Tips For Starting A Lawn Mower That Has Been Sitting During The Winter

If you are a homeowner, and you mow your lawn, you know that once the spring arrives you have to start thinking about cutting the grass and maintaining your yard. Unfortunately, the lawn mower is the one piece of landscaping equipment that is often more difficult to start after it has been sitting idle during the winter. This is likely the time you get frustrated and throw your back out trying to start or it, or begin wishing you had an electric lawn mower.

By the time you have tried to start the lawn mower a few times, the engine may have gotten flooded. After numerous attempts with no luck, you may be considering whether it is best to hire a professional landscaping company to tackle the job for you.

So, why is it so difficult to start the engine of a lawn mower that has been stored away for several months? The problem may lie in the spark plug, and upon closer examination, it may be time to replace it. In fact, a dead spark plug is one of the most common reasons for lawn mowers not starting after sitting idle for months.

The Ceramic Insulator

Something occurs in the ceramic insulator of a spark plug that sits inside of a lawn mower that is stored outside. As the temperature fluctuates, and the humidity levels change from day to day, the lawn mower is continuously covered with drops of condensation that evaporate and reappear day after day. Every time these droplets form on the spark plug, the carbon particles inside of the spark plug are rearranged.

The condensation droplets push these carbon particles into pathways of conduction within the spark plug, and the pathways provide an alternate path for electrical currents to pass. Instead of going across the spark gap, these currents go across the ceramic insulator’s surface. Read about Lawn Care Tips When Spring is Here .

These alternate pathways are either too low for electrical resistance so no spark is produced, or the spark that is produced does not have enough energy to ignite the cylinder’s charge.


One of the easiest ways to solve this issue is to simply replace the spark plug. However, there is a less expensive option that does not require you to leave your home. However, you will need a hot flame, either in the form of a propane torch or a butane lighter. While holding the spark plug on the end that connects to the wire, stick the spark plug end in the flame for several seconds. Do this while rotating the spark plug in your hand.

If the ceramic insulator has a bright white color instead of a grayish off white color, the spark plug should be ready to use.

You do not have to purchase a new lawn mower or spend a lot of money on repairs if it does not start. These simple spark plug solutions can get your lawn mower working like new. For more information Discover Ziehler .