Starting a lawn mower after winter (how to do it right) (2023)

Winter is finally over and it's time to get the mower out again. Well, that can be a roulette game; does it start or not? It depends on whether you have winterized your lawn mower or not. If you thoughtlessly shoved the mower into the corner of the garage at the end of the last mowing season, you could spend a few hours bringing the mower back to life from its hibernation. So what do you need to do to get your mower working again? We will see.

Starting a lawn mower after winter (how to do it right) (1)

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(Video) How To Start A Mower That's Been Sitting

The main reasons why people find it difficult to start their mower after winter

Winterizing a lawn mower involves a full service and some preventative steps to protect it while it's sitting idle during the winter. so if youYou forgot to winterize your mower, you need to do some maintenance and hope there is no permanent damage. These are the points you need to address.

  • service battery
  • Clean up used gasoline
  • Change engine oil
  • Clean carburetor
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Replace the air filter
  • Replace spark plug
  • clean lawn mower

How to start a lawn mower after winter (step by step)

If your mower won't start after the winter shutdown, you need to grab your tools and a few parts. Once you have everything you need, you can take your mower to your work area, or better yet, place it on a mower lift if you have one (here'sHow to make a lift table for a lawnmower?).

service battery

If you left the battery plugged in over the winter, it is most likely dead. If it has been plugged in and exposed to air, there may also be some terminal corrosion. It is not a good idea to take a charger and connect it to the battery when corrosion is present as this can easily draw too much current into the battery and destroy it. Therefore, you need to remove and repair the battery. You must do that.

  • Remove the battery
  • Check battery
  • Clean terminals and plugs
  • charge the battery
  • Test volts and amps
  • Reseat or replace the battery

Clean up used gasoline

Leaving bad gas in a lawnmower over the winter is one of the most common reasons a lawnmower has trouble starting the first time.Untreated gasoline "spoils" or decomposes when stored for 30 days or more. The bad gas becomes less flammable and forms a flammable gum. If you have raw gasoline left in your mower over the winter, you will need to remove it and get fresh gasoline. Here are the steps you need to take to get rid of bad gas.

  • Old fuel tank jack/petrol pump
  • Disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor
  • Remove the fuel from the fuel system (except the fuel tank)
  • Reassemble the fuel system
  • Fill in fresh fuel

Change engine oil

Leaving new engine oil in the lawn mower over the winter is not a problem, no matter how old the used oil is. Imagine all the dirt and grime in the old dirt oil. If oil is left in for a long period of time, this dirt will settle to the bottom of the engine pan and form a sludge. This sludge can be difficult to remove and potentially contaminate your next oil changes.

Even if you have properly winterized your mower before storing it, you should still change the oil at the start of the season. There is always some dirt in the crankcase that contaminates the oil, so even good oil goes bad over time. Here's what you need to do to remove the old oil and sludge.

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  • Remove the oil pan bolt and drain the oil
  • Install the drain plug and fill in new oil
  • Run mower until warm
  • Allow the mower to cool down
  • Check the oil to see if it is clean
  • Repeat oil change

Clean carburetor

If you left gasoline in the mower over the winter and didn't treat it, the carburetor needs a thorough cleaning. Chewing gum from degraded gasoline can actually clog a carburetor and render it unusable. Also, the float can get stuck in place and the jets can become completely clogged. So you need to grab your cleaning tools and gear and follow these steps.

  • Remove the air filter and housing
  • Remove the throttle linkage from the carburetor
  • Remove fuel line
  • Remove the fuel cup from the carburetor
  • Remove and clean the fuel float
  • Remove and clean fuel nozzles
  • Clean the carburetor inside and out
  • Inspect the carburetor for damage and corrosion
  • Reinstall or replace carburetor and associated parts

Replace fuel filter

If your lawn mower has an old fuel filter, you will need to replace it. A dirty filter can easily reduce fuel flow to the engine and cause problems when trying to start the engine. If your mower had any leftover naphtha over the winter, it's likely stuck and clogged. Here's what you need to do to replace it.

  • turn off the fuel
  • Remove the spring clips from the fuel lines holding the fuel filter
  • Remove the old fuel filter
  • Install the new fuel filter
  • Install the spring clips
  • ignite fuel

Replace the air filter

The air filter has two jobs. One is to make sure the air entering the engine is clean. Second, the volume of air entering the engine is regulated. If you're having trouble starting your engine early in the season, it could be because the air filter is clogged, affecting the airflow to the engine. Depending on the type of filter your mower uses, it could also be dried out.

So if you haven't already replaced the air filter before storing your mower for the winter, you need to do so now. Here are the steps to replace the air filter.

  • Remove the air filter cover
  • Clean the air filter housing
  • Install a new pre-air filter
  • Install a new air filter
  • Reattach the air filter cover.

Replace spark plug and check ignition cable

Spark plugs are delicate at the best of times, so leaving an old one in your mower over the winter is not a good idea. Air going through the air filter and carburetor and then into the cylinder head will definitely corrode the spark plug to some extent. Because the gap in the spark plug between the center electrode and the ground electrode is so precise, even the slightest bit of corrosion can affect a spark plug. The best solution here is to replace the plug immediately. You can do that.

  • Remove ignition cable
  • remove the old spark plug
  • Install the new spark plug
  • Reconnect the ignition wire

if you areChanging the spark plugIt's always a good idea to check the ignition wire that connects to the spark plug. These can corrode in winter and impair the ignition behavior of the spark plug. So a few minutes of attention can really help. You should.

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  • Examine the inner ignition wire
  • Spray with WD-40
  • File/sand interface
  • Reconnect the ignition cable to the spark plug

clean lawn mower

You may not think that a dirty mower could cause a problem, but if there is anything left on the mower deck from last season's end, it could cause a clog. A blockage in the mower deck could prevent the blade from rotating and the engine from rotating.

So if you have trouble starting your mower after the winter, it doesn't necessarily have to be an engine problem. Here's what you can do to clear any possible blockages that are preventing your mower from starting.

  • Raise the cut/tilt deck over the grass cutter
  • Remove spark plug/ignition cable
  • Scrape old grass clippings off the cutting deck
  • Check that the blades can rotate freely

How to start a cordless/cordless lawnmower after the winter

Electric mowers are very different from petrol mowers because the blade is powered by an electric motor from a battery or cable. However, this does not mean that they are immune to problems caused by itWinterize your lawn mowercorrectly. Here are the things to look out for when starting your cordless/cordless mower early in the season if your mower won't start after sitting idle for the winter.

battery charge

For those of you who have a battery powered lawn mower, the first thing you should do is make sure the batteries are fully charged. Even if the batteries are fully charged when you put the mower away, they can still discharge if left in the mower for a long time. The best solution is to put them on the charger and fully charge them again.

Cable/cable test

Hopefully your cable was safely stowed away over the winter. However, it is not uncommon for a cable left outside to become damaged during the long winter months. Check for damage and make sure there are no obvious problems. If you have experience with multimeters, you can test the cable for defects.

Checking the clamps

Both cordless and corded mowers (mowers with a detachable cord) have points where the electrical connection is made. These are called terminals. Leaving an electric lawn mower outside during the winter can lead to corrosion and a bad connection at the terminal. Take a look at where it's connecting and see if you're having trouble. You may need to get a small file or piece of sandpaper to remove the corrosion.

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Checking the engine speed

Rust is an absolute enemy of electric motors. If your mower has been left outdoors, the motor may be stuck due to rust and corrosion.

Try to turn the engine by turning the blade. Just make sure it's unplugged and no batteries installed. There should be little to no resistance as you turn the blade. If you sense a problem, stop using the mower. The motor must be replaced first.

Attempting to operate your mower with a faulty engine can easily cause it to burn out and start a fire.

Checking the brushes

The only resistance you should feel from an electric motor is the pull of the magnets or brushes. The brushes transmit electrical current to the motor and can be damaged.

First, the brushes wear out as the mower is used and are used as a safety feature on some electric mowers. But they can seize up from corrosion if the mower hasn't been properly winterized and gets wet air.

When you remove the cover from the mower, you will expose the top of the motor and brushes. Here you can check the brushes and reattach or replace them.

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connection check

The last thing to check if you are having trouble starting your mower after the winter is over is the electrical connections to the motor. Inside the mower you will find connections from the power supply, wires or batteries to the motor. Like the brushes in winter, these connections are prone to corrosion and can prevent power from getting to the motor.

Again, you can remove the cover and check the connections. A bit of sandpaper or a metal file should clean the terminal well and restore the connection.

electrical work

Now, I'm certainly not an electrician or an expert when it comes to electric lawn mowers, but I understand the problems that arise when you don't winterize your lawn mower. So unless, like me, you're not a qualified electrician, I would recommend having your electric lawn mower serviced by a licensed professional.


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