There’s no doubt about it- riding lawn mowers are extremely useful when you have a large area of grass that you need to cut. However, they also come with their own unique set of problems that you might not have encountered before. I’ve put this article together to help educate you about the most common of these problems, as well as a few tips on how I’ve solve them. If you’re not able to do so yourself, then your best bet is to take your riding lawn mower to your nearest repair shop.
When the Engine Won’t Crank?
This problem is usually pretty easy to solve. Just check that all the safety mechanisms of the mower are working properly- i.e. the mowing deck isn’t engaged, you have the parking brake on, and that the operator is securely seated on the mower. If one of the safety switches hasn’t been activated, then the mower is specifically designed to not start, so as to avoid injury.
Another problem that could be causing this is that the battery cable has come loose. This rarely happens, but is easy to fix- just open up the battery compartment and fix the black negative cable to the negative terminal (labelled “N” or “-“), and the red positive cable to the “P” or “+” terminal. Pay attention to the battery acid. Care is required when handling battery acid. Avoid spilling it as it can burn through your clothes and cause severe burns to your skin.
You can test your battery to check its condition. To do this, check the specific gravity of each battery cell using a hydrometer. When fully charged, the cell should measure approx. 1.250 specific gravity(see your manual for specific level). You’ll also want to make sure that there is enough fluid in the battery- if the fluid level is insufficient, top it up with some distilled water until it is just under the split rings, then charge the battery. If this doesn’t work, then you will need to replace the battery.
If the battery is not the source of the problem, then check the fuses to see if any have blown. You can find the location of your mower’s fuse holder in the operator’s manual. Also check for loose or pinched wires, and replace any blown fuses. Finally, check that the ground wire is properly grounded- this is usually a black ground wire that runs to a metal part of the frame or a mounting bolt. However, not all riding lawn mowers come fitted with an engine ground wire to frame.
When your Lawn Mower Does Not Start?
If your riding lawn mower just won’t start, ensure there is enough fuel in the tank- the engine won’t start when there isn’t sufficient fuel in the carburetor. There is also a chance that the fuel line itself has been blocked- clean out the line and replace the fuel filter, and this should solve the problem.
You could also have the throttle or choke in the wrong position. The right position will vary from model to model- check your manual to find the right position for yours.
Spark plugs and wires can also come loose, stopping the engine from starting properly. You can check this with a spark plug tester. If this is the cause of the problem, then clean the gap, make sure everything is fitted properly, and replace any spark plugs that are faulty.
When Smoke is coming out of the Engine?
In the vast majority of cases, I noticed that this is caused by there being too much oil in the engine. Check the oil level, and get rid of any excess oil if the engine has been overfilled. When the excess oil has burnt off, the engine should stop smoking.
If the problem continues, then your engine might be losing its crankcase vacuum. This can be caused by a broken or loose dipstick, dipstick tube, or valve cover, as well as alternative internal engine damage. By replacing any defective parts, you will be able to restore the vacuum pressure.
When your Lawn Mower is Bagging, Discharging, or Mulching Poorly?
There are several ways that you can prevent problems with discharging, mulching, and bagging. Firstly, note that the engine has to be working at full throttle for these functions to work as they should. You’ll also need to set up the deck properly- it has to be level across, and the front must be around 3/8 of an inch lower than the back.
If you’ve done all that and the problem still isn’t fix, consider sharpening or replacing your mower blades.
When your Lawn Mower Is Not Cutting The Grass Properly?
Wet grass, as well as overly long grass, can interfere with the functionality of your riding lawn mower. Ensure you only mow during dry conditions, and if the grass is too long, go over it with the deck at a higher than normal setting first. Mowing slower will also get you a cleaner cut. Finally, try cleaning out any dirt that may have built up underneath the deck.
This advises are just from personal experiences and online research. However, I would recommend seeking professional assistance. This is to guide you to understand the problem better and be aware of any potential surge charges from crooked professionals.
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