Briggs & Stratton lawn mower troubleshooting

Briggs & Stratton specializes in gasoline engine production. The company is based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and has over 20 manufacturing facilities within the US and in other countries.
The tables below give an explanation as what to do if a lawnmower is not working, experiences minor problems, is not starting etc. These troubleshooting guides were created by Briggs & Stratton engineers in order to provide repair help for both professional techs and do-it-yourselfers. Don’t be afraid to try at least the easiest possible solutions. When a lawnmower won t start, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the problem is really serious.

Briggs & Stratton Electric lawn mower troubleshooting

Briggs & Stratton Electric lawnmowers (also known as Victa) are very popular. They are used to cut grass in both residential and commercial properties. Moreover, many lawnmowers produced by other brands use engines manufactured by Briggs & Stratton.

ProblemPossible causeCorrection
Does not startOut of fuel
Throttle lever in incorrect position
Spark plug lead not connected
Engine flooded
Dirty spark plug
Stale fuel in tank from last season
Water in fuel tank
Service required
Engine worn
Low or no oil (4 stroke)
Refill tank with correct fuel
Refer to 'Starting Procedures'
Press terminal cover fully onto the spark plug
Turn fuel tap 'OFF'. Pull starter cord until engine starts, then turn fuel tap 'ON'
Replace spark plug
Contact Service Centre
Contact Service Centre
Contact Service Centre
Contact Service Centre
Loss of PowerIncorrect throttle setting Dirty air filter element Too low height adjustment Low or no oil (4 stroke)Set throttle lever in the 'RUN' position Clean or replace Raise cutting height Check
Poor cutting or catchingBlades worn or damaged
Blade disc loose
Slow running
Blades restricted by grass and dirt accumulated under the baseplate
Blocked vents in grass catcher
Contact Service Centre
Refer to 'Loss of Power' above
Remove spark plug lead and clean under the baseplate
Clean vents
Excessive vibrationsBuild up of grass and dirt on upper surface of blade disc
Blades out of balance
Bent or damaged disc or blade
Looseness of assembly
Low or no oil (4 stroke)
Replace both blades
Replace disc or both blades
Check all nuts for tightness
Engine stops frequentlyFuel supply blocked
Engine worn or seized
Fuel cap not venting
Low or no oil (4 stroke)
Check fuel line
Contact Service Centre
Check / Loosen cap slightly

Briggs & Stratton Harrier lawn mower troubleshooting

The Briggs & Stratton Harrier range of lawnmowers includes push models, auto drive models, and electric start variable speed models. All of them share the same platform. In case of any issue, the same methods of troubleshooting, which are explained in the table below, may be used.

Engine will not turn overEngine stop lever released.Operate engine stop lever.
Incorrect oil level.Check oil level.
Obstruction under deck.Remove obstruction.
Battery discharged (412 Only)Charge battery
Engine smokesExcess oil level.Check oil level.
Air cleaner cartridge oil soaked or blocked.Service air cleaner.
Engine runs then stopsFuel starvation.Fill fuel tank.
Fuel cap vent blocked.Clean fuel cap vent.
Engine will not startEngine under load.Raise height of cut.
Fuel starvation.Fill fuel tank.
Engine cold.Set throttle to ‘choke’ position.
Incorrect/contaminated fuel.Drain fuel tank and fill with correct fuel.
Spark plug lead disconnected.Connect spark plug lead.
Throttle setting incorrect.Set throttle to ‘fast’ position.
Engine brake not released.Operate engine brake lever.
Faulty spark plug.Clean and adjust gap or replace.
Battery discharged (412 Only)Charge battery
Wiring faultCheck wiring.
Engine runs roughSpark plug lead becoming disconnected in use.Connect spark plug lead.
Faulty spark plug.Clean and adjust gap or replace.
Air cleaner blocked.Service air cleaner.
Incorrect/contaminated fuel.Drain tank and fill with correct fuel.
Engine vibrates excessivelyMounting bolts loose.Tighten bolts
Cutterblade bolt loose.Tighten bolt
Cutterblade out of balance.Balance cutterblade
Bent crankshaft.Consult your dealer
Uneven cutUndulating ground conditionsChange direction of travel
Cutterblade wornSharpen the cutterblade
Cutterblade out of balanceBalance the cutterblade
Wheels / roller damagedInspect and replace as necessary
Discharge chute blocksGrass is wetMow dry grass
Cut height too lowIncrease cut height
Grassbag fullEmpty grassbag
Airflow through the grassbag is restrictedClean the grassbag
Engine speed too slowSet throttle to fast position
Mower is hard to pushCut height too lowIncrease cut height
Wheels / roller damagedInspect and replace as necessary
Mower will not self propel (Autodrive Only)Clutch out of adjustmentAdjust clutch cable
Drive belt damagedReplace drive belt
Poor grass collectionAirflow through the grassbag is restrictedClean the grassbag
Discharge chute blockedRemove blockage
Wet grassMow dry grass
Grassbag fullEmpty grassbag
Engine speed too slowSet throttle to fast position