Why Won’t Your Lawn Mower Start?

Your lawn mower won’t start after spending the winter in storage. Now what? You’re ready to give your lawn its first spring clipping. You drag your mower out of the shed or garage, pull the cord, and it just won’t start no matter how many times you try. Or imagine losing your electricity in the middle of the night. You pull out the generator that’s been sitting in the garage for a year and try to start it… nothing. You’re left screaming to the heavens (while standing in the dark), “Why won’t my generator start?” Scenarios like this are not uncommon, particularly if you use pump gasoline in your small engine equipment.

A solid piece of outdoor power equipment (OPE) is an investment. You expect it to perform and last. With yard work, there are few things as maddening as when your OPE won’t start. If you own portable outdoor equipment, you’ve likely experienced this agonizing moment of futility at some point. It’s most common when you take your 2-cycle or 4-cycle equipment out of storage at the start of a new season. Why does this happen? Does it automatically mean that you have to take your equipment to the repair shop?

There are several potential explanations why your OPE might not start after sitting for months in storage. The pump gasoline in the tank is the most common reason. Most people power their equipment with pump gas, assuming that if it’s good enough for their vehicle, it’s perfectly suited for their hedge trimmer or generator. That’s one of the worst things you could do to your OPE unless you like the idea of spending wads of money on repairs or, worse yet, replacing your equipment.

VP Fix-It-Fuel - repair your mower and other outdoor power equipment

Why Pump Gas is Bad for Outdoor Power Equipment

As has been noted, what you put in the gas tank is a big reason why you can’t start your lawn mower. Refineries design pump gas for cars and trucks. They’re bigger and also have sophisticated computer systems that monitor the air/fuel mixture. Outdoor power equipment engines run between 10K-14K RPMs. They operate like a small racing engine. They’re finely tuned with very close tolerances. Additionally, the smaller parts of 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines are very susceptible to small amounts of gum and corrosion. This leads not only to hard starts but also damages the engine.

Furthermore, they blend pump gas with ethanol, which is an oxygenate. That’s great for cars but not for small engines. For instance, when pump gas sits idle in the tank, the ethanol absorbs water and soon separates from the gas. They call this process phase separation. In addition, water promotes corrosion, which eats away at the vital components in your expensive equipment as it sits for months in storage. Another key point is that pump gas degrades fast and forms gums faster. Adding fuel stabilizer helps but stabilizers won’t undo the damage already caused from using ethanol-blended gasoline.

Pump gasoline degrades right away and can become almost unusable within 30 to 60 days. The build-up of gums, varnish, and corrosion is most often the culprit of hard-starting equipment and equipment failure. Moreover, continued use of pump gas in OPE causes it to operate less efficiently. In the end, pump gas is often the reason why your lawn mower won’t start (or your string trimmer, generator, or leaf blower).

VP Fix-It-Fuel. The easy way to repair a non-running mower

VP Fix-It-Fuel® – Repairs Lawn Mowers That Won’t Start (and other portable outdoor equipment)

We’re going to let you in on a little secret If your chainsaw, string trimmer, or lawn mower won’t start. One quick, easy, and inexpensive way to repair outdoor power equipment that won’t start. What if we told you that there was a product that would almost instantly clean and fix small 4-cycle and 2-cycle OPE engines that were damaged by ethanol-blended fuel? Or, that this product saves you the pain and expense of engine rebuilds or replacing your equipment? This isn’t a mythical product or a magical potion. It’s VP Fix-It-Fuel®.

VP Fix-It-Fuel is an ethanol-free, pre-mixed gas and oil blend that works in any 2-cycle engine application that calls for a 40:1 or 50:1 fuel/oil mix. It also works great in 4-cycle small engine applications, like a generator or mower. The small amount of oil in Fix-It-Fuel provides some top end lube for hard to start engines. It also lubricates vital engine parts prior to storage. It may cause minor temporary smoking in 4-cycle equipment, but it’s safe to use on this limited basis and will improve ring seal and top-end lubrication.

We engineer it as a single-use treatment for poor or non-running engines damaged by pump gas with ethanol. It cleans and repairs fuel systems without having to remove the carburetor or injectors. Simply pour it into the tank and follow the directions on the label.

In addition, it rejuvenates rubber and plastic, safely cleans varnish and carbon deposits, and removes corrosion-causing water. It also helps you avoid costly repairs and downtime.

Shop Now

When To Use Fix-It-Fuel

VP Fix-It-Fuel is for all seasons, not just for when your lawn mower won’t start. Not only can you use it in your portable outdoor equipment at the start of each season, but you can replace your gas with it and use it as a storage fuel for the off-season. Doing so will  not only keep the engine’s fuel system in top shape but also guarantee that it will start up at the beginning of the next season.

For best results, use Fix-It-Fuel as pre-treatment before using ETHANOL-FREE VP Small Engine Fuel. We blend our superior fuel blends to prevent ethanol-related problems from occurring in the first place. VP SEF is stable 2 years in the tank and 5 years in a sealed can. It extends engine life, improves equipment performance, and helps you avoid expensive mower repairs or fixing other outdoor power equipment.

Keep in mind that VP has blended specialty fuels for nearly 50 years. We’re not a power equipment company that makes fuel. We’re a fuel company that makes… fuel.

Inquire about becoming a dealer or commercial usage

Fill out the form and let one of our experts help you get started