Top 18 Reasons Why Your Troy Bilt Lawn Mower Won’t Start

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If you have a relatively big yard, a Troy Bilt lawnmower is one of the go-to tools for easy landscaping and grass-cutting. But what should you do if you encounter some issues with your mower? 

Here, I’ll delve into the solutions for when your Troy Bilt lawn mower refuses to start.

Issue #1: Gas Tank Isn't Enough or Empty

Your lawnmower operates on fuel or gas, and most models are gas-powered, making it easy to diagnose why they won’t start. Often, the issue is related to the gas tank being empty or not having enough fuel to initiate the engine.

Fix: Fill With Fresh Fuel

It is essential to check your gas tank from time to time. To keep your Troy Bilt running, a good recommendation for that is to fill your gas tank with fresh fuel. It is also to keep your motor good maintenance to extend the life span of your Troy Bilt.

Issue #2: Old or Wrong Type of Gas

As mentioned, you have to fill your Troy Bilt with fresh fuel. However, if you have skipped cleaning your yard for a long time and haven’t touched your lawnmower, it will also affect the quality of your gas. Filling your gas tank with the wrong type of gas can also damage your lawnmower’s motor.

draining fuel from a lawn mower

Fix: Drain Fuel Tank and Fill With Fresh Fuel

If you accidentally filled your gas tank with the wrong gas, all you need to do is drain your fuel tank and fill it with the right fresh fuel with a fuel additive. This helps clean and stabilize your fuel system, especially if you have put the wrong fuel. 

Also Read: How Much Oil Should Be in Your Lawn Mower  

Issue #3: Gas Cap Won't Vent

It’s possible that your vent is plugged, giving no fuel to your engine. To identify this issue, you need to remove your gas cap to see if it is venting. If it is venting, place the lid back and run it continuously. This is to check if your lawnmower starts to spit and shuts down automatically after.

Fix: Clean the Gas Cap

From personal experience, if your lawnmower stops running even after you’ve inspected the vent, it typically indicates a faulty vent. This means the motor isn’t receiving fuel properly. A clogged vent is often the culprit.

Therefore, start by giving your gas cap a thorough cleaning. If that doesn’t remedy the situation, it’s time to consider replacing the gas cap altogether.

Issue #4: Damaged Spark Plug or Loose Connection

One of the reasons your Troy Bilt mower may have problems starting up is your spark plug. Either you have loose connections, dirt issues on the tip, or might have been damaged over time. 

Troy Bilt Lawn Mower spark plug

Fix: Remove and Check Spark Plug

Check your spark plug if it is not properly gapped, if there is carbon build-up, especially on the tip or if it might have a broken porcelain insulator. If you discover any damage, I recommend replacing the spark plug with a new one.

Issue #5: Plugged Air Filter

Grass clippings and dirt may get stuck in your filter as time passes. If this happens, air passage to your engine is minimal. Hence, this will make your engine overwork and leads to overheating and shutting down. This will also damage your lawnmower’s internal engine, which may cost you a lot more than finding a new filter.

Fix: Remove and Check Air Filter

Remove and check your air filter for dirt and grass cuttings build-up. Tap your filter onto a hard surface to clean it. Since this is a paper air filter, you can hold it up to see if light passes through it. If not, then it’s time to replace your air filter. 

In a different scenario, when dealing with a foam filter, you should clean it by using dish soap. Afterward, thoroughly rinse the foam filter and allow it to air dry while lying flat.

If your foam filter shows signs of being torn, brittle, or sporting brown spots, my advice is to replace it with a new one.

Issue #6: Bad Fuel Pump

Your Troy Bilt’s fuel pump goes bad over time. One reason is your old fuel that’s been sitting in there. It may cause damage to the internal parts of your pump that later on will leak, and the engine will not receive sufficient fuel to start.

Troy Bilt Lawn Mower fuel pump check

Fix: Replace the Fuel Pump

If you are encountering such symptoms, it’s likely time to replace your fuel pump.

Issue #7: Plugged Fuel Filter

A common reason your lawnmower might refuse to start is due to a clogged fuel filter. This filter is essential as it prevents debris and dirt from entering your fuel tank, but it can become clogged over time.

Fix: Replace Fuel Filter

You need to replace your fuel filter if it is already plugged.

Issue #8: Clogged Fuel Line

A clogged fuel line is caused by old or bad fuel. That’s why it is important to fill your tank with fresh fuel. A clogged fuel line can stop fuel from passing to your engine, and this causes your Troy Bilt not to work.

Troy Bilt Lawn Mower fuel line

Fix: Unclog the Fuel Line

Unclog the fuel line by locating first which line gets clogged and removing it from the mower. Loosen the blockage with your carburetor cleaner by spraying it into the tube. Blow air into the line to remove the blockage using compressed air. 

Issue #9: Clogged Carburetor

A clogged carburetor is caused by old and dirty fuel. If your carburetor is clogged, this will prevent your lawnmower from working.

Fix: Thoroughly Clean the Carburetor

The carburetor has lots of small components when cleaning. First, you need to know where the carburetor is on your lawn mower. Once you locate it, clean it thoroughly. 

If you’re not sure about its placement, as well as the right way to cleaning your carburetor personally, you can contact a local engine mechanic to locate or replace it.

Issue #10: Bad Battery, Loose Cables, or Corroded Terminals

Your Troy Bilt lawn mower needs a good battery, tight cables, and clean terminals to start. If one of these is not in good shape, the engine can’t work. 

Troy Bilt Lawn Mower battery replacement

Fix #1: Test and Charge Your Battery

One important thing is your battery. Check and test your battery to see if it still has enough volts to supply power to your engine. If not, then you need to replace the battery. 

Fix #2: Clean Corroded Terminals

When dealing with corroded terminals, I recommend using natural cleaners paired with a wire brush for effective cleaning. This combination often yields the best results.

Issue #11: Defective Safety Switch

Every part of your Troy Bilt lawnmower is connected for it to work. If your Troy Bilt lawn mower won’t start, it may be because the safety switch is defective.

testing lawn mower safety switch

Fix: Test the Switch

Using a multimeter, you can test the safety switch to identify if it’s defective.

Issue #12: Defective Ignition Switch or Ignition Coil

As soon as you try to turn on the switch and your mower won’t start, the problem could be either the ignition coil or the ignition switch. 

Fix: Test Ignition Switch With Multimeter

To identify the problem with your ignition switch, test it using a multimeter [1]. If it is bad, replacing it is a need. Test the ignition coil using a multimeter to check the continuity if the spark plug is working. If there is a break in the continuity, you need to replace the ignition coil.

Issue #13: Defective Starter Solenoid

You can identify if the starter solenoid is defective or bad when you turn your ignition key and there is a hum or click. Try to check if the wire attached to the solenoid gets hot and starts to melt or smoke.

lawn mower starter solenoid

Fix: Test the Solenoid

Test your mower’s solenoid with a battery charger if your solenoid is mounted with a starter. This will also test your starter if it is working with the solenoid.

Issue #14: Bad Recoil

Over time, your mower’s recoil will wear out. This and the whole recoil assembly will affect the clips, pulley, or strings. If these components get bad or damaged, your lawn mower will not work.

Fix: Replace the Spring and Restring the Recoil

If you’re facing issues, start by replacing the spring and restringing the recoil. Should the engine still refuse to start, it is wise to inspect other components of your recoil for any signs of damage. If multiple parts seem compromised, it’s most efficient to replace the entire recoil assembly.

Issue #15: Blown Fuse

If the problem is with the electrical system of your Troy Bilt, then the cause for this is the fuse. It might have been damaged or blown.

lawn mower fuse

Fix: Replace Fuse

In replacing the fuse, make sure that you have the same amperage. If a blown fuse continues, it needs to identify which causes the issue with the help of your local Troy Bilt dealer or a lawnmower repair shop. 

Issue #16: Faulty Charging

If you are mowing and it suddenly dies, your charging system is the problem. And this may prevent your mower from working the next time. If the charging system is the reason, it can cause your battery to drain and won’t let your lawnmower start again.

Fix: Repair Charging System

In repairing your charging system, you can have your Troy Bilt dealer help you fix the problem or a local lawn mower repair shop. 

Issue #17: Wrong Operating Procedure

It is important to follow the procedure when starting your Troy Bilt lawnmower. If you pass other instructions, it probably won’t work the way it should. 

lawn mower close up view

Fix: Review Your Lawn Mower's Operating Manual

Before you dive into any work on your mower, thoroughly read and understand each step prescribed in your mower’s manual. Skipping or overlooking instructions can lead to unnecessary complications.

Issue #18: Damaged Flywheel Key

This gets damaged when something hard like a rock hits it. If the flywheel key gets broken, it prevents the engine from working. 

Fix: Check the Flywheel Key for Damages

Check the flywheel key if there is damage. Once the damage has been located, remove and replace it. This will fix any starting or mower engine surging problems


Where is the fuse on a Troy Bilt riding lawn mower?

The fuse on a Troy Bilt riding lawn mower is usually located between the key switch and battery and the wiring harness. However, it may vary with the design’s style and age. As for the current style, you can see the fuse under the hood just behind the steering dash panel or located beneath the seat.


When working with Troy Bilt mowers or any lawn mowers, I can’t stress enough how important it is to check your machine from time to time. With proper maintenance, you can extend its life span and give you a long usage period. 

If your Troy Bilt lawn mower won’t start, you can troubleshoot the issue step by step. You can quickly identify which of the factors above are causing the problem and what to do about it.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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