Troubleshooting Push Mowers

This contains a list of walk behind push mower troubleshooting tips for the most common issues.
Trouble
Possible Causes
Corrective actions
Unit will not startControl handle is not engagedEngage control handle
Spark plug wire is disconnectedConnect spark plug wire
Fuel tank empty or
stale fuel
Replace with clean, fresh gas
Blocked fuel lineClean fuel line
Faulty spark plugReplace, clean, or adjust gap
Engine floodedWait to restart, do not prime
Air filter filled with dirt or debrisReplace or clean air filter
Engine runs erraticSpark plug wire looseConnect and tighten spark plug wire
Blocked fuel line or stale fuel
  • Clean fuel line
  • Fill tank with fresh clean gasoline
Vent in gas cap is pluggedClear vent
Water or dirt in fuel system
  • Drain fuel tank
  • Refill with fresh fuel
Carburetor is out of adjustmentAdjust carburetor
(refer to engine manual)
Engine is overfilled with oilDrain oil and fill to proper amount.
Engine idles poorlySpark plug is fouled, faulty or gap is too wideReplace spark plug or reset gap to proper setting.
Dirty air filterClean or replace air filter.
Carburetor is adjusted improperlyAdjust carburetor.
Excessive vibrationBlade is loose or unbalancedTighten blade and adapter. Balance blade.
Bent bladeReplace blade.
Engine mounting bolt loose
or missing.
Tighten or replace bolt.
Uneven cutWheels are not positioned correctly.Place all four wheels in same height position.
Dull or bent bladeSharpen or replace blade.
Mower mulches grass poorlyWet grass.Do not mow wet grass, wait until grass is dry.
Excessively high grassMow once at high cutting height then at desired height. Make a narrower cutting swath.
Engine is not running at full throttle (RPMs are low)Make sure throttle is at full throttle.
Dull blade.Sharpen or replace blade.
Mower bags grass poorlyWet grass.Do not mow wet grass, wait until grass is dry.
Chute is plugged.Clean chute.
Engine is not running at full throttle (RPMs are low)Make sure throttle is at full throttle.
Dull blade.Sharpen or replace blade.
Handle height is too low/highHandle height is not adjusted properlyAdjust handle height

Troubleshooting Self Propelled Mowers

This contains a list of walk behind self propelled mower troubleshooting tips for the most common issues.
Trouble
Possible Causes
Corrective actions
Unit will not startControl handle is not engagedEngage control handle
Spark plug wire is disconnectedConnect spark plug wire
Fuel tank empty or stale fuelReplace with clean, fresh gas
Blocked fuel lineClean fuel line
Faulty spark plugReplace, clean, or adjust gap
Engine floodedWait to restart, do not prime
Air filter filled with dirt or debrisReplace or clean air filter
Engine runs erraticSpark plug wire looseConnect and tighten spark plug wire
Blocked fuel line or stale fuel
  • Clean fuel line
  • Fill tank with fresh clean gasoline
Vent in gas cap is pluggedClear vent
Water or dirt in fuel system
  • Drain fuel tank
  • Refill with fresh fuel
Carburetor is out of adjustmentAdjust carburetor
(refer to engine manual)
Engine is overfilled with oilDrain oil and fill to proper amount.
Engine idles poorlySpark plug is fouled, faulty or gap is too wideReplace spark plug or reset gap to proper setting.
Dirty air filterClean or replace air filter.
Carburetor is adjusted improperlyAdjust carburetor.
Excessive vibrationBlade is loose or unbalancedTighten blade and adapter. Balance blade.
Bent bladeReplace blade.
Engine mounting bolt loose or missing.Tighten or replace bolt.
Uneven cutWheels are not positioned correctly.Place all four wheels in same height position.
Dull or bent bladeSharpen or replace blade.
Mower mulches grass poorlyWet grass.Do not mow wet grass, wait until grass is dry.
Excessively high grassMow once at high cutting height then at desired height. Make a narrower cutting swath.
Engine is not running at full throttle (RPM´s are low)Make sure throttle is at full throttle.
Dull blade.Sharpen or replace blade.
Mower bags grass poorlyWet grass.Do not mow wet grass, wait until grass is dry.
Chute is plugged.Clean chute.
Engine is not running at full throttle (RPM´s are low)Make sure throttle is at full throttle.
Dull blade.Sharpen or replace blade.
Handle height is too low/highHandle height is not adjusted properlyAdjust handle height (if applicable – see:Operators Manual)
Loss of driveBelt came off or brokePut belt back on or replace belt.
Belt slipping.Replace belt or check drive cable adjustment.
Drive cable not adjusted properlyAdjust drive cable (if applicable – see:Operators Manual)
Hard to pull mower backDrive cable not adjusted properlyAdjust drive cable (if applicable – see:Operators Manual).
Debris in and around belt/transmissionClean under deck and around belt/transmission
Can’t get all six speedsShift lever cable not adjusted properlyAdjust shift lever cable (if applicable – see:Operators Manual).

Troubleshooting Lawn and Garden Tractors

This contains a list of lawn and garden tractor troubleshooting tips for most common issues.
Trouble
Possible Causes
Corrective actions
Engine will not crankSafety switch button not depressedBe sure deck is disengaged all the way, parking brake is engaged and operator is sitting on the seat.
Battery is installed incorrectlyThe battery must be installed with negative terminal attached to black ground wire. Negative is identified by “NEG” “N” or “-” The positive terminal “POS” “P” or “+” must be attached to the big red wire which goes to the solenoid. Charge battery fully before installing.
Battery is weak or dead
  • Check fluid level in battery.
  • If fluid is low, fill to just below split rings with water.
  • Charge battery fully.
Blown fuse<ul

  • Replace with an automotive type fuse.
  • Check for loose connections in fuse box, bare wires, and pinched wires.
Loose engine ground wireEngine should have a black ground wire running from engine to frame or mounting bolt.
Engine cranks but will not startThrottle or choke not in starting positionCheck operators manual for correct position for throttle control and choke for starting.
No fuel in carburetorGasoline tank is empty. Fill tank with fresh gasoline. Fuel line or filter is blocked with dirt or debris. Clean fuel line. Replace fuel filter.
Spark plug wire disconnected, spark plug fouled or faulty.Connect spark plug wire. Check with spark plug tester. Clean and set gap to proper setting. Replace spark plug.
Dirty air filterClean or replace air filter.
Engine smokesEngine oil is overfilledCheck oil level
Engine loses crankcase vacuumDipstick not seated properly or is broken or Engine breather is defective.
Excessive vibrationBent or damaged blade, pulley, or spindle.Replace blade, pulley, or spindle.
Belt is damagedReplace belt
Engine mounting bolt loose or missingTighten mounting bolt or replace bolt.
Engine is running at low RPMsMake sure engine is at full throttle.
Cutting deck is not adjusted properlyAdjust deck
Dirt and debris built up under deckClean under deck after each use
Mower discharges, bags or mulches grass poorlyEngine speed is lowMake sure engine is running at full throttle.
Grass is wet or very tallCut when grass is dry. Cut at high setting then cut again at desired height.
Ground speed is too fastUse slower ground speed. The slower you go the better the quality of cut.
Incorrect blades or dull bladesMake sure the correct blades are used and are on properly. Sharpen or replace blades.
Mower will not cut in reverseSafety switchIt is a safety feature. You must disengage cutting deck before putting mower in reverse.

Troubleshooting Auger or Drive Loss on a Two-Stage Snow Thrower

Have you lost auger or drive control on your two stage snowthrower but the engine functions normally? This “do it yourself” article will help you troubleshoot this issue.

If you experience the loss of auger or drive control, it may be necessary to perform one or a combination of the tasks listed here:

  1. Inspect and perform the cable adjustments listed in the Final Adjustments section of the snow thrower Assembly section. Cables do stretch over time. Performing these adjustments will tighten any slack that may have occurred due to stretching.
  2. It may be necessary to inspect and possibly replace one or both belts. These belts operate the drive systems for the wheels and the auger.
  3. If the belt(s) seem fine and engine runs, but the augers have lost half or full operation, broken shear bolt(s) is/are likely the failure. Inspect the shear bolts and replace as needed. Shear bolts are located along the main auger shaft in the center of each auger spiral. Refer to the illustrated parts list for specific location and replacement part numbers of these shear bolts.
  4. For loss of wheel drive, begin with inspection and replacement of the rubber friction wheel (as needed). This friction wheel rubber is considered a normal service wear item and should be replaced when the thickness of the exposed rubber wears to approximately 1/8 inch. This is a drive component essentially responsible for transferring power from the belts to the drive wheels. Operating the unit with worn-out friction rubber may result in damage to the drive system. Check this friction rubber regularly for wear. Consult the Operator´s Manual for more information on friction wheel maintenance.

Help Finding Model/Serial numbers

Knowing your outdoor power equipments model number and serial number is very beneficial. It will allow you to download free ilastrated parts listings for your exact unit from our website and ensure that you find the appropriate safety information as well as the correct genuine factory parts. You also should know the equipments engine model and spec number.

Identification tags are located in areas unlikely to need replacement, even after years of use.

For most of our power equipment, these tags are approximately 2″ x 3″ in size.

For handheld equipment, the tag is usually white and approximately 1″ x 1/2″ in size. Handheld ID tags are normally on an aluminum portion of the engine, somewhat set into the unit to protect the label from wear. (A bar code will also be on this tag.)

Riding mower tags are located on the underside of the seat.

For walk-behind mowers this tag is found either on the deck or on the rear door of rear discharge units.

Tiller model and serial tags are generally on the tine housing.

The model and serial tags for two-stage snow throwers are located on the bottom of the main gear housing which is often called the belly pan, while single-stage snow thrower tags are next to the key and primer.

For other products like log splitters, chipper shredders and edgers, tags can be found on the frame or main housing.

The Difference Between Mulching (3/1) & High-Lift (2/1) Cutting Blades

This informational article goes in-depth explaining the difference between mulching (3/1) and high-lift (2/1) mower blades and which may be best for your application.

Mower blade terminology can be a little confusing. Engineering terminology (such as “3-in-1” or “high-lift”) have also contributed to this confusion.

  1. The standard style of mowing blade is essentially designed for cutting grass and effectively discharging the clippings out from the deck to fall onto the lawn or to be captured in a grass collection system. Standard blades are also referred to as “2-in-1” (discharging & bagging ) or “high-lift” blades (because they are designed to create a higher-lifting airflow).
  2. Mulching blades generally have a more curved style surface and frequently include extra cutting surfaces along the blade edges. These blades may also come in a “+” design (which is actually two individual blades arranged in a perpendicular fashion to enhance mulching). The “+” blades are usually found on older style mowers; newer ones utilize blades with more advanced mulching technology.

Mulching blades may also be referred to as “3-in-1” (mulching, discharging & bagging) or “all-purpose” blades.

Bear in mind that the re-circulating airflow design of 3/1 blades makes them less efficient at discharging grass clippings than a standard 2/1 blade. As with most all-purpose tools, there is some give and take as opposed to using a tool designed for a more specific purpose.

If you’re experiencing less-than-desired cutting or discharging performance with a 3/1 blade, you may want to check into using a 2/1 blade. Conversely, if you’re using a 2/1 blade and want to mulch clippings, you should see about the availability of mulching blades or a mulching kit.*

The type of blade installed on a new mower is a decision the retailer makes for each model of mower, based on the expected needs of most customers. If you’re unsure of which blade is on a particular model, inspect the blade.

* MULCHING KITS – These generally consist of mulching blades and a mulching plug (which closes off the discharge opening to keep the clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting) plus any necessary hardware for installation. Please check with your parts distributor regarding the contents of a particular mulching kit.