Caring for your lawn mower requires more than just a quick once-over. When it starts to sputter, you know there’s something wrong. These issues must be addressed as soon as possible, whether it won’t start and run smoothly or the engine sounds off.
In this blog post, we’ll explore eight common causes why your lawn mower might be sputtering and provide tips on how to fix them. So if you feel like tinkering with mechanical bits instead of replacing your trusty machine completely—let’s get started.
What is Sputtering in My Lawn Mower?
Sputtering is a problem that usually occurs when the engine isn’t receiving enough fuel or air. These two components are necessary for your mower to run smoothly, and sputtering will happen if there’s an imbalance or malfunction.
Causes: Why Your Lawn Mower Sputters
A sputtering lawn mower can be frustrating, especially when it prevents you from tackling your lawn care duties. Understanding the common reasons behind this issue and learning how to fix them can help keep your lawn mower running smoothly. Here are eight reasons why your lawn mower might sputter, along with tips for fixing each issue.
Dirty or Clogged Air Filter
Reason: A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow into the engine, causing it to sputter.
Fix: De-attach the air filter and clean it with a soft brush or compressed air. If it’s too dirty or damaged, consider replacing it with a new one.
Stale or Contaminated Fuel
Reason: Over time, gasoline can become stale or contaminated, leading to poor combustion and sputtering.
Fix: Drain the old fuel from your lawn mower and replace it with fresh gasoline. Regularly add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel from going stale.
Dirty or Clogged Carburetor
Reason: A carburetor is responsible for mixing air and fuel in the proper proportions. A dirty or clogged carburetor can negatively affect this process and cause the engine to sputter.
- Clean the carburetor by removing it from the engine and soaking it in a cleaner.
- Reassemble and reinstall the carburetor when clean.
- Consider replacing it if cleaning doesn’t solve the issue.
- Fouled or Damaged Spark Plug
Reason: A fouled or damaged spark plug cannot ignite the fuel properly, resulting in a sputtering engine.
Fix: Extract the spark plug and clean it with a wire brush. Replace it with a new one if it’s damaged or worn out.
Dirty or Clogged Fuel Filter
Reason: A dirty or clogged fuel filter can restrict gas flow to the engine, causing your lawn mower to sputter.
Fix: Replace the fuel filter with a new one, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Water in the Fuel Tank
Reason: Water in the fuel tank can lead to poor combustion, causing your lawn mower to sputter.
Fix: Drain the fuel tank and dry it thoroughly before refilling it with fresh gasoline.
Loose or Damaged Fuel Cap
Reason: A loose or damaged fuel cap can allow air to enter the fuel system, causing the engine to sputter.
Fix: Ensure the fuel cap is secured correctly and free of damage. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one.
Improper Fuel Mixture
Reason: If your lawn mower uses a 2-stroke engine, an improper fuel mixture can cause the engine to sputter.
Fix: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the correct ratio of gasoline and oil. Drain any improperly mixed fuel and refill the tank with the right mixture.
Addressing these common issues can prevent your lawn mower from sputtering and ensure it remains in good working condition for years. Regular maintenance and checks are essential in keeping your lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently.
Why My Why Mower Runs Good Then Sputters?
One potential culprit is a clogged air filter, which can restrict airflow and cause the mower to run poorly. Another possibility is a dirty carburetor, which can cause fuel to be mixed improperly and lead to sputtering and stalling.
Why Does Lawn Mower Sputters and Dies?
This issue can be caused by various factors, including dirty or clogged air filters, stale or contaminated fuel, and fouled spark plugs. In some cases, the carburetor may need adjusting or replacing. It’s essential to diagnose and address any underlying issues as soon as possible.
What is the Best Way to Prevent My Lawn Mower From Sputtering?
Regularly servicing and maintaining your lawn mower is the best way to prevent sputtering. This includes checking and replacing air filters, cleaning or replacing spark plugs, and draining old fuel from the tank. Additionally, adding a fuel stabilizer can help keep the fuel fresh, preventing it from going stale or contaminated.
In conclusion, sputtering in a lawn mower can be caused by many issues, such as dirty or clogged air filters, stale or contaminated fuel, and fouled spark plugs. To keep your lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently, regularly service and maintain it with checks on the air filter, spark plug, and fuel tank.
Following these tips can help you prevent and address any sputtering issues so you can get back to tackling your lawn care duties.
You should also follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing fuel, as an improper mixture can lead to sputtering in 2-stroke engines. A fuel stabilizer can help keep fuel fresh and avoid problems related to stale or contaminated gasoline.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.