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What Causes A Lawn Mower Not To Move? Find Out Here!

Written by Kirsten
Last Updated on February 22, 2021

Why Is My Lawnmower Not Moving?

If your lawnmower is becoming difficult to start, the thought of figuring out what the issue is in these complicated pieces of machinery can be overwhelming and difficult.

Your lawnmower might not be moving due to cold weather, bad fuel or a faulty spark plug. Valves and fuel can be sensitive to temperature change in cold climates, so you will need to eliminate all these issues before figuring out why a lawnmower is hard to start. 

To help you out, with listed out some common start-up issues below to understand why your lawnmower might be hard to start and how to fix it.

Here Are Some Reasons Why It Could Be Hard To Start

Investing in a high-quality lawnmower, only to find after a couple of years its hard to start can be a disappointing problem.

However, most of these issues can be solved and repaired easily, so we will list a few of the common issues below to see if they can solve the

difficult start-up on your mower.

The Fuel

One of the first things to check on your mower if your experiencing problems starting it is the fuel.

First of all, make sure the fuel tank in your mower has enough fuel, yes, some people can try to start a mower without fuel and wonder why it's not starting (we know).

Also, ensure the gas in your mower is not old, gas nowadays can go bad in about 60 days, so if your getting your mower out of storage then you might have a 'gone bad' gas problem. This can be fixed by using a stabiliser in future and replacing this gas with fresh fuel.

You should additionally make sure the fuel has no debris in it as this can be sucked into the gas line and cause issues when trying to start the engine of your mower.

Double Check The Spark Plug

It's very common for the spark plug of your mower to give start-up issues if it is damaged or not fitted correctly.

You can try applying starter fluid to the spark plug, giving it a clean and checking if all the wires are connected properly to fix a bad spark plug.

If you think there is no spark on your mower then you should use a spark plug tester to see if a spark is occurring or not in your model and be replacing the plugs every year to avoid issues like this from happening.

Look At The Carburettor

After checking the fuel in your mower and the spark plug, the next thing you need to check is if fuel is getting from these places to the Carburettor on your mower.

The carburettor of your mower may be clogged from old fuel and sticky substance, you should make sure the fuel cap vent of your mower is open and the screen is clear of any debris.

To double-check if your carburettor on your mower is working you can place a teaspoon of fuel down the spark plug of your machine, retighten and start your mower.

If the engine runs then your carburettor might need a repair.

The Ignition

Always check your ignition is on and your spark plug wire is attached properly to the plug, additionally make sure your safety features are disengaged as they could be preventing the smooth start-up of your mower.

It's Cold

If you live in a cold climate, then temperature could be a reason why you are having a hard time starting your mower.

Temperature can affect the oil in your mower, making it of a thicker consistency when it is cold. Try changing your oil to a more suitable temperature grade one and seeing if this will help your lawnmower start-up.

Your valve may have also changed size from cold/hot conditions, this would need to be repaired and troubleshot by a professional.

The Air Filter

Lastly, the air filter in your lawnmower could potentially be clogged up, preventing your mower from starting, you could try cleaning any dirt and debris off your filter or replacing it entirely to fix this.

How To Maintain Your Lawnmower In The Best Way

We hate to say it, but most problems relating to difficult start-up in your lawnmower could be due to improper care or lack of maintenance on the mower to keep it in a good shape.

So to make it simple, with listed out some helpful maintenance tips for your mower below so as you can take the best care possible of your model.

  • Step One - Before cleaning your mower or doing any kind of repairs/ maintenance you need to make sure you remove the spark plug. This will stop any accidental start-ups of your machine which could be dangerous.
  • Step Two - Tip your mower over or put it on stilts so as you can get to the underneath, you should always be careful when tipping your mower according to the type of model you have. For four-stroke mowers, you should remove the air filter and never tip it on the side of the spark plug towards the ground. In two-stroke models, you can tip the mower anyway as long as fuel is not spilling.
  • Step Three - Check the blade of your machine and make sure it is sharp and clear of debris after use.
  • Step Four - Always check the air filter of your mower at this stage and see if it needs changing or cleaning.
  • Step Five - If you have a four-stroke model, change the oil if needed, this should be done about once a year.
  • Step Six - When storing your mower away for a long time after use put a fuel stabiliser or run your mower till the fuel tank is empty to avoid any stale fuel problems occurring at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions About Why a Lawnmower Is Hard To Start

Why can't I pull my lawnmower with enough strength?

Hydro locking, chipped blades or a bad recoil spring could make your mower hard to start, most of these issues can be resolved but you may have to replace the crankshaft entirely if they don't work.

My mower is always harder to start when it's cold, why is this?

Lawnmowers that use the oil can be hard to start when it's cold as the temperature effects the consistency of the oil within the mower, making it thicker and requiring more effort to start-up.

How often should I change the air filter on my mower?

This depends on the quality of the air filter you are using in your lawnmower and its condition, this could be every month to once a year if you don't use your mower often.

Final Words

With the reasons above, you should be able to pinpoint why your mower is hard to start and how to fix it. You should always try to store your mower in the best way possible to avoid some of these issues occurring and keep on top of maintenance too.

About the author
Written by Kirsten
Kirsten Carter is a freelance content writer who specialises in writing about travel, technology and health. When she's not traveling between her home of Tanzania and England, she writes for her blog Rightminded Travelling and features on a variety of different travel and technology sites.
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