How to Fix a Lawnmower If It Stalls

A stalling lawnmower may need to be cleaned.
A stalling lawnmower may need to be cleaned. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

After pulling your lawnmower out of storage after a long winter, you may notice the engine is hard to start and stalls. This is a common problem. Dirt and other elements may clog parts integral to the mower engine's running process. If your mower stalls in the middle of the mowing season, you may have a carburetor problem. Thin fuel mixtures or overly rich fuel mixtures will cause the engine to stutter and stop. Have a service professional adjust your carburetor to prevent harming the engine. Luckily, most other issues are repairable without the assistance of a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Fuel
  • Oil
  • Wrench
  • Drain pan
  • Screwdriver
  • Filter

Unscrew the cap of the gas tank and inspect the fuel level. Fill the gas tank if necessary. Replace the fuel if it has sat in the engine for more than a month, or if there are signs of water in the tank.

Inspect the oil level of the mower if there was smoke before the stall. Fill the crankcase with the oil specified in your owner's manual. Turn the mower on its side, with the crankcase underneath the carburetor, if the oil needs replacing. Remove the plug from the underside of the mower, using a wrench, and drain the oil into a drain pan. Replace the drain plug and return the mower to its wheels. Fill the crankcase.

Remove the screw that holds the cover on the air filter. Lift off the cover and inspect the air filter. A dirty air filter will cause the mower to stall out. Throw out a paper air filter. Clean a foam air filter in soap and water. Air-dry the foam filter, and then replace it.

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