My Lawn Mower Won't Start: Snapper® Mower Maintenance

As the spring and summer seasons arrive, it’s prime time for outdoor fun with family, friends and neighbors. With backyard barbecues, pool parties and yard games on the mind, you pull your Snapper® mower’s starter rope only to find that your lawn mower won’t start. Don’t let frustration get you down because there are plenty of simple fixes that may get you mowing in no time. Read on to find out how to troubleshoot common lawn mower problems.

Note: Snapper recommends checking your lawn mower operator manual before performing any lawn mower maintenance or repairs.

Lawn Mower Gas: Is Your Fuel Fresh?

Gas problems are some of the most common problems with lawn mowers and lawn mower engines.

Is the fuel tank empty?

napper mowers need fuel to run! Fill the gas tank with unleaded gasoline; if the engine is still hot, wait at least 2 minutes until it has cooled before filling the tank.

Is the fuel fresh?

Does your lawn mower start and then quickly stall out? Fuel begins deteriorating the moment you gas up your mower engine. If the fuel is over 30 days old and untreated, siphon out, and replace with fresh gas that you have treated with a fuel preserver (also called fuel stabilizer.)

This Old House suggests only keeping a 1 or 2 gallon container of fuel around to discourage keeping old fuel around your garage or tool shed.

Once you’ve completed your lawn mower gas inspection, be sure to check the oil in your lawn mower to ensure that it is filled to the dipstick’s “full” line before starting your mower.

Mower Carburetor Problems

Along with fuel, carburetor problems frequently plague lawn mowers’ small engines.

Is the lawn mower engine flooded?

Sometimes using your nose is the best judge! A flooded engine will reek of unburned gas. Park the mower on a flat surface and wait for the gas to evaporate—this should take about 15 minutes. Try starting your Snapper lawn mower again with the choke off.

Lawn Mower Ignition Problems

Has the lawn mower spark plug gone bad?

Spark plugs are an easy, inexpensive part and should be replaced regularly, along with oil and air filters. Remove the spark plug; clean the contact or replace the plug.

Purchase new spark plugs from Briggs & Stratton’s online parts store or your area Snapper lawn mower dealer.

Is the spark plug lead bad?

Test the lead with a spark tester, and then test the lawn mower engine.

Flywheel Key

Is the flywheel key damaged? Did the engine stop suddenly after striking an object?

If your lawn mower stopped working abruptly after bumping into a rock, tree stump, or other obstacle, the flywheel key may be sheared. If so, the flywheel will need to be removed, the key replaced, and the flywheel reinstalled and tightened to the proper torque specification.

Find your Snapper dealer to address this.

My Mower Won’t Start… Still!

If your lawn mower won’t start after checking the oil, gas, carburetor and spark plugs, your Snapper lawn mower might have a bigger issue. To diagnose and receive expert service, visit an authorized Snapper mower dealer

Do you want to try your hand at more DIY mower repair and lawn mower maintenance or learn about Snapper’s latest products? View our news and lawn mower articles