Lawn mower won’t start after winter storage

Last year was the first time in a while that I mowed a lawn. The decision to
mow the lawn myself was because I couldn’t stand the idea of shelling out at
least 160$ per month for something that I could knock out in around an hour on a
Saturday morning.

I bought the cheapest gas powered mow I could and enjoyed my time outside
working up a sweat.

Then winter came, and I stopped mowing 🙂

Then spring started to roll in and the mower wouldn’t start 🙁

I had made a fairly amateur mistake by not “winterizing” my lawn mower. My mower
laid dormant for months with a half of a tank of gas and not so much as a single

I went to start her up in the spring and the engine wouldn’t turn over. A
hundred pulls later, and still nothing.

After some research, I came to the conclusion that the carburetor was all
clogged up because I left the gas in the tank all winter. The gas breaks down
and get gummy and you have to clean things out.

I watched some videos on how to clean the carb out and well, I didn’t want to do
that. I researched further to find an easier fix.

Most of my research led to the same conclusion. Take apart the carb and clean it
out. No. I refuse.

Finally I made it to the store to get some oil and a socket to remove the spark
plug (to make sure it was still good). Lo and behold, they were selling
something that was supposed to fix my problem.

Mechanic in a Bottle promised to fix things up without having to take
apart my mower.

The instructions said to drain the gas tank if the engine was completely stuck.
Wanting to do as little as possible, I didn’t drain the engine and added 1oz of
the magic liquid and waiting about 15 minutes after priming it a bit.

Nothing. Primed some more and waited. Nothing again.

At this point I was started to lose hope but figured I should maybe follow the
instructions and drain the gas tank. Without the proper equipment, this ended up
being a fiasco of such epic magnitude that I chose to not speak further on the
matter 😉

So with the engine drained, I added 2oz of the possibly magical formula, primed
the engine and waited a bit.

Nothing. Primed some more. Nothing.

Started to weed whack the lawn and retried starting the mower every few minutes.

Still nothing. Then I decided that I should probably add a small bit of fuel to
the tank since I wasn’t sure if the orange liquid could power the mower at all.

Nothing, so I kept on whacking the yard and retrying every few minutes.


and immediately died :*(

This went on for a little bit longer until I thought “hey, if the engine isn’t
getting gas because it’s all clogged up and the primer bulb can suck gas in, why
not get the engine to turn over and start to pump the bulk like I’m performing

That’s what I did and sure enough, the engine sputtered and kept on running with
every pump of the bulb. I did that for a minute or so until it seemed like the
engine no longer needed my help.


Well, until I went to start mowing and immediately hit a super high patch of
grass and the mower jammed up again. Only the wife heard me yell “SON OF A

Fortunately I was able to get the mower started again on the first pull. Thank
God. Important lessons learned for next winter, for sure.

We had also forgotten what a freshly cut lawn looks like. Patio season has
officially begun!

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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