How to Fix Your Lawn Mower and Find the Best One to Buy
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How to Fix Your Lawn Mower and Find the Best One to Buy

If you have a problem with your lawn/yard mower/tractor then this guide has the answers, knowledge, and how to to get the job done. Engine will not crank, Battery is weak or dead, Blown Fuse, Engine cranks but will not start, No fuel in Carburetor, Spark plug wire disconnected, spark plug fouled or faulty, Dirty air filter, Engine smoke, Engine loses crankcase vacuum, Engine breather is defective, excessive vibration and many many more inside! See Troubleshooting guide.

There are many popular manufacturer's of Lawn Mowers and it's not too trouble-some to fix them promptly by following a few simple steps below.

Tools that you will need: 

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  •  Flathead screwdriver
  • Socket or Wrench set
  • Allen Wrenches
  • WD-40

Lawn & Garden Tractor: Troubleshooting

Trouble, Possible Causes, and Corrective actions

Engine will not crank Safety switch button not depressed Be sure deck is disengaged all the way, parking brake is engaged and operator is sitting on the seat.Battery is installed incorrectly

  • The battery must be installed with negative terminal attached to black ground wire

  •  Negative is identified by "NEG" "N" or "-" The positive terminal "POS" "P" or "+" must be attached to the big red wire which goes to the solenoid.
  • Charge battery fully before installing.

Battery is weak or dead

  • Check fluid level in battery.
  • If fluid is low, fill to just below split rings with water.
  • Charge battery fully

Blown fuse

  • Replace with an automotive type fuse.
  • Check for loose connections in fuse box, bare wires, and pinched wires.Loose engine ground wire Engine should have a black ground wire running from engine to frame or mounting bolt.

Engine cranks but will not start

  • Throttle or choke not in starting position Check operator's manual for correct position for throttle control and choke for starting.

No fuel in carburetor

  • Gasoline tank is empty. Fill tank with fresh gasoline.
  • Fuel line or filter is blocked with dirt or debris.
  • Clean fuel line.
  • Replace fuel filter.

Spark plug wire disconnected, spark plug fouled or faulty.

  • Connect spark plug wire.
  • Check with spark plug tester.
  • Clean and set gap to proper setting.
  • Replace spark plug.

Dirty air filter

  • Clean or replace air filter.

Engine smokes

  • Engine oil is overfilled
  • Check oil level

Engine loses crankcase vacuum

  • Dipstick not seated properly or is broken.
  • Replace defective part.

Engine breather is defective

  • Replace engine breather.

Excessive vibration

  • Bent or damaged blade, pulley, or spindle.
  • Replace blade, pulley, or spindle.

Belt is damaged

  • Replace belt

Engine mounting bolt loose or missing

  • Tighten mounting bolt or replace bolt.

Engine is running at low RPM's

  • Make sure engine is at full throttle.

Cutting deck is not adjusted properly

  • Adjust deck

Dirt and debris built up under deck

  • Clean under deck after each use

Mower discharges, bags or mulches grass poorly

  • Engine speed is low
  • Make sure engine is running at full throttle.

Grass is wet or very tall

  • Cut when grass is dry.
  • Cut at high setting then cut again at desired height.

Ground speed is too fast

  •  Use slower ground speed. The slower you go the better the quality of cut

Incorrect blades or dull blades

  • Make sure the correct blades are used and are on properly.
  • Sharpen or replace blades.

Mower will not cut in reverse

  • Safety switch
  • It is a safety feature.
  •  You must disengage cutting deck before putting mower in reverse.

Additional resources:

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