How To Start Your Gas Lawn Mower – Everything You Need To Know

Today you’re going to learn everything there is to know about how to start your gas lawn mower.

You’ll learn how to get it started even if:

  • Your lawn mower has been in storage all winter and this is the first time starting it for the season
  • It is brand new and has never been started
  • It has a choke and recoil start and you’ve never used one before.

Let’s organize the guide into 5 steps:

  1. Get to know your mower
  2. Preparing the mower for use
  3. Getting the mower started
  4. How to maintain the mower so it starts first try
  5. How to store the mower

Let’s jump right in.

1. Get To Know Your Lawn Mower

Before actually starting the mower it is important to know the different parts and what they do.

A gas mower will either be recoil start or electric start. So be sure to know which you have. To quickly learn about your mower parts, be sure to look at the manual.

Read The Owner’s Manual

Start by reading the owner’s manual from front to back. This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of your particular model. Pay close attention to the safety precautions and make sure you understand how to operate the machine properly.

Main steps to do before starting:

  • Make sure to check there is oil
  • Fill the tank with gas

Give The Mower a Thorough Clean

Once you’ve read the manual, it’s time to get hands-on. Start by giving your lawn mower a thorough clean. Be sure to remove any debris from the blades and undercarriage. Be sure the catch bag is empty and secure.

Check The Oil Level

Next, check the oil level and add fresh motor oil if necessary. Make sure you do not add too much oil.

Sharpen The Blades

Finally, sharpen the blades and ensure that all moving parts are properly lubricated.

Robot mower cutting high grass.

A battery powered robot mower may be a great option for you if you don’t want to deal with a gas engine.

2. Preparing The Lawn Mower For Use

  • First, check that the blades are sharp and in good condition. dull blades can tear the grass rather than cut it, resulting in an uneven lawn.
  • Second, make sure that the mower fuel tank is properly fueled. If you are using a gas-powered mower, fill the gas tank with fresh gas. If you are using an electric mower, charge the battery or plug the cord into an outlet.
  • Next, check the air filter and clean or replace it if necessary.
  • Finally, take a walk around the lawn to look for any obstacles that could damage the mower or cause injuries. Once you have prepared the equipment and cleared the area, you are ready to start mowing.

By taking these simple steps, you will ensure that your lawn mower is in good working condition and that it will provide a quality cut.

Push mower mowing stripes into lawn

A well-maintained lawn mower is key to your dream lawn.

3. Turn On The Lawn Mower And Let It Run For A Few Minutes

Follow the steps in this video tutorial:

Once you have prepared the lawn mower, it’s time to start it up. Most gas-powered lawn mowers have a primer bulb that must be pushed several times before the engine will start. Be sure to read the owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to start your model.

Once you push the starter cord, the lawn mower engine will start running. Then let it idle for a few minutes to warm up. This will help ensure that the mower engine runs smoothly and prevents damage to the blades.

If you are using an electric mower, simply plug it in and press the power button. Be sure to keep your fingers clear of the blade while it is running.

Now that the lawn mower is running, you are ready to begin mowing your lawn. Push the mower around the perimeter of your lawn to get a feel for the machine. Then, move on to larger sections of the lawn, using long, even strokes. Be sure to empty the grass catcher when it becomes full.

By following these simple steps, you will be able to start your lawn mower and get a great-looking lawn in no time.

4. Maintain The Lawn Mower

Forgetting to service your lawn mower can lead to a whole host of problems, from decreased performance to outright breakdowns. Fortunately, lawn mower maintenance is relatively simple.

By taking the time to regularly clean and oil your lawn mower, you can keep it running like new for years to come.

Honda Lawn Mower in the Lawn

Well maintained Honda lawn mowers have been know to last 20+ years.

5. Store Your Lawn Mower Safely

If your lawn mower is not stored properly, it can quickly become damaged – and that will put a big dent in your wallet. Here are a few tips for storing your lawn mower safely:

  • First, make sure the mower is turned off and the blades are disengaged. If possible, remove the spark plug as well. This will help to prevent accidents while the mower is in storage.
  • Next, clean the mower thoroughly. Remove any grass or debris from the deck and blades. This will help to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Once the mower is clean, apply a light coat of oil to the blade and engine. This will help to keep them in good condition during storage.
  • Finally, store the mower in a cool, dry place and cover it with a lawn mower cover. A garage or shed is ideal. Avoid storing the mower in an unheated space, as this can damage the engine.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your lawn mower is stored safely – and that it will be ready to go when spring arrives.

The Bottom Line

  1. Read you lawn mower User Manual before use.
  2. Check the oil and fuel level and top it up if needed.
  3. Start your gas mower by pulling the recoil rope or push the electric start button if your mower has one.
  4. Once you have finished mowing be sure to clean the mower deck and blades to prevent corrosion.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 13 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time obsessing over his 1/4 acre lawn.