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Outdoor power equipment Upside down Lawn Mower - blade replacement

Published on July 1st, 2013 | by Jeff Linderman


What to do if you tip over your lawn mower and then it won’t start

We commonly hear this from customers, neighbors and family members:

“I replaced the blade on my lawn mower and now it won’t start,” or “I tipped over my lawn mower and now it doesn’t start.”

It’s common for mowers to stop working when people tip them to replace blades or complete some other kind of maintenance.

When that happens, there are usually three causes:

Possible cause 1:  In some models, when you tip the mower, fuel can leak into the carbon in the cap, which restricts the venting of the fuel system. This can cause the engine not to start, or only run for a few minutes, then quit.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Leave the cap to dry out or replace with a new cap.

Possible cause 2: There is oil inside of the breather tube, which is connected to the carburetor. Oil can then soak into the air filter, causing a restriction and the mower to not start, or run rich with fuel. If there’s black smoke exhaust coming out of the mower, this is likely the cause.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Replace the air filter.

Possible cause 3: Fuel in the carburetor can leak into the air cleaner and engine, causing it to flood and fail to start.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Allow the cap to dry out or replace it.

How to prevent this from happening in the future:

Before performing any kind of maintenance, read your lawn mower owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly tilt or re-position it for maintenance. has replacement parts for lawn mowers, small engines, string trimmers, edgers, chainsaws, pole pruners, hedgers, generators and other outdoor power equipment. With your equipment model numbers ready, head to RepairClinic’s free Repair Help for troubleshooting information.

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Five landscaping & yard care secrets from the pros

Seven quick, easy & cheap fixes for common lawn problems

What to do if your lawn mower won’t start

Seven simple ways to make lawn mowers run like new

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About RepairClinic

Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author

Jeff Linderman is’s in-house outdoor power equipment and landscaping expert. For 25 years, Jeff owned and operated a successful commercial and residential landscaping business. He couldn’t afford the extensive downtime that came when he brought his equipment to be repaired at overloaded small engine repair shops. Instead, Jeff learned how to complete the repairs on his own. This interest in outdoor power equipment grew as Jeff completed extensive manufacturer training. Today, Jeff is a Briggs & Stratton® Master Service Technician, Kohler® Engines Expert Technician and a Kawasaki® Service Technician for Engines and Power Products. He has a B.A. in criminal justice from Michigan State University. Jeff worked for 25 years as a sergeant in the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department while he operated his landscaping business. He’s an avid fisherman and lives in the metro-Detroit area.

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