How to Start a Craftsman Lawn Mower – Follow 6 Easy Steps

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You might find a hard time starting a lawn mower especially if it is your first time in a while. While there are various types of lawnmowers, the solution of how to start a Craftsman lawn mower is almost the same for each.

You will need a little practice, and you will never face the same problem again.

Lawn mowers often don’t start for various reasons.

For example, the spark plug might be defective, the carburetor of the lawnmower might be clogged, the engine oil or the fuel might be bad or old, or the start switch might be faulty.

We will show you how you can fix a lawn mower that won’t start.

how to start a craftsman lawn mower

Before going into the solutions, let’s see how you can start a Craftsman lawnmower.

Follow these steps one by one, and you will be able to start your lawnmower like an expert.

How to Start a Craftsman Lawn Mower 

Step 1: Check the oil level and pour oil into the oil tank

At first, you will need to see if the lawn mower has enough fuel to start. You will see the same type of oil tanks in different lawnmowers.

For example, the push mower and the riding mower both will have an oil tank which is situated at the top side of the engine. Usually, the containers are black.

Remove the cap of the oil tank. Then, with the help of a dip stick, figure out the oil level. Add more oil if you need to.

You might need to use a different oil for the other type of lawnmower. It will be written on the oil cap.

If you are using a Craftsman 6.75 lawnmower, this step will be a bit different. These kinds of lawn mowers have a gas tank, and you will need to fill it with gas.

For riding lawn mowers, you will find the oil cap under the hood.

Step 2: Attach the lawn mower’s spark plug with a spark plug wire

You will need to attach the spark plug with the wire correctly. Each is situated at the front of the engine.

Place the wire properly on the spark plug and make sure they are attached correctly. If you cannot connect the spark plug wire, you can look into the manual.

The process is usually written clearly. You can also take the help of a mechanic if the spark plug fails to work.

Step 3: See if the air filter is working correctly or not

With the help of a screwdriver, open the air filter cover. You will find on the left side of the engine. See if the air filter is clean or not.

The dirt in the air-filter will prevent air from going in, and the lawn mower wouldn’t start. It is crucial to have a clean air filter.

Also, cleaning the air-filters can be a hassle as well as time-consuming. You can buy a new air filter as they are not very expensive. Do check for the correct model number as there are many different sizes.

Step 4: Press the primer button for several times and give the rope a few rapid pulls if it’s a push lawn mower

In case of push mowers, you will find the primer button at the left-hand side of the lawn mower engine.

The primer button is usually red or black. You will need to press it at least three times. The reason behind this is to push the gasoline.

Now, you will need to take the control handle and hold it with one hand.

With one hand, hold the recoil starter handle. You will find it on the right side of the mower. Then you need to pull the rope gently.

Give the string a rapid pull and do it until the lawn mower starts. Push lawn mowers don’t require a key for this mechanism.

So you can start a push lawn mower without a key.

Step 5: Insert the lawn mower key and hold the parking brake if it’s a riding lawn mower

To start a riding lawn mower, you will need to insert the lawn mower key into the ignition switch.

Before starting, you will need to press down the parking brake of the lawn mower for a few seconds.

Hold the brake and turn the parking brake lever on. To start driving the lawn mower, you will need to disengage the brake.

Then take the key and turn it in a clockwise motion to start the riding lawn mower. After the engine has started successfully, you can release the key.

Step 6: Change the height of your lawn mower if needed

You might notice that your lawn mower is using too much power quickly. It might be happening if you are cutting grass that is too tall.

You can raise the height of your lawn mower as a solution.

Before changing the height, make sure that you have turned off the lawn mower.

craftsman lawn mower starting problem

Common Problems of Lawn Mowers and Solutions

Defective Spark Plug

See if the spark plug is damaged. You can use a spark plug tester.

If you start the engine, you will see a spark in the tester’s terminal.

But if you don’t see any flash, the spark plug must be defective or damaged. The solution is to replace the spark plug with a new one.

Clogged Carburetor

The carburetor of your lawn mower will be clogged as a result of keeping fuel for a long time.

The fuel will turn into a sticky and thick component, and it will clog the carburetor. An easy solution is to clean the carburetor.

If it doesn’t work, you will have to change the whole carburetor.

Old Gasoline

It is one of the most common problems. Old and bad gasoline will never let your lawn mower start. A tip is not to keep gas or oil in the tank for long.

Old Engine Oil

Like your car’s engine oil, a gas lawn mower’s engine oil can get low. It can also get old and cruddy which mean it’s time to change the oil.

To check the engine oil take the crank out of the top side of the mower. Pull the strap out of the way. Put the dipstick in then pull out to check the engine oil level.

Top up the oil to its required level. But if the stick appears cruddy, it’s time to do an oil change.

You can solve many issues related to how to start a Craftsman lawn mower by following the above tips.

Those were a few common problems of why lawn mowers don’t start. If you find any other serious issue, you can go to a mechanic and take help.

For example, riding lawn mowers are bigger, and they are made with a more complicated mechanism. So, it is always a great idea to seek advice from an expert.


  1. I still cannot figure out how to start my Craftsman walk behind lawn mower model # 917.376537 I turn the key to the right but nothing happens. It does start fine with the pull cord. I do not have a handbook to look for the onboard battery, if that is the problem.


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