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Old 06-26-2019, 07:41 PM   #1
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Lawn mower won't start - need advice


I was cutting grass about 10" tall and slightly damp. I don't recall the brand of mower, but it's your basic self propelled mower. The engine cut out multiple times because of the grass being so tall, and I restarted it multiple times. Then it cut out and won't restart. When I tried to start it I saw some white smoke. I let it sit for awhile to cool down. Still won't start. Gas and oil are good. Eventually I got it to start but it ran for only a few seconds and died again. What is the problem? The mower is twelve or so years old but has always started no problem. I assume this has something to do with trying to cut tall grass. Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Lawn mower won't start - need advice


It's possible the tall wet grass may have added some stress to it no doubt. At 12 years old could be a couple things that were getting ready to go.

If you have the knowledge and skills I would start with a good carb cleaning, rebuilding or replacement, new plug, and new air filter. See if that helps. It's easier to just replace the carb, imo, especially if you don't have the knowledge and skills to tear it apart and rebuild it.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Lawn mower won't start - need advice


I'd start with the basics. Are you getting a good spark and is fuel/air getting to the cylinder? How old is the fuel that was in it? White smoke indicate moisture; sure it wasn't light blue? Did you turn it on its side to clear a clog? If so, you could have forced oil into the air cleaner and saturated it. If it was let to sit on its side for a while, oil could have gotten past the rings and into the combustion chamber or even into the carb and fouled it.
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Old 06-26-2019, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: Lawn mower won't start - need advice


Since the grass was tall and wet, hopefully you raised it as high as you could and didn't try and knock it all down in one go. If you did, shame on you.

More than likely, the undercarriage is full of wet grass. You will need to clean it out. Take out the plug so that you can pull the starting cord to clear out any stuff that may get into it. It may take quite a while to clean it out.

Also, did you use fresh gas? When was the last time you changed the oil and spark plug? Now would be a good time to do both.

Make sure you use a fuel stabilizer or ethanol free gas if yo can find it.

Or, just take a shot-gun to it and start again.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:05 PM   #5
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Re: Lawn mower won't start - need advice


I too am going to suggest removing all the tall grass wound up in the blade housing, move the mower away from the tall stuff and try again, then go into the spark, fuel, and air supply.


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