My Riding Lawn Mower Won’t Turn Over: What to Do?

If the lawnmower would not turn over, you will be unable to start it. Many things can go wrong with a riding lawn mower, making it impossible to start.

The most common causes of a riding mower that won’t turn over are faulty fuel, bad gas, a dead battery, a gummy carburetor, a faulty spark plug, or a blocked air filter.

This article will guide you through the process of troubleshooting the issue and identifying its source so that you can implement a solution. Taking your lawnmower to a repair shop could be necessary.

Riding Lawn Mower Won't Turn Over

What Is The Difference Between Starting Mower Engine And Turning It Over?

Starting is the process of sending electricity to the spark plugs to start the engine. The crankshaft or the whole mechanical process of the engine is driven by turning.

When you put the key in the ignition of the mower, it starts the engine. After that, the starter motor moves the flywheel, which then turns the crankshaft. 

You now understand how starting and turning over the engine are related. If the mower fails to turn over, most of the time, it is an issue to do with the gas, the battery, the carburetor, the spark plugs, or the air filter.

7 Reasons Behind Riding Mower Won’t Turn Over

The most common reasons are:

  • Bad gas
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Coil failure
  • Weak or dead battery
  • Gummy carburetor
  • Damaged fuel filter
  • Blocked air filter

How To Fix Your Riding Mower Won’t Turn Over Issue?

In order to troubleshoot and fix the issue, it’s important to first identify the cause. This guide will help you determine what is causing your riding lawn mower to not turn over and how to fix it.

1. Bad Gas

If your riding lawn mower won’t turn over, it could be due to bad gas. Bad gas can occur if you leave fuel in the tank for an extended period of time, or if the gas has gone bad due to age.

Also, the riding mower will not work if the gas tank is empty.

The Fix

To determine if bad gas is the issue, empty the fuel tank and refill it with a fresh, high-quality gasoline.

If the mower still won’t turn over, the problem likely lies elsewhere.

Related Post: Top 5 Smallest Riding Lawn Mowers in 2023

2. Faulty Spark Plugs

If your riding lawn mower won’t turn over, one thing to check is your spark plugs. The spark plugs are essential for a lawn mower to start, as they provide the spark that ignites the fuel in the combustion chamber of the engine.

If your spark plugs are worn out or damaged, they won’t be able to create a spark, and the engine won’t start.

The Fix

Remove spark plugs from the engine to examine them. Check the spark plug electrodes. Replace worn or damaged ones. Use a spark plug tester to check their functionality if they seem good. Replace non-sparking ones.

Restart the engine after replacing the spark plugs. If the engine won’t start, check for other issues.

3. Coil Failure

If your riding lawn mower won’t turn over, it may be due to a coil failure. A coil failure occurs when the spark plug coil, which is responsible for supplying power to the spark plug, fails to generate the spark needed to start the engine.

The most common cause of coil failure is a buildup of dirt, debris, or moisture on the spark plug coil.

The Fix

To fix a coil failure, the spark plug coil should be removed and inspected. If the spark plug coil is dirty or covered in debris, it should be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush and then reinstalled.

If the spark plug coil is damaged or corroded, it should be replaced with a new one.

4. Weak or Dead Battery

The most common cause of a riding lawn mower not turning over is a bad battery. If the battery is weak or dead, it will not be able to supply the necessary amount of power to start the engine.

The Fix

To test the battery, use a voltmeter or multimeter. If the reading is below 12.4 volts, it is likely that the battery is bad and needs to be replaced.

5. Gummy Carburetor

The carburetor in a riding lawn mower is a small engine component that mixes air and fuel together before sending it to the engine. A gummy carburetor may prevent the engine from starting and cause it to fail to turn over.

This can be caused by several factors, such as clogged jets, a sticking choke, or dirt and debris buildup.

The Fix

To clean the carburetor, you will need to remove it from the engine and disassemble it. Use a carburetor cleaner and a wire brush to remove any buildup on the jets and other components.

Once the carburetor is clean, reassemble it and reinstall it on the engine. If the carburetor still won’t turn over, you may need to replace it.

Related Post: Symptoms Of A Bad Starter On Riding Mower

6. Damaged Fuel Filter

A clogged or damaged fuel filter is another common reason why a lawnmower won’t start. Remove any dirt or particles from the gasoline supply before pumping it into the engine with the help of a fuel filter.

Debris might enter the engine of your riding mower and cause harm if the fuel filter isn’t functioning properly.

The Fix

Drain the tank or clip the gasoline line to remove your fuel filter. Remove the clips. Check the filter and holes for damage or strain. Wear gloves when servicing the fuel filter.

It is important to check the fuel filter regularly and replace it if necessary to ensure your lawn mower runs efficiently.

7. Blocked Air Filter

A blocked air filter is one of the most common causes of a riding lawn mower not turning over. The air filter prevents dirt and debris from entering the engine, which can clog the carburetor and prevent the engine from turning over.

The Fix

To check for a blocked air filter, remove the filter from the lawn mower and check it for any dirt or debris. If the filter is dirty, replace it with a new one and reinstall it.

If the filter is clean, the issue may be caused by a faulty spark plug or a problem with the fuel system.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my lawn mower turning over but not starting?

Gas is likely to blame. Gas that sits for months during the off-season will break down, clogging the engine’s fuel line and carburetor.

How do you start a hard-to-start lawn mower?

If a mower won’t start, it may have a dirty carburetor or air filter. With a screwdriver, remove the carburetor and clean it. Replace disposable air filters or clean them.

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