lawn mower won't start


Old 05-04-03, 06:48 AM
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Angry lawn mower won't start

I don't know anything about fixing a lawn mower and am trying not to take it to a repair shop. I think it might just need a new spark plug but want to know your opinion and how to do it.
After I prime (?) the engine by pushing in the rubber thing three times I pull the string to start the mower. This doesn't start it. It doesn't turn over or anything. I am hoping that if I change the spark plug it will start, but I also don't know how to change a spark plug.
Do you just unscrew the plug and replace it?
Please let me know if you think this will work?

Thanks for your time,
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Old 05-04-03, 07:34 AM
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Changing the spark plug is always a good idea to start the season. This may not be the reason the mower is not starting. Have you checked the oil and fuel?
Pull the oil dipstick out and wipe it off then insert it back in the engine and read the oil level. You may need to add oil. If you can't see the markings on the oil dipstick through the oil, your oil may need to be changed.
If you didn't empty the fuel tank last fall the fuel in there may be stale. If the fuel is to stale you may need to have the fuel tank emptied and fresh fuel put in.
You may need to push the primer button more then three times.
Good luck!
Old 05-04-03, 07:52 AM
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Thanks for the response. I am going to go get a spark plug and try it. All you have to do is unscrew it and screw the new one in? right? (please don't laugh)
The fuel did stay in over the winter but it wasn't starting at the end of the season last year.
I will let you know if the spark plug change worked.

Thanks again,
Old 05-04-03, 10:58 AM
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Correct. One other thing is to check the gap on the spark plug. It should be at .030", but if you can't check it, it's fine like it is.
Old 05-05-03, 09:22 AM
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Post back the model and engine serial numbers and mower type.

A couple of things:

1) As Roger mentioned, make sure the engine oil is full. It should be changed each season (there is a drain plug underneath that you remove and drain the old oil into a pan). Fill it with SAE30 or 10W30, depending on the machine and what the engine label says.

2) Take out the old spark plug, bring it with you to the store and get the same type. It is likely a Champion J19LM if it's a recent mower, assuming it's a 4 cycle engine (where you don't mix the oil and gas).

3) If the new plug doesn't make it start, then take out the plug and squirt a little fuel into the cylinder. Now put the plug back. If the machine starts and runs for a few seconds and dies, you have a fuel problem. The fuel line could be clogged, pinched or the carburetor needs rebuilding as the fuel has turned to varnish by sitting.

4) Check that the air filter (if so equipped) is not clogged or restricted.

You can go to the local library and borrow some small engine repair books to give you an idea.
Old 05-05-03, 05:34 PM
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lawnmower won't start

i am also a female and this guys world is hard on a woman...however, i do know that there is a special socket to remove spark plugs, i have one and it makes removing spark plug easy......i think i bought this tool at wal mart and was inexpensive.
good luck...there is a web site called how stuff works, it explains how the lawnmower works.......i have found this to be helpful, sometimes i feel so helpless in what is usually a mans expertise.
Old 05-05-03, 06:05 PM
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Joyce7, you said the machine wasn't starting at the end of last year....during your last cutting did you happen to hit anything remotely solid with the mower?? My bet is a sheared flywheel key....or as the others have mentioned the spark plug....and yep probably a j19lm or rj19lm....or in Bosch WR11EO....its a cheap try.

You can use any 13/16 socket to remove the plug....but yes they do make special sockets for that....really not necessary though, as any deep socket will do.

good luck...let us know what you find.
Old 05-21-03, 05:49 PM
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Just wanted to thank everyone for their help. I changed the plug and the old beast started, dang it. No more excuses.....ha ha.

Thanks again.
Old 05-22-03, 06:44 AM
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Yup, after the rain we've been having here in the Northeast, my grandfather's 80x100 property became very hard to mow. LONG grass. LOL.

I filled a 32 gallon pail and three 32 gallon garbage bags with grass this week! LOL

(All with using a 1988 Craftsman rear bagger I recycled for free and have been using without fail for the past 4 years
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