Why My Lawn Mower Won’t Start After Winter? Expert’s Interview


Maintaining a yard is undoubtedly a daunting task, especially if you are a non-mechanical person. One of the common issues most gardeners face with lawn mowers is not starting after winter though it was completely fine during the earlier season.

Why my lawn mower won’t start after winter?

A lawn mower may not start after keeping it idle for a long time. The carburetor and fuel of the lawn mower are the two most possible reasons behind this issue. But you may encounter this issue due to other reasons too, which will vary from mowers to mowers.

Why My Lawn Mower Won’t Start After Winter?

1. Too Old Gas or Petrol

Too Old Gas or Petrol

Your lawn mower gas or petrol can be a reason behind not starting the machine after winter. Is the petrol or gas is too old as you don’t use them for a long time?

Stale fuel won’t help you start the mower. You need fresh fuel. So, instead of including fuel too early, it is better to fill the fuel tank just when you use the mower.

If you did, replace the oil with new oil. But draining old fuel from a lawn mower by turning it on its side is not recommended as it may lead to other issues with starting. Instead, the old fuel can either be siphoned from the lawn mower or extracted using an oil/fuel extractor.

2. Faulty Carburetor

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When you want to know why your lawn mower won’t start after winter, it is essential to ensure that your lawn mower carburetor receives fuel from the fuel tank. If it disrupts, you will face difficulty in starting the machine.

Carburetor comes in two different types: bowl style carburetor and primer bulb included carburetor. Check out the carburetor to see whether fuel is flowing freely.

3. Incorrect Fuel Injection

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Few people often become confused between 2 stroke lawn mowers and 4 stroke lawn mowers. Though only 2 stroke lawn mowers need a balanced oil and petrol mixture, they often use this method for 4 stroke lawn mowers.

But they are entirely wrong as 4 stroke lawn mowers only need gas or petrol to operate. Even though the mixture merely harms the machine, it can be the reason behind the lawn won’t start after winter.

4. Faulty Spark Plug

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Is your lawn mower still not starting even after seeing the fuel and carburetor is completely fine? Have you checked the spark plug of the mower?

The chances of a lawn mower starting are 90% if it has fuel, spark, and compression. If there is significant wear or damage to the spark plug. It is better to replace it. Make sure you purchase a suitable model, as not all models can be compatible with your mower.

Read More – Why The Spark Plug of The Lawn Mower is Wet? How To Fix It?

5. Kill Switch And Micro Switch

Kill Switch And Micro Switch on lawn mower

When you wonder why your lawn mower is not starting after winter, you should check the microswitch or kill switch.

Lawn mowers with a kill switch may not start if the switch is connected. Because it prevents the mower from generating sparks. So, you want to ensure the kill switch is disconnected while operating the machine.

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On the other hand, Lawn mowers with a micro-switch may not start if you fail to active it accurately. Correct connection is essential from the cable to other parts of the machine.

6. Blade Issue

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When any objects block the pathway of the mower blade, you may struggle to start your lawn mower. That’s why you want to make sure nothing disrupting between the blade and the cutting deck.

You can’t start the lawn mower when the starter rope is pulled, and the blades do not turn. So, clear everything from the blade pathway.

7. Choke Issues

Having a manual choke is common if there is a bowl-style carburetor in your mower. Test the choke system whether it is working perfectly or not.

If you don’t know how it works, you can take professional help. If there is any default in the manual choke system, you may fail to start the mower.

8. Too Old Oil

When you don’t use your lawn mower during the offseason, the old oil may cause damage or friction for the moving parts. That’s why you want to lubricate your engine parts using new oil.

Make sure you use the correct type of oil for your lawn mower in the right quantity. It is a better practice to replace the mower oil in every season for better performance.

9. Battery-powered Lawnmower

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Battery-powered lawn mowers must have an adequate charge to use the machine smoothly. Before using the device for the upcoming season, charge the battery properly to prevent engine die issues. If the engine doesn’t start even after giving a full charge, then the problem might be with other things.

10. Ignition Coil Issue

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The wire of the ignition coil is connected to spark plugs. If this wire is damaged or disconnected, the machine fails to generate sparks. Without sparks, you can’t start the engine.

When you prepare the machine to use for the upcoming season, make sure no failure of the ignition coil. Check out the wire whether it is connected properly or not.

11. White Smoke Issues

The Most Common Lawnmower Problems and Reasons (White smoke)

Some lawn mowers may have white smoke issues after winter. This problem occurs when moving the machine into a sloping position with one side higher incorrectly.

White smoke will come when you start the engine for the first time after winter for incorrect machine movement.

Solving the issue requires you to follow a non-environmentally friendly way. The white smoke problem will disappear after you run your lawn mower for a few minutes.

To know more, Read – How Does A Lawn Mower Engine Work? How to Fix White Smoke Issues?

12. Hydro-locked lawn mower

How to fix Hydro-locked lawn mower

You have a probability of experiencing hydro-locked issues if you have trouble pulling over your lawn mower. Fortunately, you can fix it with a simple solution.

Take off the spark plug from the engine and take it aside. Then, pull over the machine several times without inserting the plug.

By following this approach, you can unlock it. Once the machine becomes unlocked, re-insert the spark plug in its place correctly. Lawn mowers that are tipped up in storage have a probability of having this kind of problem.

13. Governor Springs

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You may have already had Governor Springs in your lawn mower, as it is a common thing. Their main job is helping the machine to move smoothly without any restriction from different angles.

However, you may face difficulty in starting your machine if there is any restriction while Governor Springs are moving.

In that case, you want to check out whether there is any obstruction near the carburetor area or the air filter is blocked. Make sure Governor Springs can move backward and forward at different angles.

Environmental exposure is a problem for governor springs, and it can be frozen or damaged because of it. If it is heavily damaged, it is best to replace it.

14. Compression Issue

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Are you facing a pull-start issue? Then, the compression in the machine appears missing over winter.

Keeping a lawn mower in storage will not decompress it. But you can test it by pulling the cord of the machine. If you don’t feel any of its resistance, it has a pull start issue.

How to Prevent Your Lawn Mower From Not Starting After Winter Storage? Step by Step Guide

So, now you know the answer to this question: why my lawn mower won’t start after winter. We are hoping you have become successful in dealing with lawn mower starting issues. But what is the guarantee it won’t come back in the next season? In that case, you want preventive action so that you don’t face the same issue repeatedly.

Step 1 – Say No To Ethanol-based Gasoline

How to Prevent Your Lawn Mower From Not Starting After Winter Storage - Say No To Ethanol-based Gasoline

Avoid purchasing gasoline, which is not free from ethanol. Because your carburetor will become clogged with ethanol over time.

You might be having objections that gas that doesn’t contain ethanol is a costly option. Yes, we do agree. But small machines like lawn mowers don’t consume that much gas. Investing a little extra will pay off for a prolonged period.

Step 2 – Use A Fuel Stabilizer

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Our lawn mower sits idle for more than one month during the winter. It is essential to keep the gasoline fresh for engine efficiency. For this reason, using a fuel stabilizer is the best thing you can do.

Additionally, it is better to use gasoline inside the tank within a single season. When the next season comes, you want to use fresh gasoline instead of using any old gas.

Step 3 – Run-On The Machine Regularly

Though we don’t use a lawn mower during the winter, we can use it during the growing season. You can run the machine for a few minutes once a week even though you don’t need to cut any grass.

You ensure no jamming up the issue as the machine is not sitting idle for a long time.


When you are wondering why my lawn mower won’t start after winter, nothing to panic about. We have included several issues that can reason behind this problem.

The best thing is that you can fix the problem in most cases if you have some lawn mower basics. Pretty inexpensive solutions!

If needed, replace any damaged components, especially when they cost only a few bucks. If you still failed to deal with the issue, reach a professional mechanic. Thanks for reading!

Last update on 2021-10-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API