How to Start a Cub Cadet Lawnmower, step by step


Lawnmowers help you in keeping your garden well maintained. While some brands are not to recommend, Cub Cadet has generally provided reliable models for homeowners. If you want to start your Cub Cadet lawnmower but haven’t used this brand of lawnmower before, there’s no need to worry. This blog post covers all the details you need to know.

How to start a Cub Cadet Lawnmower, step by step:

  • Prestart checks: Check the oil, gas, battery, and the lawnmower blades
  • Step 1: Sit on your seat and insert the ignition key.
  • Step 2: For riding lawnmowers, trigger the parking mode by holding down the foot brake
  • Step 3: Disable the blades by turning off the blade engagement lever
  • Step 4: Before starting a lawnmower. Set the choke to the top setting
  • Step 5: Rotate the ignition key to start the riding lawnmower. Push the throttle lever down once it’s started

There are two main categories of lawnmowers, i.e., riding lawnmowers that look like tractors and have a room for you to sit down. And push-behind lawnmowers where you walk behind the mower to steer it in the right direction. However, the mower drives itself forward. Manual push-behind lawnmowers need you to drive the mower forward physically.

This article provides you with a simple step-by-step solution if you’re concerned about how to start your Cub Cadet lawnmower.

Starting a Cub Cadet Lawnmower, step-by-step:

Cub Cadet produces two main types of lawnmowers: push mowers and riding mowers. Both are easy to start but have some differences. Before we look at those, it is important to start with some prestart checks.

● The prestart checks

Before starting the engine, some checks need to be done first

– Step 1.  Checking the oil:

It is always important to check the oil level of the engine before starting any lawnmower. Unplug the oil cap and inspect with the dipstick the oil level and condition. If the oil color is black, it is not appropriate for use and must be replaced.

If the oil level falls under the main level on the dipstick, add some oil. Tighten the cap properly, and clean away any oil that has leaked.

– Step 2. Changing the old fuel:

If you have fuel in the mower’s tank for quite some time (more than a couple of months), replace it. With time, fuel quality degrades, contributing to the creation of filter and carburetor deposits. As a consequence, you can face starting problems or engine stalling. Always remember to dispose of the old fuel safely.

– Step 3. Test the battery:

If the battery of your Cub Cadet lawn mower is drained, the engine might not operate. Check the battery terminals with a multimeter to see if they have any voltage.

– Step 4. Check the blades:

Ensure that the blades from your Cub Cadet lawn mower are in good condition. They should be sharp and not showing any damage. If this is not the case, sharpen or replace them, and make sure they are well balanced.

Starting a  Cub Cadet Riding lawnmower:

When the prestart checks have been completed, we can start with a Cub Cadet riding lawnmower’s starting process. 

● Step 1: Take your seat 

Take your seat on the mower in such a way that you have access to all the levers. Insert the ignition key. Just don’t turn it around yet.

● Step 2: Enable parking mode

You should activate the parking mode before starting the mower. Switch your lever to park mode to do this. Disable it when you start to move.

● Step 3: Retract the blade lever

The blade lever is on the right-hand side of the fender. Ensure it is in the ‘off’ spot, which means that the blades are not activated to start the cutting.

● Step 4: Set the choke lever

If your mower has a choke lever, please adjust its level by bringing it to the highest position. You can pull it back to a position where the engine does not shut down after the lawnmower has started. Also, turn on the neutral ‘N’ gear on the front gearbox.

● Step 5: Turn the key

Rotate the ignition key to the ‘Start’ position to start the engine. Depending on the situation, it can take up to 10 seconds before the engine starts. Turn it back to the ‘On’ position once it’s started.

Starting a Cub Cadet Push Lawnmower:

It is relatively simple to start the Cub Cadet push-behind lawnmower. If you want to start it after sitting unused for an extended time, it is recommended to perform the prestart operations such as fuel, oil, and blades.

● Step 1: Move the lever to the choke location

The throttle lever of your machine is present in the stop position. It would help if you were to shift the lever to the “choke” position to start the engine.

● Step 2: Prime and pull your engine

Press the primer bulb to supply the carburetor with gas. Use the pull cord to start the engine. It can take several pulls until the engine starts. If you have done your maintenance and prestart steps correctly, it should start without any problems. If the lawnmower doesn’t start after the third pull, you should troubleshoot the causes.

● Step 3: Set the throttle lever to the ‘run’ position

If the engine has started and runs roughly, you need to set the choke lever back in the normal position. This should make the engine run smoothly now.

Related Questions:

1. What can be the reason that your lawnmower does not start?

The possible causes of not starting a lawnmower may be as follows:

  • Insufficient fuel: Checking and refill your fuel tank if it is empty. If the tank contains enough gas, you can move to the next step.
  • Faulty spark plug: The spark plug’s electrodes may have been damaged or have formed carbon deposits on them. This fault could reduce the spark’s quality, leading to a loss of combustion of the engine.
  • Poor Air Filter: The device’s air filter is located just outside and is highly likely to collect dust and foreign particles. As a result, the carburetor can not draw an adequate amount of air to supply to the combustion engine.
  • Clogged carburetor: Due to fuel residues, carburetor jets are restricted over time. Resultantly, the air-fuel mixture is not delivered correctly, leading to an absence of combustion.
  • Constricted fuel filter: A fuel filter might get clogged due to dirt and debris that can also limit the flow of fuel to the engine. Due to this, the engine might not start.

2. Where’s the carburetor on a lawnmower located?

A critical engine component is a carburetor that is located within the hood. So, if it’s not visible from the outside,  remove the air filter and its frame and detach it entirely by removing the screws and the breather hose. The carburetor shall be visible to you from the outside.

3. How can you clean a carburetor on a lawnmower without removing it

The carburetor on the lawnmower can be wiped without completely detaching it from the body of the mower. The steps are given below:

  • Step 1. Remove the air filter housing: The air filter’s housing that holds the frame, the cover, and the air filter itself should entirely be separated from the mower’s body.
  • Step 2. Remove the ducts: Detach the fuel lines that are softly connected to the carburetor. Place a sturdy fuel container in front of it to carry all the exhausted fuel.
  • Step 3. Unscrew the bowl nut: Remove the bowl from the carburetor by removing the nut. The nut itself is a jet that has a high risk of accumulating fuel deposits.
  • Step 4. Spray the carburetor cleaner: Insert any brake or carburetor cleaner inside the carburetor to eliminate any debris. Also, push the metal wire through the bowl nut to clear any deposits.
  • Step 5. Reassembly: After you have finished cleaning, you should place all the parts back onto the lawnmower.

3. Why is the carburetor on my lawnmower not getting any fuel?

There are various reasons why your carburetor does not deliver gas. You can check the following:

  • Inspect the filters: Check for blockages or restrictions in the fuel filter, which could be the reason why your engine receives no fuel.
  • Check the fuel lines: You can inspect the fuel lines that lead to your carburetor. Also, check the fuel lines for kinks and turns.
  • Carburetor inspection: Check the carburetor to see if the needle valve is not stuck or if the float does not restrict the fuel from entering the carburetor.
  • Access the fuel pump: If your device uses an electric fuel pump, carefully check the fuse for the pump in the fuse box. It would help if you tested it by attaching its intake to an external fuel supply, such as a gas cylinder, in the case of a mechanical pump. If the fuel is being pumped from an external source, the problem lies somewhere near your system’s fuel tank. Hence, it needs to be troubleshot.

Final Remarks:

Cub Cadet lawnmowers are machines that need regular care and maintenance. Similar to your car. If you start the Cub Cadet mower after an extended time, you should always check on fuel, oil and perform some start-of-the-season maintenance. If it still does not start, it could be due to poor fuel quality resulting in carburetor jet deposits. Good maintenance and using a fuel stabilizer will prevent this.

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