How to Start a Rototiller Engine

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Things You'll Need

  • Fresh fuel

  • Fuel stabilizer

  • Cloth rags

  • Engine oil

  • Oil container (optional)


Some tillers are equipped with an ON/OFF switch to easily shut the engine off when the tiller is not in use. In order to start the engine the switch must be in the ON position.

Starting your rototiller engine is the first step towards preparing your garden for planting. There are many different types of tillers and each tiller model will have a slightly different starting method. There are, however, certain steps required to start every tiller engine. One tiller engine may have a primer bulb where another has a choke. One tiller model may have a throttle trigger where another will have a throttle selector.


Step 1

Fill the tiller's fuel tank with fresh, stabilized gasoline.

Step 2

Check the oil level in the rotor tiller's crank case. Remove the oil cap and wipe the oil off of the attached dipstick with a cloth rag. Replace the oil cap completely and remove it again. Look at the oil level on the dipstick. Add fresh engine oil if the oil level is low. If the oil level is too high, remove some of the oil until the oil level is in the acceptable range on the dipstick.

Step 3

Prime the tiller's carburetor by pressing on the primer bulb multiple times, or activate the choke on the tiller's carburetor. Your tiller will be equipped with either a primer bulb or a choke. Set the throttle to about two-thirds power.

Step 4

Pull on the starter handle sharply multiple times until the engine catches. Allow the engine to idle for a few minutes so the engine can warm up before tilling.



Kelly Nuttall

Kelly Nuttall is a student at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. She is set to graduate in the spring of 2011 with her bachelor's degree in technical communications. She has been writing for various websites since March of 2009.