The reasons for an engine to be hard to start can be caused by a wide variety of individual or combinations of concurrent problems and the best place to begin is to do a quick check of the engine:

  • Is the tank full of fresh gasoline?
  • Does the air filter need to be cleaned or replaced?
  • Check the condition of the spark plug.
  • Is the fuel valve turned on?
  • Is the On/Off switch turned ON?
  • Is the choke in the correct position or the primer functioning?
  • Check the oil for correct fill level and quality. *(see note below)
If the problem isn't located or resolved during the quick check procedure, you'll need to check for the following problems:

  • Improper fuel/air mixture reaching the carb
  • Weak spark
  • Improper timing
  • Low Compression
  • Not turning fast enough to start
Suggested troubleshooting order: FUEL - IGNITION - TIMING - COMPRESSION

The oil level should not be a factor in a hard to start situation unless the engine is equipped with a low oil shutoff system, but should always be checked prior to use.

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