How to Diagnose and Repair a Non-Starting Troy-Bilt Push Lawnmower

When there is a limitation in the gasoline supply, such as from a filthy carburetor, clogged fuel filter, faulty fuel cap, or old fuel, a Troy-Bilt push mower will not start. A blocked air filter or a dirty spark plug might also be to blame.

Read on to learn about some more potential causes of your mower not starting. Remove the spark plug and follow all other safety procedures before beginning any repairs.

outdoorstip Troy-Bilt Push Mower

HOW TO: Start a Troy-Bilt Push Mower That Won’t Turn Over

A Troy-Bilt mower uses a compact engine that compresses gasoline and air. The spark then causes the mixture to burn. Make that the engine is receiving enough gasoline, oxygen, and spark before continuing your search for the start problem.

Before you start checking for startup issues, make sure these four items are correct:

  1. There is a fuel leak because the fuel shutoff valve is wide open. That is, if your model has one.
  2. The gas tank has a healthy supply of new fuel.
  3. When trying to start the mower, make sure the bail lever (safety lever) is in the engaged position.
  4. To turn on a cold engine, the throttle must be fully closed. (Remember that the automatic choke is standard on most newer models. There is no choke lever to adjust the choke setting.

Fuel issues should be checked.

Many fuel-related problems, such as malfunctioning parts or buildup of blockages, may be traced back to stale gas.

Make sure the gasoline shut-off valve is open on your Troy-Bilt before you start troubleshooting fuel issues. When putting away or transporting a push mower, it is common practice to shut this valve.

If you suspect the fuel system on your Troy-Bilt, do this test.

  • To get rid of the air filter, first detach the lid.
  • The air intake should be sprayed with carburetor cleaning. Starter fluid should not be used. Too much destruction may be caused by starting fluid, in my opinion.
  • Start your mower by either manually pulling the recoil starter or using the ignition key.
    • If the mower cranks over or starts, the fuel supply is faulty.
      • The carburetor, fuel filter, and fuel line are the most typical sources of fuel problems.
    • If the mower doesn’t even try to start, the spark plug is probably the culprit.

Examine the Ventilation Problem

In order to get your engine going, you need air. A chilly engine requires a rich starting mixture. When this happens, the cylinder receives more fuel and less air.

The choke regulates airflow. A choke lever allows you to either let more air in or shut the plate that restricts the flow of air.

Most modern push mowers include a thermostat-controlled automated choke located close to the muffler.

To determine whether the issue is related to the air supply system, try the following:

  • To get rid of the air filter, first detach the lid.
  • The air filter should be checked for condition. If the filter is blocked, less air can get through. If the filter is severely dusty or broken, clean it or replace it.
  • Check the choke plate while the air filter is out.
    • Choke-by-hand prototype
      • To shut the choke plate, move the lever to the “on” position.
      • Turn off the choke (or put the throttle in the fast position, depending on the model): The choke plate needs to be released.
    • Choke-on-demand system
      • When starting a cold engine, the choke plate should be closed and opened once the engine has reached operating temperature.
  • Examine the choke cable and linkage if the choke isn’t opening and closing properly. Carburetor cleaning may be used to lubricate the linkages and the choke shaft, releasing a choke that has become stuck. If your model makes use of them, replace a malfunctioning choke wire.

Make Sure There Isn’t a Spark Issue

Combustion requires the emission of a spark at just the correct moment. Failure to ignite might be caused by a dirty or broken spark plug. Other possible causes of failure include a faulty ignition coil (armature) or a spark plug wire that is too slack.

To narrow down the source of your spark issue, do this test.

  • Take off the cover (boot) of the spark plug wire.
  • You should hook up a spark plug tester to the wire leading to the spark plug.
  • Connect the spark plug tester’s other end to the spark plug while it is still in the spark plug.
  • Make an effort to crank the engine or use the electronic starter.
  • If the tester is producing a spark, a light will appear in the see-through part.
  • A faulty spark plug or ignition coil might be to blame if no light is produced. The battery, wiring, and starting solenoid make up the ignition system, which might be malfunctioning if you have an electric start model.

A Troy-Bilt Push Lawnmower Won’t Start for These 16 Reasons

1. There Is No Fuel

Just because I’ve brought up the topic of fuel, please don’t conclude that this post isn’t going anywhere. Everyone is susceptible to this fate. Your Troy-Bilt won’t start, but you immediately rule out the possibility that I’m out of gas and start hunting for alternative causes.

The gas tank on a push mower is probably too tiny to last very long. It’s possible that you’ve acquired a gasoline leak, which is leading you to use gas more quickly than normal.

SOLUTION: To get the most out of your gas-powered 4-cycle push mower’s cutting ability, fill it up with gas that has an octane rating of 87 or higher and no more than 10% ethanol. Gas for both 2-cycle and 4-cycle manual lawnmowers is discussed in detail.

2. Old or Bad Gas

Problems with the fuel system might start as soon as gas is introduced. This is why new gasoline should be used within 30 days after purchase, as recommended by most manufacturers of small engines.

Ethanol, which is included in almost all gasoline, is a moisture magnet. The residue is a sticky substance that may harden into a crust in the carburetor and obstruct the gasoline system.

When looking to buy and store gasoline, keep in mind the following:

  • Invest in new gas with an octane level of at least 87.
  • Reduce the ethanol content to no more than 10%.
  • Straight gasoline is necessary for 4-cycle engines. Two-stroke motors can only run on a certain blend of gasoline and oil.
  • Within 30 days, all gasoline must be used.
  • To prevent gasoline from degrading too quickly, use an additive like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or STA-BIL. Though I want to utilize all of my gasoline within 30 days, I keep a fuel additive on hand just in case.
  • Maintain a cold, dry place to store your gasoline.

SOLUTION: Get rid of the old gas. A gasoline siphon pump is ideal for this purpose. You may also try draining the tank by disconnecting the gasoline line from the carburetor and placing it in a container.

gasoline additives may be used with new gasoline to clean and stabilize the fuel system. Sea Foam Motor Treatment is a product I’ve used with success. Here I explain why I like to use Sea Foam.

Fill the gas tank with the blended gasoline. If you can get the mower going, let it run long enough for the gasoline to circulate.

3. Leaking Gas Cap

The fuel cap is another potential source of gasoline limitation. If you have a Troy-Bilt gas cap, it will have a vent in it so that air can circulate into the tank when gas is used.

A vacuum will create within the tank after the vent stops operating. The gasoline supply to the carburetor will be cut off.

Try starting your Troy-Bilt mower with the cap loosened to see if it solves the issue. To try to recreate the issue, if the engine starts and runs, tighten the fuel cap while it is running.

If your engine starts to sputter and/or shut down, try releasing some of the pressure by taking the cap off to let air into the tank.

SOLUTION: You may try cleaning the fuel cap and the vent to see if it helps. If I suspect the cap is malfunctioning, I like to swap it out for a new one.

4. A faulty spark plug or a disconnected wire.

It’s possible that a faulty spark plug is preventing your mower from starting and operating consistently. If the tip of a spark plug is particularly black, it means that it is unclean and either needs to be cleaned or replaced.

When a spark plug’s porcelain insulator cracks or its electrode burns out, it has to be replaced. Start each mowing season with a new spark plug to reduce the number of issues caused by the old one.

Incorrect gapping or loose spark plug connections might also prevent an engine from starting.

SOLUTION: You should check the spark plug for carbon buildup and damaged porcelain insulators by removing it from the engine.Get a new spark plug and try it out.

Check that the spark plug wires are properly connected and that the distance between the spark plugs is as the manufacturer specifies.

5. The Air Filter Is Blocked

The air must be free of contaminants for the mower to function. The engine will be protected from dirt and particles thanks to the air filter. Engine damage may be severe if dirt gets into the workings of the machine.

Never, ever, ever use your Troy-Bilt mower without an air filter, not even temporarily while you find a replacement.

If your mower’s air filter is blocked, it won’t start because air can’t get through. The air filter should be inspected and cleaned on a consistent basis.

You may avoid a costly engine repair by regularly inspecting, cleaning, and replacing this cheap component.

SOLUTION: Avoid letting dust or other debris fall into the air intake by taking your time while removing the air filter from its housing. A clean cloth should be used to remove any dirt that has accumulated within the housing. To clean your air filter, use the appropriate method below.

Purge the air filter of a PAPER push mower

  • Tap the filter on a hard surface to knock off the extra dirt.
  • Examine the paper element of the filter by holding it up to a light.
  • If you can still see light through the filter, you may reuse it. In such case, you should get a new air filter and install it.
  • Put in the air filter, then replace the lid.

Refresh a foam air filter on a manual mower

  • Before you clean your filter, you should see whether you can use it again. A new filter should be used if the old one has developed black spots or has become dry and brittle.
  • If your filter is in excellent shape, you may clean it by rinsing it with mild dish soap and water.
  • The filter should be washed and dried flat. Putting it in direct sunlight outside will hasten the process.
  • After the filter has dried, or if you’re using a brand-new foam filter, you may gently soak it with foam filter oil. It should not be drenched with oil.
  • Replace the lid once you’ve installed the filter.

6. Clogged Fuel Filter

In order to prevent debris and other pollutants from causing harm to the fuel system and engine, your push mower is equipped with a fuel filter.

This filter might become blocked and need replacement.

It’s possible that an inline gasoline filter has been installed between the fuel lines, but it’s quite unlikely that you’ll be able to see it. This is due to the fact that the filter is a thin element that is put into the gasoline line downstream from the fuel tank.

SOLUTION: Remove the gasoline filter and clean it out. If an inline gasoline filter is not readily apparent, you should look in the fuel tank’s base. A flashlight may allow you to view the filter within the tank.

The gasoline tank should be drained and the fuel line disconnected from the fuel tank’s bottom if at all possible. Take out the gasoline line, swap out the old filter with a new one, and reconnect it.

7. Fuel Line Blockage

The fuel line of a push mower may get blocked with grime and the residue left behind by stale gas. The gasoline supply to the carburetor and engine is cut off. To learn how to spot a blocked fuel line, click here.

SOLUTION: Take off the fuel line, spray some carburetor cleaner into the tube, and then blast compressed air into the line to clear it out. As often as required. If you can’t unclog the gasoline line, you need get a new one.

8. Dirty Carburetor

A carburetor on your mower controls how much gas and air are injected into the cylinder.

Gummy substances may build in your carburetor due to the additives supplied to gasoline, such as ethanol. The material impedes gasoline flow by clogging the carburetor’s tiny components.

SOLUTION: If you are mechanically inclined, you may attempt fixing your push mower’s clogged carburetor. If you aren’t, get the service done at a local repair shop.

If the carburetor is beyond repair or you just don’t feel like cleaning it, you may always just replace it.

9. A Faulty Safety Switch from Troy-Bilt

When the operator is not around, the engine will shut off automatically. When the bail lever (sometimes called the safety lever) is released, the motor immediately shuts off.

The bail lever has to be engaged for the Troy-Bilt mower to start, but a broken switch may prevent this from happening. For information on any other safety switches that may be included on your lawnmower model, please see the handbook.

SOLUTION: To determine whether a safety switch is malfunctioning, it may be temporarily disabled. For your own protection, never run the mower without the safety switch in place.Make sure that your machinery has functioning safety switches at all times. Changing out a faulty switch.

10. Broken Flywheel Locking Key

Your starting problem might be the result of a sheared flywheel key. When the piston compresses the ideal quantity of air and fuel combination for combustion, the spark plug should release spark.

If your engine’s timing is incorrect, it won’t have the power it needs to start or keep running smoothly.

So, why does the key to the flywheel break? When the blade makes contact with anything substantial, the key will probably snap.

The blade of a crankshaft is connected to the shaft itself. Therefore, the flywheel doesn’t stop as quickly as the crankshaft does, leading to a sheared flywheel key. It’s currently an inconvenient time.

A key might break if you run a loose blade, for example.

SOLUTION: Check for a broken flywheel key, and if necessary, replace it.

11. Manual Start Recoil Issues

Starting by Hand Recoil is used to start Troy-Bilt push mowers. It’s possible for the recoil to break on your mower, rendering it inoperable.

SOLUTION: It is possible to restring your recoil if the rope is no longer wrapped around it. It’s possible that you need to repair a pulley, a spring, or some clips.

If you locate damaged components, you should calculate the cost of replacing those components in addition to the recoil assembly. Recoil replacement might be less expensive.

12. Issues with the Electric Starter’s Wiring or Battery

Mowers that use an electric starter need a battery or other power source to function. Verify the safety of all cords and battery connections.

Baking soda solution (2 cups water to 3 heaping teaspoons of baking soda) may be used to remove corrosion from terminals. Assuming the connection checks out, go on to the battery.

SOLUTION: Use a multimeter to ensure that your battery is functioning properly. Changing out a dead Troy-Bilt battery.

13. Faulty Electric Start Ignition Switch

There might be a malfunctioning ignition switch in your yard. If pressing the ignition switch has no effect, you should use a multimeter to verify the functionality of the switch.

SOLUTION: If the key switch is broken, you should replace it.

14. Faulty Electric Start Starter Solenoid.

The solenoid of a lawnmower is an electromagnetic switch that, like an on/off toggle, activates the starting motor to start the engine.

If you hear a click or hum whenever you turn the key, it’s time to inspect the solenoid. If a wire connected to your Troy-Bilt solenoid becomes hot and smokes or melts, that’s another sign your solenoid could be broken.

SOLUTION: Follow these instructions to put the solenoid on your lawnmower to the test. If your solenoid or starter is faulty, you should replace it.

15.Electrical Starter Fuses Blown

The fuse is there to keep the electricity safe. If you’re having trouble starting your Troy-Bilt push mower, check the fuse. The fuse is located close to the power source.

SOLUTION: Fuse replacement

16.Mistakes in the Initialization and Operation Process

Troy-Unless you follow Bilt’s prescribed starting methods, the mower will not start. The bail lever may be pressed and the choke tightened.

The best way to get things going might change somewhat from model to model.

SOLUTION: To avoid activating the safety measures that prevent your push mower from starting or turning on, make sure you are using it appropriately by consulting the instructions.

When It’s Time to Call in the Expert Mechanics

If your Troy-Bilt still won’t start after you’ve tried the solutions we provided above, it may be time to call in the experts at your local small engine repair shop.

It’s not helpful to throw parts at your mower while making educated guesses about what’s wrong. An expert technician will be able to conduct diagnostic tests on the engine to see if there are any underlying problems that need to be addressed.