16 Causes Your Scotts Riding Mower Won’t Start (FIXED)

Your Scotts riding mower is getting on in years, and it’s getting harder to get it going. Before you give up and buy a new mower, try the solutions I’ve outlined below.

A Scotts riding mower won’t start if it doesn’t have the right amount of air, spark, and fuel. A dirty carburetor, plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel lines, clogged air filter, defective ignition coil, unclean carburetor, or weak battery could all contribute to this problem.

Keep reading for more information on further potential causes of the starting problem with your Scotts mower. You must observe all of the security measures outlined in your Scotts operator’s manual. The spark plug wire needs to be disconnected before any repairs can be made.

Rider Mower from Scotts

scotts rider mower

Always refer to the operator’s manual for a thorough understanding of the equipment and how to safely diagnose and repair it. Seek the help of a professional if you doubt your ability to make the repair properly due to a lack of experience, training, or health.

Causes of a Deadly Non-start in Your Scotts Riding Mower

A Scotts riding mower with no gas

Incorporating a gas-powered Gasoline is required to power the Scotts riding lawnmower. Once the tank is out of fuel, you must refuel.

The reason I bring up the mower’s inability to start is because it is easy to miss the most obvious reasons for a starting failure while you’re frustrated.

The problem can be fixed by refilling the mower’s gas tank with new fuel that has an octane value of 87 or higher. A fuel with ethanol content of 10% or less is recommended.

A Scotts Riding Mower with Old or Corrupt Fuel

Gas loses some of its potency and stability after around 30 days. Within 30 days of purchase, all fuel should be utilized.

In most cars, the environmentally friendly addition ethanol found in today’s fuel works just fine, but the little engine in your Scotts mower is not one of them.

Gummy deposits can block the carburetor, fuel filters, and filter screens because to the moisture that ethanol attracts and then evaporates.

Discard the obsolete gas and start over. A siphon pump for gas works well. Fuel additives should be blended into the tank before fresh gas is added. A fuel additive like Sea Foam should be used after operating on stale gas. The advantages of sea foam are discussed in this article.

It does more than just stabilize gas; it also removes moisture and cleans the fuel system. Once you’ve added the gas and additive, start the mower to allow the combination to circulate through the fuel system.

If you still can’t get the mower to turn on, keep working your way through the list until you locate the cause.

Scotts riding mower with the choke in the wrong position

The choke is a device built into the mower that restricts airflow. When trying to crank over a cold engine, less air is needed. A larger concentration of fuel can be burned in the cylinder when the choke is engaged and the choke plate is closed.

If the choke is not in the closed position, the engine will not start from cold. If the choke is not open, starting the engine while it is heated is impossible.

The answer is to always start a warm engine with the choke disengaged and the starter engaged.

The Scotts mower you have may have a separate choke knob or a throttle lever that needs to be adjusted.

To close the choke, shift the throttle lever into the choke position. Once the engine has started and warmed up, move the lever to the full throttle position.

If your vehicle includes a choke knob in addition to a throttle lever, you can use it to shut off the engine by pulling it out. In order to get the mower going, you need to put the throttle lever all the way in the up position. Once the engine has started and warmed up, you should push in the choke knob to open the choke.

If the choke is properly adjusted but airflow problems persist, examine the air filter, the choke, and the choke cable.

Scotts Riding Mower Air Filter Clogged.

It’s important to regularly clean or change your air filter so that your engine can continue to breathe clean air. When airflow is restricted because of a clogged air filter, the engine runs hot and seeks air anywhere it can find it, including air still in the crankcase.

A blocked air filter not only makes it more challenging to start the engine, but also raises the likelihood that the engine will overheat, smoke, and be damaged.

SOLUTION: Clean or replace your paper air filter if it’s very dirty or damaged.

To clean the paper air filter on a Scotts riding lawn mower:

  • Take off the filter from the filter housing. Please make sure that the air intake does not become clogged with dirt.
  • Remove any grime from the housing by wiping it down with a clean cloth.
  • Tap the filter against your fingers or a firm surface to remove any excess dust.
  • Holding the filter up to the light will reveal whether or not all regions are transparent. If the light is no longer visible, if the filter is torn or broken, or if it no longer seals well, it has to be replaced.
  • Make room for the filter.

To clean the foam pre-filter on a Scotts riding lawn mower:

  • A foam pre-filter is used in conjunction with a paper air filter to better capture dust and other particles. Filling a pre-filter with oil will ruin the primary paper air filter and should be avoided at all costs.
  • Examine the pre-filter foam that is installed. If it has discolored areas, is brittle, or has tears, you should get a new one.
  • The foam filter should be washed in a solution of water and mild detergent. To remove the detergent, give the filter a good rinsing.
  • Tight, dry grip. The filter will be damaged if you wring it out.
  • Lay flat until totally dry.
  • After it dries, it can be put into place.

Whether your Scotts mower has a standard air filter or a different type, you can learn more about it in the Guide to Lawn Mower Air Filters or in the operator’s manual.

The Scotts Riding Mower’s Faulty Fuel Pump

If your gasoline tank is located below the carburetor, a fuel pump will be included with your lawnmower. This is used to force fuel into the carburetor.

The gasoline pump will have three ports: one for inlet, one for output, and one for a crankcase pressurization line.

It is possible to visually detect a faulty fuel pump by inspecting for fractures or fuel leakage. The fuel pump must be replaced if it has cracks or fuel is seeping out of the pump.

If the gasoline pump looks to be functioning well, you should still check the fuel lines to ensure fuel is entering and exiting the pump.


Check the gasoline supply to the pump:

  • Fuel flow can be halted by closing the fuel valve or by using pinch pliers. (A fuel valve is not standard equipment on lawn mowers.)
  • After disconnecting the line from the fuel pump’s inlet port, place it in a container that is beneath the gasoline tank.
  • Verify that fuel is entering the container once the tube has been unclamped or the fuel valve turned on.
  • If you are having fuel delivery issues, check for clogs in the fuel filter and fuel lines.

Check the fuel pump’s ability to supply the carburetor with fuel:

  • The fuel line can be reinstalled by reconnecting it to the inlet of the fuel pump.
  • Take off the gasoline line from the carburetor.
  • Turn on the lawnmower, place the tube inside the container, and observe the end of the fuel line to ensure sure gas is being sucked into the tube.
  • The fuel line should be pulsing or dripping steadily.
  • If fuel is not consistently being pumped out of the fuel pump’s outlet port, it should be replaced.

Scotts Riding Mower Clogged Fuel Filter

The fuel that leaves your fuel tank and travels through your fuel system is filtered by a fuel filter to eliminate any dirt or debris.

Gummy deposits may form as evaporated gasoline ages. The combination of filthy fuel and this could clog the fuel filter. If your Scotts lawn mower is having trouble starting, it may be due to a blocked fuel filter.

An obstruction in the fuel filter need replacement.

Problems with a Scotts Riding Mower’s Clogged Fuel Line

Old, gummed-up fuel can block the fuel line of your Scotts mower. Test the fuel flow by turning off and restarting the gasoline supply at different points along the fuel line.

If you find a line with a fuel limitation, turn off the supply. The gas line to the mower needs to be disconnected. To clear the line, spray carburetor cleaner into the tube and then blast compressed air through it.

Using the carburetor cleaning helps ease the limitation. Using air pressure, it is pushed past the line and released. It may be necessary to perform Steps 1 and 2 again. If the fuel line is clogged beyond repair, you should replace it.

Scotts Riding Mower with a Filthy Carburetor

Carburetor on your Scotts lawnmower is essential. The correct mixture of fuel and air is essential for your engine to function.

If the gas and air combination is incorrect, your lawn mower may not run well or even refuse to start.

The carburetor can be cleaned or replaced as a remedy. Most of the time, all it takes to get your Scotts lawnmower back in working order is a thorough cleaning of the carburetor.

It’s possible that you’ll need to utilize a carburetor rebuild kit to replace some of the broken parts you find. If the carburetor can’t be fixed by cleaning it, you should get a new one.

Scotts Riding Mower Problems: Dead Battery, Loose Cables, or Rusted Terminals

If the mower won’t even turn on, you may need to replace the battery, wires, or terminals. At 12.7 volts or higher, the battery can be charged. Corroded terminals and slack cables might make starting more difficult.

The answer is to use a solution of 2 cups of water and 3 rounded tablespoons of baking soda to clean the corroded terminals. Use a wire brush to scrub the terminals clean.

Check your battery with a multimeter. If the voltage is lower than 12.7 volts, you should charge the battery. Here, we’ll go over, in greater depth, the procedures and materials you’ll need to charge your battery. If your battery is unable to hold a charge, you will need to replace it.

Inadequate Scotts Riding Mower Safety Switch

Scotts lawn mowers have multiple safety controls to prevent injury during operation. If one of these switches stops working, your lawnmower won’t start.

To solve this problem, you can either use a multimeter to test the switch or temporarily disable the safety switch. Please don’t risk your life by operating a mower without the safety switch. Make sure that there are safety switches installed and that they work properly on any machinery you use.

A Scotts Riding Mower with a Faulty Spark Plug or Loose Connection

Your Scotts lawnmower might not be starting because of a faulty spark plug connection or a damaged spark plug. A filthy spark plug might also cause sparking problems.

The problem can be solved by removing the offending spark plug(s) and inspecting them for scorched electrodes, fractured porcelain insulators, or carbon buildup.

If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to get a new spark plug.

Make sure you space them as directed by the manufacturer. After you’ve fixed the mower’s issues and tightened the spark plug wire, you can use it.

A loose wire or the wrong electrode spacing can cause a starting or running problem.

Scotts Riding Mower Faulty Ignition Switch

Your Scotts lawnmower won’t even start when you turn the key in the ignition and turn it on. The ignition switch could be the source of the problem.

The ignition switch can be tested with a multimeter. Switches should be replaced if they fail.

Scotts Riding Mower with a Bad Ignition Coil

Ignition coils supply voltage to spark plugs, which causes them to ignite and kick-start the engine. The engine won’t start if the spark plug doesn’t light.

After making sure your spark plug is in good working order, check the ignition coil’s continuity with a multimeter. In the event of a break in continuity, a new ignition coil must be installed.

Scotts Riding Mower with Faulty Starter Solenoid

A lawnmower solenoid, which is an electromagnetic switch like an on/off switch, is responsible for turning on the starter motor and so starting the engine. A click or hum when turning the key indicates the solenoid needs to be examined.

An further symptom of a defective solenoid in your riding mower is a wire that overheats, smokes, or melts while connected to the solenoid.

Here’s how to check the solenoid on your Scotts lawnmower. If your solenoid turns out to be broken, get a new one.

Scotts Riding Mower has a Defective Charging System

However, if your Scotts mower’s battery is weak, the charging mechanism may be to blame and thus explain why the mower won’t start.

If the charging system doesn’t fully charge the battery, the mower might not start the next time you try to use it.

A faulty stator or alternator could be the problem, along with other electrical components. If you want to know how to test your charging system with an ohm meter, then this article is for you.

If you suspect your charging system is malfunctioning, consult a small engine mechanic to pin down the root of the problem. You won’t know what’s causing the problem, which means you’ll have to make an expensive educated guess on what it could be.

Scotts Riding Mower with a Leaking Gas Cap

The gasoline tank must be able to vent, enabling air to enter and leave the tank, so that internal pressure is kept constant.

The Scotts gas tank has a vent built into the gas lid. When the vent becomes blocked, fuel cannot escape the tank and reach the carburetor.

A cracked gas cap that isn’t allowing gas to escape should be replaced.