How To Troubleshoot a Lawn Mower That Is Hard to Start

Have you ever experienced a situation where your lawn mower suddenly became hard to start? If yes, it must have kept you thinking about what might go wrong and cause such commotion.

You might have wondered whether it is possible to troubleshoot this problem or how to troubleshoot a lawn mower hard to start.

Firstly, gather up all the necessary tools and materials. Now take the Hood off and unplug the Wiring Plug Harness. Then, inspect further to figure out what to adjust and adjust as required. Next, reinstall the Hood accordingly. Confirm the fixing technique worked by testing your mower engine.

Keep reading this following article and learn the detailed way of troubleshooting a Lawn mower that hard to start.

What Causes the Problem?

One of the most common reasons for a lawn mower’s hard-to-start problem is improper or wrong choke control cable adjustment.

Besides that, this unavoidable commotion can also arise damaged or clogged fuel filters.

When you leave used or old fuel in the tank for a long time, this fuel can leave stickier and thicker substances behind to clog up the fuel filter. This eventually leads to encountering a lawn mower engine hard to start.

However, it is difficult to confirm the main culprit without performing a thorough investigation as soon you notice or experience hard starting trouble with your lawn mower.

So, it’s always best to first inspect the issue and confirm after you find out the core reason.

4 Steps to troubleshoot a Lawn Mower that hard to start: 

Imagine you just brought your lawn out of the storage after a while or winter break, and as soon you try to start it, all you have to deal with is a hard starting or starting failure issue.

That’s one of the most annoying situations to encounter, and people sometimes end up spending a good amount of money to service their mower by professionals.

But fortunately, a simple fixing trick can save you time and money both.

In today’s article, I have enlisted a quick, easy, and cost-effective DIY method of troubleshooting a Lawn mower hard to start.

Things needed to troubleshoot a Lawn mower that hard to start:

Have a proper glance at the checklist of the required tools and materials:

Standard Mechanical toolkitRhinoRamps Vehicle Ramp – Pair
Wrench or Torx driver
Safety Goggles & Gloves

Step 1- Take the Hood off & Unplug the Wiring Plug Harness:

First, you need to take the hood off.

Take the Hood off & Unplug the Wiring Plug Harness

Tips: Although you can do it without taking the hood off, it is easier to do while the hood is kept aside.

The headlight wiring plug harness is right here, so unplug that.

Take the Hood off & Unplug the Wiring Plug Harness 2

Now, grab the hood and tilt it back just a bit to lift it out.

Step 2- Inspect further to figure out what to adjust:

You can see the throttle cable, which comes around from the left side of the tractor or mower.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust

It is in a bracket here it hooks to this plate which controls the throttle.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust 2

There’s a Cam on the back of that and that controls the choke from the factory.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust 3

The manufacturer tends to set these things a little too far in so that you don’t get a full choke when you push your throttle lever up.

Thus, what you have to do now is adjust this to make it work.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust 4

Look at the above picture that’s your mower’s internal choke. It should be all the way up when it is cold and fully choked.

The manufacturer set these things from the factory, you bring it up to full throttle, and then the next lever will choke.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust 5

There’s still a choke left so that the choke plates and the carburetor are not closed.

Inspect further to figure out what to adjust 6

Therefore, you need to adjust this cable so that it’s pulled further back and help to completely engage the choke.

Step 3- Do the Adjustment as required:

Do the Adjustment as required

Now, take your lever and push it all the way up to choke.

Do the Adjustment as required 2

Then, either use a wrench or a Torx driver to loosen it up and pull that cable.

Do the Adjustment as required 3

Usually, it takes around a quarter inch or so.

Do the Adjustment as required 4

Next, pull the cable back and tighten the keeper up.

Do the Adjustment as required 5

So now check that’s a low throttle in the above image.

Do the Adjustment as required 6

That’s full throttle.

That’s choking, and now there’s no play left in there.

People typically obtain this before making the adjustment got to get it fully choked.

Do the Adjustment as required 7

Now, with it adjusted properly put it up on the full choke.

Do the Adjustment as required 8

Then, check whether the engine is starting or cranking up after the adjustment or not.

Do the Adjustment as required 9

Step 4- Reinstall the Hood:

The next thing you should do is put the hood back on, but make sure the mower headlight plug is out of the way while putting back the hood on it.

Reinstall the Hood

You have got these two pins.

Reinstall the Hood 2

And they go in these two slots right up here in the front of the engine.

Reinstall the Hood 3

Basically, you just line them up, and these slots go on the rod that’s right here.

Reinstall the Hood 4

So, lean it back about halfway and get the ears into the slots.

Reinstall the Hood 5

Now, close it and the other slots will drop onto the rod.

Reinstall the Hood 6

Then, you can open it back up and plug up your mower’s headlight harness.

Reinstall the Hood 7

Now, you are done with the entire troubleshooting and fixing technique.


Performing such servicing or repairing tasks can be hazardous. Thus, make sure you have enough expertise to perform them. First read your mower’s instructions manual before operating, servicing, or troubleshooting it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What caused my lawn mower to be so difficult to start?

A clogged fuel filter or engine can cause your lawn mower to be difficult to start. Evaporated fuel leaves a thicker and stickier substance behind.

What causes a lawn mower take so long to start?

A clogged or broken fuel filter, defective spark plugs, damaged or dead battery, and lack of enough gas in the tank can cause such problems.

What caused my lawn mower to sputter whenever I start it?

A clogged air filter, fuel filter, faulty spark plug, low-quality fuel, clogged carburetor, or water existence in the fuel tank.

Final Verdict

If you ever encounter similar issues in future where your lawn mower seems hard to start and you cannot figure out the main reason, you can follow this DIY technique and the good news is the troubleshooting is free of cost.

Initially, the whole troubleshooting method might seem a bit complicated, but if you follow the instructions as described, you can fix the problem easily and quickly.

Remember to follow all the instructions thoroughly provided in today’s article to troubleshoot a Lawn mower that hard to start andget the best outcome.

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