7 Reasons a Yard Machine Lawn Mower Won’t Start

It’s time to mow your lawn again, but your Yard Machine lawn mower won’t start. It’s frustrating. And we get it too. But before you postpone the mowing for another week or call your mechanic, you can check why your lawn mower won’t start. It could be a simple problem you can fix and carry on mowing.

A Yard Machine mower won’t start because of bad fuel, clogged air filter, damaged spark plug, dirty carburetor, blocked fuel lines, faulty ignition switch, and clogged fuel filter.

Let’s examine these starting issues in detail.

Bad Ignition Switch

The ignition switch allows you to turn your mower on or off and keep it running. It also keeps your mower’s battery from draining when the mower is not in use. When it’s faulty, your Yard Machines mower won’t start.

A bad ignition switch occurs due to the following:

  • Worn-out connections
  • Corrosion
  • Internal shorting
  • Grime buildup
  • Loose connections due to engine vibrations

If you suspect the ignition switch could be the problem, test it with a multimeter. If there’s no continuity, replace the ignition switch. You can resolve issues like corrosion or grime using an electrical contact cleaner spray. For loose connections, use pliers to pinch the terminal.

Dirty Carburetor

If you’ve checked the fuel quality, air, and fuel filters, but your Yard Machine lawn mower won’t start, the carburetor could be the culprit. When the carburetor is dirty, fuel and air cannot mix. Therefore, the lawn mower engine won’t start.

  • Your lawn mower’s carburetor becomes dirty when:
  • The air filter has perforations that allow debris into the carburetor
  • You overfill the engine oil reservoir, forcing some to leak in the carburetor
  • Bad fuel that reaches the carburetor
  • Dirty fuel
  • Damaged head gaskets and cylinder rings allow oil to collect in the carburetor

Cleaning the carburetor is the best solution for this issue. Uninstall it from the engine and use a carburetor cleaner to remove any residue. Remove any rust from the carburetor.

In addition to cleaning the carburetor, deal with the underlying causes, such as a damaged air filter, head gaskets, and bad fuel.

Bad Fuel

Your Yard Machine riding mower won’t start if it has bad fuel. Bad fuel is old and contaminated; therefore, incapable of powering the lawn mower. You’ll often have gas issues when you leave unstabilized fuel in your mower for so long.

The fuel left in the mower breaks down, evaporates, and leaves behind bad fuel and, sometimes, a sticky deposit that will clog the fuel lines and fuel filter. In some cases, dirt and contaminants in the fuel tank spoil the fuel. Bad fuel has a sour, strong smell and appears darker and muddier.

If you’re dealing with bad fuel, siphon it from the tank and replace it with fresh gas. Check the recommended gas-to-oil ratio depending on the type of engine on your Yard Machines mower. Add a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the fuel and prevent buildup the next time you store your mower for the winter.

Loose/Damaged Spark Plug

Check the spark plug if your mower won’t start. The spark plug ignites the fuel, allowing your Yard Machines lawn mower to start.

The signs of a damaged spark plug include:

  • The engine won’t start
  • Misfiring engine
  • The engine starts, then stalls
  • The spark plug has physical signs of damage
  • More fuel consumption than usual

Examine it to check whether it’s loose, covered in residue, or damaged. Check the spark plug for any buildup on the electrode and insulator. If there’s any, use brake fluid and a clean cloth to clean it. Reinstall the spark plug and tighten it with a wrench. If the spark plug has any signs of damage, such as cracks, look for compatible parts and replace them. 

Clogged Air Filter

Mowers require air filter cleaning to prevent clogging. If clogged, an air filter will prevent your Yard Machines lawn mower from starting. It will also lead to problems like higher fuel consumption, overheating, and power loss. When you notice any symptoms, remove the air filter and check it for dirt.

To fix a clogged air filter, remove the air filter from the mower, taking care not to deposit debris into the air intake. Wipe off any dirt in the air filter housing and tap the air filter on both sides to remove loose dirt.

Hold up the air filter towards a light source. If it lets light through, you can reuse it. If it doesn’t, replace the filter. Next, inspect the air filter for perforation or damage. Replace the filter if it has any signs of physical damage.

Some air filters can be cleaned and reused. For these filters, wash them with mild dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly until clear. Leave the filter to dry and coat it with foam filter oil. Reinstall the filter.

Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter keeps dirt and debris from the fuel system. When the filter becomes clogged, your Yard Machine lawn mower won’t start since the fuel cannot pass through it. Sometimes, the mower will start but lose power shortly.

When this happens, the solution is to clean or replace the filter. You should replace paper or nylon filters, but you can clean metallic ones.

Start by removing the fuel filter, then remove any debris or fuel by gently tapping both sides of the filter. Use a carburetor cleaner to clean the filter. Leave it to dry, then reinstall it. 

Clogged Fuel Lines

Clogged fuel lines occur when sticky deposits from old fuel remain in the fuel lines. When this happens, little to no fuel reaches the engine. Therefore, your Yard Machine mower won’t start.

The first step is to locate the clog in the fuel line. Remove the fuel line and place it in a container at a lower level than the fuel tank. Turn on the fuel supply, watch how the fuel flows and identify where the clog is.

Once you find the clog, remove it. To clean the fuel line, spray carburetor fluid to loosen the clog. Once the clog is loose, blow air into the fuel line to eliminate it.

So, Why Won’t My Yard Machines Lawn Mower Start?

Your Yard Machine lawn mower won’t start because of a damaged spark plug, contaminated fuel, faulty ignition switch, dirty carburetor, blocked fuel lines, and clogged air/fuel filters.

Fortunately, most of the mentioned starting issues are relatively easy to fix. But if your mower still doesn’t start, it might be time to consult a mechanic to help identify the problem.