Riding Lawn Mower Turns Over But Won’t Start: What Should You Do?

Dealing with a problematic riding lawn mower can be frustrating, especially if you do not have an idea on what seems to be the problem. A lot of people will resort to calling a professional repairman and pay for repair services to address the issue. Nonetheless, there are situations wherein troubleshooting can be done on your own.

Among others, one unfortunate situation that can confront you is when riding lawn mower turns over but won’t start. The good news is that you can fix it yourself. If you have no idea on how to do this, read the rest of this guide and we’ll let you know exactly what you have to do.

Riding Lawn Mower won't Start

Possible Problems and Solutions

Even if you have the best riding lawn mower and regardless if you are already an expert in operating such an equipment, it is inevitable that there are problems that you can experience. In this case, the following are some of the issues that you need to look at and some of the ways to deal with it the best way possible:

  • The most common problem is the fuel of the lawn mower. Chances are, it is already dirty and stale, which prevents it from burning. The quality of the fuel is also a vital consideration. You might want to consider an additive that can boost octane.
  • You also need to inspect the fuel filter. The main purpose of the latter is to screen sediments and impurities from gas. Over time, it can experience clogging. This will prevent the gas from flowing to the carburetor, which can hinder the engine from starting.
  • Aside from the fuel, the problem can also be with the oil. See to it that the level of oil is just right. If it is too little or too much, the motor of the riding lawn mower will not start.
  • It is also possible that the source of the problem is the battery. While batteries are typically long-lasting, there are no warning signs that they are already going dead. See to it that it has enough juice to function. In some cases, you might need to change the battery to make the mower function.
  • Take a look at the air filter and make sure that it is clean. For the engine to keep running, there should be air flow in the carburetor. A damaged or dirty filter will disrupt the flow of the air, which prevents the riding lawn mower from starting.
  • Problems with the spark plugs can also be the culprit for this unfortunate situation. If they are damaged, you will need a replacement. Nonetheless, there are also instances wherein they are just loose and you need to push them back firmly.
  • The mower deck may also have dirt and grime. Soil or grass clippings, among others, may get stuck on the surface. They get harder through time. With this, turn off the engine, take off the spark plugs, and clean the mower deck to be sure that it is free from dirt.

If a riding lawn mower turns over but won’t start, follow our suggestions above, and for sure, it will not take long before you are ready to work. It may be a frustrating situation, but with a bit of an effort to spare, you can resolve the issue even without a helping hand.


  1. Ben longer September 16, 2018
  2. Chris S August 9, 2019

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