How to Start a Push Mower


Push mowers are some of the oldest types of lawn mowers. To start a push mower you must follow a set of steps in order to get the engine to start. Once you start a push mower you can stop the mower by releasing the safety bar. Never try to solve ignition problems with the spark plug wires attached to the spark plug.

Step 1

Look for the primer button on the front of the push mower. This button is usually located on the front of the engine to one side close to the carburetor. The owner's manual will tell you exactly where it is. The primer button looks like half of a rubber ball sitting sideways in the push mower engine.

Step 2

Press the primer button four times. This will send fuel from the gas tank to the carburetor and prime the engine for easier starting. Priming the engine lubricates the carburetor and engine so the internal parts can move smoothly.

Step 3

Set the throttle lever to the "choke" position.

Step 4

Grab hold of the safety bar and push mower handle with one hand. Squeeze the bar and handle together. This allows the safety catch to release the engine. Without the safety bar in this position the engine will not start.

Step 5

Reach down with the other hand to the handle of the pull cord. Set your feet firmly into place. Pull the cord quickly three times. Listen for the motor to attempt to start. This will let you know if you are getting a spark in the ignition. If you hear the engine attempting to start, proceed to the next step. If you can't, repeat Steps 2 through 5 until you can hear the engine ignition.

Step 6

Move the throttle lever to the highest speed. Squeeze the safety bar and handle again. Grab hold of the pull cord and pull it all the way up quickly. The push mower engine should start up. If it doesn't, try again a few times. If it still doesn't start, wait half an hour because you flooded the engine with gasoline. Once the engine starts, proceed to the next step.

Step 7

Slide the throttle lever down to a slower speed that you want to mow the lawn. Keep the safety bar in contact with the mower handle to keep the engine running.


  • Joe Middendorf, Owner of Middendorf Tractor, Nichols, NY
  • Yard Smarts
Keywords: push mower, starting a mower, lawn mowing

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.