You’re out mowing your lawn when all of a sudden the lawn mower stops running. Some problems may be easy fixes that can be checked out in the yard, others may be a little more in depth so you’ll want to get your mower back to your garage to work on it. Getting this problem solved is a must. The grass doesn’t stop growing because your mower died!
An Ariens lawn mower may start then die due to a fuel restriction caused by a dirty carburetor, plugged fuel filter, clogged fuel lines or a bad fuel cap. A plugged air filter, insufficient oil level, bad battery, faulty charging system and bad ignition coil can also cause your Ariens mower to start then die.
Keep reading for additional items that can cause a running problem in your Ariens mower. Before performing any work on your lawn mower, follow the safety guidelines in your Ariens owner’s manual.
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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, knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons Your Ariens Mower Starts Then Dies
Bad or Old Fuel in Your Ariens Lawn Mower
Running gasoline through your gas-powered Ariens lawn mower that has been sitting for a long period can cause problems in your fuel system including corrosion and gumming. Most gasolines offered today contain a product called ethanol.
Ethanol is a corn-based alternative fuel added to gasoline to be a more environmentally-friendly than gasoline. While ethanol may be better for the environment and okay to run in most vehicles, it can create problems in your Ariens mower.
Ethanol-based gasoline can begin to breakdown as soon as 30 days after purchase. This means it becomes less stable and effective. The ethanol in the fuel attracts moisture from the air. This ethanol and moisture mixture will separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of your fuel tank.
Running this solution through your mower can cause engine damage because it burns hot. When this solution evaporates, it forms a gummy substance that creates fuel restrictions by clogging the components like the fuel lines, fuel filter and carburetor. When your Ariens mower can’t get the fuel it requires to run, it will stop running.
Solution: When you find your fuel is old, drain the fuel tank using a fuel siphon. Refill your tank with fresh fuel. Add a fuel additive to stabilize your fuel, reduce moisture and clean your fuel system. I use a product called Sea Foam Motor Treatment. Learn more about why I use Sea Foam in every tank of fuel in this guide.
Plugged Air Filter in Your Ariens Mower
It’s important to always run your Ariens lawn mower with an air filter. The filter is a required to prevent dirt and debris from getting to the engine. Dirt particles can cause significant engine damage resulting in a large repair bill.
Your Ariens mower requires air to start and run. When airflow is restricted, your mower may fail to start or start then die. Failing to run a clean air filter will not only cause your engine to run sluggish and shut down, it can cause your engine to overheat leading to additional mower damage.
Solution: It’s good practice to replace your air filter annually and regularly clean it throughout the mowing season.
Clean a Ariens Mower Paper Air Filter Element:
- Remove the filter form the air filter housing. Don’t let any debris fall into the air intake.
- Wipe out any dirt remaining in the housing with a dry cloth.
- Tap the filter against a solid surface to loosen and remove as much dirt as possible.
- Hold the filter up to a light source to check if you can see light shine through the filter. If you can, go ahead and reuse your air filter. If you cannot, you must purchase a new filter.
- Install the air filter and reinstall the cap on the filter housing.
Plugged Fuel Filter on Your Ariens Mower
Your Ariens mower uses a fuel filter to strain the fuel. It prevents dirt and other contaminates from entering the fuel system. Dirt and gummy deposits from your fuel can plug your fuel filter over time. It’s best practice to replace your fuel filter annually to avoid most fuel filter issues during the mowing season.
Solution: If you find your fuel filter is plugged, remove it and replace with a new filter. You will find an arrow on the side of your fuel filter. Make sure this arrow is pointed in the direction of the mower’s fuel flow. This means a correctly installed fuel filter will point toward the carburetor and away from the fuel tank.
Clogged Fuel Lines on Your Ariens Lawn Mower
The gummy deposits that are left behind when running old fuel can clog your fuel lines preventing fuel from continuing to run through the fuel system. This can cause your Ariens to die while mowing.
Check each section of fuel line by shutting off your fuel flow using the fuel shut-off valve located at the bottom of your fuel tank. You can also use pinch pliers to crimp the fuel line to stop flow. Remove the fuel line from the fuel pump and place it in a container. Start your fuel flow. (Make sure the container is placed lower than the fuel tank because fuel cannot run uphill without the help of the fuel pump. A push mower may not use a fuel pump).
If you find you have sufficient flow into the container, shut off the fuel flow and reattach the fuel line. Proceed with checking other fuel components for a restriction or failure.
Solution: If you do not get good fuel flow from the fuel line into the container, check any sections of fuel line or the fuel filter that could have the blockage. Once you isolate the blockage to a specific section of fuel line, shut off your fuel flow and remove the section of line from the mower.
Spray carburetor cleaner into the line to help loosen the blockage. Follow this by blowing compressed air through the line to remove it. Repeat as necessary. If you are unable to clear the blockage, replace the line with a new fuel line.
Ariens Mower Carburetor is Dirty
The carburetors main purpose is to regulate the amount of fuel mixed with air to form a combustion in your engine. When the carburetor doesn’t work properly, your Ariens can start then die.
The carburetor becomes dirty from running old fuel that sits in your carburetor causing gummy and hard deposits to form. This can cause components on your carburetor to restrict the flow of fuel.
Solution: Before you tear your carburetor apart, make sure you are getting fuel to the carburetor. Once that is confirmed, remove your air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your mower. If you find it dies after running, disassemble your carburetor and clean it. Follow the steps in this guide to clean your carburetor.
Plugged or Broken Cooling Fins on Your Ariens Mower
Your Ariens mower can start and then die when your mower’s engine gets hot. Check your engine cooling fins. They may be plugged with debris or broke. The cooling fan exists to push area around your engine block and cylinder head to keep it cool. Plugged cooling fins can restrict the amount of air circulating around your engine.
Solution: Take caution working around your hot engine. Remove any debris stuck in the cooling fins. Replace any broken fins. Clean debris around your engine and engine shroud. Ensure your heat shield is attached securely.
Insufficient Engine Oil Level in Your Ariens Lawn Mower
Your mower requires a specific amount of engine oil in the crankcase for the engine to run at its best. Most people know you can develop problems when your engine oil becomes too low, but don’t know you can also have problems with there is too much oil in the crankcase.
Too Much Engine Oil in Your Ariens Mower
Next, check the engine oil level in your mower. Too much engine oil in your Ariens lawn mower will cause pressure to build in the crankcase. This can cause your mower to overheat and shut down. Read more about the impact of too much oil in your Ariens mower.
Remove some engine oil through the drain plug or oil filter. You can also use an oil evacuator or turkey baster to suck oil through the engine oil fill area. Check the engine oil level on the dipstick. Continue to add or remove oil until the oil level is at the full line on your dipstick.
Too Little Engine Oil in Your Ariens Mower
You may have developed an engine oil leak or have a problem in your engine where it is using or burning oil. When you don’t have enough oil to keep the internal engine parts sufficiently lubricated, friction starts to build creating heat. This heat can overheat your engine and cause it to die. The heat can be so hot, your internal engine parts will start to melt.
Here’s the bad news: If your engine shuts down because of a lack of engine oil, chances are significant damage was done. Your best solution here is to take your mower to an experienced small engine mechanic to tear down your engine and perform tests to determine how much damage was done.
Bad or Dirty Spark Plug on Your Ariens Lawn Mower
A dirty or fouled spark plug on your Ariens can cause it to run sluggish and die. Not only will a dirty plug cause this problem, but a plug that is damaged, not properly gapped or doesn’t securely have the wires attached can cause your mower to stop running.
Solution: Clean your spark plug tip. If you find the tip of your spark plug is very dark, has a burnt electrode or is damaged, replace your spark plug. Make sure the plug is air gapped following the engine manufacturers specification. Securely attach your spark plug wires. Spark plugs are not very expensive. These should be replaced annually.
Bad Ignition Coil on Your Ariens Lawn Mower
The winding on the ignition coil can separate and short out when your mower is hot. When this happens, the spark plugs are unable to get the voltage they need to create spark. This can cause your mower to die after its been running a while.
Solution: Identify a bad ignition coil using an ohm meter to check for a break in continuity. Replace the ignition coil if you find there is a break.
Choke is in the Wrong Position on Your Ariens Lawn Mower
The choke reduces the amount of air your engine receives. This is used when starting a cold engine to allow more fuel and less air to form a combustion in the cylinder.
Solution: The choke lever must be placed in the correct position after the engine is warm to allow additional air flow or the mower will die.
Ariens Lawn Mower Battery Not Charging
Your mower will start and die if your battery won’t hold a charge or you have a problem with your charging system. Make sure you are running your engine at a high engine speed. Don’t allow your mower to idle for long periods of time. It requires the power of the engine to charge your battery.
Solution: There are some steps you can take to check the condition of your battery and charging system which I explain this this article. If after performing these tests, you find you have a bad battery, replace your battery. When you find the charging system isn’t working right, I highly recommend having an experienced mechanic diagnose and repair the problem.
There are so many components that can cause the charging system to fail that, unless you know the charging system, parts can be thrown at it hoping it repairs the issue. Electrical components can get expensive and they most likely can’t be returned because they are electrical parts.
Bad Ariens Lawn Mower Gas Cap
A gas cap that can no longer vent allowing air to pass through the cap can restrict fuel flow and cause your Ariens mower to shut down. When the vent in the gas cap is plugged, the fuel tank forms a vacuum not allowing gas to flow to the engine.
Run your mower with and without the cap for periods of time to see if your cap is the cause of your Ariens mower dying. If you remove your fuel cap and your mower starts and runs and then replace your cap and your mower eventually shuts off, you may have a problem with your cap.
Solution: You can try to clean your fuel cap to remove the clog or just replace it with a new fuel cap.
Plugged Ariens Lawn Mower Deck
A mower deck that is plugged full of debris can cause your Ariens lawn mower to shut down. This is because the engine must work harder to turn the blades through a deck full of debris. This can cause your engine to overheat and shut down.
Solution: Prevent this from happening by regularly scraping your deck to keep it clean. Avoid mowing in wet conditions as wet grass clumps and sticks to your mower deck. You can try using a deck spray to minimize grass buildup. Deck sprays are not a miracle product that prevents all buildup, it can minimize the amount of debris collecting under the deck.