What if My Craftsman Ready Start Mower Won't Start?


Craftsman Ready Start lawn mowers come in a variety of models with different features, functions and capabilities. The process of starting the lawn mower is the same for most all Craftsman Ready Start models. Ready Start mowers do not have a prime or choke button because the system automatically feeds a small amount of fuel into the carburetor. If problems occur when trying to start the lawn mower, identify possible reasons that may prevent the lawn mower from starting. After the cause of the problem has been identified, it is much easier to resolve the issue. Common issues affecting the function of a Craftsman lawn mower can be resolved by going through the troubleshooting process.

  • Make sure the control bar is pressed when pulling the starter rope. If the control bar is not pressed, the lawn mower will not start.

  • Check the oil level. If the oil level is low, the engine will lose power or may not start at all. Add oil if needed until the oil is up to the "Fill" indicator on the dipstick.

  • Inspect the gas tank. Make sure the tank is filled with clean, fresh gas. If the gasoline in the tank is old or stale, replace it with fresh gasoline.

  • Check the underside of the mower deck. Remove any dried grass or other debris that could be preventing the blade from turning. If the blade cannot turn, the lawn mower will not start.

  • Inspect the air filter. Replace the air filter with a new one if it is dirty or clogged. A dirty air filter could prevent the engine from getting the air it needs to run.

  • Move the lawn mower to another location if it is sitting in tall grass. If the blade is dragging against tall grass or anything else that could be preventing it from turning freely, it will not be able to start. Start the mower when it is parked in an area where the blade can move freely.

  • Check the drive speed control if equipped. Move the throttle to the highest speed when starting the engine. The control can be moved down as needed once the engine is running.

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  • "Craftsman Ready Start Power-Propelled Lawn mower Owner's Manual"; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; 2008
  • Photo Credit grass image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com
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