Skip to Content

How to Start a Lawnmower after Winter

When winter begins, many people winterize their lawnmowers and store them aside until spring next year. Hence, the lawnmower resultantly stays stored in the garage during the colder season. But in some cases, starting and ultimately using such a lawnmower can be a cumbersome task. 

After a hibernation period, lawnmowers tend to start sluggishly. Still, after a certain amount of swearing and an elaborate workout with pushing, you might get lucky to get it started. The main reason for a lawnmower not getting started is humidity, as water tends to get mixed with the gasoline present in the fuel tank and the carburetor. There can be interference with the spark formation in the spark plugs too. To get the lawnmower in working condition, you must solve the humidity issues in the gas tank and the interfered spark plugs. Other reasons that stop the lawnmower from starting after been stored for a while will be discussed later.

How to start a lawnmower after the winter:

  • Step 1: Check and change the oil
  • Step 2: Dispose of lawnmower’s oil.  
  • Step 3: Check the gas tank
  • Step 4: Clean or Change the filters
  • Step 5: Replace the spark plugs.
  • Step 6: Tighten the brake cable.
  • Step 7: Clean the dirty carburetor

In this part, we will elaborately enlist steps required to start a lawnmower that has stored the entire winters or hasn’t been used in a while.

Start your lawnmower in 7 easy steps.

● Step 1: Check and change the engine oil

As it has been an entire season that your lawnmower has been stored in the garage, it is important to check the oil engine. Normally, it is recommended to check the engine oil an hour after you have used it. Still, in this case, as the machine has been lying around for an entire season, it is advisable to check the engine oil before even starting the machine.

Initially, access the fuel quality by spotting whether there is any residue left up in there. Also, note how much amount of residue lies in there. Dark and black engine oil affirm that the engine oil must be changed to ensure your lawnmower’s smooth running. It is often recommended to change the fuel twice a year. Once at the start of the season and the other time during winterizing it, you can store it away for the entire season.

Changing the engine oil of a lawnmower is a good practice, even if it isn’t one of the hindrances for the machine to start. This process is relatively inexpensive due to the small engine size. A person can easily inspect and then eventually change the oil himself at home in less than 10 minutes.    

● Step 2: Dispose of lawnmower’s oil:

First, for disposing of the oil, make certain that you have an appropriate container in had to seal off the oil in it. Make certain that the container is airtight and doesn’t spill. Usually, this motor oil taken out is utilizable by mechanics and oil change shops. Other than that, various other programs in the city are specifically meant to dispose of the oil. Smoke from the lawnmower is another sign that ensures that the oil needs to be checked and eventually changed. By smoke, we get to know whether there was an oil leak somewhere. This leak should be located as fast as one can as running the machine on low fuel can cause permanent damages to the engine.   

● Step 3: Check the gas tank:

This step is taken as more of a precaution before starting the engine. Before you start your lawnmower, it is necessary to check the tank for fuel as we know that gasoline is not a stable fuel, and it disintegrates once it is kept lying for more than 30 days. To avoid this intervention and gasoline loss, it is necessary to either stabilize the fuel or remove it entirely and store it in a container.

Now when you take out the lawnmower after the winter season, the fuel tank must be empty, saving the lawnmower from various wear and tears for staying put a long time. Now you need to fill the tank with fresh grass. (in some cases, people use a stabilizer for the lawnmower’s engine while making sure that the fuel remains inside the tank the entire season).

● Step 4: Clean or replace the Filters:

After you have checked the gas tank and changed the oil, the next step is to check the filters. It would help if you make sure that your air filter hasn’t been clogged. If your air filter is clogged, the engine’s oxygen supply would be hindered that could cause the engine to seize as oxygen is a vital component for combustion.

It is always recommended to replace the air filter than to clean it as it is not that expensive. A dirty/clogged air filter can be identified just even by looking at it. Furthermore, another sign that tells you that the air filter needs to be replaced is that the lawnmower stops while mowing the lawn for a little while. 

Local box stores have air filters available for a price of as less as $10. You can easily replace it once you know the right size your lawnmower uses. It is recommended to replace the lawnmower’s air filter with regular maintenance even if it is the main reason behind your engine not getting started. 

● Step 5: Replace the spark plugs:

In the case of a walk-behind lawnmower, the spark plugs are located at the front end. A common identification for them is that they have wires attached to them, and black rubbers also cover them to avoid dust contact.

After checking the wire connections, the next step is to analyze the spark plugs. Once you have removed the spark plugs using a socket wrench. A few simple twists must do the job. A clear indication that your spark plugs need to get changed is corrosion and discoloration at their business ends. It is recommended to replace the plugs, although a little clean up could also do the job in some cases.

Changing the sparkplugs is as easy as that of air filters. Once you have located where they are placed, you can use a socket wrench to remove them and then place the new one. Local hardware stores and online shopping sites like Amazon can help you get the right plugs for your machine.

Mostly when a lawnmower is sitting for a while and isn’t starting even after you have replaced the oil and the air filter, the main fault lies in the spark plugs, and replacing them would od the job.  

● Step 6: Tighten the brake cable:

The lawnmower may also not start if the brake cable is loose. Pulling the brake handle and then using your hand to pull on the brake cable can help you estimate the brake’s tension. Tightening the brake cable is an easy task that can be done with a wrench and a pair of vice grips.

● Step 7: Clean the dirty carburetor:

If your lawnmower is not starting after following the above-mentioned steps, the next obvious culprit is the carburetor. The carburetor can get corroded or clogged if it has fuel left in that while storing it for the season. It could be cleaned by simply using vinegar or any carburetor cleaner. 

If the lawnmower doesn’t start after cleaning the carburetor, it is recommended to replace it. Moreover, look for the faulty flywheel and fuel pump if the above steps do not solve your problems.

Related Questions:

How much time, skills, and tools I need to start my lawnmower after a long time it’s sitting.

Starting a lawnmower sitting for a while is an easy task that can be easily done at home in a couple of hours provided you have the right knowledge.

The tools and items needed for this job are oil, spark plugs, socket wrench, crescent wrench, vice grips, and safety equipment (goggles and gloves).

What type of fuel is recommended?

Ethanol-free fuel is most recommended in this scenario. This may be comparatively a bit expensive, but it saves you from the corrosion and clogging gasoline can cause. Using ethanol-free fuel can also save you from using an additional stabilizer. Thus even while storing your lawnmower, you do not need to drain out all the gasoline or add any stabilizer. An example of such gas is TruFuel.

Final Remarks:

After it has been sitting for a while, starting a lawnmower is more like an annual tune-up of your machine. It is more like hit and trial, but you can easily do this at your home. It is always recommended to use some reference videos and articles before getting into the task to be more aware of the step, processes, and necessary tools required.