It’s never a good feeling to bring home a new lawn mower only to find out it won’t start. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t be the first time this has happened, and you are certainly not alone. If you have followed the instructions and assembled your new mower and it fails to start, you may be wondering if there’s anything else you need to do to fire up the engine. There are several things that you can do before you return your mower to the shop. So, before you start to disassemble the lawn mower, let’s have a look at what you can try first.
Why Your Brand New Mower Won’t Start (The Short Answer)
There is a small chance that your new lawn mower has an actual technical problem that can’t be fixed. There is usually a simple way to get your mower running. It could be as simple as turning the gas and connecting the spark plug. You may not know the starting procedure for your lawnmower, which can include chokes and bail levers.
These are 9 Things to Consider Before You Return Your New Mower
As you can see, there are several reasons why your brand new lawn mower won’t start. So, let’s take a closer look at the nine most common causes and what you can do to diagnose your troublesome mower.
Engine Oil Level
It’s common for a brand new lawn mower to be either shipped to the store or directly to your home without any fluids installed. This eliminates any potential for liquid leakage during shipping. After all, nobody wants to open up their brand new lawn mower and find it covered in oil or that the oil has found its way into places it shouldn’t.
Find the dipstick and check the engine for oil. Check that the lawnmower has the right amount of oil. The engine can stop starting if it has too little or too many oil.
Gas in the Tank
Most people think that gas in the fuel tank should be obvious. However, not everyone is as familiar with lawnmowers. So, like checking the oil, you’ll need to check the fuel tank.
I have never heard of a lawn mower with gas in its tank, unless it was pre-assembled and tested in store. It is unlikely that your mower has gas in its tank if it was shipped directly to you or if it was purchased in-store. Take off the cap on your fuel tank and have a look inside.
Gas Cut-Off Valve
The cut-off valle is another item related to the tank and the gas. The cut-off valve on most lawn mowers stops fuel from flowing out of the tank into the fuel system. Look around the fuel tank and along the fuel lines to find a cut-off valve. You should be able spot these valves easily as they are usually marked.
Depending on your experience with lawnmowers, or if you’re new to them, there are manual chokes and automatic chokes.
If your mower has an auto choke, it will automatically choke the carburetor. But if yours is manual, you’ll need to operate it yourself to get the engine started.
If the choke isn’t used, then cold starting can sometimes be nearly impossible and will usually result in the engine becoming flooded. Once the engine is flooded, it’s never going to start. Take a look at your lawnmower’s carburetor to see if it has a choke.
Bail Lever Off
Bail levers are safety devices which will cut the engine when it is released. These safety devices are not available on all lawn mowers, so be aware that they may not be the same for every mower.
Located on the handlebars, you’ll find one or two levers. Push mowers typically have one lever on their handlebars: The bail lever. Self-propelled lawnmowers have two levers. One is to engage the drive and one is the bail lever.
So, you’ll want to check your lawn mower’s layout and see if it has a bail lever. The engine will never start if you don’t activate the bail lever.
Disconnected Ignition Cable
The spark plug’s ignition cable connects to the ignition cable. This cable brings the ignition coil’s power to energize the spark plug. It’s not uncommon for these to be disconnected on new lawn mowers to prevent any mishaps like the engine from firing up unexpectedly and causing damage and harm.
Without the ignition cable connected, the engine can’t receive a spark and will never fire up. So locate the spark plug and the ignition cable on the engine and make sure that they’re connected.
Battery Charged & Connected
If you have purchased a brand new lawn mower that uses an electric start, then you’ll want to make sure the battery is connected and fully charged. The battery could be disconnected or damaged during shipping. So you want to locate the battery and check first to see if it’s connected.
Next, check that the battery has been fully charged by using a multimeter/battery tester/charger. If the battery is flat or disconnected, then there won’t be any power going to the starter motor, and turning the key won’t do anything.
As simple as it may sound, the reason your brand new lawn mower won’t start could be because of the ON/OFF switch. I’ve done this before where I didn’t turn on my lawn mower, and I thought there was a problem. It turned out, all I had to do was turn it on.
Check to make sure your mower has an ON/OFF switch. If you don’t have your mower switched on, you’ll face the same issues I did, and your mower will not start.
The air filter is the last thing I recommend you check. If the lawn mower came with oil already installed, the oil could have made it into the filter. If a lawnmower is tilted incorrectly, oil could get into the carburetor.
Once the oil has been soaked in the filter, it reduces air flow to the carburetor. In order to work, combustion engines need a precise air-to fuel mixture. So, if the oil has worked its way into the filter, you’ll have a problem starting your engine.
If you look on the lawn mower’s side, you’ll find the air filter housing. I recommend taking off the cover to take a look inside. If you see the air filter is covered in oil, you know why your new lawn mower won’t start.
Easy Fixes for Getting Your Brand New Mower Running
Hopefully, you have run through the list of common reasons why your new mower won’t start and have found the problem. Let’s go over the fixes you’ll need to carry out that will save you from having to return your new lawn mower and get it up and running in no time.
Engine Oil Level
If you have checked your oil level and discovered that it’s either low or even empty, then you will need to fill it to the correct level. It’s possible that some new lawn mowers include oil. So, if there wasn’t any oil in the package, you’ll need to head to the store and grab some.
While you’re at the store, grabbing a funnel would be a good idea, so you don’t make a mess when filling the oil. Once you have the oil in your engine, you can fill it with the oil filler caps. This is the same hole as where you put the dipstick.
Start by pouring the oil into the fill area in small quantities. Next, use the dipstick to check the level. Use the guide at the end to ensure you fill the oil to its correct level.
Gas in the Tank
This one is pretty simple and something you’ll get used to with gas-powered lawn mowers. Find the best place to fill up your gasoline can and then figure out where you’d like to get it. Then, once you get home, all you need to do is add the gas to the lawn mower fuel tank, pop the gas cap back on, and you’re off.
Choking the Engine
If you have discovered that you have a choke on your new lawn mower and weren’t using it, then all you need to do is pull/push it, depending on your mower. The location of the choke on the carburetor should be indicated.
Once the mower is in the right position, you can start it. After the mower is running, wait for a few seconds before turning off the choke.
Engaging the Bail Lever
Bail levers are a device you must use when operating your lawnmower, even when it is being started. You just need to hold the lever and handlebar simultaneously. To start your engine, hold the bail lever, handlebar, and starter cord in one hand. You can then stop the engine by releasing the bail lever as well as the handlebar.
Connecting the Spark plug
If you find the ignition cable disconnected from the spark plug, you’ll need to attach it. Push the ignition cable connector into the spark plug. You should hear a click when the connector is in place. Once the connector is attached, you should find it easy to start the mower.
Connecting the battery
If your battery wasn’t already connected when you received your mower, you will need to grab a couple of tools and make the connection yourself. First, turn off the mower. Next, remove the terminal bolt and nut with a socket wrench or a screwdriver. Next, thread the bolt through both the cable connectors and the terminal connector. Then tighten the bolt and nut very tightly. After the battery is properly connected, it should be able start the engine.
Charging the Battery
If you test your battery and find it dead, you’ll need to charge it. If you don’t already have a charger or the mower doesn’t come with a charger, I recommend you head to the store and purchase one or borrow one from a friend.
Once you get a charger, you need to connect it to the battery’s terminal and set the charger. The charger will ask you to indicate what type of battery it is and how many volts.
The manual should contain all details as the mower is new. There you can also find if it’s recommended that you disconnect the battery first. After the battery has fully charged, the mower should work fine.
The Mower is on
I’m not going to go into too much detail here because all you need to do is switch the mower on. If you forgot to switch on the mower, then it’s not going to start. Don’t worry; I think we all do it sometimes, even more than once.
Change the filter
We have found the solution that may require a new part. It is necessary to replace the lawn mower’s air filter if it has been soaked in oil. It is easy to remove the old filter and install a brand new one. This will allow the air flow into the carburetor to create the air-tofuel mixture that the engine needs to fire up.
To avoid damage to the filter, you can also remove the original filter by wiping it with a paper towel.
If None Of These Things Work…
Finally, if you try all of my fixes and your new mower still won’t start, then I’m afraid it will need to go back to the store. While the fix required may be an easy one that you could probably fix, I don’t recommend it because you need to avoid doing anything that voids your warranty and causes you problems going forwards.