Troubleshooting a Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower

Inspecting the blade is important if grass is not cutting properly.
Inspecting the blade is important if grass is not cutting properly. (Image: lawn,grass image by Greg Pickens from

Craftsman riding lawn mowers come in various sizes with features that differ across each model. Most of the primary functions of all models are the same. Commonly occurring problems will have similar solutions for every model of Craftsman riding mower. When a problem arises with the mower, diagnostic troubleshooting can help determine possible reasons for the problem. Complete the troubleshooting process to resolve the issue after it has been identified.

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Check the battery cables if the engine will not start. Tighten the connections if they are loose. A loose battery connection will prevent power from getting to the mower.

Replace the spark plug if the engine will not turn over. Replace the fuel filter if the engine is difficult to start.

Check the oil level if the engine does not run smoothly. Add oil until it reaches the "Fill" line on the dipstick. The engine may run rough if the oil becomes low.

Clean the air screen if the engine loses power while it is running. Inspect the air filter and clean if it is dirty. A dirty air screen or air filter reduces air flow and prevents the engine from working properly.

Mow up and down slopes. The engine may stop if you mow across a slope.

Raise the cut height if grass is not discharging while cutting. Replace or sharpen the blade if grass still does not properly discharge. A dull blade will prevent the grass from being cut properly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always disconnect the spark plug wire before inspecting the blade or undercarriage of the mower.


  • "Craftsman Mid-Engine Rider Mower Operator's Manual"; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; 2006
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