How to troubleshoot a lawnmower

24 Aug, 2022

How to troubleshoot a lawnmower

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Whether you’re a homeowner who tends their lawn and garden or a housesitter, tomato sitting for a week read this blog. In this article we offer you top tips and tricks on how to troubleshoot a lawnmower when your  lawn mower wont start. Read on to learn more.

How to troubleshoot a lawnmower – Briggs and Stratton models

troubleshoot a lawnmower
Sometimes you need a little help to work out what the problem is

No matter how reliable your lawnmower is, you may occasionally experience an issue. From time to time even with the best models, you may find it isn’t working quite as well as usual.

This can be a disaster when you have a garden party planned, or you have another reason to need to cut the grass.

However, luckily Briggs and Stratton mowers can be kickstarted into action with just a little bit of application. Read on to learn more. 

This blog will walk you through some common problems that your mower could be experiencing, helping you to find a fix quickly so you can get back to sprucing up your garden.

And remember, if your mower really is broken, there are plenty of replacement parts for Briggs and Stratton equipment available online.

A lawnmower that won’t start

People often think that a Briggs and Stratton lawnmower that won’t start has reached the end of its life.

But, chances are, you may just have to give it a little bit of love and affection.

The first step to figuring out why your mower isn’t turning on is checking your spark plug.

This could be covered in dirt or loosely connected – give it a good clean and try again. Alternatively, the culprit could be your air filter, which also traps a lot of dirt and debris. Finally, check your carburettor and give it a few taps to see if that will help the flow of gas.

In case nothing works, it’s best to have a professional take a look at your mower or buy a new one. Thankfully, you can now find quality outdoor power equipment online with ease. Just do a quick search and you’ll find many reliable brands to choose from.

Smoking lawnmower

When smoke starts coming out of your lawnmower, it’s natural to panic, but don’t worry, it’s usually not a sign that something is about to explode. More often than not, smoke will be due to an overflowing oil chamber.

If you’ve recently stored your mower on its side, there could also be a chance that oil has leaked into your exhaust muffler. However, if you’re consistently seeing smoke you may need to ring the professionals.

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Housesitters or a gardening service also look after your lawn and lawnmower, and any lawn mower repair in your absence

Stuck starter rope

If your starter rope is sticking or becoming harder to pull than before, you may need to disengage your flywheel. This is easily done and all you need to do is make sure the bar is all the way down before you pull the starter rope.

Another reason your rope may be getting stuck in your Briggs and Stratton mower is if your blades are clogged. Over time, grass clippings will build up and need to be removed manually.

Make sure your mower is disconnected from its power source before attempting to clean the blades.

Many gardeners are keen to keep their lawn tidy and neat, and need a functioning lawnmower to achieve these results

Inefficient grass cutting

Sometimes you need to run your mower over multiple areas of your lawn to get it to cut the grass. This isn’t ideal if you’re cutting a larger space, so it’s important to solve the problem as soon as you can, especially if your mower used to perform much better.

Your first port of call should always be cleaning your cutting blades. If this doesn’t work, your blades may need to be sharpened or even switched out for some new ones.

Out of all the problems you could have with your Briggs and Stratton mower, this is usually the easiest to fix.

How to troubleshoot a lawnmower in summary

Lawnmowers can be the most reliable of household and gardening pieces of equipment. Many go on working for years and years without issue, especially the Briggs and Stratton models. However, it is really useful to keep this list of tips and tricks to hand on how to troubleshoot a lawnmower in the unlikely event that you experience any issues.


At we often share practical ideas and information for our members. Here are some useful links for some of our earlier gardening blogs. We hope you enjoy them and find them of use.

Home gardening safety tips – Green thumb 101

Home gardening safety tips – Green thumb 101

Gardening tips – How to stop insects eating young plants

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