To me, nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of mowing when my lawn mower stops working. My mower never dies in a convenient spot. It’s usually in the middle of my yard in the full sun. Why couldn’t it have just died closer to my garage or at least in a shady spot? Running back and forth to my garage for tools is bad enough, but when I have to do it during the heat of the day in the middle of my yard, it’s horrible!
Your Husqvarna lawn mower starts and then dies when your mower is unable to regulate the air to fuel mixture required by the engine to form a combustion. A dirty carburetor, bad fuel, plugged air filter, broken fuel pump and plugged fan can cause your mower to shut off and die.
Keep reading for a complete list of items that can cause your Husqvarna to die. I provide tips to identify the problem along with solutions.
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Reasons Your Husqvarna Lawn Mower Dies
Fuel Problem in Your Husqvarna Mower
Lack of Gas
Everyone knows if you don’t have gas in the tank, your gas-powered lawn mower will not run. However, when you’re in the middle of trying to figure out why your Husqvarna died, you can forget the simple, most obvious item to check: gasoline.
Bad Fuel in Your Husqvarna Mower
Regular gas lasts about 30 days before it begins to break down and lose its effectiveness. A corn-based product added to gas, known as ethanol, attracts moisture. Over time the moisture and ethanol solution can separate from your gas causing harm to your mower and engine. Learn more about the effects of ethanol and the correct gas to use in your Husqvarna in my article, “Right Gas for Your Husqvarna Mower“.
Ethanol is not good for small engines. It can leave behind a gummy substance that can clog your fuel system and cause it to sputter and die. Adding a fuel treatment to fresh gasoline will help stabilize your fuel. I really like a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment. Sea Foam reduces moisture in the fuel system. Read more about the advantages of Sea Foam in your Lawn mower here.
Solution: Drain your fuel tank by removing old fuel and placing in a container for recycling. Flush the fuel tank and fill with fresh gas treated with Sea Foam. Not only does Sea Foam stabilize your fuel, but it can also be used as a fuel system cleaner.
Run your mower for a few minutes once you have your Sea Foam treated fresh gas in your mower. This will help clear out any moisture in the lines and get your mower running again.
Wrong Fuel in Your Husqvarna
There are some differences with fuel pumps among fuel stations. Some will have a separate dispenser for each type of gas while others only use one dispenser and you need to select which type of fuel you require. Not only can the pump styles be different, but the handles on the pumps can also vary so you can’t always choose your gas by the handle color.
Read the label on the fuel pump before selecting your gas to make sure it contains what you mower needs. Small engines require an unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or greater. The gas must also contain no greater than 10% ethanol.
Most gas stations will carry fuels with 10% (E10) and 15% (E15) ethanol contents. Avoid using the E15 fuels and especially the E85 fuel that is beginning to appear at more gas stations. For a more in depth look at fuel for your Husqvarna lawn mower, check out my article here.
Solution: Drain and flush the fuel tank. Fill with fresh fuel treated with Sea Foam Motor Treatment. Start your mower and let it run for a few minutes to allow the treated fuel to work its way through the fuel system. If you still have problems after using the wrong type of fuel, you should bring your mower to your local Husqvarna dealer or a small engine mechanic to check for damage to the engine.
Dirty Carburetor on Your Husqvarna Mower
A dirty carburetor can prevent your carburetor from properly regulating the amount of air and gas mixture for the engine. The float, needle and other components can become gummed up causing your mower running problem.
Solution: If you are somewhat mechanical, you can attempt to clean your carburetor to get it working again. There are a lot of little parts to work with. If you are not sure if you can handle it or would just rather have someone else take care of the issue, bring your carburetor to your local mower repair shop to be cleaned or rebuilt.
Read my steps on how to clean your lawn mower carburetor here.
Husqvarna Has a Broken Fuel Pump or Plugged Fuel Filter
If your gas tank sits lower than the carburetor, your Husqvarna will have a fuel pump to assist fuel flow by pumping it to the carburetor. Check for damage or leaking around the seams of the fuel pump. Overtime, fuel can cause the seams of the pump or the pump itself to fail. Internal damage will be hard to spot, so you will need to test your pump to check its operation.
Solution: To check your fuel pump, you are going to have to be able to start and stop fuel flow. You can use the fuel shut-off valve located at the bottom of your fuel tank if your mower uses one. If it doesn’t, use a clamp to clamp the fuel line to stop flow.
First, you are going to check to make sure you are receiving fuel to the fuel pump. With the fuel shut off, remove the line from the inlet port of the fuel pump and place it in a container. Start the fuel flow. You should have fuel running into the container. If there isn’t fuel running out of the hose into the container, you need to look for any blocked lines or plugged filter. (Make sure the container is lower than the fuel supply so fuel can run down hill).
Once you have verified fuel flow to the pump, reattach the fuel hose to the inlet port. Second, you’re going to check to see if the fuel pump is actually pumping fuel up to the carburetor. Do this by removing the fuel line from the carburetor and placing the end in a container.
Start your lawn mower. You should be receiving a steady or pulsating flow of fuel out of the fuel line if your fuel pump is still in working. If you aren’t getting fuel flow, shut off the mower and shut off the fuel valve. Make sure you don’t have any blockages in the fuel line to the carburetor. If nothing is plugged it’s time to replace the fuel pump.
Blocked Fuel Lines
Fuel lines can get clogged from dirt and gummy buildup from old fuel. Use the methods above to start and stop fuel flow to check for blockages in the fuel lines. You should replace your fuel line if you notice the lines are becoming dry and cracked. You can purchase fuel line online or at your local hardware store.
Solution: To clear the line, remove the fuel line, add carburetor cleaner in the line to help loosen the clog. Next, blow air through the line using a can of compressed air or use an air compressor. Reinstall the line.
Bad Gas Cap
Something as simple as a gas cap can cause your Husqvarna mower to die. Fuel caps on are designed to vent. When the vent is blocked, a vacuum is created in the fuel tank which restricts the amount of fuel flowing through the fuel tank.
FIX: Remove your fuel cap and start your lawn mower, allow to run. If your Husqvarna no longer shuts off, this can be your problem. Be careful to not let any dirt or debris enter your fuel system when testing your mower without the fuel cap.
You can try to see if you can clean the cap to allow it to vent. If you cannot, you need to replace the gas cap.
Air Circulation Problem in Your Husqvarna Mower
Plugged Lawn Mower Air Filter
An engine requires air to run. The air filter on your Husqvarna mower filters contaminants to keep dirt and grass from entering the engine. When your air filter becomes extremely dirty, your mower is starved of air and may die while it’s mowing. A plugged filter doesn’t only cause your engine to shut down, but it can result in your engine to overheat causing internal engine damage.
Solution: Clean your air filter. Steps vary on the type of air filter you are running in your Husqvarna lawn mower: paper or foam.
- Paper Filter: Remove the air filter from the air filter housing. Don’t knock any dirt into the air intake. Wipe out any dirt left in the housing with a dry cloth. Tap your air filter against a solid surface to remove any loose dirt.Next, hold the air filter up to a light and make sure you see light through the filter.
You will need to replace the air filter if you are unable to see light through the paper filter. Tip: Never use an air compressor to blow out a paper air filter as this can cause damage to the filter.
- Foam Filter: Remove the filter from the air filter housing. Remove any dirt remaining in the housing with a dry cloth. Be careful not to knock any dirt into the air intake. Wash your filter with a mild dish soap and rinse until all the soap is removed. Let air dry in the sun until it is completely dry.
Apply a foam filter oil to the filter until it is lightly coated. Reinstall the filter. If your filter has any brown spots, has become brittle or torn, you must replace it with a new filter.
Dirty or Damaged Cooling Fins
Cooling fins can become damaged or packed full of grass and mud. When this happens, the fins are no longer able to circulate air around the engine block to keep it cool. When this happens, your Husqvarna could overheat and die in the middle of mowing.
Solution: Remove the engine cover and clean the cooling fins. Replace any damaged fins.
Other Problems that Can Cause Your Husqvarna Mower to Die
Too Much Oil or Too Little Oil in Your Husqvarna Mower
Too much oil in your Husqvarna lawn mower can cause your engine to smoke and die after starting. The smoke can clog your air filter causing your engine to look elsewhere for air. Too much oil in your lawn mower can cause significant damage including internal engine damage and the possibility of having to replace your engine.
Too little oil in your Husqvarna mower will cause additional friction in the engine that can cause your engine to overheat and die.
Solution: Perform your engine oil change according to Husqvarna’s recommendations. Always fill oil to the correct oil fill levels.
Plugged Husqvarna Mower Deck & Dull Blades
A mower deck that is packed with grass and other debris can cause the engine to have to work harder because it needs to rotate the blades through the buildup under the deck. Running dull blades can also have the same effect putting more load on your engine that can eventually cause it to shut down.
Solution: Inspect your mower deck for any damage. Scrape the deck to remove debris and sharpen the blades. Always run your mower at full throttle when cutting grass. Avoid cutting wet grass.