It’s always frustrating when you must spend time working on your mower instead of actually mowing with it. You’ve narrowed down your Toro mower problem to a fuel problem, but you’re not sure you checked every component that can restrict fuel flow.
Luckily, there are not too many items you need to check on your mower’s fuel system
A Toro lawn mower may not be getting gas because old fuel is clogging the fuel components including the fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel pump, and carburetor. A bad fuel cap can also restrict fuel causing the Toro engine not to get the gas it requires to run.
I share the steps needed to check and fix your fuel components so you can get back to mowing.
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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.
This is Why Your Toro Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Fuel
Old or Bad Gas
Your gas-powered Toro lawn mower requires fresh unleaded gasoline with low ethanol content. Most gasoline sold today contains ethanol to make the fuel more environmentally friendly. Although ethanol is okay to run in most vehicles, it can be harmful to the small engine used to run your Toro mower.
Ethanol attracts moisture from the air. Over time, this moisture and ethanol mixture will separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of your fuel tank. This solution can gum up and corrode your fuel system components preventing the engine from getting the gas it needs.
Because gasoline breaks down as quickly as 30 days after purchase, it is important you either use the fuel quickly or stabilize your fuel if you can’t use it within 30 days.
I use the fuel additive Sea Foam Motor Treatment to stabilize the fuel I use in my mower whether I use it quickly or it will be sitting around.
I know the damaging effects old gasoline can have on a mower. Spending a little extra money to stabilize gasoline is a small price to pay to avoid fuel system and engine damage. Learn more about the advantages of using Sea Foam here.
Solution: Replace old fuel with fresh fuel by using a siphon to transfer the old fuel into an authorized fuel container. Add fresh fuel with a fuel additive to your Toro mower. Read this article for the right type of fuel to use in your Toro mower.
Fuel Shut-Off Valve
It may be the start of the season and you notice you are not getting fuel. Make sure the fuel shut-off valve is open and allows fuel to flow out of the tank. You may have forgotten you shut it off when storing your Toro for the off-season.
Clogged Fuel Lines
Gummy deposits from running old fuel through your Toro can block fuel from passing through the fuel line. Your lawn mower cannot get fuel if your lines are not free of clogs.
To find a blockage in your line, use your fuel shut-off valve to start and stop your fuel supply while checking each section of the hose for a blockage.
Shut off your fuel supply and select a section of the fuel line to check. Remove the end of the section that is furthest from your fuel tank. Place the end of the hose in a container and start your fuel flow.
If you don’t have a stream of fuel running into the container, you have a blockage that needs to be removed. (Make sure the container is placed lower than the fuel tank. Fuel cannot run uphill without the help of a fuel pump).
Solution: When you find a clog In your fuel line, remove it from your mower. First, spray carburetor cleaner in the line to loosen the clog.
Next, blow compressed air through the line to remove the blockage. Repeat as necessary until the clog is removed. If you can’t get remove the clog, replace it with a new line.
Plugged Fuel Filter
Your fuel filter is designed to strain the dirt and deposits from your fuel and not allow it into the fuel system and engine. If you fail to change it regularly, it can become plugged preventing fuel from passing through the filter.
Solution: Replace a plugged filter with a new fuel filter. When installing, make sure the arrow on the side of the inline filter is facing the direction of fuel flow.
This means the arrow must be pointed toward the carburetor and away from the fuel tank. It’s good practice to change your fuel filter annually.
Bad Fuel Pump
Because your carburetor is placed higher on your mower than the fuel tank, your Toro mower requires a fuel pump to pump fuel up to the carburetor. Most likely, you are running a vacuum-style fuel pump that builds pressure off the engine.
Before replacing your pump, isolate the pump as being your problem. Do this by making sure you are getting fuel to the inlet port of the pump. You may have already completed this step when you checked your fuel lines for clogs. If you did not, proceed with these steps:
- Check for flow to the fuel pump inlet port: Shut off your fuel and remove the fuel line from the inlet port. Place it in a container placed lower than the fuel tank and turn on your fuel to check for flow. If you have flow, reattach the fuel line and proceed to the next step. If not, find the fuel restriction in your fuel line or fuel filter.
- Check for flow from the fuel pump outlet port: Shut off your fuel. Remove the fuel line from the carburetor and place it in a container. Start your fuel flow and engine. Watch for a steady or pulsating flow out of the fuel line. If you are getting good flow, your fuel pump is fine. Reattach your fuel line.
Solution: Complete the steps above to identify a bad fuel pump. Replace a fuel pump that isn’t providing a good flow to the carburetor.
When the carburetor becomes dirty from gummy and crusty deposits, it can fail to regulate the fuel the engine requires. By this step, you should have already checked all your fuel components from the fuel tank to the carburetor. Now it’s time to check the carburetor to make sure it is doing its job.
To help determine whether you need to disassemble and clean your carburetor, make sure you are getting good fuel flow to the carburetor. Then remove the air filter from the air filter housing.
Spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your mower. If it runs well and then shuts off, take your carburetor apart. If it doesn’t start, look for another starting problem.
Solution: Clean your carburetor using the steps listed in “How to Clean Your Toro Lawn Mower Carburetor”. If you aren’t that mechanical and don’t like working with small parts, take your lawn mower to your local small engine repair shop or replace your carburetor with a new one.
Clogged Gas Cap
A Toro gas cap is designed with a vent. When this vent gets clogged and no longer allows air to pass through the cap, a vacuum is formed in the fuel tank. This vacuum prevents fuel from flowing out of the fuel tank.
To determine whether the fuel cap is the reason your Toro isn’t getting fuel, loosen or remove the fuel cap and let your mower run for a while. If it runs well and doesn’t run sluggish, but dies after some time once you reinstall your fuel cap, you could have a fuel cap problem.
Solution: If you find your cap isn’t venting properly and your mower dies after running for a while because you aren’t getting fuel, replace your fuel cap.
Your Toro Lawn Mower Is Leaking Fuel
While looking for the reason your Toro isn’t getting fuel, it’s a good time to check over your fuel system and make sure you haven’t developed any leaks. Replace components that are leaking or likely to develop a leak soon.
This could be plastic components that have become soft and prone to leaking at the seams; dry-aged fuel lines beginning to crack and using fuel line clamps that are more likely to puncture the fuel line.
Read more about the items to check when looking for fuel leaking from your Toro lawn mower in “Your Toro Lawn Mower is Leaking Gas: Fixed!“
Still Having Problems with Your Toro Lawn Mower?
It would be great to own a problem-free lawn mower, but it’s never the case. No matter what brand mower you own, you’re going to run into problems the longer you own it.
To help you troubleshoot your mower problems, I have put together a list of common problems along with causes and solutions to fix them. Check out Common Toro Lawn Mower Problems and Solutions to learn more.