Problems With a Snapper Lawn Mower

Snapper was the first company to market a rear engine riding lawn mower. They've long been among the most popular riding mowers ever produced, according to the manufacturer. An advantage of a rear engine mower is its stability from the improved center of gravity. With an average-sized rider in the seat, the weight distribution is such that the rear wheels maintain better traction. In addition, there is ample forward weight to improve maneuverability. Nonetheless, a Snapper mower experiences many of the same problems as other riding mowers.

Engine Starting Problems

Although rare, as problems go, engine starting problems do occur with a Snapper lawn mower. More times than not, it is the simplest things that routinely cause the engine not to start. According to the Snapper operator’s manual for the Series 23 lawn mower, common causes include a loose or corroded battery cable, disconnected spark plug cable, faulty or disconnected starter wiring or the parking brake is not set. It is unlikely a cable is disconnected unless someone has purposely done so. However, if maintenance or service has recently been performed on the mower, that is a possibility. Otherwise, after checking the parking brake and plug wire, a simple cleaning of the battery terminals and posts will usually do the trick.

Engine Stalls After Starting

Plenty of fresh air, ample supply of gas and a steady spark are requirements for sustaining engine combustion. If one of those elements is cut off or restricted, the engine will stall. If there is a disadvantage to a rear engine Snapper mower, it is the fact that most of the dust and debris stirred up by a riding lawn mower is greatest at the rear. This will cause the air filter to plug a lot more often on a rear engine lawn mower than when it is located at the front of the mower. Keeping the air cleaner element clean--allowing plenty of filtered air into the carburetor--is the best guarantee against engine stalls. In addition, keep clean, fresh gas in the tank to prevent dirt and gunk from finding its way into the carburetor, which can result in plugged carburetor jets.

Electrical Safety Switches

Today’s Snapper lawn mowers employ more safety devices and safety switches than ever before. That’s great for protecting the operator from injury, as well as preventing serious damage to the mower, but if any of these switches malfunction, the effect is an engine that dies--or fails to start--for no apparent reason. Some of the safety switches incorporated on the Snapper lawn mower that either prevent the mower from cranking, or kill the engine if the switch opens, include the seat safety switch, which must sense the weight of the operator in the seat to start and run the engine; the blade engagement switch, which senses to ensure the mower blades are disengaged in order for the mower to start; and the parking brake switch, which senses to ensure the parking brake is depressed before allowing the engine to start. If one of the safety switches is suspect, check it with a voltage ohm meter to make sure it is working properly. Because they are safety devices, do not bypass or jump them out to get the mower running again.

Keywords: Snapper mower problems, Snapper lawnmower problems, troubleshooting Snapper mowers

About this Author

Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.