The grass is getting too long and is in desperate need of a haircut. It’s time to pull out the mower and do the weekend lawn mow. You have checked there is fuel and the blades are sharp, so you are ready to pull the cord. One pull, two pulls… ten frustrated pulls (insert expletives of choice here) later, sweat dripping and it still won’t start!

Your lawn mower needs air, fuel, and a spark. Without one of these components your engine will never start.

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help get your lawn mower started…


The first reason, hopefully you have already covered, is if you have fuel. If there is, how long has it been in there for? You might find the fuel is old and needs replacing, especially if the mower hasn’t been used very often through winter. Fuel that has been left in a mower too long can become destabilised.

Has the primer bulb been pressed? (if there is one) The primer bulb helps fill the carburettor with the right amount of fuel pulling it through the fuel line. If your primer bulb isn’t creating proper suction it may need to be replaced.

Spark Plug

Check the spark plug lead is firmly attached to the spark plug and the spark plug is screwed in tightly. The spark plug may have failed and need replacing. You can test if it is still working or simply replace it to rule it out as the problem.

Air Filter

Check the air filter isn’t dirty. A dirty air filter cannot provide the right amount of air flow into the mixture, which will cause your engine to splutter as it struggles to find air.

Hopefully this provides a solution and your lawn mower starts! If not, it might be worth taking it down to your local lawn mower shop and getting them to give it the once over for more technical problems.