Lets Save Ourselves !

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RIDING MOWERS:   because of the so many various types I just give a basic overview of how to fix basic problems.

  Won't Start:  check gas, oil, battery must be full (ie 13v) , is motor turning but not starting? 

if so, then clean all battery terminals until bright copper look with wire brush or sand paper or wire brush wheel on drill (preferred).

from battery thru relay thru start switch to starter itself.  check ground cable clean and bright. 

 If starter still not turning , use car jump start cable to go directly from battery to starter positve and negative, if it won't turn, then 

starter may be bad.   If starter turns now, then either relay or start switch is bad. or wiring in between.   

     IF Starter turns motor but it won't start refer to pull rope start methods above.  If it starts with ignition coil ground wire off, then 

its probably a bad wire (chaffed thru and shorting on engine housing or frame of mower) OR sensor switch bad (seat safety cutoff,

gear shift cutoff, blade cutoff clutch/brake cutoff, etc.  sometimes if you pull on blade handle while turning start key it will contact

enough to start mower.   BEWARE:  craftsman and possibley others have a secret hidden switch within inside normal switch to prevent

jumper wiring the seat switch (makes it hard. to isolate).     Best of luck ! 


 ***    B.  if riding mower starter turns motor but it won't start and Ignition is proven good for spark, then its fuel system and refer to 

push mower fuel system methods above (1.)    (water in tank, fuel filter clogged, flooded (too rich, adjust choke and/or needle valve 

adjust screw on bottom of carb, rebuild carb, air filter too dirty (take off and see if it runs without air filter only as a check (never run mower for long without 

air filter or it will ruin you engine), fuel line bad or wrong type (disintegrates so little bits of rubber clog carb ports, ), you can try blowing

out jets of carb with air, (take carb off and make sure float is not full of gas (sometimes floats get a hole in them and keep engine 

too rich (flooded), make sure float valve works correctly (hold carb upright and blow thru gas intake with no gas in carb bowl, should pass air , now turn

carb upside down and blow again, it should not pass air as float now is closing float valve.. )  rebuild carb as last rsort, tighen  check all gaskets and seals))) LawnMower Tips

Catalyst event: ignition coil installed upside down --> no spark. 

 TIP:   when checking for problems and rope pull housing is off, an cordless or electric hand drill with a large socket can (spark plug OUT) turn the engine very nicely to the 350rpms needed to produce a spark, saving you the tedium of putting the rope housing on & off so over and over as you check for what is the problem (you'll need a socket adapter to allow the socket to fit the drill (either 1/2" or 3/8ths " larger socket type. )  Maybe a spark plug socket would fit some types using this method.  DON'T use impact driver as it doesn't seem to spin it fast enough, although an air impact might do it ?  With socket on drill and socket in place on large nut on top of engine start slowly and speed up to full speed and look for spark with SPARK PLUG OUT of engine so it turns easier. The large nut is probably about 1" - 1.25" typically. 

Lawn Mower won't start

1. Pull rope types:

  A.  Check fuel system by spraying starting fluid or carb cleaner into carburetor intake (take of air cleaner first of course).

     Make sure its on, and fuel valve if equipped is open, and choke is open fully if equipped, pull rope firmly 5 times and see if

     at least starts for a second or so.  If it starts briefly the problem is in the fuel system 

      1. Check gas is full and no water in tank, fuel line is clear, if it has the push bulb type of primer push it and see if gas appears

      in carb opening or smell of gas.   If so, it may be flooded or carb float is sticking; if not you may need to rebuild carb. 

     Check for loose screws on carb mounting to engine, or loose or cracked intake manifold *yes some types of Briggs engines have a tube that goes from carb to intake valve area on engine cylinder head area, some of these newer intake manifold (tube like) things are so fragile that they break like a potato chip (if anyone has access to B&S ceo ask him to force it back to aluminum, best other bet is to get one from a used mower or perhaps a used one online like ebay possibly, the older light grey plastic was alot better than the newer blackish super fragile types (do they do this to force us to buy new mowers?) .  The best types would be aluminum rumored to be original type.  Worst case: try using JBWeld past to patch it and even possibly use part of a dollar tree mop metal handle to replace the tube portion and JBWeld the tube to the mounting interface bracket (measure carefully to make sure the carb and carb bracket and any "O" rings and/or gaskets will still fit it after it dries 24 hours).   BEWARE:  OEM (Original equipment manufacturer )  does not necessarily mean original but is rampantly used to mean similar to OEM which means it can be and sometimes is rubbish/garbage.   ie:  mower belts : always use only the real OEM specs for all belts on riding mowers as the OEM knockoffs are mostly not as thick and causes slipping and other irritating issues.  etc. Most times other than belts its not a problem but......`

Check *** riding mower carb methods B. 


  B.  Check ignition system ***DANGER***  by taking out spark plug and laying it on the block of the engine and pulling rope ****DANGER***** (BEWARE ITS

36,000 volts and WILL SHOCK YOU, USE RIGHT ARM  for all ignition procedures and wear rubber sole shoes as the heart

is on the left !!! ) , see if there is a blue spark; if not try another spark plug and check spark plug for cracks in porceline or fouled with oil or other . If new

    spark plug does not solve it, check cable to spark plug. *You can also try a timing light to assist in determining if there is

    a spark coming thru.  You have to give as hard a pull on the rope witihout breaking the rope as you can to get a good 

    spark.    Reset spark plug gap a tiny bit closer to help the spark jump the gap (in cases of weak ignition systems this can help). 

      1. If this fails to solve the ignition problem, take off the pull rope housing and take off the small grounding wire from the ignition

    coil (armature), its usually black and there is most always only 1 small wire coming from the ignition coil which is used to short out the coil to stop the spark

BEWARE !!!!   make sure fuel supply is shut off or tank empty BEFORE you try checking because if the spark plug is installed and the mower starts you 

can't shut it off with normal on/off switch and may have to try to smother the engine by putting your hand over the carb intake

 to starve it of air, or choke it so fully with choke if equipped to flood the engine with too rich a mixture so it will quit running that way; So make sure plug is out or fuel is off or empty. 

   Now try again to check for spark, if good, then the problem is in the on/off switch or the black grounding wire from ignition coil to on/off switch (maybe has worn place or cut in the wire).  


or use alligator clip wire to ground plug to engine block or use insulated pliers and wear rubber sole shoes and don't touch any

metal part of mower with other hand (you see the spark may try to go thru your hand and body (possibly across the heart) and

could cause a fatal heart attack, rare yes, possible also yes). 

  If you still have no spark, then check the magnet on the flywheel by seeing if it will hold a screwdriver with the magnetism

(only one side of the flywheel is magnetized the other side looks like magnets but really its just counterweights to balance the

flywheel).  IF magnetism is good, then reset the ignition coil gap (a business card works well for correct gap).   If this fails to

produce a spark turn the coil over and install it the other side up (sometimes people install the coil upside down as its not

obvious that there is any difference which way its installed); try to get a spark again with correct gap reset again with business

card (gap is between flywheel magnet area and the ignition coil).    

    If all of this fails, try another coil  making sure the small black grounding wire is not connected (and fuel is off or empty or

spark plug is not installed or mower will keep running until you smother the carb opening with your hand or choke it all the way

to cause a over rich mixture "flooded" condition to stop engine.  BE SURE TO PUT THE GROUNDING cutout WIRE BACK ON BEFORE TRYING TO START MOWER 

or it will keep running . 

 Also as an aside make sure OIL IS FULL (put some in , wait 5 min for oil to settle, then recheck,  Oil should be checked at every

time anyone uses mower to insure that the engine is not ruined with low or no oil. 

 repeat until full .



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