Mowers are usually faithful beasts! Sometimes after a cold, damp winter in the shed your mower can struggle to spring to life. If your mower was running well at the end of last season and there are problems starting your mower this Spring, try the tips below and perhaps save a trip to mower repair shop.
You don’t even have to be a mechanic 😀
At the risk of sounding old, they don’t make petrol like they used to! The simple fact is, petrol does not last as long as it did. The fuel can go off in just a few months. There is a significant change in colour. Fresh petrol is very clear and “gone off” petrol has a faint orange tint to it with a slightly sweeter smell , as if it has been mixed with glue.
Drain the petrol tank on the mower and refill with fresh fuel. If you have a petrol can that you store spare petrol in, make sure this is fresh too.
Mowers often need “full choke” in order to start (Honda mowers/engines are particularly prone to this). If the mechanism that activates the choke is a bit sticky, there is a big chance your mower won’t start.
The choke mechanism is different for all mowers so it is difficult to explain each system. Usually the throttle lever is pushed right forward to activate the choke and once the mower starts you pull the lever back slightly into the “run/full throttle” position.
Starting from the throttle lever, follow the cable all the way to the engine. At the end of the cable is the engine throttle mechanism, spray some WD40 around this area and then move back up to the lever end and move the throttle lever back and forth a few times from “stop” to “choke”. This should free the choke mechanism and hopefully the mower will start.
Batteries can really suffer in the cold and damp so make sure they are fully charged.
Trickle chargers or smart chargers as they are now known, are the best way to keep the battery in tip top condition. The smart charger knows exactly how much charge to put into the battery and they can be left to charge your battery in complete safety.
Smart chargers are a great investment and cost around £20.