You go out to your garage or storage shed because you have a little time to get your lawn mowed and looking nice. However, this time your Snapper mower won’t start.
You can try to troubleshoot your mower and fix it yourself or you can drop it off at your local mower repair shop. Always ask how long the repair will take. The grass doesn’t stop growing!
A Snapper lawn mower won’t start when the engine isn’t getting the fuel, air, or spark required. This can be due to bad fuel, clogged fuel filter, bad fuel pump, dirty carburetor, bad spark plug, faulty switch bad starter solenoid, or dead battery.
Keep reading for additional items to check on your Snapper lawn mower to get it up and running again.
This post may include affiliate links. Purchases made through these links may provide a commission for us, at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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.
Why Your Snapper Lawn Mower Won’t Start
1. No Gas
In the heat of the moment, you may forget to check your fuel tank. This is just a quick reminder before you proceed to check other causes of your starting problem.
Fix: Fill your gas-powered Snapper lawn mower with gasoline that has an octane rating of 87 or higher and an ethanol level no greater than 10%. Read more about choosing the right gas for your lawn mower here.
2. Bad or Old Fuel
Gas can begin to break down and become less effective as soon as 30 days after you purchase your fuel.
The sticky substance left behind by ethanol and moisture in the fuel can begin clogging your fuel system including the fuel lines, fuel filter, and carburetor.
When you are not able to use your fuel within 30 days, you should add a fuel stabilizer. This should be added to the gas you run in your fuel tank and any gas stored in storage containers.
Fix: Remove the old fuel. Flush the tank and add fresh fuel. Add a fuel additive to clean your fuel system and stabilize your fuel.
I have had good results using a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment. You can read more about why I use Sea Foam here.
3. Faulty Fuel Cap
A fuel cap on your Snapper mower is designed to allow air to pass through the cap. When your fuel cap is plugged and no longer able to vent, the fuel tank forms a vacuum that will restrict fuel from getting to the engine.
To isolate your cap as being the cause of your Snapper starting problem, start and run your mower for a while with the cap off and then with it on to see if your cap affects the running ability of your lawn mower.
Fix: You may be able to clean your gas cap and unclog the vent. If you are unable to remove the clog, replace your cap with a new gas cap.
4. Bad Spark Plug or Loose Connection
A fouled spark plug can cause intermittent starting and running problems. A damaged spark plug, an incorrect air gap, and loose wires can also cause your mower to not start.
Fix: Remove your spark plug and inspect it for signs of carbon buildup or cracked porcelain insulator. Replace with a new spark plug(s). Make sure to gap them according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
5. Air Filter is Clogged
Your Snapper lawn mower engine requires air to run. An air filter that gets plugged with dirt and debris can restrict the amount of air flowing to the engine. This can cause your engine to fail to start.
In addition to starting problems, a plugged air filter can cause your engine to overheat, shut down and negatively affect the engine causing damage.
It’s important to periodically check, clean, and replace your air filter when needed. This inexpensive part can result in an expensive engine repair bill when it isn’t routinely checked.
Fix: Clean a Snapper mower paper air filter
- Remove the filter from the air filter housing.
- Wipe out any remaining dirt and debris left in the housing with a dry clean cloth. Take care not to allow any dirt to fall into the air intake.
- Knock out the excess dirt in the filter by tapping it against a solid surface.
- Hold your filter up to a light source and check for light shining through the paper element.
- Reuse the filter if you can see light pass through the paper. If you cannot, replace your filter with a new air filter.
You can find information on other types of air filters and how to clean them here.
6. Bad Fuel Pump
A mower uses a fuel pump when the carburetor is placed higher than the fuel tank. The fuel pump is needed to pump fuel from the fuel tank up to the carburetor.
The pump can fail over time from old fuel sitting in the pump and deteriorating the pump components.
Fix: To identify a failing fuel pump, first, inspect your vacuum fuel pump for cracks. If you see fuel outside of the fuel pump or cracks in the pump, the pump will no longer be able to create the pressure needed to pump fuel.
Using the fuel shut-off valve, if your mower has a valve, or clamps to stop and start fuel flow will help you control fuel flow. Stop and start flow to make sure you are getting fuel to the pump.
Once you verify your pump is getting fuel, check to make sure that fuel is being pumped out of the pump in a steady or pulsating flow by removing the fuel line from your carburetor and placing it in a container.
Start your mower. The fuel pump is working correctly if a steady or pulsating flow of fuel is coming out of the fuel line. Replace a bad fuel pump.
7. Plugged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter is an inexpensive part that keeps dirt from getting into the fuel system and your Snapper’s engine. A fuel filter should be changed out annually during your Snapper mower’s routine service.
If your fuel filter is plugged in and doesn’t allow fuel to pass through, you must replace it.
Fix: Replace a plugged fuel filter. You will find a small arrow on the side of the filter. The filter must be installed with the arrow pointed in the direction of your fuel flow.
8. Blocked Fuel Line
A Snapper’s mower fuel line can become clogged by dirt and the sticky substance left behind by old gasoline. This keeps fuel from getting to your carburetor and to your engine.
Fix: Remove the fuel line, spray carb cleaner into the tube, and use compressed air to blow air through the tube until the line is free of dirt and gummy residue. You can also replace it with a new fuel line.
9. Dirty Carburetor
Your mower uses a carburetor to regulate the amount of gas and air allowed into the cylinder to form combustion.
The additives added to fuel, including ethanol, can cause gummy substances to form in your carburetor. The substance clogs the small parts in your carburetor restricting fuel.
Fix: If you are somewhat mechanical, you can try to clean the carburetor on your Snapper mower. If you are not, have a local lawn mower repair shop perform the work. You can find steps for cleaning your carburetor in this article.
You may choose to replace the carburetor if it appears to be in very bad condition.
10. Bad Battery or Loose Terminals
All Snapper mowers, other than recoil manual start push mowers, require a battery to start. Make sure your cables and battery terminals are secure.
Clean any corrosion you find on your terminals using a baking soda solution (2 cups water to 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda). Once you confirm you have a good connection, continue testing the battery.
Fix: Test your battery with a multimeter. You need a reading of about 12.7 volts. Charge your battery if it is lower than this level. You can find more information on charging your battery here. A battery that is dead or won’t hold a charge must be replaced.
11. Bad Ignition Switch
Your Snapper may have an ignition switch that has failed. If you turn the key in your ignition switch and nothing happens or it just doesn’t feel right, you need to check your switch using a multimeter.
Fix: Replace the ignition switch if bad
12. Ignition Coil is Bad
First, confirm you have a good spark plug. The ignition coil provides voltage to the spark plug so it can fire and start the engine. The engine will not start if the spark plug isn’t able to fire. Next, check the continuity of your ignition coil using an ohm meter.
Fix: Replace the ignition coil if you find a break in the continuity.
13. Recoil is Bad
Manual start push mowers utilize a recoil to start the mower. The recoil can break and you are no longer able to start your mower.
Fix: If the rope is no longer wrapped around your recoil, you may be able to restring it to get it working again. You may have a broken pulley, spring, or clips that need to be replaced.
If you find broken parts, you should price out the parts in addition to the whole recoil assembly. It may be more cost-effective to replace your recoil.
14. Bad Starter Solenoid
A lawn mower solenoid on your Snapper mower is an electromagnetic switch that is like an on-off switch that actuates the starter motor to turn over the engine.
A click or hum when turning your ignition key is an indication to check your solenoid. Another indication your Snapper mower solenoid may be bad is when a wire attached to your solenoid gets hot and begins to smoke or melt.
Fix: Test your Snapper mower solenoid by following the steps here. Replace your solenoid if it is found to be bad.
15. Bad Safety Switch
Your Snapper lawn mower may use several safety switches in its operator’s presence control system. The switches are designed to kill the engine when the operator leaves the seat.
A faulty switch may not recognize when the operator is in or out of the seat causing your mower not to start.
Fix: You can temporarily bypass the safety switch to identify a bad switch. Do not operate a mower without the safety switch installed for your safety.
Many people get injured by mowers annually by rolling them or falling off the mower. Always have safety switches installed and working on your equipment. Replace a bad switch.
16. Charging System is Faulty
While the charging system isn’t the main reason your Snapper mower won’t start, it can contribute to a weak battery that prevents the mower from starting.
When the charging system fails to charge the battery, the battery may not be able to start the mower the next time you go to use it.
A bad stator or alternator can be the problem along with several other electrical parts. Read this article to test your charging system here using an ohmmeter.
Fix: I recommend having your lawn mower looked at by a professional lawn mower dealership to identify your charging system. There are so many pricey electrical components that can cause your starting problem.
If you are not experienced with the charging system, you will probably just be throwing parts at your mower hoping it will solve the problem.
This can get very expensive especially when most stores do not allow you to return electrical components if they aren’t the cause of your problem.
Make sure the mechanic is experienced in this area or bring it to your local dealership with factory-trained technicians.
17. Incorrect Operating Procedure
Snapper has safety features that won’t allow your mower to start unless you follow its starting procedures.
Fix: Refer to your Snapper operating manual to ensure you are operating your lawn mower correctly, so you don’t set off the safety features that shut off your lawn mower or don’t allow it to start.
Still Experiencing Problems with Your Snapper 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 Snapper mower.
You can find this guide at Common Snapper 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 Snapper lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop will be able to help you solve your problem.