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Outdoor power equipment 3 reasons your lawn mower won't start after winter

Published on March 7th, 2014 | by Jeff Linderman


Three reasons your lawn mower won’t start after winter storage

Though I’m staring at the massive snow mounds that fence headquarters’ landscaping, I’m smiling about the promise of a soon-to-arrive spring.

If you haven’t already, you’ll soon dust off your lawn mower and await the sweet smell of freshly-mowed grass. Hopefully, you won’t be among the many to discover a broken lawn mower.

Here are three common reasons your lawn mower won’t start after a long winter:

1.    There is buildup clogging your carburetor and/or there is stale fuel in the float bowl.
Left over a period of time, gasoline will cause buildup to clog the carburetor or stale fuel will enter the float bowl. Solution: Drain the old fuel from the float bowl and thoroughly clean the carburetor with carburetor cleaner. If it’s clogged beyond cleaning or you’re unable to clean it effectively, the entire carburetor may need to be replaced. You’ll also need to drain fuel tank and replace with fresh fuel and fuel stabilizer. Be sure to read your lawn mower owner’s manual for instructions specific to your model about how to safely drain fuel.

TIP: Always add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel; it slows the buildup in carburetors.

2.    The spark plug is dead.
As we always say, the spark plug is tiny but mighty. Fortunately, spark plug replacement is super simple and inexpensive.

Shop for replacement lawn mower parts.

3.    The battery is worn out.
Lawn mower batteries can be expected to last about five years. If the battery isn’t staying charged long enough or if it’s completely dead, try using a battery charger. If the battery won’t hold a charge, you’ll need to replace it. Over time, batteries lose power. Though the battery may have worked before you stored the lawn mower for the winter, you may find that the long winter without any charging caused the death of it. Replacement batteries for lawn mowers may be purchased at major retailers.

Something else broken?

Check out RepairClinic’s troubleshooting and repair help for lawn mowers.

The best way to get your lawn mower ready for spring is to tune it up.

Tuning up your engine will:

•    Improve efficiency
•    Reduce emissions
•    Prevent costly repairs
•    Extend the life of your lawn mower

That’s why all engine tune-up kits are on sale now through May 31, 2014.

Enter your engine model number to discover the kit packed with the essentials for your particular model:

Go to


Related info
Lawn Mower Repair Help
What to do if your lawn mower won’t start
Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

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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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