How to Troubleshoot a Sears Riding Lawn Mower

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Sears has long been a popular brand of riding mower, and these widely used lawn tractors can provide many years of trouble free service with the right care and maintenance. Even so it is helpful for owners of these lawn tractors to have some basic troubleshooting skills under their belt. Knowing how to fix common problems when they arise is the best way to keep your mower up and running without the hassle and expense of hiring a repair person.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
  • Extra spark plugs
  • Gas can and extra gas
  • Extra filters

Make sure the gas tank is at least one quarter full. If the gas tank is close to empty the mower may not be able to start. If there is gas in the tank, but your Sears riding mower still will not start, it is possible that the gas has gone stale. Fuel begins to deteriorate almost immediately, so if it has been a while since you last cut your lawn, you may need to drain the gas tank and refill it with fresh fuel.

Position a drain pan below the tank and then remove the drain plug from the bottom of the fuel tank. Wait until all of the old fuel has drained out of the tank and then replace the drain plug. Remove the gas cap and refill the tank with fresh fuel. Try to start the mower.

Check the condition of the filters on your Sears riding mower. Sometimes the filters will become dirty and blocked, especially if the mower is stored outside or the weather has been particularly dry. The filter cover is probably located near the front of the mower, but the location may be different from model to model. Locate the filter body and remove the cover by taking out the screws or removing the clips that hold it in place.

Pull the filter out of the housing and examine it closely. If you cannot see through the filter easily it needs to be replaced. Replace the filter with a new one and then carefully replace the filter cover, making sure that it snaps securely into place.

Check the condition of the spark plug. A dirty or fouled spark plug can cause your Sears riding mower to run poorly - or to not run at all. To check the spark plug open the hood of the riding mower and locate the spark plug wire. Set the spark plug wire aside carefully and unscrew the spark plug. Examine the condition of the plug closely - if it is fouled or dirty it should be replaced. Be sure to keep a couple of extra spark plugs on hand to make replacement easier.

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