How To Start A Riding Lawn Mower Quickly In Two Minutes

If you want to know how to start a riding lawn mower, this is the place to start. There's a lot of joy in having and maintaining a large property, and there's also a lot of work involved. This doesn't have to be daunting when you use a riding lawn mower. It's easy and once you learn to start your riding lawn mower quickly, you’ll end your problems with an unruly lawn.


Some questions you may have may be: How exactly do I start a riding lawn mower? What should I look for before I start it? Rest assured these are common questions and the answers are readily available in this easy to understand breakdown of the basic mechanics of starting your riding lawn mower.

3 Point Checklist

Before starting your riding lawn mower, there are three things you should check first. These include: checking the power source, checking the oil, and checking if the safety is on. These three simple things can spare you a lot of headache in the long run.

#1. Check Your Power Source

Check the Riding Lawn Mower's Battery

Most mowers are either electrically powered or gasoline powered. Often you find that your mower won't start its because it needs to have its battery charged or have its tank filled. It's easy to overlook, yet this is an easy fix that won't take too long to take care of.

#2. Check Its Oil

Checking the Riding Lawn Mower's Oil

Use a dipstick to see if it is at an acceptable level for your mower according to its manual. Your mower must have a minimum level of oil to ensure its performance and to maintain its engine. This can take a few seconds. If you have never checked your mower's oil levels and are unsure how to, check out this Youtube tutorial from Jeff's Little Engine Service.


You cannot add any type of oil to your mower, so make sure to add oil that is recommended by your mower's owner's manual for best performance.

#3. Check If The Safety is On

Check the Riding Lawn Mower's Safety

The safety switch turns the engine off when you aren’t sitting on the mower, if you fall off for any reason you won’t have to worry about being run over. For your own safety, it will not start unless the safety switch is engaged.

How to Starting Your Riding Lawn Mower

Starting A Riding Lawn Mower

Now that you've gone through the three-point checklist you are ready to begin the process of starting your riding lawn mower. Be sure to read each step carefully to ensure a smooth start.

Step 1: Make sure you are sitting properly and more importantly safely in the seat to engage the battery, or the mower will not start up, as this is an included safety feature.

Step 2: With your left foot, press down on the clutch/brake lever located on the left side of the mower as far down as it goes to ensure that it is engaged.

Step 3: On the right side of the mower, locate the knob/lever that engages the parking brake and set the mower to a parked position.

Step 4: Locate the gear shift of the mower and move it to its neutral position, it may be indicated as simply “N”.

Step 5: Set the throttle lever to the choke position

Step 6: Insert the mowers key into the ignition switch and turn the key to its start position, usually to the right, to start the engine. Once the engine starts, release the key.

Step 7: Once the engine has started, remove the lever from the choke position and place it in a fast throttle position to warm the engine before use. The throttle is usually indicated by the image of a rabbit for fast and a turtle for slow.

Step 8: Release the parking break by stepping on it again.

Step 9: Move the gear shift from neutral to forward.

Step 10: Press down on the drive pedal to move and increase your speed.

Trouble Shooting

riding lawn mower isn't starting

Your riding lawn mower isn't starting? There are many simple reasons this may be. While figuring it out, consult your owners manual for trouble shooting tips.


The Power Source is Out

One of the most common reasons your mower won't start is that its power source is out. Either you're out of gas or your battery hasn't been charged. To fix this, simply fill up the gas tank or charge your battery.


The Gas is Too Old

Maybe the last time you filled up the tank was two months ago and you may think it should still work. This is not the case because the gas used for mowers have a 30-day shelf life. This old gas is clogging the carburetor. Be mindful of the age of the gas used.


The Fuel Filter is Clogged

Another possible reason your mower may not start is that the fuel filter is clogged from built up debris. This clogging effect will inhibit the fuel to flow to the carburetor and if that happens you won't be able to start your mower. To fix this, simply replace the fuel filter.


The Battery is Dead

This is similar to the first reason, your battery is dead. This time you can't just recharge it, you gotta replace it.


The Starter Solenoid is Bad

A tell tale sign of this is when you turn the ignition key and you hear a clicking noise. When this occurs, you will need to install a new starter solenoid.


The Spark Plug is Disconnected

Either try hooking it up, if that doesn’t work consider replacing it.


The Air Filter is Dirty

A dirty air filter inhibits the carburetors performance. Check to see if it is dirty or torn and consider replacing it.

And That's It!

Becoming familiar with how to start your riding lawn mower will make the experience much less stressful and with repetition, each attempt will be faster than the last. Knowing which lever to engage and when will also contribute to your safety as its operator.

And last, of all, remember to always consult your owners manual when additional questions come up on using and maintaining your mower.

If you found this article helpful and informative please let us know what you think in the comments section and consider sharing it with others as well.

About the Author Laura Bennett

Hello, I’m Laura Bennett. I love nature especially when it comes to flowers and different kinds of plants. I started a very small garden behind my house and I named it Humid Garden. So, I created this blog to provide aspiring and inspiring thoughts about gardening for gardeners and anyone who has the intention of keeping a garden.

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