Toro Lawn Mower Won’t Start – [Solved] 10 Possible Causes And Fixes

Toro ranks amongst the most popular lawnmowers brands in the world. The manufacturer produces class-leading lawnmowers in both petrol and battery forms, and they have a reputation for being durable and long-lasting. If they do malfunction, they are easy to diagnose and repair.

In the unlikely event that a Toro lawnmower won’t start, the fault will be in one of the following areas. The ignition system (Spark Plug, Start Switch, Ignition Coil, and Spark Plug Lead), the air/fuel system  (Fuel, The Filters, Fuel Pump, Carburettor), or a mechanical component.

If your Toro lawn mower doesn’t start, the best way to find the culprit is to follow a checklist of the most common, easily fixed issues to the less common, more complex problems.

Don’t try to fix more than one problem at the same time because if the lawnmower starts, you won’t know which solution worked.

How To Diagnose And Fix A Toro Lawnmower Won’t Start?

All internal combustion engines need fuel, air, and an ignition source (spark) to be simultaneously delivered to create combustion of sufficient intensity to push the piston down in the piston chamber.

If something is missing or delivered incorrectly, the engine will not start.

Following this logic, to find why the Toro lawn mower isn’t working, you must investigate each of these systems until you find the problem.

To help you, we have devised the following checklist, which you can follow, in the suggested sequence until you identify the problem and try to fix the Toro Lawnmower in the most efficient way possible.

#1 – Check The Toro Lawnmower Has Enough Petrol

It isn’t very kind to suggest checking if the fuel tank is empty. It does happen, and therefore it’s worth stating.

While talking about gas, if the Toro Lawnmower is left too long, the gas begins to form carboxylic acid and changes consistency, making it degrade; this affects the ability to ignite and may stop the lawnmower from working.

If there is any question about the quality of the gas, replace it with a newer can.

#2 – Check The Toto Lawn Mower’s Throttle Control

When the Bail control is pushed, the cable puts pressure on the on/off switch near the coil, resulting in the coil circuit being activated.

Check the Bail Throttle Control levers position, which is positioned on the lawnmower handle. The lever must be in the “on” position for the lawnmower to start.

At the same time, check the cable from the Bail lever down to the engine. The on-off switch may not be activated if this is bent or broken.

Some Toro models have an electric start feature. If your lawnmower has an electric start, check the battery is sufficiently charged and that the fuse in the battery box is intact. If the fuse has blown, the battery won’t charge, and the electric start won’t work.

#3 – Check The Fuel Tap Is Switched On

On newer models, TORO prides itself that there are no buttons to press or taps to turn.

If you have an older model with a gas tap, check it is on, and fuel can reach the engine.

#4 – Check The Toro Lawnmowers Spark Plug System

Check that the spark plug lead is securely attached to the spark plug. If the lead is loose, using a pair of needle nose plyers, squash the contacts against the spark plug, try to start the Toro lawnmower engine.

If it still doesn’t start, remove the spark plug and check its general condition.

  1. Check if there is no carbon build-up between the ground and center electrodes.
  2. The white ceramic insulator must be in good condition and not cracked or chipped.
  3. After consulting the owner’s manual, make sure the gap between the ground electrode and the center electrode is within specification.
  4. Check if the electrodes are wet. Damp electrodes are a good sign that fuel is reaching the cylinder. If the electrodes are completely dry, the problem may not be with the ignition side of the system.
  5. Use a spark plug tester to verify the plug is producing a sufficient spark.

#5 – Check Toro Lawnmowers Air Filter

Sufficient air mixing with the fuel is the third leg of combustion. If a blockage prevents sufficient air from getting to the cylinder, the engine will not start.

Now is the time to check the air filter. To do this, first unclip the top of the air-filter cover, which, looking from the back of the lawnmower, is in the front left quadrant of the mower.

Remove and inspect the air filter. If it is filthy, replace it with a new unit. Reinstall the air filter and clip the cover back on.

#6 – Check The Toro Lawnmowers Choke

When cold, the choke control reduces the amount of air delivered to the cylinder, making the mixture rich and enabling it to start in these conditions.

Toro lawnmowers mowers are fitted with Briggs & Stratton, Honda, and Kawasaki engines. Two different choke systems are used.

  1. If you have a current Toro lawnmower, it will be fitted with an automatic choke, and there won’t be a lever to control it.
  2. Older model Toros lawnmowers have one of two types of manual choke. The manual choke consists of a fuel bulb squeezed a few times or a manual lever that activate
  3. s the choke.
  4. If a manual lever activates the choke, ensure it is in the correct position and that the cable connecting the choke to the engine is intact and not damaged.
  5. If it is a fuel bulb that you must squeeze, do so three times and try to start the lawnmower.

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#7 – Check The Toro Lawnmowers Oil Level

If the oil level is insufficient,  a microswitch prevents the Toro lawnmower from being started.

Add correctly specified oil to the oil tank if the dipstick shows the engine oil level to be too low.

#8 – Check The Coil On The Toro Lawnmower

We are getting a little more serious and checking more complex components at this stage. Don’t be intimidated because the checks are straightforward.

We recommend that you purchase a spark tester. Clip one end of the spark tester to the ignition cable on the coil and the second to a fin or bolt on the cylinder head

Pull the starting chord, or press the starter button to turn the engine over if you have one.

Have an assistant look in the spark plug testers window for a flash of light (spark). If a spark flashes, the coil is in good order.

#9 – Check The Flywheel Key Of The Toro Lawn Mower

Toro Lawnmowers are fitted with a flywheel key, which is used to protect the crankshaft from twisting if the blade strikes a solid object. The flywheel key acts as a sacrificial energy absorber, and if the energy from the shock is hard enough, the flywheel key will break before more critical components of the engine are damaged.

If The Toro Lawnmower does not start or starts very limply before cutting out the flywheel key, it may be broken.

If you have the mechanical ability, the following are the steps you will need to take to replace it with a new component.

  1. Remove the fuel tank.
  2. Undo the flywheel and remove it.
  3. Clean out the fragments of the old key.
  4. Install the new key
  5. Replace the flywheel.
  6. Reassemble the Toro Lawnmower in the reverse sequence to the disassembly.

#10 – There May Be A Mechanical Malfunction.

Delivering the gas, air, and spark in the correct sequence when the piston reaches the top of its travel in the cylinder, requires several mechanical components to work in sequence.

If any of these are faulty, the engine either won’t start, or the power will be deficient.

The parts which could be affected are

  1. The valves may be stuck.
  2. The carburetor may need cleaning, adjusting, or replacing.
  3. The cylinder head gasket may be damaged
  4. The flywheel may be damaged
  5. The engine may not have sufficient compression

These require some experience and mechanical knowledge of the Toro lawnmower to successfully correct.

If you are more comfortable, we suggest you get a suitably qualified technician to give you advice and, if worthwhile, effect the repair.


Nine times out of ten, a Toro Lawnmower wonts start because of a simple reason, the type which makes you kick yourself for not thinking of it sooner.

If your Toro lawnmower doesn’t kick into life, follow the 10 steps in the above checklist to trace and rectify the problem.

Good luck and happy hunting!


This is the site where I share all of the information about home security. I have been working in this industry from last 10 years and therefore, sharing all my experiences and learnings.

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