lawn mower won't start without starter fluid

Why Lawn Mower Won’t Start Without Starter Fluid?

When It's time to work, but the machine does not respond, this is a big issue. Sometimes due to a long run or a long break lawn mower engine does not start, and it Won't start without starter fluid.  Many known brands of excellent lawn mowers are available in the market, But almost every machine faces difficulties such as not starting. Though starter fluid is not for running engines it diagnoses the problem of the engine.

Starter fluid is a flammable liquid that helps a lawn mower's engine get started through the diagnosis of the problem.  It is a combination of Hydrocarbons, Diethyl ether, and Carbon dioxide. Though it is not safe to use, as studies show, for instant help, it can be used. But it can cause damage to a diesel engine.

Causes of Lawn Mowers Won't Start Without Starter Fluid?

Long breaks and rough use can both cause damage to a two-stroke or four-stroke engine in different ways. Lawn mowers generally have small two-stroke engines. This fuel engine may get jam or be stopped for many reasons. According to experts, Technical causes can be Low fuel, faulty spark, carburetor jam, dust on the air filter, and long time cold weather.

Lawn Mowers Won't Start Without Starter Fluid

Starter fluid helps to identify the cause. If your lawn mower machine has problems with the Carburetor, it must be changed. Same suggestion for the spark plug also. But if the carburetor and spark plug is ok and The machine is not working because of the Cold season issue, it can be fixed by a starter fluid.

Tools You'll need

After Winter and at the beginning of Spring, the need for a lawn mower increases to make the lawn in order. So fixing the unworkable lawn mower is quite necessary. Not too many tools are needed to fix a lawn mower with starter fluid, but the required tools are-

  • A screwdriver (Philips head or Flathead)
  • ⅜ inch drive socket set
  • Starter fluid
  • A brush
  • A foam
  • A small cup

You'll need these primary tools to apply the starter fluid in your lawn mower.

How To Fix Lawn Mower Won't Start Without Starter Fluid

There are many known brands of amazing lawn mowers available in the market. From lawn mowers for professionals to lawn Mowers for homeowners, almost all machines have a similar primary mechanism. And that's why you can fix most machines with the same technique. Here a step-by-step guide is given below.

How To Fix Lawn Mower Won't Start Without Starter Fluid

Step 1: Clean the lawn mower

First, clean the lawn mower with a cleaning brush. It’s not an amendatory part, but cleanliness is good stuff.

Step 2: Measure engine temperature

Monitor the engine. Is it cool or hot? If it is at normal temperature, then It's fine. But if it’s not, then wait for the temperature to be at a cool state; otherwise, it will create damage to the engine.

Step 3: Set your position

Then take the engine to a suitable place you like to do the work. Like Where you can get every tool quickly. Also, the site must be safe with a fire extinguisher.

Step 4: Start your work

Now you can move to the actual task. At first,

  • Remove the engine cover: Some machines have an engine cover, some have not. It may vary in different brands. You can use a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket to remove the cover.
  • Uncover the air filter: After removing the engine cover here, you will find an Air filter cover. Use a Phillips head screwdriver and remove the cover.
  • Remove the air filter: inside the sector, there is an Air filter. Take it out of the house.
  • Remove the air filter house: Now, an empty air filter house is open. Use a ratchet and a screwdriver to and remove the House completely.

Step 5: Take a look

Now take a look at the surface. Is the carburetor clean? If it’s not clean, clean it first because a dirty carburetor can not be revived with starter fluid.

Step 6: Spray Starter Fluid

Now spray starter fluid by 2-3 seconds directly to the carburetor. Make sure the fluid touches the carburetor.

Step 7: Start the Engine

Then pull the starter string to start the engine. And see the result. If the engine starts, then your work is almost done.

Step 8: Fix the parts

Now fix the air filter house perfectly using the ratchet, then the air filter and air filter cover. Make sure that all the parts are clean and dry. Then cover the lawnmower with the machine cover and tie the screws accordingly.

By following the steps, you can easily apply starter fluid to Your lawn mower.

Why do you have to use starter fluid to start a lawn mower?

After the cold season, the lawn mowers engine dies due to a long pause or poor maintenance. Most of the time, dirty carburetors, low fuel, and broken spark plugs can cause a problem and severe accidents, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. In that case, starter fluid works as a first-aid treatment. Though it’s not a permanent solution, it helps to run the machine for a while.

Is starting fluid the same as a carb cleaner?

They look like same, but there are differences between them. Starter fluid is a highly flammable and volatile fluid. It is not so stable and ignites evenly, but Carburetor cleaners are much more stable. While they are generally combustible, you'd need to deliberately work to get it to ignite.

Can I use a carb cleaner as a starter fluid?

My suggestion is No. But if you don’t have any other alternatives, then you can go for it. also, please don’t use it for long because it may cause damage to the carburetor. So, be careful when you are using it and try to keep the carburetor clean.


It's always frustrating when your lawn mower doesn't start. It can be a pain even if it starts using starter fluid. Hopefully, this article was helpful in preventing your mower from needing starter fluid to start.

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