Sudden lawn mower failure can be one of the most frustrating experiences a homeowner will face.
Nothing spoils a sunny day like trying to start your lawnmower only to hear nothing but silence – or worse, an ominous clicking sound from within the machine.
Whether you’re working on rough terrain or just finishing up putting that perfect stripe through the grass, it’s often said, “nothing kills more time than when a tool won’t work”.
To help avoid frustration and get back out in the yard, we’ve compiled some common causes behind why your lawn mower might have suddenly stopped working and what are the best fixes for them.
Why did the Lawn Mower Die while Mowing and won’t Start?
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Numerous problems could be causing your lawn mower to shut down suddenly while mowing.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes so you can easily recognize them in the future.
Expired Spark Plug
If your lawn mower has died while mowing and won’t start, one of the common causes is an expired spark plug.
When a spark plug expires, it can no longer ignite the engine, which results in the inability to start your lawn mower.
The role of the spark plug is to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the cylinder of your lawnmower, which then produces a chain reaction to power the engine.
Over time, spark plugs can become corroded or dirty, causing them to not provide a strong spark for ignition.
This is why it is important to replace your spark plug at regular intervals as part of routine maintenance for your lawn mower.
Faulty Circuit Board
If your lawn mower suddenly stops working while you are mowing and refuses to start, it could be due to a faulty circuit board.
The circuit board is responsible for transmitting electrical power to the motor, so if it has become damaged or short-circuited, then the power is unable to reach the motor, and your mower will not start.
The circuit board could be broken due to a number of different factors, such as age, excessive use, or being exposed to the elements. If your lawn mower is older, then it is more likely to be the cause of the issue.
If you find that your lawn mower has suddenly died while mowing and won’t start up again, you should investigate a few possible cause.
One of the most common culprits can be related to cable issues. If the cables connecting your lawn mower are loose or damaged, it can cause a power disruption and thus prevent the mower from starting.
Clogged Air Filter
It’s important to regularly check and change the air filter in your lawn mower, as a clogged air filter can cause it to die while mowing and not start.
Air filters are essential to your lawn mower’s engine, as they prevent dirt and debris from getting into the engine and causing it to overheat.
When the air filter becomes too dirty, it can restrict airflow to the engine, which will cause it to lose power and eventually shut off.
Regularly checking and changing your air filter is a good preventative measure to ensure that your lawn mower runs smoothly.
An oil leak is one of the most common causes of a lawn mower that won’t start. If your lawn mower has stopped working in the middle of cutting your lawn, it could be due to an oil leak.
This is caused by a worn or damaged seal, gasket, or other components that have allowed the oil to leak. This can lead to insufficient lubrication in the engine, which will cause it to overheat and eventually shut down.
How to Fix a Lawn Mower that Died while Moving and won’t Start
Luckily, most of the lawn mower problems we mentioned can be easily solved. Here are some of the most efficient methods of making sure your lawn mower doesn’t die while mowing.
Check the Spark Plug
One of the most common issues with lawnmowers is that they won’t start or die while in use. If you find yourself in this situation, the first step is to check the spark plug.
You may need to replace it if it looks worn or damaged. The spark plug is essential for your lawn mower to run properly.
To replace the spark plug on your lawn mower, you’ll need to locate the spark plug in the engine, which is usually located near the top.
Unscrew any protective covers and then use a socket wrench to carefully remove the plug. Once removed, you can install a new spark plug and then reattach any covers.
If the spark plug is not functioning correctly, it can prevent the mower from starting or cause it to die while in use.
Additionally, check the fuel lines and filter for any blockages or obstructions preventing the mower from starting. If any of these components are not functioning correctly, they will need to be replaced or repaired.
Once you have addressed any issues with the spark plug, fuel lines, and fuel filter, the next step is ensuring the battery has enough charge.
If the battery does not have a full charge, you may need to replace it or check the connections to ensure they are secure and functioning properly.
Finally, ensure all safety switches are engaged, and the blades are free to move. If any of these components are not functioning properly, they will need to be addressed before the mower can be used again.
Check the Circuit Board and Wiring
If you find that your lawn mower has died while mowing and won’t start, the first step is to check the circuit board and wiring.
It could be that the wiring has become loose, or the circuit board may need to be replaced. You will probably need to remove the mower’s cover to access the circuit board and wiring.
Be sure to unplug or deactivate the lawn mower and follow all safety guidelines before attempting any work.
When examining the circuit board, look for any loose or frayed wires or signs of damage or wear. If any issues are identified, it is important to repair or replace the circuit board and wiring.
It may also be necessary to check the fuel filter, spark plug, and air filter to ensure they are in good condition.
If the issue is not resolved after checking these components, it may be necessary to take the mower to a professional.
Check the Cables
When checking the cables, make sure that all of them are firmly connected and not loose or disconnected. If any of them appear to be damaged, replace them with new cables.
It could be that the cable isn’t tight enough, so try tightening the cable to see if that solves the issue. If it does not, then there could be a problem with the spark plug or carburetor.
There could be something blocking the connection between the spark plug and the engine, so check for any debris preventing a proper connection.
Clean or Replace the Air Filter
A clogged air filter is one of the most common causes of a lawn mower not starting. As we’ve mentioned, an air filter helps to keep dirt and other particles out of the engine, and if it becomes clogged with dirt or debris, it can prevent proper airflow and cause your lawn mower to not start.
If your lawn mower won’t start, one of the first things you should do is check the air filter. It should be replaced if the air filter is extremely dirty, clogged, or damaged.
Otherwise, you can try cleaning the air filter to see if that fixes the problem. To clean the air filter, first, remove it from the mower.
Gently tap it on a hard surface to shake out as much dirt and debris as possible. Then, use a vacuum to carefully suction up any remaining dirt or particles still stuck in the filter.
Finally, re-install the air filter in your mower and try to start the engine. This should help get your lawn mower running again.
Check if there’s an Oil Leak.
If your lawn mower has died while mowing, one of the first things you want to do is check for an oil leak.
If there is indeed an oil leak, it is likely that the engine has seized and needs to be replaced or serviced by a professional.
In case there isn’t an oil leak, then there are other possibilities that may be the problem. Check to ensure the fuel lines are connected properly and that fresh gasoline is in the tank.
If the fuel lines are clogged, or there is old gasoline in the tank, this could be preventing your lawn mower from starting.
It is also recommended to check where and why the oil leak is happening. If the oil leak is coming from a place that was not designed for it, such as a cracked or broken part, then you will need to replace the part in order to prevent further damage to the engine.