How to Start a Yard Machine Lawnmower, step by step


A good working Yard Machine lawnmower makes doing some cumbersome yard work a lot easier. The first thing you need to do is starting the mower the correct way. Following the proper starting procedure will make your machine last longer and gives better results. Yard Machine lawnmowers can be separated into two distinctive classes, the Yard Machine riding lawnmower and the Yard Machine push lawnmower. Although the basic mechanics are somewhat similar in both lawnmower types, the steps to operate may vary slightly.

How to Start a Yard Machine Lawnmower, step by step:

  • Traditional or Yard Machine Push Lawnmower
    • Step 1: Get ready to start.
    • Step 2: Check the oil and gas
    • Step 3: Inspect the lawnmower blade
    • Step 5: Open the throttle
  • Yard Machine Riding Lawnmower  
    • Step 1: Check the oil, gas, and battery
    • Step 2: Inspect the lawnmower blade
    • Step 3: Sit firmly in the seat and press the break
    • Step 4: Engage the parking brake
    • Step 5: Engage the neutral gear
    • Step 6: Pull the throttle in the choke position
    • Step 7: Insert the key in the ignition and turn to the right
    • Step 8: Move the throttle to the stationary position

Among the extensive lineup of Yard Machine Maintenace and grass cuttings, the Yard Machines series stands to be one of the most renowned series, dating back to 1958. This very series consists of numerous variants of riding, self-propelled, and walk-behind lawnmowers. Other than that, the company has also produced various credible versions of trimmers and edgers.

The Yard Machine 550 series consists up of gas-powered lawnmowers. This features a recoil starter with a simple to use rope-pull mechanism, which means the working is similar to any other gas-powered lawnmower present in the market.

In the case of a push Yard Machine lawnmower, the first time you are operating can be a little intimidating. With a bit of guidance and practice, running and starting a lawnmower will become as easy as starting your car. In this article, we enlist some easy steps which once followed, could help you get started with the most initial practice needed to mow your lawn that is starting the Yard Machine lawnmower.

Yard Pre Start Checks are essential:

Before starting your Yard Machine Lawnmower, you need to spend some time on the prestart checks. These help to ensure that the mower is healthy and functioning perfectly. Similar to other brands, this includes checking the gas tank, oil, and the blade’s condition.

To ensure that your Yard Machine mower will have a long life, you should not forget to give it regular maintenance. This includes checking the sparkplugs and air filter. If the condition is not good, they should be cleaned or replaced.

Start a push Yard Machine lawnmower in 6 easy steps.

● Step 1: Prepare the mower

Take the lawnmower on an open surface close to the location where you want to start mowing. Ensure that the surface on which the Yard Machine lawnmower is placed is level and free from any debris, toys, or rocks.

● Step 2: Check the oil and gas

In the case of a 4-stroke Yard Machine lawnmower, you can check the oil level with the dipstick. If the level is not high enough, add some oil.

If you own an older 2-stroke Yard Machine lawnmower, you do not have a separate oil container. Oil and gas need to be mixed in the correct amounts for the engine’s longevity and health. For these machines, there is no need to check the oil level.

● Step 3: Inspect the lawnmower blade

Always check the condition of the blades. In a push Yard Machine lawnmower, you can carefully tilt the mower to check them. Don’t tilt the mower too much or entirely, as you do not want the oil to get into the wrong places. The blade should be sharp and not containing visible damage. Sharpen or replace the blade if needed.

● Step 4: Prime the carburetor

Locate the prime button, usually a red or black button on the Yard Machine lawnmower’s body. After finding it, push it a couple of times to make gasoline flow into the engine’s lines. Ensure that you consult the guide while operating this button to avoid any flooding caused to the engine.

For modern Yard Machine lawnmowers which do not have this button, you can skip this step.

● Step 5: Open the throttle

 A throttle is usually a lever that is located on the body of the Yard Machine lawnmower. To keep the machine going, you must put the throttle in mid to high state. If the engine is cold, setting the choke would help you run the engine without starting it multiple times.

● Step 6: Pull the starter cord to start

Yard Machine push lawnmowers consist of a horizontal lever which is located around the handle. One needs to grip the handle while keeping the lever against it firmly. After that, it is necessary to grasp the starter’s handle, which is attached at the end of the rope or cord, and pull it quickly and firmly. Repeat this every step until the motor starts running. When the engine is cold this can take a few tries.

Start a riding Yard Machine lawnmower in 8 easy steps.

● Step 1: Check the oil, gas, and battery

Similar to the smaller Yard Machines, you should check the oil and gas level. Use the dipstick to check the oil level. If the level is not high enough, add some oil. Check the condition of the battery. If you have not used the mower for some time, it can need some charging.

● Step 2: Inspect the lawnmower blade

Always check the condition of the blades. In a riding Yard Machine lawnmower, the easiest way is to set the mower deck in its highest position. This should give you some clearance at the bottom to carefully check the blade condition. Tilting a riding lawnmower is almost impossible. If you have a ramp, you can use this as well. The blade should be sharp and not containing visible damage. Sharpen or replace the blade if needed.

● Step 3: Sit firmly in the seat and press the break

After the prestart checks, you can sit now firmly in the seat. Yard Machine sitting Lawnmower has a safety feature that ensures that you can not start it if you are not sitting in the seat.

Engage the brake pedal. It is located under the left foot of the operator. Some Yard Machine lawn mowers have a break lever instead of a pedal. To engage the brake, you either need to push the pedal or the lever downwards. Make sure that you engage brake before starting your lawnmower.

● Step 4: Engage the parking brake

The exact location of the parking brakes varies from model to model. It is usually a knob or a lever that you can easily excess in most Yard Machine lawnmowers. Once you know the parking brakes’ location, slowly release the pedal break while the lever or the knob is pulled.

In some Yard Machine lawnmowers, parking brakes could be engaged by simply pressing the parking pedal. 

● Step 5: Engage the neutral gear

After setting the parking brake, the next step is to find the gear shift lever turn it to neutral. Generally, it is located near the steering or under the seat. Shift the lever so that it’s point towards “N” that is meant for neutral.

● Step 6: Pull the throttle in the choke position

Now, locate the throttle. It is generally present on the Yard Machine dashboard. The throttle has marking signs of rabbits and turtles as identification for speed. The choke is engaged by moving the throttle lever. Depending upon the brand and type of mower, the lever should be positioned between fast and slow settings or by pulling it way past short to the point presented by a circle with a diagonal line passing through it.

● Step 7: Insert the key in the ignition and turn to the right

Place the key in the ignition and get set to turn it accordingly. Turn it to the right, and the engine should start to produce a roaring sound. Depending on the conditions, it can take 15 to 20 seconds or more until the engine is started.

● Step 8: Move the throttle to the stationary position

Once the Yard Machine engine has started and is running fine, disengage the choke. Move the throttle lever into the stationary position and let it run for a short while. This will warm up the oil and other engine parts. If the engine is warm, you can start mowing.

Your Yard Machine Lawnmower won’t start:

  • Inspect the spark plugs for the signs of wear or damage. If they are just dirty, you can clean them. If the insulator around is cracked or the electrode is damaged, your spark plugs are defective. In that case, replace them.
  • The carburetor might be clogged. If you use fuel that is older (more than two months), ingredients evaporate and settle in the carburetor in the form of a thick sticky substance preventing the engine from starting. One needs to clean or repair the carburetor to start the machine ultimately. This is why you should empty your gas tank if you do not use your Yard Machine lawnmower for an extended period. Or use a fuel stabilizer.
  • Old and bad gas could be another reason the lawnmower isn’t starting and is producing sputtering noises. Add some fuel stabilizer if you plan to not using your Yard Machine lawnmower for an extended period.
  • The faulty ignition coil is yet another reason which causes the lawnmower does not start because of the uneven voltage distribution necessary to run the spark plugs.

Final Remarks:

This article discussed the necessary steps needed to start the two main categories of Yard Machine Lawnmowers, push lawnmowers, and riding lawnmowers. When operating them for the first time, a person may get a little overwhelmed. But following the steps mentioned starting and eventually operating a lawnmower could become as easy as driving your car.

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