaned and all gas emptied from the system and fresh gas added before you attempt to start the lawn mower once again.