What to do if you tip over your lawn mower and then it won’t start

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We commonly hear this from customers, neighbors and family members:

“I replaced the blade on my lawn mower and now it won’t start,” or “I tipped over my lawn mower and now it doesn’t start.”

It’s common for mowers to stop working when people tip them to replace blades or complete some other kind of maintenance.

When that happens, there are usually three causes:

Possible cause 1: In some models, when you tip the mower, fuel can leak into the carbon in the cap, which restricts the venting of the fuel system. This can cause the engine not to start, or only run for a few minutes, then quit.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Leave the cap to dry out or replace with a new cap.

Possible cause 2: There is oil inside of the breather tube, which is connected to the carburetor. Oil can then soak into the air filter, causing a restriction and the mower to not start, or run rich with fuel. If there’s black smoke exhaust coming out of the mower, this is likely the cause.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Replace the air filter.

Possible cause 3: Fuel in the carburetor can leak into the air cleaner and engine, causing it to flood and fail to start.

POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Allow the cap to dry out or replace it.

How to prevent this from happening in the future:

Before performing any kind of maintenance, read your lawn mower owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly tilt or re-position it for maintenance.

RepairClinic.com has replacement parts for lawn mowers, small engines, string trimmers, edgers, chainsaws, pole pruners, hedgers, generators and other outdoor power equipment. With your equipment model numbers ready, head to RepairClinic’s free Repair Help for troubleshooting information.

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