Why Your Kawasaki Won’t Start? 13 Causes

If your engine won’t turn over, check for anything that might be preventing it from receiving fuel, air, and spark. These three things are necessary for the engine to start and keep running.

If your Kawasaki won’t turn over, check for a damaged spark plug, a blocked fuel line or air filter, a malfunctioning fuel pump or fuel filter, filthy jets in the carburetor, a faulty switch, or an improperly adjusted choke.

If you’re having further trouble getting your Kawasaki going, keep reading! Before doing any repairs, always take out the key and disconnect the spark plug wires.

kawasaki engine

When troubleshooting, repairing, or using a piece of equipment, be sure to first read and follow all safety instructions found in the manual. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to conduct the repair safely on your own, it’s best to call in an expert.

Reasons a Kawasaki Engine Won’t Turn Over

Kawasaki Engine: The Wrong or Old Fuel

Appropriate Fuel for a Kawasaki 

When a Kawasaki motor loses power, refuses to start, or shuts off unexpectedly, stale gas is usually at blame.

Nowadays, most gasoline contains ethanol. This is an environmentally beneficial alternative fuel typically derived from corn.

Unfortunately for the fuel system and the engine, ethanol has a natural tendency to draw moisture out of the air and into the gas. The water and ethanol mixture not only causes the gas to split from the rest of the tank, but also causes varnish to form at the bottom.

As a result, fuel system components will deteriorate and limits will form.

Use only fuel that is low in ethanol or completely ethanol-free to prevent damage to your engine and fuel system. Engine damage is possible from using gas with a high ethanol content.

Put in unleaded fuel with at least an 87 octane rating and no more than 10% ethanol. Avoid using E15 and E85 fuels, which contain up to 15% and 85% ethanol, respectively.

Use Fresh Gasoline in Kawasaki Engines

It’s best to buy gas and use it up within 30 days, as after that point it starts to degrade and become less effective.

If you’ve bought more gas than you can use up in 30 days, you can extend its shelf life by using a gasoline stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

This is a fantastic item. The fuel system and engine in all my small engine items benefit from my adding it to the fuel.

Adding this substance to gas while the gas is still new is essential. It can’t undo the damage done by stale fuel. Find out why putting Sea Foam in your gas tank is a good idea by reading on.

The solution to this problem is to drain the gasoline tank and start over with fresh fuel. An effective and low-cost option for tank drainage is a manual siphon pump.

The fuel system can be cleaned, moisture can be removed, and the fuel can be stabilized by simply adding new gas and a fuel additive.

Kawasaki Engine Fuel Filter Clogged

A fuel filter, located in the space between the fuel lines, prevents debris from clogging the fuel system. Reduced fuel flow occurs when the filter becomes clogged due to lack of regular maintenance.

Insufficient gasoline could prevent the engine from igniting. The fuel filter is a consumable that needs to be changed once a year.

If your fuel filter is clogged, you need to get a new one. When installing, ensure that the fuel filter’s arrow points in the direction of fuel flow.

A Kawasaki Engine With a Blocked Fuel Line

Old fuel’s gummy residue has a nasty habit of clogging fuel lines. This reduces fuel flow via the line by closing off an aperture.

Pine needles and plastic shavings from new gasoline tanks are two further examples of items I’ve seen that can clog fuel lines and prevent an engine from starting.

If you come across a blocked line, your next step should be to clear it. Your Kawasaki will function better without the line attached.

If the line is clogged, you can try spraying carburetor cleaner into it. If the carb cleaner doesn’t work, try blowing compressed air into the line.

If you are unsuccessful in removing the obstruction, you will need to replace the gasoline line, so be careful to select one with the appropriate inside diameter and overall length.

A Kawasaki Engine with a Faulty Fuel Pump

Your mower might not be starting because of a problem with the gasoline pump. The fuel pump is responsible for pumping fuel uphill to the carburetor.

If it breaks, the gasoline supply to the carburetor will be interrupted, preventing the engine from starting. It’s typical for carburetors to malfunction because of stale gas.

A vacuum fuel pump is commonly used to supply gas to the Kawasaki engine used in many mowers. Fuel pumps are susceptible to wear and corrosion over time.

If your fuel pump is no longer able to pull gas from the tank and send it to the carburetor via engine vacuum, it needs to be replaced.

The fuel pump should be replaced if fuel is spilling from it. When there are no obvious signs of damage to your pump, there are still a few tests you can run to determine if there is an issue:

  • You can turn off the fuel pump by turning the valve underneath the tank, or you can choke the fuel line with clamps to stop the flow.
  • Unplug the pump’s hose from its inlet. Put it somewhere lower than the fuel tank, and the petrol will flow into it under the influence of gravity. Verifying the fuel pump is receiving fuel is the next step.
  • Get the gas going. If fuel is flowing into the container, then the pump is receiving fuel. If not, there is a fuel restriction that must be located before you can fill up.
  • Turn off the gas. Switch out the hose that leads to the inlet.
  • To test your fuel pump’s health, you’ll need to remove the hose from the carburetor and set it in a container.
  • Turn on the gas and fire up the engine. Check to see if the fuel coming out of the fuel line is flowing steadily or pulsing.
  • Turn off the lawnmower and reconnect the fuel hose to the carburetor once you’ve finished testing.

For information on the required pressure for alternative fuel pumps, please refer to the owner’s manual.

If your Kawasaki’s fuel flow is inconsistent or pulsing, you’ll need to replace the pump.

Kawasaki Engine with a Filthy Carburetor

Your Kawasaki’s inability to start and run may be due to a dirty carburetor. The engine will not turn over if the carburetor is unable to control the ratio of fuel to air.

The failure of a carburetor is frequently attributable to stale fuel. This is because fuel flow is restricted when old fuel is used. The residue of varnish can also cause internal parts to stick and become inoperable.

If your carburetor is malfunctioning, you should clean it and replace any pieces that are stuck or too damaged to be cleaned.

Steps for cleaning your Kawasaki’s carburetor are provided below.If you’re handy with tools and used to handling tiny pieces, then follow these instructions.

You can either take your mower to a small engine repair shop to have the carburetor cleaned or rebuilt, or you can buy a new carburetor assembly and install it yourself.

Kawasaki Engine Spark Plug Problem

Intermittent spark issues may prevent the engine from starting if the spark plugs are fouled, have broken porcelain, or have worn electrodes.

The condition of your spark plugs is dependent on your checking them. Check that the spark plug wires are properly connected and that the electrode gap is adjusted as directed.

Your spark plug may have carbon buildup or a cracked porcelain insulator, both of which can be fixed by removing the plug and inspecting it.If the spark plug(s) are worn, damaged, or very dark in color, you should replace them.

A little wire brush can be used to clean the spark plug’s tip if it is in good condition. Check the gap on the spark plugs and the connections of the wires.

A Kawasaki Engine with a Clogged Air Filter

Your lawnmower’s air filter prevents debris and dust from entering the engine’s air intake and causing damage. If the filter isn’t maintained with regular cleanings or replacements, the engine may refuse to turn over.

It’s important to check the air filter’s quality frequently throughout the mowing season and replace it if necessary. If you plan on using your mower in dry, dusty circumstances, you should inspect it more frequently.

Clean the filter if you find it to be in good working order. A new one should be purchased, though, if the old one is severely damaged or soiled.

The answer is simple: just check and clean the filter. If your Kawasaki engine won’t start because the air filter is clogged, try replacing it.

Cleanse a Kawasaki PAPER air filter:

  • Take out the filter and throw it away.
  • Avoid having any dust or dirt enter the filtering system. Use a dry cloth to remove any lingering debris from the filter housing and filter cap.
  • To remove as much dust and debris from the air filter as possible, tap it against a hard surface.
  • Check if light is passing through the paper element by holding the filter up to a light.
  • Keep using the filter if you can still see through it. If there is no good light coming through, the filter is excessively dirty, or the filter is destroyed, you should get a new filter.
  • Get the air filter in place.

Kawasaki Engines with Loose Cables, Corroded Terminals, Wiring, or Other Parts

When the battery cables, wiring, and electrical components are loose or damaged, continuity might be broken.

SOLUTION: Get rid of it. Disconnect the battery and take apart the rusty parts.

Remove the corrosion with a small metal brush and a baking soda solution made from 2 cups of water and 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda.

Then, double check that all components and wiring are firmly connected and installed.

Kawasaki Engine Weak or Bad Battery

The engine cannot be started if there is insufficient power from the battery. If the battery isn’t holding a charge, you’ll need to charge it or get a new one.

Use a multimeter to check the battery in your device. If the voltage is lower than 12.7 volts, you should charge the battery. Find out everything you need to charge a battery and how to do so by reading this article.

Kawasaki Engine Faulty Safety Switch

Safety switches have been included into your machinery to ensure the operator’s wellbeing. A faulty safety switch can prevent your engine from starting.

To learn more about the equipment’s safety features, read the manual. A lawnmower won’t start, for instance, if the seat switch, brake switch, or PTO switch are all in the off position.

Use a multimeter to check the functionality of your switches. In the event that you need to diagnose an issue, you can also temporarily disable a safety switch.

You should never ignore the safety switch.Never operate machinery with the safety switch removed. You never know when you might need a safety switch, but having one is always a good idea.

Kawasaki Engine Ignition Switch Problems

When turning the key but getting no response, the ignition switch may be at fault.

If the ignition switch is suspect, try testing its continuity using a multimeter. To do this, locate the B and S-marked prongs on the battery and starter solenoid, respectively.

Put the key in and turn it to “on.” One probe is touched to the B prong, while the other is placed on the S prong of the plug in order to measure the resistance.

A good key switch for the ignition will have a resistance reading close to 0 ohms. If the resistance reading on your ignition key switch is infinite, you need to replace it.

The problem can be fixed by getting a new ignition switch.

Kawasaki Engine Faulty Starter Solenoid

An electromagnetic switch, similar to an on/off switch, the Kawaski starter solenoid activates the starter 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 leading to your solenoid gets too hot and smokes or melts, that’s another sign your solenoid might be malfunctioning.

Follow these instructions to put your Kawasaki solenoid through its paces. In the event that your solenoid is faulty, you should replace it.

Mistaken Method of Engine Ignition or Choke Adjustment on a Kawasaki

In order to get your engine going, you’ll need to go through a few different starting processes.

Examine the Choke Controls

When starting a cold engine, the choke is used to limit air intake. If the choke lever isn’t set properly, the machine won’t turn over.

If your Kawasaki engine is cold, you must fully engage the choke before starting the engine.

  • Set the throttle’s position to midway between slow and quick.
  • To start the engine, turn the key to the “start” position and remove your finger from the button.
  • Put the choke off by shifting the lever to the left.
  • After letting the engine warm up at half throttle for a while, you can start mowing at full speed.

Make sure you’re using the safety interlock system correctly:

The purpose of the safety interlock mechanism is to protect you. You won’t be able to start your Kawasaki unless you meet all of the necessary safety standards.

Before firing up the riding mower, zero-turn, or tractor, be sure the following precautions have been taken:

  • Take a seat in the driver’s seat.
  • Stopping is prevented by the applied brake.
  • The paid time off is not in effect.

The ANSWER is to do exactly what was described above to get your Kawasaki bike going. This includes making sure the choke is set properly and following all other safety precautions before attempting to start the engine.

If you want specifics on your mower, look in the manual.