How To Start A Lawnmower Using Choke Lever ?

How to start a lawn mower? Starting a lawnmower can be intimidating for some, especially if you are new to the process. But with a little knowledge and understanding, you can quickly master this seemingly daunting task. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will teach you the correct procedure to start a [type of lawnmower] and explain the purpose of using the choke in detail. Let’s begin our journey by understanding the different parts of the lawnmower as we prepare to start it.

See also: how to start a lawnmower without primer bulb

How to Start a Lawn Mower- Easy Steps

1. Preparing The Machine

  1. Inspect the lawnmower: Before starting your lawnmower, it is essential to inspect the machine’s overall condition. Ensure the oil level is at the proper mark, the spark plug is in good working condition, and the cutting blade is sharp and secure.
  2. Place the lawnmower on a flat surface: To start the engine safely, position the lawnmower on a level surface, free from debris and tall grass.

2. Fueling Up

  1. Fill the tank: Open the fuel cap and fill the fuel tank with the correct fuel as specified in your owner’s manual. Most small-engine lawnmowers will require unleaded gasoline.
  2. Secure the fuel cap: After filling up the tank, close the fuel cap to avoid any leakage.

3. Adjusting the Throttle

  1. Locate the throttle control: Find your lawnmower’s throttle control lever or knob. It is commonly located near the handle or the engine.
  2. Adjust the throttle: Move the throttle control lever to the “Choke” or “Start” position. This is essential for starting a cold engine. If the engine is warm, you may set the throttle control to “Fast.”

4. Essential Safety Precautions

  1. Wear proper attire: For your protection, wear safety glasses, long pants, and closed-toe shoes while operating your lawnmower.
  2. Keep children and pets away: Ensure that children and pets are a safe distance from your working area.
  3. Read the manual: Familiarize yourself with your lawnmower’s features and safety guidelines in the owner’s manual.

5. Starting The Lawnmower

  1. Activate the engine: Locate the ignition switch or critical start, if applicable to your lawnmower. Turn the key or switch to the “On” or “Start” position.
  2. Hold the engine control lever: Find the engine control lever attached to the handle. Grasp the lever firmly and hold it against the handle.
  3. Pull the starter cord: Firmly hold the lawnmower handle and grasp the starter cord handle with the other hand. Pull the starter cord quickly and smoothly to engage the engine.
  4. Allow the engine to start: If the engine begins successfully, release the starter cord and allow the engine to run for a few seconds. Then, adjust the throttle control to the desired speed.

What Does a Choke Do On a Lawnmower?

The choke is crucial for starting your lawnmower, as it directly affects the air-fuel mixture in the engine during startup. In simple terms, the choke can be considered a valve regulating the air entering the engine.

When the choke is in the “closed” position, it restricts the airflow, creating a richer fuel mix for easier ignition. As the engine warms up, gradually open the choke to allow more air into the system and create a leaner fuel mix. Once your lawnmower runs smoothly, you can close the choke completely and operate on a standard setting.

How Does A Choke Work On A Lawn Mower?

The choke is an essential part of the starting system in a lawn mower. When the engine is cold, it needs more fuel to start. This extra fuel comes from the choke, restricting airflow and creating a richer mix of air and fuel. The enriched mix helps ignite the spark plug and get your engine running.

As the engine warms up, open the choke gradually, this allows more air to enter the engine and a leaner fuel mix. Once your lawn mower runs smoothly, close the choke completely and operate your mower in a standard setting.

Should The Choke Be Open Or Closed While Starting Lawn Mower?

Starting a lawn mower can be intimidating, but it becomes much easier with a basic understanding of the machine and its workings. One common question among new lawn mower owners is whether the choke should open or close during start-up. The truth is that it depends on the type of lawn mower and the temperature outside.

For colder temperatures, it is recommended to close the choke to restrict the airflow, creating a richer fuel mixture and easier ignition. However, for warmer temperatures, it is recommended to keep the choke open for proper airflow and efficient combustion. By understanding the appropriate usage of the choke when starting your lawn mower, you can ensure smoother and more efficient lawn care.

Is It Bad To Use A Lawn Mower With The Choke On?

When starting up a lawn mower, using the choke is expected to help get the engine running. However, leaving the choke on while mowing the lawn is not recommended.

The choke restricts the airflow to the engine, making it run rich with fuel. This can lead to many problems, from fouled spark plugs to excessive fuel consumption. While it may seem like leaving the choke on would temporarily boost power, it can cause long-term damage to your mower.

So, in short, it is harmful to run a lawn mower with the choke on. Take the extra few moments to properly adjust the choke before working on your lawn. Your mower will thank you in the long run.

What Control Symbol Indicates The lawn Mower Choke?

The control symbol used to indicate the choke on your lawn mower will vary depending on its make and model.

  • The choke symbol on some mowers resembles a propeller wedged between two lines, representing the choke’s position in the carburetor. Tilted denotes closed, while vertical indicates an open flow of air.
  • Alternatively, other models may feature a rabbit and turtle pair signifying high energy (rabbit) or slow, steady fuel (turtle).
  • Still, some mowers may have labels such as ‘open/close,’ ‘on/off’, or ‘push/pull’ instead of symbols. Your mower’s choke symbol and purpose are in your model’s manual.

Where Is The Choke On My Mower?

The lawn mower’s choke is typically located near the carburetor, so it may require you to remove a few parts first.

On most models, the lawn mower choke lever should be easy to spot once you open up the engine cover. It may be labeled as “choke” or have symbols indicating its location and purpose. Refer to your mower’s user manual for additional information.

Once you’ve located the choke, please familiarize yourself with how it works before starting up your lawn mower. This will ensure your machine’s smooth and efficient operation for many years.


Choke lawn mower safety is an essential aspect of proper lawn mower maintenance. Understanding the choke’s purpose and how it works can help you get the most out of your machine, whether starting up or already mowing. Keep in mind the key points discussed in this article to ensure safe and successful lawn mower operation every time.

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