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Troubleshooting a Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower

lawn,grass image by Greg Pickens from

Craftsman riding lawn mowers come in various sizes with features that differ across each model. Most of the primary functions of all models are the same. Commonly occurring problems will have similar solutions for every model of Craftsman riding mower. When a problem arises with the mower, diagnostic troubleshooting can help determine possible reasons for the problem. Complete the troubleshooting process to resolve the issue after it has been identified.

Check the battery cables if the engine will not start. Tighten the connections if they are loose. A loose battery connection will prevent power from getting to the mower.

Replace the spark plug if the engine will not turn over. Replace the fuel filter if the engine is difficult to start.

Check the oil level if the engine does not run smoothly. Add oil until it reaches the "Fill" line on the dipstick. The engine may run rough if the oil becomes low.

Clean the air screen if the engine loses power while it is running. Inspect the air filter and clean if it is dirty. A dirty air screen or air filter reduces air flow and prevents the engine from working properly.

Mow up and down slopes. The engine may stop if you mow across a slope.

Raise the cut height if grass is not discharging while cutting. Replace or sharpen the blade if grass still does not properly discharge. A dull blade will prevent the grass from being cut properly.

Craftsman Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

Craftsman manufactures many types of lawn mowers--everything from cut path reel mowers that operate on your own pushing power, to mowers that run on electricity and gasoline. A majority of homeowners and landscape professionals use gasoline operated lawn mowers. Find out the most common problems for your gasoline powered Craftsman lawn mover, and how to troubleshoot it to determine if and when it is time to get a professional to repair it. Measure your tank's oil to make sure that there is enough in the engine if you are able to pull the cord but the engine will either not start, is hard to start, or will not stay started. Too much priming can flood your engine. Clean your Craftsman lawnmower's carburetor with a towel or rag if your engine is idling roughly or unevenly. If your carburetor appears clean, you may need to contact a technician to check for air leaks or improper adjustment.


Always disconnect the spark plug wire before inspecting the blade or undercarriage of the mower.

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