How to Fix a Lawn Mower that Won’t Start

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Toro Lawn mower won’t start? You may NOT need to take it to a lawn mower repair shop, just follow these simple troubleshooting tips to get your lawn mower up and running.

Video Transcript

Nothing’s more frustrating than a mower that just won’t start. But don’t panic, we’ve got some tips that can help get you up and running.

Tip #1: Is It The Weather?

If your mower won’t start the cause could be the weather. When air temperature dips below 50 degrees, your mower is harder to crank because the oil is a little thicker and might need a few extra poles to get started.

When that happens, roll the mower into the sun and let it warm up. Now if you do a lot of cool weather mowing, consider using Toro’s synthetic engine oil, which tends to flow better at lower temperatures making it easier to start the engine.

Tip #2: Check the Air Filter

If weather is not the issue, check the air filter. A dirty filter chokes off air to the engine making it hard to start so check to see if yours needs to be replaced. If you need a new filter be sure to use the original manufacturers part or the correct Toro replacement. These can often be purchased at your local Toro dealer or a home improvement store.

Tip #3: Controls & Attachments in Right Position

Next, make sure that all your controls and attachments are in the right position for starting. Many lawn mowers have safety mechanisms that won’t let them start when the blade is engaged or other controls are out of place, so consult your manual and make sure everything is set where it should be. If you’re still having trouble check your fuel.

Tip #4: Check Your Fuel

Today’s fuel doesn’t age well, so if your gas is more than 30 days old – replace it. Whenever it’s possible, try to use non-oxygenated fuel and stay away from gas that contains more than 10 percent ethanol. Don’t buy more than a month’s worth of gas and add Toro premium fuel treatment to your fuel when you buy it since this can really extend its life.

Tip #5: Check Your Spark Plug

Next take a look at your spark plug. The spark plug lead and connector should be clean and in good condition. The connectors should be attached securely to the end of the plug and positioned vertically. The lead looks good.

Check the spark plug itself. The bottom should be wet with fuel. If it’s not, it’s probably not getting fuel. If it is wet and the mower still won’t start, you may need a new spark plug. Be sure to use the correct replacement for your engine model.

Tip #6: Check Your Battery

For a mower with an electric starter, also check to make sure the battery is fully charged. If your charger’s displaying a red or yellow light that means the battery is still charging. When the light turns green, the batteries charged. Remember, getting a full charge can take a day or two.

Following these tips is usually all it takes to get your mower up and running. If not, get in touch with your Toro dealer and set up a repair. They’ll be happy to help you out!