Q&A / 

Lawn Mower Quick Start Guide


Yeah, I’m sure you know all about lawn mowers. You push them or ride them and cut the grass. But that’s ONLY if they START.

When was the last time you cursed like an old salt of a sailor because your mower failed to start?

Gum and varnish build-up inside a small engine carburator will eventually lead to problems. Photo Credit: Briggs & Stratton.

Gum and varnish build-up inside a small engine carburetor will eventually lead to problems. Photo Credit: Briggs & Stratton.

Guess what? My lawn mowers and small engines start ALL the time within two pulls. How? See below!

What's more (no pun intended), I've never had to take any of my mowers to a repair shop with an engine issue. It's all because of the advice I offer in the Tips below.

Watch the video below unless you’ve come here from YouTube having already watched my video.

Be sure to look at the RELATED CONTENT links at the bottom of this page. Lots of goodies there for you.



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  • When was the last time you changed the oil in the lawn mower? Do it! NOW!
  • Change the oil after every 50 hours of operation or at the end of the season.
  • Always use fuel stabilizer in your gasoline. ALWAYS. Buy top-of-the-line product.
  • When not using the mower, start it once a month. SET AN ALARM in your calendar.
  • Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug and put it back on. Do this THREE times. This ensures a good electrical connection. If you see corrosion, on the spark plug or the end of the wire, brush it off. Thanks to Wayne Foscue for this tip!
  • Be SURE you're using the correct fuel that's required by the manufacturer. Your mower may run better on gasoline that does NOT contain ethanol. Some stations do sell gasoline that is ethanol-free. There is a web site called pure-gas.org that has a list of over 10,000 locations, broken down by states or provinces, that sell pure, ethanol-free gas.
  • Starting the mower or small engine regularly helps keep stabilized fuel in the carburetor. 
  • Keeping fresh fuel in the carburetor is the KEY to having the engine start every time.
  • Change the spark plug every two years.
  • Check air filter and clean it every 60 days unless you are in very dusty conditions. Then check and clean it every month.
  • Celebrate your Victory!

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The following video is NOT about fuel stabilizers or how to maintain a lawn mower. I've not taped that video yet.  This video is about some cool lawn mowers!

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6 Responses to Lawn Mower Quick Start Guide

  1. Hey Paul,
    The second year after I bought my John Deere lawn tractor, the engine would cut out after approximately a half hour of use. After a few trips to the dealer who replaced everything but the engine, I finally bought the Sea Foam fuel stabilizer recommended by the man at John Deere. I now add Sea Foam to the fuel which is going to sit in the tractor or any other piece of equipment I own and it starts every time. It's a great product.

  2. Hi there - great idea - but I had difficulty opening up the site of the mower video about having the mower start easily - ??? I have not got my mower in the storage shed - the snow it early in the fall and it's been in the shed area ever since. Oh, spring - where are you?

  3. I do all of these procedures but in addition, at the end of the mowing season, I run the mower until the gas tank is dry before storing it for the winter.

  4. I have always been impressed with B&S 4 st. and have always had one old as a stand by. The Chinese have come up with new models 4 st. with a catcher but sometimes I prefer a Mulcher and this has always worked fine as I have a Greenfield Mini Mow Ride on now to do my large front and it does it well with no catcher. Raking it if needed that I leave for a few days of sun shine and than it only takes a short time and all is well for a deserved drink and inspection. Some mechanical challenges I do myself but I also have reliable Mower shop Experts if needed, so I never upset them just in case, be friendly is my Motto!

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