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Repair information and troubleshooting for Craftsman-brand riding lawnmowers.

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Why is riding lawnmower not restarting

Have a Craftsman Riding Lawnmower, Briggs Straton 21.0HP. Mowed almost all of 1.6 acres stopping twice over a few hours. Tried to restart 20 minutes later, nothing. Have replaced the following:

1. Installed new Starter

2. New Spark Plug

3. New Fuel Filter

4. New Safety Seat Switch

None of the above have helped.

Put gas in rag on breather intake and started a bit then stalled and would not restart. Changed Fuel Pump, took Carburetor off, cleaned inside/out with brake parts cleaner, still wouldn't start. Replaced Fuel Pump, started briefly, checked fuel regulator and was working properly.

Please reply with all troubleshooting tactics.

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How does your float and the needle valve on your carb look like? seated properly? Stuck? Fuel in the float bowl? When engine number is it?


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Fuel, air, and spark.

Fuel: sounds good, and you've replaced most of the fuel system, but the carb (pretty simple plastic carbs on these) might have something gunking it up. Try soaking the carb (submerge the little plastic jet) and let it sit for a half hour or so. Soak up what is left with a rag and try a restart.

Air: try starting with the air filter off. Don't run it for too long, but if it starts right up with it off, then you know there is some kind of restriction there. New filters are pretty cheap.

Spark: Pull the plug out and reconnect to the plug cable. Hold it with channel locks or the likes and try and start it. You should be able to see a visible spark. If not, it could be the coil or stator, both of which are prone to failure.

A few other tricks if none of the above helped:

Starting fluid. A short (half second) shot down straight into the carb. If it turns over but dies again, try 2-3 more times. If nothing then, you're probably still having some fuel problems. If that's the case (and with that many new fuel components) it might just be bad gas. Drain the tank and throw some 89 grade in there.

Other things to check if none of that helped.

Electrical: some contact cleaner on all your main ignition switches might help

Exhaust: check that nothing is clogging up the muffler

Mechanical: Flip the mower up on it's side and make sure everything moves pretty freely in neutral with the blades disengaged. It might be something binding and the motor doesnt have enough power to overcome some bind and is dying.

Beyond that, you might need a professional diagnosis.

Best of luck

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