How to Start a Toro Lawnmower?


Toro is a well-known manufacturer of mowing and gardening equipment. Among their products are lawnmowers for both small and big yards, golf courses. They also produce parts and accessories for their machines. Many homeowners who own a Toro lawnmower enjoy mowing their lawn and are quite happy and satisfied with their performance. For people who just started to use a Toro mower, starting it correctly can be a concern. Toro produces both push and riding mowers, which follow almost similar starting procedures.

How to Start a Toro Lawnmower:

  • Starting a Toro Push Mower:
    First of all, press the primer three times. This will draw fuel into the engine for ignition. After that, pull and hold the safety bar near the handle. Then pull the starter rope with a quick movement. Your engine will start in one or two tries with the rope.
  • Starting a Toro Riding Mower:
    In the case of a Toro riding mower, put the ignition key in and turn off the ‘PTO’ switch. Engage the parking brake and turn the choke lever to ‘full’ position. After that, turn the ignition key for not more than 10 seconds. Once the engine starts, let it warm for around half a minute with the choke lever at the ‘half’ position. Once the engine is warm, turn the choke lever to the ‘off’ position.

Reasons why a Toro Lawnmower fails to start:

Sometimes your engine fails to start even when you are following the correct procedure. Failure to start the engine can be caused by one of the following problems:

  • Bad gas
  • Faulty carburetor
  • Dirty/blocked air filter
  • Low/incomplete compression
  • Faulty coil
  • Issues with flywheel timing

Whether you own a Toro push mower or riding mower, it’s recommended that you follow the correct starting procedure to keep your mower’s engine healthy. The proper starting procedure will ensure that the mower keeps running after you start it. Another issue to address is the failure to start a Toro mower even after several tries following the correct procedure. As just shown, multiple problems could cause that.

This article will teach you the correct procedure for starting a Toro lawnmower and guiding you on possible fixes to the problems mentioned earlier. After going through this article, you’ll have a much better understanding of the starting procedure and factors involved in starting a Toro lawnmower.

Detailed Starting Procedure for Toro Lawnmowers:

Whether you own a Toro push mower or a Toro riding mower, the starting procedure is fairly simple to understand and follow. Failure to follow the correct starting procedure can cause the engine to either not start at all or stop after running for some moments. So, make sure to follow the correct starting procedure mentioned below.

● Toro Push Mower:

Follow these steps to correctly start your Toro push mower in a couple of attempts at max.

– Step 1. Pressing the primer bulb:

The first step is to press the primer bulb three times. Remember to hold the bulb for one or two seconds before releasing it each time you press it. What this does is that it draws the fuel into the engine for the ignition to happen.

– Step 2. Safety bar:

There is a safety bar located near the handle. Pull and hold this bar, and don’t release it, or the engine will shut off.

– Step 3. Pull the starter rope:

After performing the first two-step mentioned above, pull the starter rope. Remember two important things as far as pulling the rope is concerned: Pull from the handle at the end of the rope, and the pulling movement should be quick. If the pull is too slow, the engine will not start. You might have to pull the rope a couple of times before the engine starts. If the engine does not start after pulling the rope several times, it means that the engine did not receive enough fuel. In this case, press the primer bulb a couple of times, then try the rope again.

● Toro Riding Mower:

Starting a Toro riding mower is not difficult either. Follow these simple steps to start your riding mower from Toro.

– Step 1. Key:

Put the ignition key in the keyhole, but don’t turn it yet.

– Step 2. PTO switch:

A PTO switch on the riding mower basically acts as a security device and prevents the blades from turning when the mower is turned on. Switch off the PTO switch.

– Step 3. Parking brake:

The parking brake should be engaged while trying to start the Toro riding mower. This will ensure that your mower does not start rolling while you are still trying to start it.

– Step 4. Choke lever:

You can skip this step if the engine is already warm. But if you are trying to start a cold engine, turn the choke lever to the ‘full’ position before proceeding to the next step.

– Step 5. Ignition:

With the choke lever in full position, turn the ignition key. Don’t turn the key for more than 10 seconds, or else your engine might get harmed. You might have to turn the key a couple of times before the engine starts.

– Step 6. Warm-up:

After ignition, turn the choke lever to the ‘half’ position and let the engine run for half a minute so that it gets warm. Once the engine is all warmed up, turn the choke lever to the ‘off’ position. Your riding mower is ready to mow.

Sometimes, the engine’s internal issues won’t let the engine start even when the user follows the correct starting procedure. The most common issue that prevents the engine from starting normally is problems with the carburetor, ignition system, gas, air filter, etc. Checking your engine to search for the root cause of these problems is not difficult. You can consult the manufacturer’s manual or internet tutorials to carry out a diagnosis on your Toro mower that won’t start.

Problems that don’t let the Engine Start:

Here’s a list of common problems that don’t let the engine start and their possible fixes are discussed too.

● Bad Gas:

Your Toro mower engine won’t start on bad gas. Gas is bad when it is not fresh and clean or when its composition does not match the requirements.

Always use fresh gas in your Toro mower. Don’t let gas sit in the tank when you store the mower. If there is old gas in the tank, drain it out and put fresh gas before starting the mower.

Toro recommends gas with an octane rating of 87 and an ethanol blend of not greater than 10% ethanol. Adding a good quality fuel stabilizer in the gas is also recommended.

● Faulty Carburetor:

A faulty carburetor will fail to provide the correct fuel-air mixture to the combustion chamber, preventing the engine from starting or running smoothly. Carburetor usually gets dirty with its ports blocked over a long period of use. If ethanol-blended gas sits in the tank for a long time, it can produce a sticky material that can block the carburetor ports.

Examine the carburetor by following the manual’s instructions or an online tutorial and clean it with carburetor cleaner, brush, and water. If the carburetor is in such bad condition that it cannot be restored, replace it with a new one.

● Blocked Air Filter:

A blocked air filter can prevent the correct amount of air from reaching the combustion chamber, which results in incomplete combustion. Incomplete combustion means that less than the required amount of power is produced, which is not enough for starting the engine and keep it running.

If your Toro mower is not starting, remove and examine the air filter. Cleaning an air filter that is not too dirty is easy. Use a brush, soap, and water for cleaning the air filter and install it back. If the air filter is too dirty and blocked, better replace it with a new one.

● Compression:

Any compression related problem won’t let the engine start because an incompletely compressed air-fuel mixture will not ignite correctly.

To ensure complete compression in your Toro mower engine, ensure that the cylinder head gasket, piston rings, and valves are free from faults.

● Faulty Coil:

Your Toro mower with a faulty coil won’t normally start too. Testing the coil and getting it fixed is another possible solution to a Toro mower that is not starting.

● Flywheel:

The flywheel plays an important role in starting the engine. A broken flywheel or issues with its timing prevent the engine from starting.

If your Toro engine is not starting, check the flywheel. If the flywheel is broken, replace it with a new one that is compliant with your engine.

Regular Maintenance:

A well maintained Toro mower will never have starting problems. Regular servicing and tune-up will keep your mower in good shape and ensure that it starts on the first attempt.

You can find guidelines about maintaining your Toro mower in the manufacturer’s manual or through online guides and tutorials.

Final Remarks:

Toro is a popular and well-trusted company among lawnmower owners. If you think your Toro mower is not starting rightly or is worried because it shuts off just moments after starting, you aren’t following the right starting procedure. Following the starting procedure given in this article, you’ll be able to start your Toro push or riding mower correctly.

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