Lawn mower starts then dies? This is how you fix it

lawn mower starts then dies

There are very few things in the world more annoying than when your lawn mower starts then dies. You have to stop what you’re doing and try to figure out the problem just to get a little bit of yard work done. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to troubleshoot lawn mowers and be up and running in no time. 

Common problems with lawn mower brands

The first thing you have to consider when your lawn mower won’t stay running are the common problems that you run into with most lawn mower brands. Most people have issues with their lawn mower after they haven’t used it for a while, like the first time they break it out after a long winter. As a result, your lawn mower can develop some problems during idle times and need a little coaxing to start properly again.

Some of the most common issues you’ll encounter relate to the fuel and the carburetor. If your carburetor is full of gunk, you’ll want to get a socket set and some carburetor cleaner to get rid of all of the buildups. You can get both of these items at virtually any hardware store. Carburetor issues are one of the primary reasons why your lawn mower starts then stops because they prohibit the lawn mower from getting the fuel it needs to stay on.

You’ll also want to look at the air filter and spark plug. Sometimes your spark plug can get damp during the winter, rendering it ineffective. Remove it, clean it, and allow it to dry thoroughly. You’ll also want to change the fuel for good measure. Sometimes old fuel can cause internal issues in your lawn mower and even damage it further.

Make sure that you put fresh fuel in your lawn mower, and you should be in business in no time. 

lawnmower starts then stops

Craftsman lawn mower starts then dies

Craftsman is one of the top lawn mower brands on the planet, but even these great models can have some issues when it comes to running correctly. For example, if your lawn mower starts then stops after a few minutes, you likely have a clogged carburetor. Carburetors regulate air and fuel flow within the lawn mower, so it’s imperative that they’re clean and obstruction-free.

Carburetors generally get clogged up when you leave old fuel in the mower for an extended period of time. So if you try to fire up your Craftsman after the winter and find that your lawn mower won’t stay on, it’s probably because old fuel got into the carburetor during the long winter and caused it to malfunction.

Fortunately, it’s easy to clean your carburetor. Simply invest in some carburetor cleaner from your local hardware store, and remember to change your gas more frequently. Most of the time, gas is only suitable for a month or so. So if you don’t use all of your gas before 30 days, or if you’re putting your Craftsman lawn mower away for the winter, flush out your gas.  

Toro lawn mower won’t stay running

There could be plenty of reasons why your Toro lawn mower won’t stay running. The most likely culprit is a problem with the combustion process, specifically an obstruction that prevents gas or air from circulating within the machine. There could also be an issue with your Toro’s spark plug.

Toros tend to be particularly susceptible to moisture in their engines. If your engine is wet, you’ll find that your lawn mower sputters and dies. Fortunately, there is a relatively easy fix for this common problem. Remove all of the gas from your tank, flush it out, and put in fresh gas.

If changing the gas doesn’t work, try looking at the fuel filter. Sometimes if you leave your lawn mower dormant for too long with old gas in it, debris can clog up the carburetor and fuel filter. Simply swap out your fuel filter, give the carburetor a good cleaning, and you should be back in business.

If your lawn mower shuts off suddenly, you might have a problem with your spark plug. Occasionally, you can dry and repair wet spark plugs, but sometimes you need to replace them. You can get a new spark plug for your Toro lawn mower from any authorized Toro dealer or online. 

troubleshoot lawn mowers

Husqvarna lawn mower won’t stay on

If your Husqvarna lawn mower starts then dies, you might be looking at either an electrical or mechanical shortcoming. If you’re firing up your Husqvarna right after the end of winter, you might find that your riding lawn mower runs for a while then dies, which can cause significant problems if you’re trying to mow a larger piece of land.

The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your parking brake is properly off. Husqvarnas will not start properly if the parking brake is on. If the brake is fully off, it’s time to drill down into what the issue could be. One of the primary reasons why your riding lawn mower starts then dies is damage to the drive belt. Replacing the belt will undoubtedly solve the problem. You can get good replacement parts at any authorized Husqvarna dealer. 

You might also be looking at an electrical issue. Husqvarna riding lawn mowers use Operator Presence System to avoid accidents and malfunctions. Although the vast majority of the time, this works in your favor and keeps you safe, it can experience some dysfunction if your electric sensors are off. Husqvarnas are designed to stop when you leave the driver’s seat. If the wiring is bad, the machine might stop suddenly, even when you’re in the seat.

Unfortunately, unlike many of the common problems on our list, electrical issues aren’t as easy to fix. If you suspect that this is the problem, take it to your authorized Husqvarna dealer. Keep your Husqvarna riding mower happy and running like a dream by keeping the carburetor clean and replacing the gas every thirty days. Make sure that you drain the gas fully before putting your lawn mower away for the winter.

These tips can also apply to other riding lawn mowers. If your John Deere riding mower keeps stalling, follow the same advice that you would use for Husqvarna, and take it into the dealership if you suspect an electrical issue.

lawn mower won t stay on

Other possible reasons why your lawn mower won’t stay running

There are a few major reasons why your lawn mower won’t stay running properly. You might have an issue with old or gunky fuel, your carburetor could be blocked or dirty, or the ignition could be compromised somehow. Cleaning your carburetor, changing your gasoline, and swapping out your air filters will probably do the trick. Additionally, you might need to clean or replace your spark plugs.

In the case of riding mowers, your power brake might be activated, or you could have an electrical issue. While most of these problems are ones that you can solve at home, never attempt anything too complex that you feel is beyond your ability. Lawn mowers are expensive pieces of equipment, and if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you might exacerbate the problem.

lawn mower shuts off

Lawn mower starts then dies

It can be exceptionally frustrating to have a malfunctioning lawn mower. You might be asking yourself, “why does my lawn mower only run for a few seconds then die?” A very common cause is fuel contamination. When you leave fuel for too long in your lawn mower, it can evaporate and get sticky. This gunky, leftover fuel gets into your fuel line and carburetor, rendering them ineffective and unable to move air and fuel around the inside of your mower.

Additionally, if your lawn mower’s interior gets wet, it could develop internal condensation, damaging the spark plug or the air filters. Condensation is one of the leading reasons why your lawn mower doesn’t work properly, especially after a long winter.

Make sure that you totally drain your fuel and clean your lawn mower before putting it away for the winter. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep your lawn mower in a dry, relatively warm spot to discourage internal condensation and keep it safe until spring. 

You should also make a point to change the air filter regularly. Air filters are inexpensive, you can get them anywhere, and they’re relatively easy to swap out. Simply changing the air filter will keep your lawn mower running more effectively and stave off bigger problems down the road.

lawn mower won't stay running

Conclusion

For the most part, you should be able to fix your lawn mower at home. Usually, problems come down to just a few root causes, and you can take preventative measures to ensure that your lawn mower is safely stored moving forward. To avoid major headaches, check your lawn mower before taking it out, especially after a long winter.

Check the air filter, spark plug, and fill it with fresh, clean gas. This will give you some peace of mind and ensure that your lawn mower runs smoothly without stalling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my lawn mower stay running?

There are a few major reasons why your lawn mower won’t stay running properly. One of which is a blocked carburetor. By cleaning the carburetor your lawn mower should work like before. If this isn’t the case then here you’ll find the issue.

Why won’t my Toro lawn mower stay running ?

Toros tend to be particularly susceptible to moisture in their engines. If you find your lawn mower having a wet engine, this might be the cause for it to not run. Luckily there are easy ways to fix this, which you’ll find here