If your lawn mower is proving difficult to start, there's a good chance that a dirty carburettor could be to blame. This can be a particularly common problem with mowers that have been stored away for the winter without being serviced first. During the summer months when your lawn mower is in use regularly, the carburettor can become covered in small bits of grass clippings, deposits of sludge, and other lawn debris. This accumulated muck causes problems as it prevents the carburettor from mixing air and fuel within the mower's engine, which in turn causes poor starting and rough running.
If you clean your mower's carburettor a couple of times during the mowing season and as part of its annual maintenance regimen, you'll prevent these frustrating problems from developing, as well as improving fuel efficiency and increasing the machine's lifespan. Read on to find out more.
What you'll need
- flathead screwdriver
- carburettor cleaning spray (available from gardening stores and lawn mower suppliers)
How to do it
- The first thing you need to do is to remove the air filter cover from the side of your mower. Simply undo the screws and place them somewhere safe.
- Lift out the air filter and pop off the carburettor's exterior cover so that the inside is exposed.
- Switch on the lawn mower so that the exposed carburettor is running.
- Take the aerosol carburettor cleaning spray and position the tip of the can directly into the centre of the carburettor. Spray the running carburettor liberally with cleaning preparation. It's important that the machine is running during this process so that the cleaner is driven deep inside the device's throat where it will remove any grimy deposits that are stuck there and on the lower throttle plate.
- Next, spray the cleaner directly onto the choke shaft, which is situated at the base of the carburettor throat. This will get rid of any remaining dirt once the mower's engine is shut off.
- Finally, replace the carburettor's cover and push the air filter back into position. Screw the air filter cover back into place.
If you can't do it yourself, it's well-worth having your lawn mower serviced professionally at the end of every summer season. In the meantime, it's a good idea to lubricate and clean the carburettor by following the guidelines set out above. This will help to keep your mower working smoothly, and should also prevent problems with starting the machine.