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How to Start a Toro Lawn Mower: 5 Tips & Tricks

lawn mower and weeds in the lawn

Toro is one of the most reliable brands of lawn mowers worldwide. Besides, they also maintain an ambitious pricing policy, making their products affordable.

Toro lawn mowers are designed to make gardening and lawn maintenance easier. Whether you are an avid gardener or just looking for a reliable tool to cut your grass, Toro has some of the best options available, given their vast array of products for professional and home users. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be using one of their lawnmowers today.

So, now you have bought your Toro lawn mower. Starting it—especially for a first-timer—can be a bit of a challenge. You’ve probably been in that situation before when the blade won’t turn over, and you wonder, “How do I get this thing started?”

We’ll give you the step-by-step guide to starting a Toro lawn mower in this guide. You’ll also learn several tips and tricks to ignite your Toro lawn mower without breaking any components. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in!

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What to Do Before You Start

First, read and understand the instructions provided with your unit. You’ll find that it’s packed with safety tips and suggestions about how best to use your Toro lawn mower.

Then, fill the Toro lawn mower with gas. Prepare the area where you want to mow. Make sure that there are no obstacles in the way of your machine. Ensure that it will run freely.

Also, ensure that there are no gas or oil vapors around you. They can lead to an explosion if they mix with air.

Zero-Turn Riding Mower
Zero-Turn Riding Mower (Image Credit: werktuigendagen, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0)

Step-By-Step Guide for Starting a Toro Lawn Mower

Toro is a renowned gardening equipment manufacturer. They produce riding and push lawn mowers. Also, their starting procedures are almost similar.

Here, we’ll give the step-by-step guide to starting these two Toro lawn mowers. So, keep reading!

How to Start a Toro Push Mower
  • Press the Primer Bulb: Press the primer bulb three times to start a Toro push mower. It’ll release a small amount of gas into the engine and allow it to operate.
  • Pull and Hold the Safety Bar: You’ll find the safety bar close to the handle. Pull the safety bar, but don’t release it. The engine may shut off once released.
  • Pull the Starter Rope: The starter cord is located at the top of the engine, on the left side. It’s wrapped around a peg, and you can pull it straight out of its housing. Ensure you pull it from the end of the rope. Also, pull it faster. If you pull it slowly, the engine will fail to start. Pull the rope several times to ignite your Toro lawn mower engine. If the engine fails to start after pulling the rope a couple of times, it didn’t get enough fuel. In this case, you have to repeat the process from the beginning.
How to Start a Toro Riding Mower
  • Insert the Ignition Key in the Keyhole: Start by inserting the ignition key into the keyhole before starting your Toro riding mower. Once done inserting it, don’t turn it.
  • Turn off the PTO Switch: The lawn mower blades won’t turn when you switch on the engine. The PTO (Power Take-Off) switch prevents this. Move the PTO switch up. Let it click into position. Then, start your lawn mower engine.
  • Engage the Parking Brake (Parking Lock): The parking brake ensures the lawn mower doesn’t start moving as you get on it. It’s just a pedal on the floor of your lawn mower. If you want to release it, press it with your foot.
  • Turn the Choke Lever: The choke lever is located on the left side of the engine. It has three settings: partial, full, and off. Turn it to the ‘full’ position if you want to start a cold engine. If the motor is warm, skip this step.
  • Turn On the Ignition: Switch on the ignition key. Ensure the choke lever remains in full position. Turn the ignition key several times, but don’t turn it for more than ten seconds as you may cause damage to the engine.
  • Warm-Up: After turning the ignition key, let the choke lever be in the ‘half’ position. Allow the engine to operate for half a minute to give it time to warm up. Switch the choke lever to the ‘off’ position when the engine gets warm. Your Toro riding mower is now ready to mow.

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Issues That Can Make Your Toro Lawn Mower Not Start and Their Possible Fixes

Several issues can cause your Toro lawn mower engine to fail to start. Some of them are simple, and others are more complex.

Here are some of the problems and how to fix them. Take a look!

  • Faulty Carburetor: Usually, the carburetor on your Toro mower is overlooked when it comes to troubleshooting problems. This is the part that regulates the air-fuel mixture and controls the engine speed to keep it running at optimal performance. The engine may not start if there’s a problem with the carburetor. A common reason for this problem is dirt in the air filter. It prevents proper fuel flow from exiting through the carburetor. You can clean this using a small brush and some cleaner spray or a carburetor cleaner. If the carburetor has deteriorated such that you cannot repair it, buy a new one and replace it.
  • Bad Gas: Gas keeps your lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently. That’s why it’s crucial to check the gas when you’re having problems with your Toro lawn mower. Bad gas in your Toro lawn mower is one that is not clean and fresh or doesn’t correspond to the requirements of your lawn mower.Check the gas if you are experiencing issues with your Toro Lawn Mower not starting. If you have recently bought a new Toro lawn mower, do a fuel system test before using the machine to ensure that you’re using a fresh gas blend. Besides, it’ll prevent any issues from occurring down the road. If you want to store the Toro lawn mower for some time, drain any gas in the fuel tank. Then, put fresh gas before starting to use it again.
  • Blocked Air Filter: A blocked air filter can cause your lawn mower to stop running. Also, it can cause it to run poorly and with less power. Besides, if the air filter is blocked, it’ll stop the correct amount of air from getting to the combustion chamber. Check the air filter, then remove it and clean off any dirt or debris that may have accumulated on it. You can use soap, water, and a brush to clean the air filter. If there is still no change in performance, you may need a new air filter.
  • Faulty Coil: A faulty coil can cause the engine to stall and not start. If you are experiencing this issue, ensure that the spark plug wires are not burnt or damaged. They should be white and shiny. Also, check for a loose connection at the coil.
  • Flywheel: Check the flywheel for any sign of damage if your Toro lawn mower won’t start. If you see signs of wear, you can use a flywheel resurfacer to restore it to good condition. If it’s broken, replace it with a new flywheel that matches your lawn mower engine.
  • Battery Issues: If the battery isn’t working well, the whole machine will not work. Toro lawn mower batteries last long. Test the battery every year to see if it is in good condition. Also, you can test it any time by jump-starting the battery with a 12V DC power source. Check for corrosion around the terminals if the lawnmower does not start. Also, make sure that the wires are securely attached to them.

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The 5 Tips & Tricks to Prevent Engine Failure when Starting Your Toro Lawn Mower

1. Get Acquainted with the Owner’s Manual

If you’ve never owned a Toro lawn mower before, it’s crucial to know how the engine works. The owner’s manual is the best place to start. It will give you information on maintaining your Toro lawn mower and keep it running well. It will also give you tips on avoiding problems when starting your machine.

2. Remove or Disconnect the Spark Plug

Replace the spark plug annually to ensure your Toro lawn mower starts easily. During maintenance, remove the spark plug to make sure you don’t start the lawn mower accidentally during maintenance.

3. Clean the Toro Lawn Mower Often

The more you clean your machine, the less likely it is to break down. Clean the exterior, the engine, and other internal parts. The best way to do this is by removing all debris from the lawn mower deck. Then, inspect all parts for dirt, grime, and other impurities.

4. Top Up or Replace the Oil

Changing lawn mower spark plug
Image Credit: The Toidi, Shutterstock

It is an excellent idea to check the oil level once in a while. Top it up with fresh oil if needed. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on how to change the oil and the suitable oil to use. It’s something that you can do at any time, and it’ll not take long.

If you are using an old Toro lawn mower, replace the oil before starting it for the first time. This way, there is less chance of having problems with your engine when starting it in the future.

5. Fog the Engine

If you’re storing your Toro lawn mower for a long time, fog the engine. The lubricants in the motor may drain with time. It can cause corrosion and damage to the engine. So, it’s crucial to fog it using fogging oil to prevent corrosion and damage. Adhere to the instructions on the owner’s manual.

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With the guide above, you should know how to start a Toro lawn mower. The process might seem daunting, but it’s not that challenging once you get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect, and once you understand the routine, starting your Toro lawn mower will be very easy.

There are solutions to the common problems associated with starting a Toro lawn mower. If you follow the steps and the tips outlined above, you can avoid many issues. You’ll also keep your lawn looking great year after year!

We hope we’ve shed some light on this common question. Also, we hope you’ve picked some basic tips that may come in handy the next time you want to start your Toro lawn mower.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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