MTD founded in 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio, once specialized in tools and dies. These days, MTD makes a large amount of lawn mowers, including the brands Troy-Bilt, Yard-Man, Cub Cadet and the MTD line. Although all MTD mowers are slightly different, basic troubleshooting measures are applicable across the line.
Examine the gas level of the engine by comparing the gas level to the gas line on the tank, and deetermine that the oil is filled properly by checking the oil dip stick.
Open up the air filter to ensure there are no clogs and that the air filter is clean. Replace dirty paper air filters with new ones. Clean foam air filters using liquid washing detergent, and allow it to dry.
Take the spark plug out of the engine, and check that it has a spark by touching it against a metal surface. A blue spark means it is working, a brown spark means it is weak. Replace the sprak plug if it exhibits a brown spark or no spark at all. Check the gap in the spark plug using a spark plug gapping tool, and check the measurement against the requirement in the owner's manual.
Verify that the safety switches are working properly and that all the wires are attached to the engine properly. An MTD mower will not start if the safety devices are not engaged.
Inspect the battery, if the mower has one, for a proper charge. Check all connections to the battery to ensure they are properly engaging the battery.