If you own a gas lawnmower, and you’ve recently turned it upside down, it’s possible that you’ve damaged it. If you flip a gas mower, fuel and oil begin to leak into places they aren’t supposed to be. Various parts of the machine can become soiled or damaged and will likely need replacement.
Read on to learn how to identify and fix and problems you may have caused.
What happens when a lawn mower is upside down?
When a lawn mower is flipped, oil and gas can begin to leak into important mechanisms, which can hinder or even break your mower. If these fluids leak into your carburetor or air filter, the resulting mess can be challenging or even impossible to clean up.
How can I safely fix my lawn mower?
Remember to always read the owner’s manual before performing any maintenance on your lawn mower. Also, make sure the engine is off. You would never try to fix a blender while it’s plugged in and turned on.
How do I remove oil from the air filter?
If you were lucky, you righted your mower before too much oil could seep into the air filter. In this case, you can simply remove and clean it. If it’s absolutely soaked, you will need to get a replacement. If you have a paper filter, you will always have to replace it. After removing the wet/damaged filter, make sure to clean the leftover oil so it doesn’t affect the new filter.
My lawn mower won’t start after being upside down!
If your mower refuses to start, it’s likely that fuel leaked into the carburetor or the engine, which can flood and fail to start. If this is the issue, simply set the machine in a flat area and leave it to dry for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can remove the spark plug and crank the engine a few times. This will dry out the carburetor by drawing in air.
My lawn mower runs for a few minutes and then quits.
If this is the case, fuel has probably leaked into the carbon cap, which can hinder the fuel system’s ability to vent properly. The solution to this problem would be to leave the cap out to dry. If the cap is damaged, a replacement cap will be needed.
My lawn mower still can’t run for more than a few minutes.
If the previous section wasn’t the solution, your spark plug is faulty and you will need to get a new one. There are tons of sizes and types of spark plugs, so if you don’t feel comfortable choosing one, consult the manual or an experienced technician before attempting this.
Help! There’s black smoke coming from my lawn mower!
Black smoke usually means there is a problem with the carburetor. It indicates that the carburetor isn’t getting enough air, which is probably caused by a clogged air filter. You will need to replace/clean the filter. If this wasn’t the problem, your carburetor is likely damaged and in need of replacement.
Help! There’s white smoke coming from my lawn mower!
This can mean that oil has leaked into the engine, and the engine is now burning it. This is usually a good thing, and you can just let the engine run for a few minutes to see if the smoke clears. However, if it doesn’t, you likely have a bigger problem. This means oil is still seeping into the engine, and you will most likely need to bring your mower to a repair shop.
Do I need to clean the carburetor?
If you’ve determined that you need to clean the carburetor, do it with caution. Cleaning a carburetor is very tricky and should only be attempted if you know what you’re doing. A more reasonable course of action would be to take the mower to a repair shop and have them do it instead.
How do I clean my lawn mower’s carburetor?
If you are comfortable doing it yourself, you can try spraying carburetor cleaner into the carburetor throat. Run the engine for a bit to test it. This can clear out any leftover oil and is an easy solution.
I’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked.
If you’ve gone through all the solutions in this article, then the situation is out of your control. Your only option now is to bring your lawn mower to a repair shop and have them sort it out for you. In situations like these, especially with complex machines, it’s better to leave the repair in the hands of someone with more experience.
Where do I bring my lawn mower if it needs to be fixed?
Find a local repair shop. Make sure to call in and ask about the labor rate, and how long the repair will take. Know your mower’s value, and make sure you aren’t getting ripped off. Remember, don’t pay to have your mower repaired if the cost is more than that of just getting a new one.
How to stop this from happening in the future?
If you flip your mower to clean it or fix a part, you should consult the owner’s manual, as it outlines the proper way to perform maintenance. Most lawn mowers need routine maintenance and there is usually a way to perform it without damaging the machine. If it was flipped by accident, just be more careful! Your lawn mower should be treated with care.
What types of lawn mowers can be flipped upside down?
If you really need a lawnmower that can be flipped upside down, I suggest buying an electric one. Because there is no fuel or oil required to operate, you are able to safely flip your lawnmower without causing any damage to the machine. Remember that there are pros and cons to gas and electric mowers, so do some more research before making a decision – however in most cases, an electric lawnmower is going to come with less hedaches than a gas one.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.