How to Start an Ariens Riding Lawn Mower?

Spring has sprung, and the grass is calling! It’s time to dust off your Ariens riding lawn mower and get your yard looking pristine. But before you can enjoy the smooth ride and manicured lawn, you need to know how to start the machine. This article will guide you through the process step-by-step, covering everything from pre-start checks to troubleshooting common issues.

Starting an Ariens riding lawn mower is a fairly straightforward process. However, like any piece of machinery, it requires a bit of preparation and understanding. This article will walk you through the essential steps to get your mower running smoothly, including:

  • Pre-Start Checks: Ensuring safety and proper operation.
  • Starting Procedures: From ignition to the first cut.
  • Troubleshooting Common Issues: Addressing problems like no-start situations.
  • Safety Tips: Maintaining safe operation throughout the mowing process.

Pre-Start Checks: Setting the Stage for a Smooth Start

Before you even think about turning the key, it’s essential to conduct a thorough pre-start inspection. This ensures the safety of you and your mower, as well as prevents potential damage or downtime. Here’s a checklist to follow:

1. Fuel Level:

  • Check the fuel tank: Ensure you have enough gasoline to complete your mowing session.
  • Use the correct fuel: Ariens riding lawn mowers typically use regular unleaded gasoline. Consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations.
  • Avoid storing old fuel: Old gasoline can gum up your engine. Consider adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent this.

2. Engine Oil:

  • Check the oil level: Use the dipstick to check the oil level.
  • Top up if needed: Add oil to the appropriate level as indicated by the dipstick markings.
  • Use the correct oil: Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended oil type and viscosity.

3. Battery:

  • Check battery terminals: Make sure the terminals are clean and securely connected.
  • Test the battery: You can use a voltmeter to test the battery’s charge. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts.

4. Blade Engagement:

  • Disengage the blades: Ensure the blade engagement lever is in the “off” position.
  • Check for debris: Remove any debris or grass clippings that might be obstructing the blades.

5. Safety Equipment:

  • Check the safety equipment: This includes the seat switch, brake system, and any other safety features.
  • Make sure they are functional: Test each feature to ensure it’s working properly.

Starting Procedures: Getting Your Ariens Mower Running

Once you’ve completed the pre-start checks and everything looks good, you’re ready to get your mower going. Here’s how:

1. Ignition Key:

  • Turn the ignition key to the “On” position: This activates the electrical system.
  • Check for warning lights: The dashboard may have warning lights that indicate any potential issues.

2. Choke (If Applicable):

  • Engage the choke: Some Ariens mowers have a choke lever. This enriches the fuel mixture for easier starting.
  • Adjust the choke as needed: As the engine warms up, you can gradually release the choke.

3. Start the Engine:

  • Press the starter button: Hold the button down until the engine starts.
  • Release the choke: Once the engine is running, slowly release the choke lever.

4. Warm Up:

  • Allow the engine to warm up: Run the engine for a few minutes before engaging the blades.

5. Engage the Blades:

  • Move the blade engagement lever to the “On” position: This will start the blades rotating.
  • Check for proper rotation: Ensure the blades are spinning smoothly in the correct direction.

Troubleshooting Common Issues:

Even with careful pre-start checks, occasionally you might encounter problems starting your Ariens riding lawn mower. Here are some common issues and potential solutions:

1. No Start:

  • Battery Check: Test the battery’s charge using a voltmeter. A dead or weak battery can prevent the engine from starting.
  • Fuel Issue: Check the fuel level and ensure the fuel is fresh. If the fuel line is clogged, you might need to clear it.
  • Ignition System: Check for faulty spark plugs, wires, or the ignition coil.
  • Starter Issues: Ensure the starter motor is working properly. A faulty starter can prevent the engine from cranking.

2. Engine Stalls:

  • Fuel Delivery: Check for fuel leaks or a clogged fuel filter.
  • Air Intake: Ensure the air filter is clean and not blocked.
  • Spark Plugs: Replace worn or fouled spark plugs.
  • Engine Overheating: Ensure proper cooling system operation.

3. Uneven Running:

  • Fuel Mixture: Ensure the correct fuel-to-air ratio is being delivered. A clogged air filter or a faulty carburetor can affect this.
  • Spark Plugs: Worn or fouled spark plugs can cause the engine to run unevenly.

Safety Tips:

Safe operation is paramount when using any power equipment. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Read and understand the owner’s manual: Familiarize yourself with the mower’s operation, safety features, and maintenance procedures.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: Wear sturdy shoes, long pants, and safety glasses.
  • Never operate the mower without proper safety equipment: This includes the seat switch, brake system, and any other safety features.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Keep children and pets away from the work area.
  • Avoid mowing on steep slopes: Slopes can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Never refuel while the engine is running: Always turn off the engine and allow it to cool before refueling.
  • Maintain the mower properly: Regular maintenance ensures your mower runs safely and efficiently.


Starting an Ariens riding lawn mower is a simple process once you understand the proper steps. By conducting pre-start checks, following the starting procedures, and troubleshooting common issues, you can ensure a smooth and safe mowing experience. Remember to prioritize safety and practice good maintenance habits to keep your mower running at its best. With a little care and attention, your Ariens riding lawn mower will be your loyal companion for years to come, helping you achieve a beautifully manicured lawn.


1. How do I start my Ariens riding lawn mower for the first time?

The first time you start your Ariens riding lawn mower, it’s important to follow the instructions in your owner’s manual carefully. Start by making sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank and that the fuel lines are not kinked. Next, ensure the choke is engaged and turn the key to the “ON” position. Then, engage the parking brake and ensure the mower blade is disengaged. Finally, gently pull the starting cord until the engine starts. Once the engine is running, you can release the choke and let the engine idle for a few minutes.

Once the engine is warm, you can begin mowing. Always start your Ariens riding lawn mower on a flat, level surface and be sure to wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses and hearing protection. Practice starting and stopping your mower in a safe, open area before you attempt to mow your lawn.

2. Why won’t my Ariens riding lawn mower start?

There are a number of reasons why your Ariens riding lawn mower might not start. First, make sure you have enough fuel in the tank. If the tank is low, the engine may not be able to draw in enough fuel to ignite. You should also check the spark plug to ensure it’s not fouled or damaged. If it’s dirty, clean it or replace it. Finally, make sure the choke is engaged, especially if the engine is cold.

Another possible issue could be a dead battery, especially if the mower hasn’t been used in a while. Try jumping the battery or replacing it if necessary. If you’ve checked all of these things and your mower still won’t start, you may need to contact an authorized Ariens dealer for assistance.

3. What type of gas should I use in my Ariens riding lawn mower?

You should always use a high-quality, unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher in your Ariens riding lawn mower. Never use gasoline that is older than 30 days, as it can degrade and cause engine problems. Additionally, never add oil to your gasoline, as this can damage the engine.

It’s also recommended to use fuel stabilizer in your gasoline during the off-season to prevent the fuel from degrading and causing engine problems. Follow the instructions on the fuel stabilizer product label for the proper amount to add.

4. How do I adjust the height of my Ariens riding lawn mower deck?

You can adjust the height of your Ariens riding lawn mower deck by using the lever or knob located on the deck itself. The specific location and method of adjustment may vary depending on your model. Consult your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to adjust the deck height for your specific model.

When adjusting the deck height, ensure the wheels are on a flat, level surface. The deck height should be consistent across all four wheels. You can adjust the height for different areas of your lawn, such as the edges or areas with taller grass.

5. What maintenance should I perform on my Ariens riding lawn mower?

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your Ariens riding lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently. Some basic maintenance tasks include:

  • Changing the oil: Change the oil every 25 hours of operation or every season, whichever comes first.
  • Cleaning the air filter: Clean the air filter every 50 hours of operation or every season, whichever comes first.
  • Inspecting the spark plug: Inspect the spark plug every 50 hours of operation or every season, whichever comes first. Clean or replace it if needed.
  • Sharpening the blades: Sharpen the blades every 25 hours of operation or every season, whichever comes first. Dull blades can scalp the lawn and make it difficult to mow.

6. How do I know when it’s time to replace my Ariens riding lawn mower battery?

You should replace your Ariens riding lawn mower battery if it starts to show signs of weakness, such as slow cranking or difficulty starting the engine. A battery that is more than three years old may also need to be replaced. If your battery is constantly draining, you may have a parasitic draw, which means there is a component drawing power even when the engine is off.

If your battery is having issues, you can try charging it fully and checking the connections to make sure they are clean and secure. If these steps don’t resolve the issue, you may need to replace the battery.

7. What should I do with my Ariens riding lawn mower when not in use?

When you’re not using your Ariens riding lawn mower, it’s important to store it properly to prevent damage and extend its lifespan. Start by cleaning the mower thoroughly, removing any debris or grass clippings. Next, drain the fuel tank to prevent the fuel from degrading and causing engine problems.

Finally, store the mower in a dry, well-ventilated area, preferably out of direct sunlight. This will help prevent rust and corrosion from forming on the metal parts. Before storing, you should also check the owner’s manual for any specific storage recommendations.

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