Select Language


5-Minute Lawn & Garden Engine Guide 

Frustrated with Your Lawn and Garden Engine?

It doesn’t matter if the task at hand is mowing your lawn or tilling your garden when the time comes to get the job underway, nothing is more frustrating than your small engine not starting.

The more you pull on the starting cord and listen to the motor turn over, the more frustrating it becomes. Lawn and garden engines are pretty simple, but occasionally a gremlin will rise up and nip your engine when it’s time to work. 

Here’s a quick and easy five-minute guide to your lawn and garden engine:

Engine Won't START?


Dirty or Clogged Air Filter

When the filter is doing its job, it may get clogged up with debris removed from the air and not allow a sufficient amount of air into the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting.


Dirty or Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel filter keeps dirt in the fuel from getting into the carburetor, and like the air filter may eventually become clogged and prevent a sufficient amount of fuel from passing into the combustion chamber, preventing your engine from starting.


Fuel Lines

Cracked or collapsed fuel lines can prevent engine from getting fuel and starting.


Faulty Spark Plug

A lawn mower spark plug fouled by fuel, carbon, dirt or oil on the electrodes may not produce a spark strong enough to ignite the air/fuel mixture and start your engine.


Gas Cap

Most gas caps will have an air vent that allows air to enter the fuel tank. When it gets clogged, it will restrict fuel flow into the carburetor.


Stale Gas

Ethanol-based gas can go stale in 30 days or less. As gas breaks down, gum and varnish are formed that can clog fuel lines and carburetor jets making your engine impossible to start.

What to Do?


If the air vent is clogged, check your gas cap and replace.


Inspect the air filter - If it's dirty it should be replaced.


If the gas tank is old, it should be replaced.


Add a fuel stabilizer to prolong your gas life.


If you need new spark plugs - buy genuine/high quality.

Lawn mower maintenance tips


After adding new fuel, check the gas cap. In many small engines, the gas cap also has a vent that serves as the fuel tank ventilation. 


A good tip is to put a piece of tape on your gas container and write down the date the gas was purchased.


In order to work properly and supply a sufficient amount of fuel to the carburetor, the vent must be open and free of any debris.


Should your engine need new parts, such as a spark plug or air filter, insist on a product from a name-brand manufacturer, such as Champion.

For more information on lawn and garden engine maintenance, visit

The content contained in this article is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.