You tried to start your mower and found it won’t run. There are many reasons why a Cub Cadet will stop running including a fuel restriction. You identified your lawn mower isn’t getting the fuel it needs so let me help you find your fuel problem by providing you with a list of items to check on your Cub Cadet.
A Cub Cadet mower may not be getting fuel because bad gasoline has clogged the fuel system components including the fuel filter, fuel lines, and carburetor. A bad fuel pump can also fail to get fuel to your Cub Cadet’s engine.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to 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 Cub Cadet is Not Getting Gas
Bad Fuel in Your Cub Cadet
Fuel can begin breaking down as soon as 30 days after purchase causing it to lose some of its combustible properties.
Ethanol, used in fuels today, attracts moisture which is not good for your small engine. The moisture and ethanol mixture can begin to separate leaving gummy deposits in your fuel system.
This substance can clog components in your fuel system causing your Cub Cadet mower not to receive the fuel it needs to run. To find out the best gas to run through your Cub Cadet mower, read about it in this article.
FIX: Drain your fuel tank. A siphon 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 the fresh gas to stabilize and clean the fuel system. I use a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment. You can read more about its advantages and why I use it in every tank of fuel here.
Plugged Fuel Filter on Your Cub Cadet
It’s best to change your fuel filter annually during your routine Cub Cadet service maintenance. The filter is used to filter dirt from your fuel supply and prevent it from entering your fuel system and engine.
When a fuel filter isn’t changed frequently, it can become plugged and not allow fuel to get to your Cub Cadet’s engine.
FIX: Replace your fuel filter. There should be an arrow on the plastic housing indicating the direction of fuel flow. Make sure you install your filter correctly with the arrow pointing away from your fuel tank and toward your fuel pump and carburetor.
Clogged Fuel Lines on Your Cub Cadet
Your fuel lines can become clogged with the gummy deposits that formed from running old fuel that contains ethanol. To identify a clogged line, you will have to isolate the section of line that is clogged so your Cub Cadet can get fuel to the engine.
FIX: Use your fuel shut-off valve, located at the bottom of your fuel tank to start and stop fuel flow. If your Cub Cadet doesn’t use a fuel shut-valve, use hose pliers to clamp your fuel lines to stop 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 as well.
Bad Fuel Pump on Your Cub Cadet
You will have a plastic or metal fuel pump on your Cub Cadet when the fuel tank sits lower than the carburetor. A vacuum fuel pump is designed to build pressure off of the crankcase. It uses this pressure to push fuel up to the carburetor.
When the fuel pump has cracks, is damaged or leaks, you must replace your fuel pump. If you don’t notice any damage or leaking of the fuel pump, it’s time to troubleshoot the 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 when you checked your fuel lines for blockage.
If you did not, stop your fuel flow using your fuel shut-off valve or by crimping 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 verified fuel flow to the fuel pump if fuel begins running into your container. Reattach the fuel line to your fuel pump. If you don’t get fuel flowing into your container, check your fuel filter and fuel lines for clogs.
Also, check to make sure the container is placed lower than the fuel tank so it flows downward using gravity. Once you have confirmed you are getting sufficient fuel to the fuel pump, remove the fuel line from 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.
Dirty Carburetor on Your Cub Cadet
The carburetor regulates the air and fuel mixture allowed into the cylinder to create a combustion. 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 or stuck preventing your Cub Cadet’s engine from receiving fuel.
FIX: Remove your air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your engine to see if it will run. If your lawn mower starts and won’t continue to run, you will need to remove your carburetor and take it apart for cleaning.
For instructions on cleaning the lawn mower carburetor on your Cub Cadet, read this article.
Running the right kind of gas through your Cub Cadet mower and always running fresh gas through your mower will reduce the amount of clogging and damage in your fuel system.
When your Cub Cadet isn’t getting fuel, check your fuel system components including your filter, lines, pump, and carburetor.
Continuing to Have Problems with Your Cub Cadet?
If these tips haven’t solved your fuel problem or if you are experiencing a different problem with your Cub Cadet, check out my article showing the most common Cub Cadet problems and their solutions: Common Cub Cadet Problems