Riding lawn mowers are used by many homeowners and professionals who must cut large areas of grass. Manufactured by a number of companies, riding lawn mowers are available with 15 horsepower and higher gasoline engines, single-, dual- and triple-blade cutting decks, shock-absorbing seats and electronic ignition. Troubleshooting a riding lawn mower that will not start often will let you identify and correct the problem, saving time by avoiding any need to call a technician or haul it to a repair shop.
Add a small amount of gasoline that was recently purchased to the fuel tank of the riding lawn mower. Place the cap on the fuel tank and attempt to start the mower.
Locate the in-line fuel filter in the gas line that extends from the bottom of the gas tank to the carburetor. Remove the in-line fuel filter from the gas line and drain the gasoline into a plastic container. Install a replacement in-line fuel filter, and pour the fuel back into the gas tank.
Brush corrosion from the battery terminals with a stiff bristle brush. Tighten loose connections with an adjustable wrench. Apply a coat of spray-on terminal corrosion protector to the battery terminals.
Remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Place a spark plug wrench over the spark plug and turn it to the left to loosen and remove it. Dry the spark plug if fuel is present, and brush carbon away with a stiff bristle brush. Replace the spark plug if it is damaged or burned. Reinstall the spark plug and tighten it with the spark plug wrench.
Remove the air-cleaner housing cover and pull the foam air filter from the mower. Tap the filter on a hard surface to loosen debris and dirt. Replace the filter if it is worn or damaged. Wipe out the housing for the air filter, put the filter back into the housing, and secure the cover back in place.