How to fix your lawn mower yourself

Troubleshooting a broken mower

Many people have the question of “Why Won't My Lawn Mower Start?” and the only answer that they have is to throw money at it.  Lawn mower engines are very simple and are simple to repair if you know some basic techniques to troubleshoot your problem. 


Once you know if it is a fuel problem or a spark problem, you are half way home on fixing your lawn mower. 

Let’s look at a spark problem.

Did you hit something with the mower and it stopped running.  It is probably a flywheel key.   The key is supposed to be the weak link so that you don’t tear up the engine.  Very simple fix and very cheap!

Are you not getting spark?  Take a look at the flywheel.  Does it seem rusty? Take it off and clean it. Check the air gap and reset the coil.

Still no spark? Most common problem is going to be the points and condenser.  Check the condenser to see if it is good.

Now file and clean up the points. The gap the points. If this doesn’t work, go ahead and change them out. They are cheap and you can rule them out.

If you have found the problem yet, look for a bare wire that could be shorting out the spark.  Still no spark? The last thing and most expensive thing is the coil. This is really rare, but it does happen.

If you have worked through this, I am guessing you have your mower running by now.  See how easy and cheap it is to fix your mower by yourself.  It is a good idea to get a repair manual to reference to if you get stuck trying to answer the question of “Why Won't My Lawn Mower Start?”