Troubleshooting lawn mower problems can be hard, but nothing matches the frustration when a lawn mower runs rough. The good news is there are easy-to-do solutions to make your lawn mower run smooth, easy and straight again.
In this lawn mower troubleshooting guide, we will cover everything to identify, fix and avoid a lawn mower running rough.
Understanding Why Lawn Mower Runs Rough
While there can be many reasons why a lawn mower runs rough, here are a few common signs to identify when a lawn mower runs rough.
- Clogged Air Filter: A dirty air filter can severely hinder your lawn mower’s performance. However, a clogged air filter restricts the smooth airflow to the engine, leading to combustion. Hence, the best solution to that would be to regularly inspect, clean or replace the air filter.
- Faulty Spark Plug: Cracked, fouled, or improperly gapped spark plugs can wreak havoc on your mower’s ignition timing and power output. Therefore, it’s crucial to maintain your spark plug in top shape by replacing one at least every month.
- Clogged Fuel Filter: As the name suggests, a blocked fuel filter acts as a roadblock, blocking the smooth flow of fuel to the engine. To maintain your mower, regularly inspect and replace the fuel filter as mentioned in your maintenance schedule.
- Stale Fuel: Old, deteriorated fuel can spell trouble for your mower, causing loss of efficiency. Therefore, the best idea is to prevent these issues by using fresh, high-quality fuel and storing it properly. For best performance, add a fuel stabilizer if your mower goes unused for extended periods.
Signs Your Lawn Mower Engine is Struggling
When it comes to achieving a healthy lawn, a reliable lawn mower is your best friend in need. But even the most expensive grass-cutting machines can face challenges over time. Therefore, a best practice is to recognize the signs that your lawn mower engine is struggling for.
- Sputtering or surging
- Loss of power and reduced cutting ability
- Black smoke from exhaust
- Difficulty starting or stalling
- Vibrating or shaking
- Backfiring or after-life
Make sure to keep an eye on these warning signs for early diagnosis of your lawn mower.
How To Fix a Lawn Mower Running Rough
Finding your lawn mower stuttering can be hard to deal with, but not with the best solutions. With the below-mentioned suggestions, you can easily diagnose & restore your mower’s issues.
1. Check the Air Filter
Remove the air filter and inspect for dirt buildup or debris clogging the mesh. Next, clean gently with soap and water if dirty or replace if excessively soiled.
2. Replace Fuel Filter
The fuel filter mounts inline along the supply hose and problems in it can be a threat. Therefore, replace it every 100 running hours or annually with other parts for proper fit and flow.
3. Inspect the Spark Plug
Remove the spark plug and check for fouling, oil residue, or damage. For better performance, set the gap to .030 inches using a feeler gauge or replace worn plugs for optimal ignition.
4. Change Out Old Gasoline
Try draining the old gas and add fresh 89+ octane fuel every once a month. Let it cycle through the system to purge stale gasoline and add fuel stabilizers to prolong shelf life.
5. Clean the Carburetor
Remove the carburetor and spray it down with any carb cleaner to dissolve varnish from stale fuel. As a thumb rule, reinstall that using a carburetor rebuild kit for a tight seal.
6. Adjust Engine Speed
Always use throttle body screws to increase idle speed if it’s dipping too low. That way, you may be able to revive the engine once again.
Although small, these quick maintenance items should resolve most lawn mower issues.
Prevention Tips for Smooth Operation
Once you’ve successfully diagnosed the problem, it’s time to bring the mower back to normal state with these tips.
- Replace air and fuel filters at recommended intervals
- Drain fuel tanks fully before winter storage to prevent fuel deterioration
- Use a fuel stabilizer when storing gas for longer than 30 days
- Check tire pressure and adjust the specifications on the sidewall
- Sharpen mower blades every 25 hours to prevent bogging
- Clean underside deck and washout clippings after each mow
- Verify proper engine oil levels before each use
With regular care & maintenance, your mower is likely to provide years of smooth, trouble-free service.
FAQs: Troubleshooting Lawn Mower Problems
Irregular revving usually indicates an issue with fuel delivery, likely a clogged fuel filter or carburetor needing cleaning.
Stale gasoline can clog carburetors and cause combustion issues. Drain the tank completely and refill with fresh 89+ octane fuel.
There will be a central lever or separate height adjusters on each wheel. Raise the mower deck for longer grass and lower it for shorter trimming.
Plan to sharpen blades after every 25 hours of mowing. Nicked or dull blades rip grass rather than cutting cleanly, stressing the engine.
Change engine oil after the first 5-8 hours of operation when brand new. Then follow the manual’s guidelines, usually every 50 hours or seasonally.
Keep Your Lawn Mower Running Smoothly
With proper care and maintenance, you can expect your mower to deliver years of reliable starting and smooth cutting performance. If things look serious, consider taking your lawn mower for repair to have years of smooth operation.