Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies? Problem Solved!

The smell of freshly cut grass is always refreshing. But when you are so ready for the green smell, your lawn mower has another idea—it sputters out after being fired up. If the lawn mower starts then dies, there are several reasons that cause this problem.

Get to know the causes and solutions below.

Dirty the Carburetor

lawn mower starts then dies

When your lawn mower dies soon after you start it, the carburetor is most likely the problem. A carburetor mixes gas and oxygen to create combustion. But when the carburetor is dirty, it results in a combustion issue. Your lawn mower may start up but it dies shortly.

Cleaning the lawn mower carburetor can be the simplest way to fix this issue. Blow it out with an aerosol carburetor cleaner that helps break down carbon contaminations. Be sure to purchase an aerosol cleaner can with a straw for a precise application.

Old Gasoline in the Mower

Old Gasoline in the Mower

Another reason that causes your mower starts then dies is the old gasoline in the mower. When a lawn mower is left unused for a while, the gas inside evaporates and potentially creates a residue. The residue particles clog the internal parts of the mower.

Clogged internal parts restrict gas flow which makes the engine start then die. Solve this problem by adding new gas or refilling the tank to remove impurities. You may also want to add a store-bought fuel stabilizer to prevent residues for two years.

If your lawn mower starts then dies even after you check the carburetor, try this method to fix the issue. But if it doesn’t work, jump to the next solution.

Dirty Spark Plugs

Dirty Spark Plugs Lawn Mower

The spark plugs are essential for the engine’s ignition system. It releases sparks that are used to ignite the mixture of fuel and oxygen. A dirty plug won’t be able to supply sparks that cause ignition failure so your lawn mower starts and dies shortly—even sometimes your engine won’t start at all.

When you suspect the spark plug is the culprit, remove it and clean it manually. Use a wire brush and a cleaner to get rid of build-up. Avoid using a shot-blasting cleaner as it may damage the plug. But if you find the spark plug has a serious carbon residue, replacing can be the best solution.

Too Much Oil in the Reservoir

Too Much Oil in the Reservoir Lawn Mower

When there are no problems with your carburetor and spark plugs but the lawn mower starts then dies, the issue might be caused by too much oil in the reservoir. You may think it is good to overfill the tank but turns out it is not a good idea.

How to tell if your mower’s reservoir has too much oil is quite simple. The engine produces white smoke and it dies shortly after running. When you notice a lot of smoke coming out of the mower, simply drain the tank using a siphon.

Lawn mower starts then dies can be frustrating. Several reasons can cause this problem, such as clogged carburetor and too much oil in the tank but they are relatively easy to fix.

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