10 Reasons Your Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies (Solved!)

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As usual, you start mowing your lawn with your mower, and then the zero-turn mower starts sputtering and stops running. Well, what is the matter with the mower all of a sudden?

No denying that the timing is very wrong, and you have to stop mowing in the middle of the process. But now what? You need to fix this mower to continue with your work. But why it stopped working out of the blue is still a concern.

This article will discuss the most probable reason behind your mower being stopped. In a nutshell, the causes might be that the fuel filter, carburetor, and gasoline lines are restricted by old fuel.

A Gravely mower may also shut off while running due to a clogged air filter, a damaged ignition coil, a filthy spark plug, a blocked mower deck, and a clogged cooling fin.

10 Reasons Your Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies

We will elaborate on it further for your better understanding of the reasons behind the sudden death of the mower while working perfectly. Let’s get into it:

1. Spoiled or Outdated Fuel Causes Your Gravely Mower to Die

Spoiled or Outdated Fuel Causes Your Gravely Mower to Die
Image Source: poweredoutdoors

The quality of the gas and the age adversely affect the lawn mower’s functioning if not up to standard. With this alternative fuel, gas becomes somewhat more ecologically friendly.

It’s OK to use in most cars, but a Gravely mower’s little engine shouldn’t be exposed. It is because ethanol draws moisture to the fuel system naturally.

Due to the water content and sticky deposits left behind that block gasoline components, this ethanol and moisture can lead to corrosion and fuel limitations.

This water and ethanol mixture will eventually separate from the gas and sink to the fuel tank’s bottom. When this combination is forced through the engine at extremely high temperatures, it might harm your lawn mower.

Your mower will have fuel restrictions and parts failure if you continue using the old gas or the incorrect type of gas, which will cause it to stop working after starting. Use unleaded petrol with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol concentration of 10% in your Gravely mower.

2. Inadequate Engine Oil Level in Your Lawn Mower

Inadequate Engine Oil Level in Your Lawn Mower
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For the engine to function at its optimum, your mower needs a specified volume of engine oil in the crankcase. Many people know that the insufficient amount of oil/fuel in the engine stops it from working. But did you know that the excess oil or fuel in the engine cab is also extremely harmful?

The crankcase will get pressurized if your Ariens lawn mower has too much engine oil. Your mower may overheat as a result and perhaps stop working. And hence, to avoid this happening, always measure the amount of oil before and after filling the tank with a scale.

Also Read: How To Check Oil in a Lawn Mower? A Step-By-Step Guide

3. Clogged Air Filter Reason Behind Your Gravely Mower to Die

Clogged Air Filter Reason Behind Your Gravely Mower to Die
Image Source: mowersboy

If you overlook the dirt of your lawn mower engine, it will start throwing the dirt and debris back into the air. It will make the air filter clogged if you fail to remove it regularly.

It will restrict the airflow and cause your mower function to slow and shut down. To function well, a Gravely mower needs pure air.

By preventing debris from entering the air intake, the air filter plays a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness of your engine. We say to change your air filter once as part of your regular yearly service.

If possible, keep cleaning the air filter after every use and remove the dirt and debris throughout the mowing season.

Never run your Gravely without an air filter, even if it’s just for a few minutes while you look for a replacement. Even a small amount of dirt in the engine can cause significant damage that will be costly to repair.

4. Plugged Fuel Filter Reason Behind Your Gravely Mower to Die

Plugged Fuel Filter Reason Behind Your Gravely Mower to Die
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Your Gravely mower has a fuel filter fitted to filter the gasoline as it leaves the fuel tank. The fuel system cannot get contaminated by dirt or other substances.

When the gasoline filter isn’t routinely replaced, or the fuel is extremely unclean, dirt and gooey deposits might block it.

A blocked gasoline filter won’t allow enough petrol to go past the filter and into the fuel line. The engine cannot obtain the gasoline it demands to keep running. It may start to function slowly before dying.

5. Clogged Fuel Lines Cause Your Gravely Mower to Die

Clogged Fuel Lines Cause Your Gravely Mower to Die
Image Source: treillageonline

When the fuel tank gets clogged with the dirt of the contaminated and consumed fuel, it causes the fuel engine to stop running. Why? Because it will prevent your engine from receiving enough gasoline to continue operating.

Use fresh, clean gasoline to maintain the quality of the fuel filter. To minimize fuel system issues brought on by the filter, replace the gasoline filter every year.

6. Blocked Fuel Filter on Your Ariens Mower

Blocked Fuel Filter on Your Ariens Mower
Image Source: treillageonline

If you use an Ariens mower, you should know that there is a fuel filter to strain the fuel. Its primary function is to prevent dirt and any other contaminated product from entering and spoiling the engine for you.

But for it to function smoothly, you need to keep it clean. If you fail at it, all the dirt and gummy deposits from your fuel can clog your fuel filter with time.

To prevent the bulk of fuel filter troubles throughout the mowing season, it’s excellent practice to replace your fuel filter yearly.

7. Lawn Mower Carburetor is Dirty

Lawn Mower Carburetor is Dirty
Image Source: hackaday

The carburetor is the regulator for the amount of fuel mixed with the air to form combustion to make your mower’s engine work. And when the carburetor gets dirty with the consumed oil and fuel, it stops working.

And as a result of this, your lawn mower also stops working.

The dirt in the carburetor is because it keeps running the old, dirty fuel that gets seated on the surface of the carburetor. It can lead to parts of your carburetor restricting the flow of fuel.

8. Blocked or Broken Cooling Fins on Your Mower

Blocked or Broken Cooling Fins on Your Mower
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When you started your mower, it was fine. But later, it stopped abruptly. Possibly your mower engine got heated. Go and check the cooling fin of your engine.

It is possible that they are blocked or broken because of the debris. A cooling fan is necessary to keep the engine block and cylinder head cold. Clogged cooling fins may impede the volume of air flowing around your engine.

9. Old or Rugged Spark Plug on Your Lawn Mower

Rugged Spark Plug
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A rugged or fouled spark plug can be a significant reason for running sluggishly and dying. Not only it being dirty is an issue, but if the spark is old enough, it also creates a fuss in making the mower work smoothly.

Your mower may cease working if it is not correctly gapped and the cables are not fastened firmly.

10. Worse Ignition Coil on Your Lawn Mower

Worse Ignition Coil on Your Lawn Mower
Image Source: ebay

When your lawn mower engine gets heated, the winding on the ignition oil gets separated and shorts out.

When this happens, the spark plugs cannot get the voltage required to produce a spark. Your mower can stop working as a result after operating for some time.


  • Keep the air filter changing regularly and clean it after every mowing year.
  • Check the fuel line sections if your mower’s engine is not getting the required amount of fuel to function. If it is blocked, remove the specific section and inject carburetor cleaning into the line to help remove the blockage.
  • If you find any darkness in the spark plug, clean it immediately.
  • We strongly advise having a skilled mechanic identify and fix the issue if the charging mechanism isn’t functioning correctly.
  • Before removing your carburetor, ensure it is getting the required fuel. Once you are assured, remove your air filter and clean the carburetor in the air intake.


How should a carburetor be cleaned?

Soaking is an excellent way to clean the carb, but if you boil it, it will increase the pace of the process. Use vinegar of lime in the water before cleaning it.

Can one directly inject the carburetor cleaner into the carburetor? 

You can spray straight into the operating carburetor by inserting the aerosol can’s tip into the center.

Can it be possible to clean the carburetor without removing it? 

Yes. For best results, turn off the machine and use the cleaner.

How can one clean a clogged lawn mower carburetor?

Follow the below instructions:
Step 1. To reach the carburetor, remove the air filter.
Step 2. Remove the carburetor. Take it out.
Step 3: Replace any broken or damaged components. Clean the carburetor and its components.
Step 4. Reassembling the carburetor. And it is done.

Why did the lawn mower die within seconds after starting?

The reason can be; the fuel has ended up. The air filter, carburetor, spark plug, or gas quality is faulty.


It becomes frustrating when you finally take the time to move your lawn, and a few moments after you start working, your lawn mower suddenly stops. Well, you cannot blame the mower entirely.

It is your fault somewhere, too. Had only you taken good care of the mower and cleaned it correctly, this would not have happened. You can still make the fixations and get your mower on track.

All you need to do is schedule proper servicing and regular cleaning of all the mower parts frequently after a few uses. Once you invest time in cleaning the mower, you will not have to waste your time because of its misfunctioning.

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