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Craftsman Lawnmower Starting Problems: Troubleshooting with Fixes

If you’re a homeowner who frequently uses a lawnmower for routine yard work, you must have encountered certain issues with the machine that are hard to troubleshoot. Even if the machine belongs to a reputed brand like Craftsman, these problems are bound to occur, especially due to a lack of maintenance.

Craftsman lawnmower starting problems. Troubleshooting with fixes

If a gas-powered lawnmower faces difficulty starting, the issue always lies in two main systems and their components. i.e., the fuel delivery system and the ignition system. The fuel system includes the carburetor, fuel lines, air, and fuel filters. Blockages due to old fuel or debris can block the fuel flow and disrupt the lawnmower operation. Similarly, a faulty spark plug can also cause starting problems in lawnmowers. In battery-powered lawnmowers, these problems result from a drained battery, faulty switches, or a defective electric motor.

If you’ve ever faced this situation before and want to locate the exact source of the problem, scroll down further and read the entire blog post.

Typical Causes of Craftsman Lawn Mower Starting Problems:

Craftsman has been known to produce high-quality lawnmowers which are durable and user-friendly. However, troubleshooting is mainly based on user experience and how the lawnmower is kept, used, and maintained. 

Whenever your Craftsman lawnmower (riding or self-propelled) fails to start, the following components are at fault and require inspection.

1. Fuel Issues

One of the leading causes of the lawnmower not starting is that the gasoline has either run out or clogged the fuel lines. Fresh gasoline must be poured into the tank in both cases. Fuel stabilizers, such as sea foam, must be used for anti-clogging properties to guarantee that the fuel system does not clog.

2. Clogged Air Filter:

Overuse and prolonged usage might result in grass or debris clogging the air filter, obstructing airflow. The air filter has to be cleaned sometimes, and if things don’t get better, you could have to acquire a new one. 

3. Fuel Cap Blockage:

A vent is built into the cap to allow fuel vapors to escape the tank and equalize air pressure. The flow of fuel vapors outside gets impeded if the vent is blocked by dirt, dust, or debris. This creates a vapor lock in the tank, and the engine fails to start. To fix this lock, a thin metallic wire is inserted to clear the vents in the cap.

4. Fuel Pump Leakage:

The pressure to pump the gasoline is reduced if the lawnmower’s fuel pump leaks or is faulty. Such pumps require immediate replacement. 

5. Carburetor:

As a lawnmower user, you might often face the issue of clogging your carburetor. It is, in fact, the second most commonly blocked part of the lawnmower. Continuous emission of fumes and smoke makes it more prone to blockage by the fuel remnants.

Such remnants stick to the walls of the carburetor and require immediate removal. Using anti-alcohol cleaning agents is necessary to unclog a carburetor. 

6. Damaged Recoil:

Self-propelled lawnmowers are built with a pull-start ignition which can often be damaged due to excessive force or wrong angle. As a result, the coil would not rebound enough to start the engine. The pulley may be changed, or the string that fails to wind again. Hence, you need to replace the recoil assembly for the lawnmower to start again. 

Craftsman Riding Lawn Mowers:

Riding Lawnmowers by Craftsman is robust and offers excellent value to purchasers. These machines are built for heavy-duty use and in tough terrains requiring durability.

Nevertheless, your riding lawnmower might need some technical recoveries that are handy to learn and easy to implement. Such techniques will save a lot on costly repair shops and mechanics and keep your lawnmower good as new.

Let’s address some common queries and their solutions regarding riding a lawnmower.

1. Lawnmower Does Not Start?

Is it difficult for your Craftsman lawnmower to start after repeated tries? To ensure it starts over, specific components need to be checked individually. 

1. Checking the fuel

Fill the tank with high-quality fuel to help the engine start and operate. Poor-quality gasoline may inevitably produce blockages; as a result, drain off the old or meager quality fuel and replace it with brand-new supplies. 

2. Examining the Lever

Locate the lever that has to be in the neutral lock position, then shift it to the Lock position. Then turn the ignition switch and restart the mower again.

3. Changing the Spark Plug:

Restart the lawnmower by replacing the spark plug if it has been worn out significantly. When inspecting the plug, always check its electrodes for carbon buildup.

4. Cleaning the Air Filter

An air filter is located on the side. This filter should be removed, washed in water, and cleaned inside and out. Before reinstalling the air filter, completely dry it out. 

2. Lawnmower Starts but Then Dies?

If your lawnmower starts but quickly loses power, there could be certain impediments in its fuel system components or a fault in the ignition system. Let’s see how to examine these components.

When your lawn mower experiences difficulties starting or gradually loses power, it is often due to similar underlying causes. These issues primarily relate to inadequate ventilation and foul, low-quality fuel.

1. Fuel Problems

Insufficient fuel supply or improper air-to-fuel ratio can disrupt combustion and gradually shut down your lawn mower. To address this problem, examine the quality and quantity of the fuel as well as the effectiveness of the fuel ventilation system.

2. Overheating

Overheating poses another challenge for lawn mower owners. Engine failure can occur when excessive heat accumulates. As part of troubleshooting, ensure proper engine oil levels and assess the condition of the cooling fins.

3. Clogged Carburetor

If your lawnmower exhibits sluggish performance followed by a complete shutdown, it may be due to debris or dirt clogging the lawnmower deck and carburetor. To rectify this issue, it is recommended to clean these components with WD-40 or a cleaner fluid before use thoroughly.

4. Choke Malfunction

A choke that continues to restrict airflow even after the engine has warmed up can cause the engine to shut down. If your lawn mower fails to start, verify that the choke is positioned correctly. Adjust the choke accordingly to enable the lawn mower to restart successfully.

3. Lawnmower Is Smoking?

If your lawnmower smokes, the engine is probably running on a very rich air-fuel setting. Or in some cases, it is also burning oil with fuel. To fix this problem, ensure the air filter is clean, and the engine’s piston ring or head gasket isn’t worn out.

Consider that your Craftsman lawnmower is smoking. The engine may operate at a very high fuel-to-air ratio in such instances. Another way to troubleshoot this smoking problem is to check the oil levels in the crankcase.

If the oil consumption has significantly increased, then there could be a defective piston ring, due to which oil from the crankcase leaks into the combustion chamber and causes smoke. If the issue lies in the engine, contact the manufacturer for inspection and replacement of faulty seals.

If the engine is consuming more fuel than normal and is smoking, it is probably because the air-fuel mixture is too rich (more fuel). The carburetor and filters must be tuned and cleaned from debris in this situation.

4. Lawnmower Runs Rough/Misfire?

A lawn mower that runs poorly may have a clogged carburetor or a broken flywheel key that prevents the mower from running smoothly. However, foul old gasoline and poor cylinder compression might also be to blame for a lawn mower that won’t start. 

You should replace the spark plug, clean the carburetor and add fresh gasoline to the tank to resolve this problem. For low cylinder compression, the engine’s valve lash can be adjusted. These fixes will stop misfiring and maintain a smooth-running machine. 

5. Does the Lawnmower Has a Dead Battery?

If your lawnmower often has a dead battery, it could be due to a wiring error causing it to discharge when unused. In most cases, the battery has probably desulphated, so it doesn’t provide enough backup and is often dead.

The battery must be taken out and charged adequately as the initial step in self-diagnosis and repair. If the battery doesn’t charge, you’ll need a new one and figure out what’s wrong for it to last more than one season.

When facing issues with the battery, check the voltage regulator, alternator, or wiring to ensure the charging system works fine. The battery draining after the mower is switched off might result from a wiring mistake if the charging system works correctly.

Under ideal circumstances, a battery should live for at least five years. Sometimes people go ten years without experiencing a problem.

Craftsman Self-Propelled Lawnmowers:

Self-propelled lawnmowers are compact, lightweight, and highly effective at trimming large acres of even land. They are also quite maneuverable and lower in cost than riding lawnmowers.

When faced with starting difficulties, most solutions are common in riding and self-propelled machines. The only difference lies in the ignition mechanism. Self-propelled lawnmowers use a pull cord instead of an ignition switch to start.

1. Lawnmower Engine Doesn’t Start.

A clogged fuel cap vent, a defective spark plug, a damaged flywheel brake, or a clogged carburetor filter are likely to blame if your lawnmower engine won’t start or the ignition dies quickly. 

Your lawnmower will start up and operate in no time if you troubleshoot each of these parts separately by cleaning the fuel cap and carburetor of dirt and debris, fixing the spark plug, and checking for and replacing a sheared flywheel key. 

2. Lawnmower Pull Cord Doesn’t Work?

If the pull cord doesn’t work on a lawnmower, it is either due to debris stuck in the blade assembly or faulty recoil assembly.

Begin by tilting the lawnmower over and checking the blade assembly. Remove any pieces of grass or dirt that could be stuck between the spindle and the blades. If no debris is stuck, proceed to check the recoil assembly.

To check this assembly, remove the blower housing on the lawnmower. Check to see if the pull cord retracts when pulled. Also, search for missing spiral springs in the assembly. If the assembly is faulty or has missing components, contact customer support to get exact part numbers and perform replacements.

Craftsman Battery Powered Lawnmowers:

Battery-powered lawnmowers are a recent innovation in lawnmowers that provide a much quieter, safer to operate, and easier to maintain solution for homeowners.

Some of the typical problems with these lawnmowers are:

1. Lawnmower Doesn’t Start.

When a battery-powered lawnmower doesn’t start, it could be because the battery has depleted or the start switch has broken/loose connections. In rare cases, the motor could have a faulty capacitor or a damaged winding.

The main problem with your electric lawn mower has to be identified before repairs can be started. Sometimes the problem is as simple as a broken wire, but it might also be an issue with the motor. Always inspect simpler components such as the start switch and the battery charging.

Ensure all connections are tight and no wire is broken/damaged. If the issue persists, the motor could be at fault. Hence, you need to contact customer support and get the motor repaired/replaced.

2. Lawnmower Shuts Down?

A broken/loose start switch most likely causes your battery-powered lawnmower’s stall.

Check the start switch using a multimeter and see if it delivers the current when energized. Other than the switch, most lawnmowers have a thermal switch that triggers when the motor overheats. Hence, wait 10-15 minutes and allow the motor to cool down. Restart it again and see if it’s fixed. If it isn’t, the fault is most likely with the motor, which requires a professional inspection.