Why Brand New & Used Toro Lawn Mower Won’t Start

Toro lawnmowers are known for their durability and reliability. However, you might sometimes encounter a situation where your mower refuses to start. This guide is designed to help you diagnose and fix the problem.

This article will provide some tips for troubleshooting Toro lawn mowers. Also, you will learn what tools and materials you need to get the job done. Let’s begin with some common reasons why Toro mowers do not start and their possible causes.

Brand New & Used Toro Lawn Mower Won’t Start: Possible Causes

  1. Fuel Valve Off
  2. Choke Not On
  3. Bad Gas
  4. Plug Wet/Faulty
  5. Plug Wire Off
  6. Air Filter Blocked Carburetor Fault
  7. Coil Fault
  8. Bail Lever/Ignition Fault
  9. Flywheel Timing (Shear-key)
  10. Sticking Valves
  11. Low Compression

Tools and Equipment Needed

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Rags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Socket/ratchet set

Materials Required

  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Carburetor or carburetor inlet needle and seat
  • Gasoline

Step-by-step Guide to Fixing Your Toro Lawn Mower:

Remember that this is a general guide and may not cover every possible issue with your Toro lawn mower. Please refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions and safety guidelines for your lawn mower model.

  1. Safety First – Before starting any repair work, ensure the lawn mower is not in gear, the spark plug is disconnected, and the fuel cap is tightened. Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  2. Check the Fuel Valve – Make sure the fuel valve is turned on. Refer to your owner’s manual if you’re unsure about the location of the fuel valve. Open the fuel valve and start your mower again if the fuel valve is closed.
  3. Check the Choke – Ensure that the choke is engaged. If the choke is not involved, turn it on and try starting the mower.
  4. Inspect the Gasoline – Old or contaminated gas can cause lawn mower starting issues. If the gas in your mower is over a month, drain it and replace it with fresh fuel.
  5. Inspect the Spark Plug – Check if the spark plug is wet, dirty, or damaged. Clean it with a wire brush or replace it with a new one. Make sure the plug wire is securely connected to the spark plug.
  6. Check the Air Filter – A dirty air filter can block airflow, which can cause starting issues. Remove the air filter and clean it or replace it if necessary.
  7. Inspect the Carburetor – Examine the carburetor for debris, dirt, or signs of wear. Clean the carburetor with carburetor cleaner if needed. Replace the carburetor inlet needle and seat if it’s damaged.
  8. Test the Ignition Coil – Locate the ignition coil using your owner’s manual as a reference. Disconnect the kill wire and test the resistance of the coil using a multimeter, then compare it to the specifications in your manual. If there are any discrepancies, replace the coil.!
  9. Check the Bail Lever/Ignition – Confirm that the bail lever is engaging when you pull it, and that all connections are secure. If necessary, use needle-nose pliers to adjust or repair any loose wires.
  10. Test the Flywheel Timing – Locate and remove the shear key from its slot on the flywheel assembly. Use a 4-in-1 screwdriver to reinsert it correctly into place and check if the timing is correct.
  11. Check for Low Compression – Remove the spark plug and inspect its tip for signs of wear. Check the engine compression using a compression tester and look up your model’s specifications in the owner’s manual to compare readings. If the compression is low, it can indicate a sticking valve or other serious issue.
  12. Bad Battery, Loose Cables, or Corroded Terminals: Sometimes faulty or corroded cables and terminals can prevent a lawn mower from starting. Check the battery cable connections, inspect the terminals for corrosion, and clean them with a wire brush if necessary. Also, check that the battery has enough charge to start the engine.
  13. Bad Safety Switch: If the safety switch isn’t working correctly, your lawn mower might not start. Inspect the safety switch and ensure that it is engaged correctly. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to check the safety switch.
  14. Clogged Exhaust Port: The exhaust port of your Toro Lawn Mower can get clogged with debris and dirt, which can cause starting issues. Use a vacuum cleaner or compressed air to clean the exhaust port, and try to start your lawn mower again.
  15. Bad Starter Solenoid: A faulty starter solenoid can prevent a lawn mower from creating. Check the starter solenoid and confirm that all connections are secure. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten loose wires or fittings if necessary. If the solenoid is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  16. Faulty Charging System: A defective charging system can cause a lawn mower not to start. Check the alternator, voltage regulator, and battery for signs of damage or wear. If any components are damaged, replace them with new ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first thing to check if your lawn mower won’t start?

When your lawn mower won’t start, the first things to check are a faulty spark plug, a blocked air filter, a grubby carburetor, and old fuel deposits that may obstruct the fuel system.

Why won’t my Toro lawn mower start after running out of gas?

If your Toro lawn mower runs out of gas, you should first check the fuel valve to ensure it is open. Then inspect the fuel tank and fill it up with fresh gasoline. If this doesn’t work, move on to other potential causes, such as a faulty spark plug, old or contaminated gasoline, a clogged air filter, and problems with the carburetor.

How do I know if my lawn mower starter solenoid is bad?

You can test the starter solenoid by disconnecting the kill wire and using a multimeter to check its resistance. If there are any discrepancies between your readings and the specifications in your owner’s manual, you should replace the starter solenoid.

Will old gas cause a mower not to start?

Old or contaminated gas can cause a lawn mower from starting correctly. If the gas in your mower lasts over a month, drain it and replace it with fresh fuel. This will help get your mower back up and running.


If you’ve followed all these steps and your Toro lawn mower still won’t start, we recommend taking it to an authorized service center for further diagnosis and repair. With this guide, we hope you have gained some insight into common issues preventing your mower from starting.

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