Briggs & Stratton makes a variety of riding mowers. The company includes a maintenance schedule in the instruction manual that, if followed, can help you prevent issues with the lawn mower. Regular oil changes, blade sharpening and air filter changes are recommended. If these basic maintenance tasks are not completed, or if the mower is worked too hard, it may exhibit issues such as poor engine performance, cutting issues, or an engine that will not start. Troubleshooting the issues will help you isolate the problem and lead you to a fix.
Inspect the cables underneath the seat if the mower is not starting. These cords engage the safety devices of the engine. Reconnect any loose cords by plugging them back in or tightening the cord down to the seat with a screwdriver.
Inspect the battery under the seat. Open the battery cell cover and check the level of the water inside. If the water is low, fill the cell with distilled water. Check the connectors for signs of corrosion or dirt. Clean the connectors if needed. Test the power of the battery by setting a votmeter (a device used to measure electrical current) to the volts setting. Touch the probes to the positive and negative end of the battery. The volts should read the same as the rating on the battery. If not, remove any jewelry before replacing the battery. Remove the black cable first, putting it in a place where it will not touch a terminal. Disconnect the red cable and remove the battery. Install the new battery in place and connect the red wire first to the positive terminal marked with a plus sign, then replace the black cable to the negative terminal marked with a negative sign.
Check the engine engagement lever on the dash if the machine is disengaged, otherwise the engine will not start. Tighten the lever by lifting up the hood of the mower and tightening the bolt that holds it in place if the lever feels loose.
Inspect the belts connecting the deck to the front of the mower. Touch the belt and feel for dry or cracked sections of the belt. Look at the diagram on the deck for the proper belt orientation. Remove the belt if it is cracked and use the model number on the belt to order a new one from Briggs & Stratton. Feed the belt around the pulleys using the diagram as a guide.
Open the hood of the riding tractor if the mower has a weak performance to check the filter. Find the filter in the engine and remove the cover by taking out the retaining screw, or by unclipping the cover. Inspect the air filter for excessive dirt or debris. Replace the air filter if it is filled with dirt. Use the product number printed on the side of the air filter and order a new part with Briggs & Stratton. Fit the new air filter in place according to the shape of the filter, which will only fit in one way. Replace the air filter cover.