How to Start a Push Lawn Mower

How to Start a Push Lawn Mower?

You look outside your window and you notice that the grass in your lawn needs to be trimmed. You need to know how to properly start a lawn mower if you plan to cut the grass on your lawn.

To start a lawn mower, you need to make sure it’s oiled and has enough gas for the operation. Press the primer a few times. Next, check the lever on the top of the handle and pull it in your direction, it’s important that this lever is in a starting position before you do the next step. Finally, pull the starting cord quickly a few times until the engine starts to rev up.

Using a lawnmower for the first time can be confusing and sometimes scary but it’s very easy to use. You just need to understand how it works and you’d be mowing in no time.

Starting the Lawn Mower

Before you start your lawn mower, you need to move equipment first to a grassy area. Make sure that there are no rocks and other things in the area.  

Check the oil and Gas

This is the most important step in the process. Your lawn mower will not work if it doesn’t have oil and gas. You need to check if the lawn mower’s oil and gas tanks are filled properly.

The location of the oil and gas tank will depend on the engine of your lawn mower. For lawn mowers with 4-stroke engine, open the oil fill cap or dipstick. 

You would need to mix oil with the gas if you are using a 2-stroke engine. You can check the lawn mowers’ user manual for the correct ratio for your engine.

Press the primer

You need to press the primer 3-5 times if the lawn mower has been inactive for a long time or if this is the first time you are using the mower. Doing this will channel gasoline into the engine of your lawn mower. 

If you don’t where to find the primer checking the diagram in the user’s manual would help. This would help you familiarize yourself with the layout of the mower including the primer button.

Turn the lever in the top handle into ‘start’ mode

Stand behind the lawn mower and look for a lever on top of the handle. Grasp this lever and hold it against the top bar of the mower. You should this lever in place with one hand.

Keeping this lever pressed to the top bar will keep the engine running after you start the lawn mower. Be sure to hold the lever in place when you start pulling the starting lever.

Pull the starting cord

At the base of the lawn mower, you plastic cord to grasp. This is the starting cord and you need to learn how to pull this correctly in order to start the lawn mower.

You need to hold on to the cord firmly and pull this all the way. Do not pull this slowly or yank it. You would need to do this quickly. The engines do not usually start at the first pull, sometimes you need to do this a few times.

What To Do If Lawn Mowers Won’t Start (Troubleshooting)

Change the fuel

When your mower doesn’t start, this is the first thing you must do. Gasoline has a tendency to go bad if it sits unused in your lawn mower for a longer period of time. Environmental factors, like the weather and temperature, also contribute to this issue. You must replace the gasoline in the fuel tank. 

Drain the gasoline from the tank by using the drain or using a hose to siphon the gas from the tank. After draining the gasoline tank, you can refill the gasoline tank.

Clean the Spark Plug

The spark plug is necessary to start the engine. When it is exposed to moisture or liquid like water and gasoline, it does not work. You would need to either clean or replace the spark plug to successfully start the mower.

Refer to the engine diagram of your lawn mower user manual to locate the spark plug. When you identify where the spark plug is, carefully remove it and clean it.

You need to use a damp cloth and carburetor cleaner solution to remove any oil or liquid residue stuck on the spark plug. Wait for the spark plug to dry first before reinserting it back to the engine. 

Carburetor cleaner solution can be purchased at an auto supply store.

Air Filters

The lawn mowers’ machine would not start if the air filter is filled with dirt or flooded with gasoline. The air filter prevents dust and other debris from entering the mowers’ engine.

The air filter of your lawn mower can either a paper filter or a foam-type filter. It is easy to spot them from one another. Paper air filters are housed in a small cylinder while foam filters are inside a small can-sized metal rectangle.

Remove the air filter and check if it is clogged or flooded. If it is significantly dirty you might need to replace it with a new one. You can buy air filters at your local hardware store and auto supply store.

If you are unsure of the location of the air filter, check your user’s manual.


Lawn mowers are not complicated machineries to operate. You can operate one by understanding its key parts and how they work.

Before you can use the lawn mower on your lawn or your yard, you would need to know how to properly start it.  You should familiarize yourself with the correct procedure for starting your lawn mower. 

There would instances where the lawn mower would not start even if you have followed the steps correctly.  You must be able to isolate the issue for you to fix it. 

It would also be advisable that you refer to the lawn mower’s user manual to understand how your machine works. 

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