17 Causes of a Country Clipper Zero Turn Mower Not Starting

When you want to mow your lawn, and your mower won’t start, it can be rather frustrating. There are numerous potential causes for the inability of your lawnmower to start. How do you even begin?

When there is a problem with the air, fuel, or spark on a Country Clipper zero-turn mower, the engine will not start. The air filter may be clogged, the choke may be set incorrectly, the fuel line may be clogged, the carburetor may be unclean, the fuel pump may be broken, the spark plug may be worn out, the battery may be dead, the switch may be stuck in the on position, or the gas may simply be old.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn about several more potential factors that contribute to a Country Clipper not starting. Always remember to take the necessary safety measures as outlined in the instructions. The spark plug wire must be disconnected before any maintenance can be done.

zero turn mower
zero turn mower

Before diagnosing, fixing, or operating your equipment, make sure you’ve read and understood all of the safety information included in the operator’s manual. If you’re unsure of how to proceed or feel you’re not in good enough health to do so safely, seek the advice of a qualified professional.

Causes of a Country Clipper Mower Not Starting

A Country Clipper Mower’s gas tank is empty.

It might seem apparent to mention a starting challenge, so you might be wondering why I brought it up. Because I’ve seen folks neglect to to inspect the gasoline tank, I thought I’d bring it up.

SOLUTION: Use high-octane, unleaded gasoline (octane rating of 87 or greater) to refill the tank.

Pick a fuel that has no more than 10% ethanol.

To learn more about what kind of gas works best in your Country Clipper, check our Zero Turn Lawn Mower Use This Type of Gas.

An old gas engine in a Country Clipper Mower

A Country Clipper zero-turn can have trouble starting and operating on old gas. This is true since gas can begin to deteriorate as early as 30 days after purchasing.

Moisture in the fuel system attracts ethanol, an alternative fuel that is typically added to gasoline since it is better for the environment. Fuel system varnish and sticky deposits are left behind as the ethanol and water mixture evaporates.

It’s not recommended to use ethanol in smaller engines. It can cause fuel limits and component breakdowns. Use gasoline that has no more than 10% ethanol.

Country Clipper mowers require unleaded gas with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10%.

SOLUTION: Use a fuel siphon pump or another fuel removal technique to get rid of the old gas. Put some Sea Foam Motor Treatment or some other fuel additive into a gas can before filling it up.

This item not only stabilizes the gas but also cleans the fuel system. Benefits of using Sea Foam as a fuel additive are discussed in greater detail here.

Now that the gas and additive have been combined, pour it into the gas tank. If you can, turn on the mower right away and let the gasoline mixture circulate through the fuel system.

If you’re still having trouble getting the mower to turn on, work your way through the remaining possible causes.

Choke Position Error on a Country Clipper Mower

Using the choke to limit airflow is necessary while trying to start a cold engine. The choke lever must be shifted to the choke on/closed position, which closes the choke plate and raises the fuel-to-air ratio, in order for a cold engine to start.

Once the engine has warmed up, the choke plate must be opened by moving the choke lever to the open position. The mower won’t keep running if this setting isn’t changed.

A cold engine won’t start if the choke isn’t on/closed. The same holds true for trying to start a warm engine with the choke closed.

The SOLUTION is to check that the choke lever is in the “on” position. When starting a cold engine, you need to use the choke, but when starting a warm engine, you should turn it off.

When you start a cold engine with the choke on, turn the choke off once the engine is up to temperature.

If you’ve started the engine while it was cold with the choke on, you should turn it off once it’s warmed up.

A Country Clipper Mower with a Plugged Air Filter

Cleaning the air and preventing debris from entering the engine’s intake are two of the primary functions of the air filter.

If the filter isn’t regularly cleaned or replaced, it might get so clogged with dust and other particles that not enough air can flow through it. If the engine can’t receive enough air to start, that could be a problem.

Overheating, smoke, and potential engine damage can all result from a blocked air filter, which can also make starting the vehicle difficult.

SOLUTION: It’s recommended that you clean or change your paper air filter once a month or whenever it becomes visibly unclean.

Clean a Country Clipper lawn mower paper air filter:

  • To replace the air filter, you must first remove it from the housing. Don’t let any grime get into the machine’s air filter.
  • Using a clean cloth, remove any dust or debris from the housing.
  • Swipe the filter clean by tapping it against your hand or a hard surface.
  • Raise the filter to the light and see if you can make out any shapes through it. If the light is dim, the filter is torn or broken, or the lens no longer seals well, it needs to be replaced.
  • Make sure the filter is set up.

Clean a Country Clipper lawn mower foam pre-filter (If your mower uses one):

  • Just to clarify, the foam pre-filter works in tandem with a traditional paper air filter to keep your air clean. The main paper air filter will be ruined if oil is ever added to a pre-filter.
  • The foam pre-filter should be looked at. Dark stains, brittleness, or tears are all signs that it needs to be replaced.
  • Water and a little mild detergent should be used to clean the foam filter. To eliminate the detergent and ensure a clear rinse, run water through the filter for a few minutes.
  • Dry by squeezing. Do not wring out the filter, since doing so could cause it to tear.
  • Extend flat and wait for the drying process to finish.
  • After it dries, it can be put in place.

Read the manual or look up information in the Guide to Lawn Mower Air Filters if your Country Clipper requires a different kind of filter.

A Country Clipper Mower’s fuel pump has failed.

There will be a fuel pump on the mower if the fuel tank is located below the carburetor. This is necessary because the fuel must be pushed upward to the carburetor.

The gasoline pump will have three ports—one for inlet, one for output, and one for connection to the line from the crankcase that provides the pump’s pressurization.

Examining the fuel pump for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks or gasoline seepage, may help you determine if it needs to be replaced or not. If you see any cracks or fuel seeping from the pump, it’s time to get a new one.

If the fuel pump seems fine, then you should inspect the fuel lines to make sure fuel is flowing into and out of the pump.


Assure that gas is reaching the fuel pump:

  • Either close the gasoline shutoff valve or clamp off the fuel supply.
  • Remove the hose from the fuel pump’s inlet port and store it in a container with a lower elevation than the tank itself.
  • Verify that fuel is flowing from the tube into the container by either releasing the clamp or turning on the fuel valve.
  • The gasoline filter or fuel lines may be clogged if the engine is not receiving fuel.

Check that your fuel pump is sending fuel to the carburetor:

  • Hook up the fuel line you removed back to the fuel pump’s input.
  • The carburetor’s fuel line needs to be disconnected.
  • After starting the lawnmower and placing the tube in the container, check the end of the fuel line to ensure gas is being
  • pumped out of the line and into the container.
  • A constant or pulsating fuel flow is what you want to see coming out of the fuel line.
  • If gas is not consistently emitted from the fuel pump’s outlet port, it needs to be replaced.

Fuel Filter Clog on a Country Clipper Mower

To prevent any dust and debris from entering the fuel system, the fuel you pump from the tank must first pass through the fuel filter.

When vaporized, old fuel might leave behind sticky residue. Together, this and unclean fuel might clog the fuel filter.

SOLUTION: Replacement of the gasoline filter is the solution if it becomes clogged.

Fuel Line Clog on a Country Clipper Mower

The fuel line can become clogged due to old fuel’s gummy residues. Stop and start the fuel supply as you move from one segment of the fuel line to the next to ensure proper operation.

If you locate a fuel line restriction, the SOLUTION is to turn off the gasoline supply. Take the mower’s gas line off. To clear the line, spray carburetor cleaner into the tube and then use compressed air to blast through the tube.

Carburetor cleaning is used to release the snarl. It is dislodged and pushed out of the line using air pressure. This process of two phases can be repeated as often as necessary.

If you are unable to unclog the gasoline line, you should replace it.

Carburetor on a Country Clipper Mower is filthy.

The carburetor controls the ratio of fuel to air that is injected into the engine. Old fuel’s varnish might choke fuel passages and cling interior parts.

If the mower’s carburetor is malfunctioning, there won’t be enough gas to get it going.

SOLUTION: The issue can be fixed by having the carburetor serviced or replaced. Your Country Clipper mower will usually start back up after a thorough cleaning of the carburetor.

Carburetor rebuilding or replacement may be necessary, however, if you locate any broken pieces or if the carburetor is severely unclean.

This article will provide you with instructions on how to clean your carburetor.

A Country Clipper Mower with a faulty battery, dangling cables, or corroded terminals

If the mower won’t even start, you may need to replace the battery, wires, or connections. The charging voltage for a 12-volt battery should be at least 12.7 volts. Problems with starting can be caused by rusty terminals or frayed cables.

A SOLUTION of 2 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of baking soda can be used to clean rusted terminals. Scrub the terminals with a wire brush.

Use a multimeter to ensure that your battery is working properly. If the battery voltage is lower than 12.7 volts, it needs to be recharged.

Here you can find out what you’ll need to know about the process of charging your battery. It is necessary to get a new battery if your old one does not keep a charge.

A Country Clipper Mower with a faulty safety switch

Several safety switches on a Country Clipper help to prevent accidents while you’re using the mower. If one of these switches fails, you may find that your lawn mower will no longer start.

SOLUTION: You can identify a faulty switch by testing them with a multimeter or by temporarily disabling the safety switch.

For your own protection, never run a mower without the safety switch in place. Safety switches should be present and operational on all machinery at all times.

A Country Clipper Mower with a faulty spark plug or a loose connection

When the spark plug gets old and dusty, it might cause the mower to have trouble starting intermittently because of a lack of spark.

SOLUTION: Inspect your spark plugs for carbon buildup, a fractured porcelain insulator, or a scorched electrode by taking them out of the engine.

If you encounter any of these problems, you should get a new spark plug.

When setting the gap, refer to the engine manufacturer’s recommendations. When you’re done with the mower’s problems, make sure the spark plug wire is attached tightly.

Starting or running issues may be caused by a loosened wire or an incorrect electrode gap.

A Country Clipper Mower with a faulty ignition switch

The mower won’t even turn over when you put the key in the ignition and turn it. The issue may lie with the car’s ignition switch.

SOLUTION: The ignition switch can be tested with a multimeter. If the switch is broken, you must replace it.

Country Clipper Mower Ignition Coil Not Working

The engine cannot be started without the ignition coil sending voltage to the spark plug. If the spark plug doesn’t ignite, the engine won’t start.

SOLUTION: After making sure your spark plug is fine, use a multimeter to examine the ignition coil’s continuity. If you notice a break in continuity, you should replace the ignition coil.

A Country Clipper Mower’s Starter Solenoid has failed.

A solenoid on a lawnmower is an electromagnetic switch that acts as an on/off button, activating the starter motor and allowing the engine to turn over. If you hear a click or hum when turning the key, it may be time to inspect the solenoid.

If a wire connecting your solenoid to your riding mower grows hot and smokes or melts, that’s another sign your solenoid is malfunctioning.

SOLUTION: Follow these instructions to check the solenoid that fires the starter on your Country Clipper. If your solenoid is malfunctioning, you should replace it.

Incorrect Start-Up Procedure for a Country Clipper Mower

To get your Country Clipper mower going, follow these steps. For your own protection, there is a procedure that must be followed before you may turn on the lawn mower. Mowers are another good example; you can’t start them until you do things like setting the brake.

SOLUTION: Refer to the operator’s manual for your Country Clipper lawnmower to be sure you aren’t accidentally activating the safety features that prevent the mower from starting.

A Country Clipper Mower’s fuel cap has failed.

The gas cap on a Country Clipper lawnmower serves as a vent. As soon as the cap is screwed on, any air that might have been able to escape the tank is sealed off, creating a vacuum that prevents fuel from reaching the carburetor.

If the mower won’t start or seems to be running out of gas, try replacing the fuel filter and cap. If you suspect the gas cap, you can quickly and easily diagnose the issue by releasing air from the cap and starting the engine.

You may have an issue with the cap if the mower still won’t start after replacing it. Just by retightening the cap and letting the mower run for a time, you can see if you can cause the same issue.

If the mower acts like it’s out of gas and won’t start until you unscrew the cap, then you know the cap is the issue.

SOLUTION: The problem can be fixed by getting a new gas cap if the old one is damaged and preventing the gas from venting correctly.

A Country Clipper Mower’s charging system is defective.

Although the charging system is not the primary cause of a non-starting Country Clipper mower, it might lead to a weak battery.

When the battery isn’t fully charged, the mower won’t start. This can happen if the charging system stops working.

Several other electrical components, including a faulty stator or alternator, could be at fault. If you want to know how to use an ohmmeter to examine your charging setup, read this page.

SOLUTION: A small engine mechanic should be consulted if you suspect the failure is related to the charging system.

You may end up spending a lot of money trying to fix the issue without ever knowing what caused it because it could be caused by a number of things.