My Lawn Mower Is Hard To Start

Lawn mowers can be finicky machines. They can be easy to start one day and hard to start the next. In most cases it is a simple adjustment to make them easier to start.

This adjustment is often a valve adjustment. Over time the valve clearance become loose and will not allow the valves to open properly. If the intake valve does not open fully, a fresh charge of gasoline will not make it into the combustion chamber. If the exhaust valve does not open fully, the hot gasses will not be expelled out the exhaust pipe and it prevents fresh gas from coming into the combustion chamber as well.

An engine is basically an air pump. Air goes in and air goes out. Whenever that cycle is interrupted, it makes it hard to start the engine. Try adjusting those valves to their proper specification and see if it makes a big difference in the starting of that engine.

You should also check to make sure that the choke is working properly. An engine choke is a butterfly type valve and you close in the carburetor. When it is closed, it creates more vacuum inside the carburetor and pulls more fuel through it and into the engine. If the choke is not closing fully, then fuel will not be adequate enough for a cold start operation.

By adjusting the choke and valves, you should have an easier starting lawn mower.

Troy-Bilt Self Propelled Lawn Mower Takes Many Pulls to Start

Are you pulling and pulling and then FINALLY your lawn mower decides it wants to start?

This is a pretty common problem with a Troy-Bilt lawn mower with a Briggs and Stratton Overhead valve engine. After a while the valve lash will become tight and not allow the valves to open far enough to let fuel in and exhaust out. If not enough fuel comes into the combustion chamber, then it will not ignite and burn properly.

If you are mechanical by nature, remove the valve cover and set the engine at Top Dead Center and check the valve clearance. One these small engines, the intake is set at .004 and the exhaust at .006 to have them run at their best performance.

Adjust the valves if they are not in specifications and reinstall the valve cover with some Triple Bond sealant. Let it dry for a few hours before you test run the engine to see if you have solved the problem.

If after your repair it still is hard to start, check the fuel and choke system to be sure that they are working as they should.

If you need a Troy-Bilt small engine mechanic to help with your lawn mower, visit our Locationspage to find a shop near you.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Requires Many Pulls to Start

You should only have to pull 1 or 2 times to start your self-propelled lawn mower if everything is working properly with the engine. Any more than that and you need a tune-up to get that engine running the way it should.

Time and use take a toll on our small engines and the fuel we use today doesn’t do them any favors either. The ethanol that is added to the fuel wreaks havoc on the carburetors and makes them hard to start.

Most self-propelled lawn mowers never receive the maintenance that is required of them until they break down. Maintenance is things like adjusting the intake and exhaust valves, changing the spark plug and air filter. It is keeping good clean fuel in the fuel tank and changing the fuel filter if it has one. It is also cleaning the deck and making sure the top of the deck is clean as well.

A diagnostic will need to be performed to determine why it takes a long time to start your lawn mower. First check the easy stuff like the fuel quality and the spark plug and air filter. If those items are fine, consult with a local self-propelled lawn mower mechanic by visiting our Locations page.