Your Ariens mower quit running or it started sputtering like it’s not getting fuel. You know you have a fuel supply problem, but just don’t know what you need to check. I’ve listed many items that can cause your mower to not get fuel along with troubleshooting steps and repairs.
An Ariens lawn mower isn’t getting fuel when the fuel filter is plugged, the fuel lines are clogged, the fuel pump stops working, the carburetor is dirty or the fuel cap vent is plugged. This can be due to running old fuel in your Ariens which can cause restrictions in the fuel system and degradation of the fuel components.
Before working on your mower to find out why your Ariens is not getting gas, refer to your Ariens owner’s manual for all the safety precautions you need to take to prevent injury.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons Why Your Ariens Lawn Mower Is Not Getting Fuel
Fuel can become less effective over time. Moisture can get into the fuel and form deposits that can clog the fuel system. Always make sure you are using fresh gasoline.
Ariens mower may not be getting gas because it is old or the wrong type of gas. Ariens gas-powered mowers require unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10 percent.
Avoid using ethanol contents higher than this. Ethanol-free fuel is best. Read more about the right gasoline to use here.
FIX: When you find old fuel sitting in your Ariens mower, drain the fuel tank. A siphon pump works great for this. Make sure you have a fuel container to collect the old fuel.
Siphon the fuel from the fuel tank into the fuel container. Set aside the old container of fuel to be properly disposed of at a recycling facility.
Refill your fuel tank with fresh fuel. Add a fuel additive to your fuel to stabilize and clean the fuel system. I use a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment. You can read more about the advantages of Sea Foam here and why I use it in every tank of fuel.
Plugged Fuel Filter
A fuel filter should be replaced at least once a year. The filter screens out dirt and deposits after it leaves the fuel tank and before it enters the fuel system.
This dirt can build up in the filter causing it to become plugged so fuel can no longer pass through it.
FIX: Replace a plugged fuel filter. There should be an arrow on the plastic housing of your fuel filter housing.
Make sure you install the filter correctly with the arrow pointing in the direction of the mower’s fuel flow. This means the arrow should be pointed toward the carburetor and away from the fuel tank.
Clogged Fuel Lines
Your fuel lines can become clogged with the gummy deposits that formed from running old fuel. To identify a clogged line, you will have to isolate the section of the line that is clogged so your Ariens mower can get fuel to the engine.
FIX: You will need to use your fuel shut-off valve, located at the bottom of your fuel tank to start and stop fuel flow. If your Ariens mower doesn’t use a fuel shut-off valve, use hose pliers to clamp your fuel lines to stop the flow.
Once you find a section of the hose that does not allow fuel to flow, shut off your fuel and remove the fuel line. Spray carburetor cleaner into the hose and blow the line out with compressed air to remove the blockage.
If you are unable to clear the fuel line so fuel can flow freely. Replace your fuel line. It’s also a good time to replace your fuel line before it starts leaking if the line is dry and showing signs of cracking.
Bad Fuel Pump
You will have a plastic or metal fuel pump on your Ariens when the fuel tank sits lower than the carburetor. A vacuum fuel pump is designed to build pressure using the vacuum in the crankcase. It uses this pressure to get fuel to the carburetor.
When the fuel pump has cracks, is damaged, or leaks, you must replace it with a new one.
If you don’t notice any damage or leaking of the fuel pump, it’s time to troubleshoot the fuel pump to ensure it is working correctly.
FIX: Confirm the fuel pump is functioning properly by, first, checking to make sure you are receiving fuel flow to the pump. You may have already checked this in the previous step if you checked your fuel lines for blockage.
If you did not, stop your fuel flow using your fuel shut-off valve or by clamping your fuel line. Proceed by removing the fuel line off the inlet port of your fuel pump and placing it in a container sitting lower than your fuel tank. Start your fuel flow.
You have fuel flow to the fuel pump if fuel begins running into your container. Reattach the fuel line to your fuel pump. If you didn’t get fuel flowing into your container, check your fuel filter and fuel lines for clogs.
Once you have confirmed you are getting sufficient fuel to the fuel pump, remove the fuel line off the carburetor and place it in a container.
Next, start your fuel flow and start your mower. You should see a steady or pulsating stream of fuel flowing out of the fuel line signifying your fuel pump is working correctly.
Replace a bad fuel pump that is damaged or is not pumping a stream of fuel out of the pump.
Your Ariens lawn mower uses a carburetor to regulate the fuel that is mixed with air to form combustion in the engine cylinder. You will find your carburetor mounted to the top or side of the engine block. It is usually below or behind your air filter.
When the carburetor is dirty, the components of your carburetor, including the fuel jet, can become clogged preventing your Ariens mower from getting fuel to the cylinder.
First, to help identify a carburetor problem, make sure you are getting fuel to the carburetor. Next, remove your air filter for the air filter housing and spray a little carburetor cleaner into the air intake.
Start your engine to see if it will run. If the mower starts, runs and then shuts off, you will need to remove your carburetor and take it apart for cleaning.
This is a test to make sure your mower will start using the carburetor cleaner. If it doesn’t, you may have a problem other than a fuel issue.
Refer to my guide on common Ariens mower problems for a chart to better identify your mower’s problem.
FIX: Clean your carburetor. This is something most homeowners can do if they are a little mechanical and don’t mind working with small parts. If that’s not you, your local lawn mower repair shop can do this for you.
Bad Fuel Cap
The fuel tank needs to vent through the fuel cap so it doesn’t act like a vacuum restricting fuel from leaving the fuel tank. When the fuel cap vent is clogged it prevents air from passing through the cap.
To check if your fuel cap is the problem, remove the cap, start, and let your mower run. If it runs fine, reinstall the fuel cap while continuing to allow your mower to run for a while.
If it eventually shuts down with the cap installed but starts and runs again as soon as you remove the cap, you may have a problem with a clogged fuel cap.
FIX: You can attempt to clean your cap to remove the cap. This doesn’t always work and you will have to purchase a new fuel cap.
Still Experiencing Problems with Your Ariens Lawn Mower?
Own a lawn mower long enough, you’ll start running into problems with it starting, not continuing to run, smoking, leaking gas, giving a bad cut, vibrating, or another issue.
To help you save time and money, I have put together a guide to help you troubleshoot the next problem that develops on your Ariens lawn mower.
You can find this guide at Common Ariens Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.
If you are unsure how to perform diagnostics and repairs on your lawn mower safely, it’s best to have a professional complete the repairs.
This will help you avoid personal injury or additional damage to the mower. Your local Ariens lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop will be able to help you solve your problem.