How to Start a Scag Lawn Mower?

The sun is shining, the grass is growing, and you’re ready to tackle your lawn. But before you can start mowing, you need to make sure your Scag lawn mower is in tip-top shape and ready to go. This article will walk you through the process of starting a Scag lawn mower, covering everything from pre-start checks to troubleshooting common problems. We’ll also discuss important safety precautions and provide tips for keeping your mower running smoothly.

Starting a Scag lawn mower is a relatively straightforward process once you understand the basic steps. It involves preparing the mower, checking fluids, and using the correct starting procedures. With a little practice and this guide, you’ll be mowing your lawn like a pro in no time.

Pre-Start Checks: Ensuring a Smooth Start

Before you even attempt to start your Scag lawn mower, it’s essential to conduct a few pre-start checks. These simple steps can prevent potential problems and ensure a smooth start:

1. Fuel Level:

  • Check the fuel tank: Make sure you have enough gasoline to complete your mowing session. Scag mowers generally have a fuel gauge, but you can also visually check the fuel level.
  • Use Fresh Fuel: Avoid using old fuel, as it can cause problems with starting and performance. It’s best to use fresh gasoline with a stabilizer for long-term storage.

2. Oil Level:

  • Check the dipstick: Your Scag lawn mower has a dipstick to check the oil level. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it fully. Then, pull it out again and check the oil level against the markings on the dipstick. Ensure the oil level is within the recommended range.

3. Blades:

  • Sharp Blades: Sharp blades are crucial for a clean cut and a healthy lawn. Dull blades can rip and tear the grass, leaving unsightly brown patches. Before starting, inspect your blades for sharpness. If they’re dull, sharpen them with a file or replace them if necessary.
  • Secure Blades: Check that the blades are securely attached to the mower deck. Loose or damaged blades can be dangerous and can cause damage to the mower.

4. Battery:

  • Charge or Replace: If your Scag lawn mower uses a battery, ensure it’s fully charged. If the battery is old or weak, it might need to be replaced.

Starting Your Scag Lawn Mower: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’ve completed the pre-start checks, it’s time to start your Scag lawn mower. Follow these steps:

1. Parking Brake:

  • Engage the Parking Brake: Always engage the parking brake before starting the mower. This will prevent the mower from moving accidentally while you’re preparing to start it.

2. Choke (if Applicable):

  • Engage the Choke: Some Scag models have a choke lever. If your mower has a choke, engage it by pulling it out to the “choke” position. This enriches the fuel mixture, aiding in starting the cold engine.

3. Key Switch:

  • Turn the Key: Turn the key to the “start” position. The engine should begin to crank.

4. Throttle:

  • Set Throttle: Once the engine starts, set the throttle to your desired speed. Keep in mind that you might need to adjust the throttle to maintain the optimal mowing speed for your lawn.

5. Disengage Choke (if Applicable):

  • Disengage the Choke: If you used the choke, gently push it back in to the “run” position once the engine has warmed up. This allows the engine to run smoothly at full power.

Troubleshooting Common Problems: Addressing Starting Issues

Sometimes, your Scag lawn mower may not start as easily as expected. Here are some common problems and solutions:

1. No Spark:

  • Check Spark Plug: A faulty spark plug can prevent the engine from igniting. Remove the spark plug and inspect it for signs of wear, carbon buildup, or damage. If necessary, replace the spark plug with a new one.

2. Fuel Issues:

  • Clogged Fuel Lines: Clogged fuel lines can restrict fuel flow, preventing the engine from starting. Check the fuel lines for blockages and clean them if necessary.
  • Bad Fuel: As mentioned earlier, old fuel can cause starting problems. If you suspect your fuel is bad, drain it and replace it with fresh gasoline.

3. Engine Flooding:

  • Excessive Cranking: If you’ve been cranking the engine for an extended period, it might have flooded. To remedy this, remove the spark plug and crank the engine a few times to clear out the excess fuel. Then, replace the spark plug and try starting the engine again.

4. Battery Problems:

  • Dead Battery: A dead battery will prevent the starter from engaging. Check the battery terminals for corrosion and clean them if necessary. If the battery is dead, you’ll need to charge or replace it.

Safety Precautions: Mowing with Confidence

Before you start mowing, it’s crucial to take the necessary safety precautions:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear sturdy footwear, long pants, and safety glasses to protect yourself from debris and potential hazards. Consider wearing ear protection as well, as lawn mowers can be quite noisy.
  • Clear the Area: Remove any objects from the mowing area that could be thrown by the blades, such as rocks, sticks, toys, or loose debris.
  • Avoid Obstacles: Be careful when mowing around obstacles like trees, fences, or landscaping features. Take your time and avoid getting too close.
  • Don’t Mow on Slopes: Avoid mowing on steep slopes, as this can increase the risk of accidents. If you must mow on a slope, take extra precautions and proceed cautiously.
  • Keep Children Away: Never allow children to operate or be near a running lawn mower.

Maintenance Tips: Keeping Your Scag Running Smoothly

Regular maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your Scag lawn mower and ensuring optimal performance. Here are some key maintenance tips:

  • Change Oil Regularly: Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended oil change intervals. Changing the oil regularly helps to prevent engine wear and tear.
  • Clean Air Filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, reducing performance and increasing fuel consumption. Clean or replace the air filter regularly.
  • Inspect Belts: Check the belts for signs of wear, cracking, or fraying. Replace them as needed to prevent breakdowns.
  • Sharpen Blades: Keep your blades sharp to ensure a clean cut and prevent damage to your lawn.
  • Store Properly: During the off-season, store your Scag lawn mower in a dry, protected area. Drain the fuel tank and run the engine until it stops to avoid carburetor problems.

Conclusion: Mowing with Confidence and Efficiency

Starting your Scag lawn mower is a simple process when you understand the basic steps and safety precautions. By conducting pre-start checks, following the proper starting procedures, and addressing any troubleshooting issues, you can ensure your mower starts smoothly every time.

Remember to practice regular maintenance to keep your Scag lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently for years to come. With a well-maintained mower and a little knowledge, you can tackle your lawn with confidence and achieve a beautiful, healthy lawn that you can be proud of.


Q1: What kind of fuel does a Scag lawn mower use?

Scag lawn mowers typically use regular unleaded gasoline. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality fuel for optimal performance and to prevent engine problems. Avoid using fuel that’s been sitting for a long time, as it can become stale and cause issues with the engine. You should also always check the fuel tank before starting the mower and ensure that there is enough fuel for the job at hand.

Q2: How do I prime the engine on a Scag mower?

Priming the engine helps to get fuel flowing to the carburetor. To prime a Scag mower, you’ll need to locate the primer bulb, usually located on the side of the engine. Push the primer bulb several times until it feels firm, indicating the carburetor is full of fuel. This helps the engine start easier, especially when starting the mower for the first time after a long period of storage.

Q3: What does the choke do on a Scag lawn mower?

The choke on a Scag lawn mower helps enrich the fuel-air mixture, making it easier to start the engine, especially when it’s cold. To use the choke, simply pull it out to the “choke” position. After the engine starts, gradually push the choke lever back in to the “run” position, allowing the engine to run smoothly. If you leave the choke on too long, the engine may run too rich and potentially cause damage.

Q4: How do I start a Scag lawn mower with an electric start?

To start a Scag lawn mower with an electric start, you’ll need to ensure the battery is charged and connected properly. Then, turn the key to the “on” position and press the start button. If the engine doesn’t start, you can try pressing the start button again, or you might need to check the battery connection or the battery’s charge.

Q5: How do I start a Scag lawn mower with a recoil start?

Starting a Scag mower with a recoil start requires a little more effort. First, ensure the choke is in the “choke” position. Then, pull the recoil starter cord firmly and smoothly. It may take a few pulls before the engine starts. Once the engine starts, gradually push the choke lever back in to the “run” position.

Q6: What should I do if my Scag lawn mower won’t start?

If your Scag lawn mower won’t start, there are several things you can check. First, ensure there is fuel in the tank. Then, check the spark plug to make sure it’s clean and functioning. Also, ensure the air filter is clean and not clogged. If these steps don’t solve the problem, you may need to consult your owner’s manual or contact a qualified mechanic.

Q7: How do I shut down a Scag lawn mower?

To shut down a Scag lawn mower, simply turn the key to the “off” position. Make sure the engine is completely stopped before attempting to move the mower or perform any maintenance. You should also allow the engine to cool down completely before refueling.

Leave a Comment