How to Troubleshoot a Husqvarna Riding Mower That Won't Start

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Start Simple

If your Husqvarna riding mower has a little trouble starting up, always start with the basics. Right off the bat, make sure that your mower has fuel in the tank. Before attempting to start the mower, ensure that the freewheel control -- often located at the rear drawbar or under the mower's seat -- is set to the "Engaged" position and that the attachment clutch is in the "Disengaged" position. If your mower has a control lever, it should be in neutral. Keep the throttle in the fast position for warm weather or the cold weather position -- if your Husqvarna comes with this feature -- for chillier climes.


Double-check all of these settings before choking the engine or starting the ignition; if anything is out of place, the engine might not start. If the mower doesn't start after multiple attempts, the engine may be flooded. Wait several minutes and give it another shot.

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While the basics of getting your riding mower started remain fairly consistent across models, Husqvarna offers dozens of different riding mowers, which may feature some operational variations. Always consult your mower's manual before you start troubleshooting.

Maintenance Issues

If basic troubleshooting doesn't get your mower going, some routine maintenance could be the key.


A dirty air filter often causes start-up problems. To give it a good cleaning, access your mower's engine compartment and remove the rectangle-shaped air filter cover, typically located on either side of the engine. Brush away loose dirt and debris with a small, soft brush, such as an old paintbrush. If you can't see through the filter when holding it up to the light, it's time to replace it with a new one.


Likewise, your spark plugs -- which need changing roughly ever 100 hours -- may need refreshing. To replace the plugs, disconnect the spark plug wires from the spark plugs and remove them from the engine using a ratchet and spark plug socket. Use a gap tool to set the gap on your new spark plugs -- gap size will vary per mower, so check the "Product Specifications" section of your Husqvarna operator's manual for details -- before screwing them in, tightening them with the ratchet and socket and reconnecting the wire.


Failure to replace your Husqvarna's fuel filter every season may also prevent your mower's engine from starting; a dirty filter prevents the flow of gas to the carburetor. These riding mowers use an in-line fuel filter. To change it, you must access the fuel line and gently clamp the side of the line nearest the fuel tank to prevent gasoline leakage. Unfasten the pluglike fuel filter's clamps, then put a fresh filter in its place and clamp it in, making sure that arrow on the filter points toward the carburetor..


Finally, gasoline that's more than 30 days old or that has been contaminated with water will need replacing if you want to get your mower started easily and safely. Use a siphon pump to drain the fuel tank completely, then fill the empty tank with fresh gasoline. In some cases, a nonstarting engine calls for a thorough carburetor cleaning, which should only be attempted by those with at least a bit of small engine experience.



Always perform lawn mower maintenance when the engine is fully cooled.

Calling in the Pros

More complex issues such as faulty wiring or engine valves that have fallen out of adjustment may also prevent your Husqvarna mower from starting properly. If straightforward troubleshooting doesn't do the trick, visit the company's Customer Support website. There, you can browse detailed FAQs, ask a question via an online contact form, or use the dealer locator to find authorized Husqvarna repair centers nearby. These authorized centers will repair defective components with no parts or labor fees during your mower's warranty period.