How to Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb

If you’re in the market for a new lawnmower, you may be considering how to start lawn mower without primer bulb. But what does it do, and why would someone want to buy a mower that doesn’t require this step? It’s important to know so that you can make an informed decision about which type of mower is best suited for your needs.

Primer bulbs are used on older models of lawnmowers because they don’t have automatic choke systems like newer, more expensive models. Newer engines have carburetors or fuel injection systems instead. If you use a primer bulb with one of these types, then gas will leak out into the air intake system and cause the engine to stall when starting.

How to Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb

How Does a Primer Bulb Work on a Lawn Mower?

A primer bulb, also called a pre-heater tube or an accelerator pump helps to vaporize gasoline before it enters the carburetor. You use this mechanism by repeatedly pressing down on the bulb until you hear fuel pouring into the bowl underneath.

The lawnmower will continue to work even if you don’t press down on the primer again. Don’t start this process frequently, as it takes a lot of fuel to prime the engine.

What to Do if Primer Bulb Doesn’t Work?

What to Do if Primer Bulb Doesn't Work

If you press down on the primer and nothing happens, here’s a workaround:

1. Put the lawnmower in neutral if it has a manual transmission.

2. Move the transmission shifter to pull or push depending on your machine.

3. While holding down on the clutch, pull out as far as you can on the starter cord without yanking all of it out from the mower.

4. Release the clutch and let the machine start. This should start your lawnmower without primer or flooding it.

10 Methods on How to Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb:

Method 1:

Run for several minutes to charge the battery. You can attach a trickle charger, if necessary. If you use your mower infrequently, keep it under 4 volts of power by hooking up a low-voltage battery charger once every month or so. You should always use a low-voltage charger.

Method 2:

Make sure all moving parts are free of debris. If you haven’t been mowing for a while, the blade may have accumulated grass clippings and other material. Clean it off with a cloth before attempting to start the engine. You can also use this opportunity to check the air filter, fuel level and oil level.

Method 3:

Check that your spark plug wire is properly attached to the spark plug and that all moving parts of the mower deck are free of debris. If there’s a clogged air filter, it may be preventing the engine from striking a spark for ignition.

Method 4:

Determine if your mower has an electric starter, push-button start, or recoil starter. Push-button-style engines usually have two buttons located near the grip of the lawnmower handle. Pull the starter cord slowly to ensure that you’re pulling it out of the engine fast enough. As the cord becomes taught, pull harder to start the engine.

Method 5:

Remove the spark plug wire and pour a tablespoon of gasoline directly into the cylinder. Insert the wire back in place and try to start your engine. In addition to being illegal, this method is dangerous because it introduces gas fumes near an open flame. The resulting fire can be enough to start a larger fire.

Method 6:

Inspect the manual that came with your lawnmower for its starting procedures. Then, if you’re still having trouble, contact the customer service department of your lawnmower’s manufacturer. They should be able to provide guidance specific to your make and model. If you’re still having trouble starting your lawnmower, use these tips to troubleshoot the problem:

Method 7:

Check that the gas tank contains fuel. If it does, inspect the line leading from the tank to the carburetor for blockage. Remove the line from the carburetor and shake it out. If you find any blockages or dirt, clean them out with a paperclip. Turn the engine over again. Check the oil level. If it’s low, add more as appropriate. Start it up. If the oil light still doesn’t go out, shut off the engine and check for oil leaks around the motor or valve cover.

Method 8:

10 Methods on How to Start Lawn Mower Without Primer Bulb

Remove the spark plug wire and pour a cupful of gasoline into the engine’s air filter housing. Then, replace the wire in its proper position and attempt to start your lawnmower one more time. If the motor starts, then you have an air filter problem. If it still doesn’t start, then your carburetor is probably clogged and needs cleaning or repair.

Method 9:

Inspect the fuel line leading from your gas tank to the engine for obstructions, such as dirt and leaves. Remove any debris with a paperclip or tweezers and try to start your mower again. If the line is clogged and you don’t feel like taking it apart yourself, take it to an authorized service center. Pull the spark plug wire off the spark plug and attempt to start your mower. If you hear a spark, it is likely that the spark plug is not firing properly.

Method 10:

Check that the air filter has not become clogged. Remove it, along with its housing, and inspect it for dirt or other obstructions. If you find any blockages, clean the air filter carefully to remove them before replacing your mower’s air filter housing.

If none of these methods work for you, don’t fret. It simply means that your mower isn’t receiving enough voltage to start the engine. If you have access to another working lawnmower or small engine, try using its battery as a booster. You can also contact an authorized service center for free assistance with starting your engine.

Some Tips and Suggestions:

1. To ensure your mower engine runs smoothly, mix gas with oil before adding it to the tank. This will help lubricate moving parts on the engine and prevent issues such as piston sticking or not starting until it cools down.

2. Check for air leaks by using an air pump while the motor is running. If the engine dies, you know there’s at least one leak, and you need to fix it before trying to start the mower again

3. Check for spark plug problems by removing them and using a file to clean off debris around the electrode tip. Then, reinstall it and try once more.

4. Use starting fluid; sometimes, it makes drivability issues with lawnmowers easier to fix. Spray a little starting fluid (alcohol is OK) and try and crank the engine over. If it starts, keep spraying until the engine begins to run cleanly again.

5. Be sure that all parts are seated well. For example, if the blade is not on securely, it can create problems when you try to start the engine.

6. Make certain that you do not attempt to use your lawnmower after prolonged exposure to water or moisture. Moisture entering the system means the mower will be hard to start.

7. Clean up dirt or debris that is close to the spark plug wire, which may be grounding out your lawnmower. Loosen it if you can, and keep trying to start your engine.

8. Use the right gasoline. Some mower engines require a special formulation of gas to ensure proper start-up and prevent issues.

How Long Will a Lawn Mower Run Without the Primer Bulb?

If you keep pulling the cord on your lawnmower, eventually you’ll flood the engine and have to wait for it to cool down before trying to start it again.

If you want to skip the whole flooding thing, just pull your lawn mower’s starter once without primer. If you don’t know how to start lawn mower without primer bulb then don’t worry. We have already put in the work for you. Just check this full blog post to get a clear idea.

Can You Start a Lawn Mower With One Touch of the Lever?

You can’t hold down one lever that controls both choke and primer on most push-type lawnmowers. This is because the lever operates two separate mechanisms that are both necessary for lawn mower engine starting.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will a Lawn Mower Run Without a Primer Bulb?

A: You can try to start a lawnmower without a primer bulb. But it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get the engine started. The primer bulb on most lawn mowers is simply an air pump that transfers air into the fuel bowl so there’s enough pressure for the engine to start.

Once you have put gasoline into the fuel bowl, press down on the primer bulb until it is flat. Then pull the ripcord (or use the electric starter) to start the engine. You can also check out this blog post on how to start lawn mower without primer bulb to get some ideas.

Q: Is Gasoline Bad for Primer Bulbs?

A: Gasoline is bad for primer bulbs not because of the gasoline itself, but because it contains ethanol which absorbs water from the air. The more often you fill your lawn mower’s gas tank with fresh gasoline that doesn’t contain ethanol, the better off your primer bulb will be.

Q: Is It OK to Use a Primer Bulb That Needs Replacing?

A: If the tip of your primer bulb has a hole in it and is no longer providing pressure to the fuel bowl, replace it as soon as possible. If it’s not providing enough pressure and you’re still trying to start your lawnmower, the engine will stall out every time you pull the starter cord.


In general, the safest way to start a gas-powered lawnmower is by using the primer bulb. There are also other ways to start an engine without a primer bulb if you need it done quickly and don’t have one on hand, but those methods can be dangerous!

To learn how best to do this for your particular model of a lawnmower read this blog post on how to start lawn mower without primer bulb.

For now, though, we recommend following these steps next time you want to use your starting motorized device to avoid injury. If you’re experiencing any issue, it’s best to consult a professional or speak with the manufacturer. You can also try contacting your local lawn mower service center for assistance.

Jennifer Branett
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