The Scag is a great mower, easy to start, easy to navigate. Due to several built-in safety precautions, there are some specific actions that must be performed before attempting to start the mower. If each step is not followed, the mower will not start. In other words, ignoring even one step will prevent you from starting the engine. This is only for your safety, however. After going through the routine a few times, it will become second nature. Read the owner's manual thoroughly, familiarizing yourself with the machine, the gas and oil requirements, proper operation and all safety precautions
Check the fuel tanks to be sure there is adequate gas in the machine.
Position yourself in the seat, making certain to sit back, fully placing your weight on the seat. A dead man switch rests beneath the seat which senses weight. When it fails to sense weight in the seat, the ignition connection is cut off.
Check the break lever. The breaks must be engaged, which depresses another dead man switch. When the breaks are not engaged, the dead man switch denies current to the ignition, and you cannot start the mower
Push the right and left steering levers outward. Once again, a dead man switch is mounted on either side of the mower such that pulling the steering levers inward trips the switches and the mower won't start.
Make certain that the blades are not engaged. This is done by ascertaining that the blade switch is fully depressed. If not, the mower will not start.
Open the choke fully and raise the speed lever halfway.
Turn the ignition to the "Start" position.
Depress the choke immediately after the engine starts. Increase the speed lever to high. Release the brake and ease the steering levers forward.