Simple Lawnmower Maintenance
By Mark Donovan
you have trouble starting your lawnmower up in the spring? Before
deciding to take your lawnmower in for repair, try these few simple
suggestions. After completing them most of the time your lawnmower
will fire up and run like a champ.
and clean the Spark Plug
of the time simply cleaning the spark plug will solve your lawnmower
woes. To do this, disconnect the wire attached to the end of the
spark plug. Then using a wrench or a Ratchet/Socket, remove the
spark plug. If the spark plug is black or wet looking, you have
probably found your problem on why the lawnmower is not starting.
fine grit sandpaper, sand the top of the spark plug down to bare
metal. Make sure you sand all around the edges of the piece of
metal (tab) that sits just above the electrode. Make sure that
there is a gap between the metal tab and the electrode. If you
still have the lawnmower manual and a feeler gauge you can adjust
the gap to the specifications. However, if there is a small gap
it is probably sufficient for the spark plug to operate correctly.
sure the spark plug is free of dust and dry. Then screw it back
into the cylinder and connect back the wire to the end of the
spark plug. Then try starting the lawn mower.
sure there is oil in the lawnmower and that it is at the proper
sure there is gas in the lawn mower. If you have old gas in the
lawnmower and did not put in a fuel stabilizer at the end of the
season, replace the gas. If you had drained the gas tank at the
end of the previous season, then fill the tank at least half full
with new gas.
the Fuel Line
many of us, at the end of the previous lawn mowing season we turn
off the fuel line switch. Make sure it is in the on position.
If you have done all of the above and the engine will not fire,
then check to see if the fuel is getting to the carburetor. Temporarily
disconnect the fuel hose from the carburetor and see if gas pours
out. If so reconnect the hose. If not, then check the fuel line.
It may be gummed up or the fuel filter is clogged.
the Air Filter
sure the Air Filter is clean. If it is dirty and oily then replace
it. If it just dirty shake it and knock out some of the dust.
This may solve your problem; however I would still recommend replacing
turn off the fuel line. Disassembling and cleaning the carburetor
is not as bad as you may think. Usually there is a nut on the
underside of the carburetor. Remove this and pull the bottom portion
of the carburetor off. Clean the inside of this lower portion
of the carburetor and then make sure the float valve moves up
and down freely. The float valve is a plastic object about 1.5”
in diameter that hangs down when you remove the lower portion
of the carburetor.
the lower portion of the carburetor and turn on the fuel line
restarting the lawnmower. If it still does not work after performing
all of these procedures, then take it to a repair shop. However,
from personal experience these procedures usually solve the problem.
make sure you sharpen the blade. This will ensure you minimize
the torque on the engine while cutting the grass. Not to mention,
your lawn will get a more even cut.
the past 20+ years Mr. Donovan has been involved with building
homes and additions to homes. His projects have included: building
a vacation home, building additions and garages on to existing
homes, and finishing unfinished homes. Mr. Donovan's formal education
and profession have been as an Electrical Engineer and Marketing