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Troubleshooting a Gas Mower

Avoid the lawn mower repair bills with some simple problem-solving

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Troubleshooting a Gas Mower
photo © Jamie Burke
Here are some common scenarios that may happen to a gas powered lawn mower and how to resolve them.

Problem

Engine will not start

Solution

Check the gas level; make sure the switch is on, if applicable, make sure the primer button has been pushed; make sure the spark plug wire is connected

Problem

Engine is straining

Solution

Blade may need to be sharpened; grass may be too long, raise the height and go slower

Problem

Engine is flooded

Solution

Put throttle in the stop position; pull the starter rope several times; wait five minutes, turn throttle on and try to start machine again

Problem

Engine is revving

Solution

Air filter may be dirty; remove filter and tap the filter side on the ground to remove any debris; replace filter if it doesn't tap clean

Problem

Excessive grass buildup on blade

Solution

Grass can accumulate under the deck and impede the blade's movement; turn mower over and remove grass using scraper or screwdriver

Problem

Exhaust is smoking

Solution

Usually indicates a problem with the carburetor like a bad valve or filter; take mower to a repair shop for a tune-up/repairs

Problem

Engine has difficulty starting

Solution

Check spark plug, clean spark plug with a wire brush; it may be necessary to change the spark plug

Related Video
Lawn Care: Fixing Bare Patches
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