Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running? (Starts then Dies?) Fixes

Does your lawn mower start then dies right away? This can be frustrating especially when you have prepared to trim your lawn grass after a long period of time. Let’s get to why your lawn mower won’t stay running and how to fix the problem.

Clogged air filter or carburetor, insufficient or bad fuel in the tank and a problem in the ignition system are main reasons why a lawn mower won’t stay running even after starting well. Proper servicing of your lawn mower and replacement of damaged or worn out engine parts can restore it to normal.

Always refer to your user manual when diagnosing or fixing a lawn mower. Additionally, shut off your lawn mower and disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent it from accidentally starting. For enhanced safety, wear hand gloves, mask and protective eye goggles.

Why Lawn Mower Won’t Stay Running

Without proper care and maintenance, your lawn mower is likely to run into problems. If your lawn mower won’t start or stay running, it is a sign that something somewhere is not working right. I have identified a number of reasons why your lawn mower won’t stay running and possible fixes.

1. Problem with fuel

Insufficient amount of fuel in is what everyone will think about when a lawn mower stalls. This should not be a concern if you just fueled your lawn mower. Fuel is what engines burn to produce power, therefore don’t expect your machine to run without sufficient amount of fuel in the tank.

Bad fuel can also make your lawn mower engine to stop abruptly after starting. Fuel can go bad after a long storage. This happens if you don’t stabilize your lawn mower fuel before storage. The additive prevents the fuel from corroding or gumming up.

Draining your lawn mower fuel tank before storage as some sources suggest is also harmful. The tank becomes open to condensation especially during winter. The moisture droplets will remain in the tank and fuel line and will contaminate any fuel that is added. This can easily bring your engine to its knees.

How to Fix

  • Always check the amount of fuel in the tank before starting your lawn mower engine
  • Stabilize your fuel for long storage of your lawn mower to prevent it from going bad
  • Drain contaminated fuel from your lawn mower and clean the carburetor before refilling the tank.

2. Improper air flow

A lawn mower engine needs clean air to operate. In the carburetor, fuel and air are mixed before directed into the combustion chamber for ignition. Air has to go through a filter so that dust, dirt and debris are trapped by the filter fibers.

Overtime, air filters and carburetor gets clogged from dirt and oil deposits. Without cleaning, this will impair the flow of air into the engine. This will typically cause your lawn mower to die after starting, sputter or not start at all.

How to Fix

3. Ignition system issue

Spark plug are important part of the ignition system. They produce an important spark that ignites the fuel/air mixture for a combustion. Dirty or worn out spark plugs can cause misfires that can lead to engine stalling. Your lawn mower may also have problem starting if spark plugs are bad.

How to Fix

  • On regular clean your lawn mower spark plugs with a wire brush and a recommended cleaner
  • Occasionally replace old or worn out spark plugs with new ones recommended for lawn mower

Additional Ways of enhancing your Mower’s Performance

The following are important maintenance practices for enhancing your lawn mower’s performance and life.

Periodical oil change

You should change lawn mower engine oil on a regular or as directed in the user manual adds power and more life your lawn mower engine. Dirty worn out oil has no ability of protecting the engine from friction and overheating. It is recommended that you change your lawn mower oil after 25 to 50 hours of operation.

Sharpening blades

Always sharpen your lawn mower blades every season. You can do it when storing or at the start of the season. Sharp blades reduce the burden of cutting grass. You will be straining your lawn mower engine if you cut grass with blunt or unsharpened blades.

Clean after use

After using your lawn mower, clean it and store it in a cool dry place. Grass clippings, soil and other dirt can easily corrode your lawn mower parts if not cleaned. Hose the mowing deck and wipe the engine housing with a damp rag.

Winterize for storage

You should winterize your lawn mower before you store it for winter. Stabilize your lawn mower fuel, change oil and store in a clean dry place like a garage or shed. This can also be the right time to clean or replace air filter and spark plugs for a head start when the mowing season arrives.

Final Thought

Lawn mowers are helpful machine in maintaining the beauty of our yards and gardens. If you want to get good performance from your lawn mower without any problems then invest in proper care and maintenance. For any issue that you cannot handle, take your lawn mower to a professional dealer.

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