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How to Start a Craftsman Lawn Mower: Tips and Tricks from Experienced Users!

This article will help you understand the mechanics of Craftsman lawn mowers and learn how to start them the right way!
Last updatedLast updated: December 19, 2022
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If you’re in the process of buying a Craftsman lawn mower or have already bought one, you’ll have discovered there are two types to pick from. One is the push or walk-behind lawn mower specially designed for small gardens. The second type is a riding mower used for mowing larger areas.

Starting a push lawn mower is slightly different from starting a riding mower. Knowing how to start a Craftsman lawn mower is important if you want to protect this piece of equipment from being damaged. Starting your lawn mower correctly will also extend its lifespan while minimizing the costs of unnecessary repairs and maintenance. We’ve put together a simple guideline for how to start a push lawn mower and a riding mower. Using these steps will give you peace of mind you’re starting your Craftsman lawnmower the right way, protecting your garden equipment investment from day one!

How to start a push lawn mower?

How to Start a Craftsman Lawn Mower: Tips and Tricks from Experienced Users!

Starting your lawn mower will be easier with new gas, and the engine will run smoothly when cutting the lawn.

Starting a gas-powered Craftsman push lawn mower is similar to most other walk-behind mowers. Preparation before switching on the machine is key for a properly functioning lawn mower. Once this step has been completed, you’re ready to begin the process of turning on your machine.

Preparing it

Before starting your push lawn mower, you need to take the following steps:

  • Check the fuel: Use the dipstick to gauge how much fuel is left in the tank. Old fuel can hamper the starting of the lawn mower, so change it with fresh gas.
  • Check the oil level: Look for the black oil cap on top of the engine. Unscrew the cap and check the oil level by reading the dipstick. Different level markings such as ‘Add” will indicate if you need to top up the oil. Make sure you use the right type of oil, which is indicated on the oil cap.
  • Clean the spark plug: This is normally found on the side or front of the engine. Use a paper towel to clean the spark plug, removing any dirt. If the spark plug is rusty, replace it with a new one.
  • Inspect the solenoid: This is found on the right corner of the rear wheel. Inspect the solenoid to ensure it’s in good working order Trusted Source How Does a Solenoid Work? | Sciencing What is a solenoid? Solenoid is the generic term for a coil of wire used as an electromagnet. It also refers to any device that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy using a solenoid. The device creates a magnetic field from electric current and uses the magnetic field to create linear motion. sciencing.com ; otherwise, your machine won’t start.

When you’re done preparing your lawnmower, you can go ahead with starting it. Make sure it’s on a flat surface before going through the process of switching it on.

Pressing throttle lever

Before starting your machine, the throttle lever should be in the “Stop” position. Move the throttle lever into the “Choke” position when you’re ready to start your lawn mower. The auto choke will be activated at this stage.

Pulling starter rope

Grab the handle of the starter rope, which is located on the right-hand side of the lawn mower. Using brisk, full-arm movements, pull the starter rope once to three times, letting the rope rewind fully each time before pulling again. Once engaged, the lawn mower will start.

Running position

On starting, the engine will run roughly. This is because the throttle lever is still in the “Choke” position. At this stage, you need to move the throttle lever to the “Run” position. Your lawn mower machine should start running smoothly, allowing you to cut the lawn steadily.

How to start a riding lawn mower?

How to Start a Craftsman Lawn Mower: Tips and Tricks from Experienced Users!

It’s vitally important that you can reach all the levers and pedals with your arms and legs.

Follow these steps when using riding lawn mowers to keep your yard in top-notch condition!

Take your position

Never turn on a Craftsman riding lawn mower when not seated on it. Make sure you’re sitting comfortably in the seat.

Foot brake

Use your left leg to press down on the foot brake. This is located on the front bottom of the machine on the left-hand side. Keep your foot on the brake until you have started the lawn mower. You’ll need to gently release the pressure from the foot brake when activating the “Parking mode.”

Activate parking mode

Depending on the model, you’ll find the parking brake on the left or right-hand side of your seat. Place it into “Parking mode’ while slowly removing your leg off the foot brake. It’s important to keep the parking brake engaged before starting the lawn mower but remember to disengage it when you’re ready to start moving the machine.

Activate neutral gear

You’re now ready to activate the neutral gear. The gearbox of a Craftsman’s ride-on lawn mower is located next to the steering wheel. The marking “N” on the gearbox indicates the neutral position. Position the gear level at this point.

Press throttle lever

To prevent the riding mower from moving forward or in reverse while starting the machine, you need to press the throttle lever into the “Choke” position. And now you can turn on the mower.

Insert the key

Insert the lawn mower key into the ignition switch. This is normally located on the front dashboard. Never force the key if it sticks. Remove and try it again but if it continues to stick, check for problems with either the ignition switch or the key itself.

Rotate the key

With the key inserted into the ignition switch, rotate it to the right, holding it in this position for 15 seconds or longer if necessary. When you hear the engine starting, remove your hand from the key. Release your leg off the foot brake.

Press throttle lever to fast position

Press the throttle lever from the “choke” position to the “fast” position and disengage the parking brake. The riding mower will start to move forward. And, you’re all set to mow your lawn in comfort!

Safety tips

Whether you’re using a push lawn mower for a small-sized yard or a riding mower for larger gardens, you need to apply some caution Trusted Source Regulatory Summary Lawn Mowers Reel-type mowers do not need to meet the performance standards. However, both rotary mowers and reel-type mowers must have a label that warns about the danger of cuts and amputation from contact with the blade. www.cpsc.gov . Take note of the following safety tips:

  • Avoid forcing the riding mower’s key into the ignition switch. This will damage the key or ignition switch.
  • Always start walk-behind and riding mowers on a flat surface to avoid it from running away with you or going backward Trusted Source Ride-on lawnmowers warnings: slope measurements and safety-by-separation - PubMed Various single-rider open vehicles, such as lawnmowers, are susceptible to overturning on slopes that are too steep for them. Warnings have included separation from the vehicles and avoiding slopes that are too steep. A recommended maximum slope is commonly 15 degrees. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov once started.
  • If you’re using a self-propelled Craftsman lawn mower, make sure you keep a firm hold on the handle while steering it.
  • Disengage the mower blades before starting the machine. The blade engages lever can be located on the fender on the right-hand side of your seat. Move it into the “Off” position.
  • Check and clear your lawn of objects such as rocks, stones, sticks, and other items that could damage your mower when cutting the grass. Debris left on the lawn could also become a hazard for you or bystanders should it shoot out from under the lawnmower.

Always read the instruction manual before using your lawn mower for the first time and follow the safety guidelines recommended by the manufacturers.

Final thoughts

Following our guidelines will ensure you start your Craftsman push or riding lawn mower the right way. Preparation is vital, protecting both your machine and the operator. Push lawn mowers are easy to start once you know the process and follow the right steps. The same applies to riding mowers.

Knowing how to start a Craftsman lawn mower correctly is the first step to using this type of machinery safely. It also means your lawn mower will stay in good condition for longer, preventing you from the headache of paying for costly repairs. Taking good care of your Craftsman lawn mower investment is important. Do it right from the beginning, and make sure you start it properly the first time, every time!

References

1.
How Does a Solenoid Work? | Sciencing
What is a solenoid? Solenoid is the generic term for a coil of wire used as an electromagnet. It also refers to any device that converts electrical energy to mechanical energy using a solenoid. The device creates a magnetic field from electric current and uses the magnetic field to create linear motion.
2.
Regulatory Summary Lawn Mowers
Reel-type mowers do not need to meet the performance standards. However, both rotary mowers and reel-type mowers must have a label that warns about the danger of cuts and amputation from contact with the blade.
3.
Ride-on lawnmowers warnings: slope measurements and safety-by-separation - PubMed
Various single-rider open vehicles, such as lawnmowers, are susceptible to overturning on slopes that are too steep for them. Warnings have included separation from the vehicles and avoiding slopes that are too steep. A recommended maximum slope is commonly 15 degrees.
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