Ryobi Lawn Mower Troubleshooting [Fixes 6 Common Issues]

Be it gas-powered or electric, Ryobi lawn mowers need less maintenance compared to other mowers. But still, these mowers can develop some common issues that you need to address in a timely manner.

If you are considering getting a new Ryobi lawn mower, you should be familiar with the common issues. This will help you to recognize the issues fast if you face any. Some of the most common problems are given below.

  1. Starting problems
  2. Stalling after starting
  3. Dying battery
  4. Leaking gas
  5. Faulty self-propelling system
  6. Smoke from the mower

You need to check a lot of factors, including fuel condition, carburetor, clogged filter, spark plugs, battery, etc., to find out the cause and fix the problem.

I have come up with a complete Ryobi lawn mower troubleshooting guide to help you out. Go through the guide to find the common problems, their symptoms, effective fixes, and expert tips. Let’s begin.

1. Ryobi Lawn Mower won’t start

Depending on the fuel type of the lawn mower, starting problems can occur for different reasons. Here is a quick overview.

  • Carbon Buildup on Spark Plug: Gas-powered mowers typically face this problem. Over time, carbon deposits on the spark plug, and it loses its ability to ignite the fuel. So, the mower might not start.
  • Clogged Carburetor: Contaminants in the fuel can clog the carburetor gradually. At one point, the carburetor won’t be able to pass the fuel. So, the mower engine won’t start.
  • Faulty Start Switch: Sometimes, the connection to the start switch can be loose or damaged. This prevents the mower from starting. This can happen to both electric and engine-powered lawnmowers.
  • Clogged Fuel Filter: When fuel isn’t completely drained from the tank at regular intervals, the remains from the old fuel clogs the fuel filter. Debris in the fuel can also clog the filter. So, fuel won’t pass through it, and the mower will have starting problems.

Read: 8 Common Kohler EFI Engine Problems [Troubleshooting Guide]

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. Visually inspect the spark plug for signs of carbon deposit. If the deposit is low, scrub off the buildup. You can also test the spark plug with a spark plug tester. There should be sparks between the terminals of the tester if the spark plug is good. Otherwise, replace the spark plug.
  2. Use a carburetor cleaner to flush the carburetor. This should clear the clog.
  3. Check the start switch connections with a multimeter. If the multimeter shows no variation in voltage, the switch is faulty. You should replace it.
  4. Clean the fuel filter to remove clogs. If the filter is too dirty, i.e., one side is completely blocked, it is better to replace the filter.

Note: Follow a regular maintenance routine to prevent deposits and use high-quality fuel to avoid contaminations.

You can also check this video out:

Ryobi 40v Lawn Mower Won’t Start – What to Check and Why

2. Stalling After Starting

Even if the mower starts normally, it might stall afterward for the following reasons.

  • Clogged Carburetor: If the amount of clog is low, the mower will still start. But it may stall several times after starting. This mostly happens if the mower is parked with fuel in the tank for a long time.
  • Clogged Fuel Cap: Fuel caps have small air vents so that the fuel level can drop when the fuel is used. But if the vent is clogged, it will cause stalling after starting the mower.

Read: John Deere Hydrostatic Transmission Will Not Engage 

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. The first step is to clean the carburetor. You will get carburetor cleaners to remove any clogs from the carburetor.
  2. If the problem isn’t solved, check if the fuel cap vent is clogged. Try removing the clog with a sturdy pin. You can also try using chemical cleaners. If the clog is too stubborn, you can buy a new fuel cap.

Advice: Don’t use abrasive cleaners to clean the carburetor.

3. Dying Battery

Ryobi Lawn Mower battery

Ryobi lawn mowers have decent batteries. But sometimes, the batteries tend to go bad prematurely. This happens due to the following reasons.

  • Defective Charger: You should only use chargers recommended by the manufacturer for the specific models. The charger sometimes can’t charge the batteries properly, so the batteries will go bad. This mostly happens with electric mowers.
  • Bad Alternator: While the lawn mower is running, the battery is recharged by the alternator. If the alternator can’t provide the necessary voltage, the battery will discharge quickly and go bad.
  • Faulty Voltage Regulator: It determines how much voltage the alternator will send to the battery. If the regulator is faulty, the alternator can’t send the proper voltage. As a result, the battery will die faster.
  • Loose or Corroded Terminals: Over time, battery terminals can get loose or corroded. In that case, the battery won’t receive enough charge and will deplete quickly.

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. Check if the charger is delivering the proper output voltage (40V) using a multimeter. Also, check the charger outlet. If there is low voltage, try changing the outlet and the charger.
  2. Test the alternator output with a multimeter. It should deliver 12.7V to be in good condition. If not, you need to replace the alternator.
  3. Check the voltage regulator to make sure it is delivering 12.7V to the battery. Otherwise, replace the voltage regulator.
  4. Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush. You can use alcohol to clean the corroded parts. Then, tighten the connections.

Advice: Check the battery charge level regularly and keep the battery from depleting completely.

4. Leaking Gas

If your Ryobi lawn mower consumes too much gas than usual, the gas is probably leaking from the machine. Here are the reasons behind it.

  • Stuck Float Valve: The float valve opens and closes as required to ensure the right amount of fuel is entering the carburetor. The valve may be stuck in a partially open position due to clogs or debris. As a result, more fuel than necessary will enter the carburetor and overflow.
  • Cracked Carburetor Gasket: The rubber gasket of the carburetor can become brittle as the machine ages. It will then develop cracks, and fuel will leak through the cracks. You may see amber fuel marks below the carburetor.
  • Loose Connections in the Fuel Line: Fuel lines transfer the fuel from the tank to the carburetor. If these lines are loose, fuel can leak from there.

Read: How To Tell If Hydrostatic Transmission Is Bad? [5 Sign + Fixes!]

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. Check the float valve assembly to see if the float valve opens or closes completely. If not, clean any clogs or debris using a chemical cleaner.
  2. See if there are any cracks in the carburetor gasket. If so, replace the gasket.
  3. Check connections in the fuel line. Tighten the lines if there is a loose connection.

Note: Keep an eye on the fuel gauge to understand if the fuel consumption is usual.

5. Faulty Self-Propelling System

Besides push mowers, Ryobi makes self-propelling mowers. But the system can have the following problems at times.

  • Worn Drive Pulley or Belt: The drive pulley and belt send power from the engine to the wheels in conjunction. Over time, these parts can wear out. As a result, they won’t be able to send the necessary power to the wheels.
  • Transmission Problems: Hydrostatic transmissions used in lawnmowers can develop multiple problems due to low transmission fluid, overheating, and other reasons. As a result, the transmission pulley will spin, but the wheels won’t get power.

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. Check the drive pulley and belt for signs of wear. If they are worn, replace the drive pulley and belt.
  2. Check if the transmission fluid is low by visually inspecting the reservoir. Refill the fluid if the level is below the FULL line.

Advice: Get the transmission system checked by an expert every 12-18 months.

6. Smoke from the Mower

If the float valve is stuck open, it will allow too much fuel to enter the carburetor. As a result, you will see black smoke coming from the mower. In this case, the air-fuel mixture is known as a rich mixture. It means the ratio of fuel is much higher.

How to Troubleshoot This?

  1. Check the position of the float valve. If it is stuck for clogs or debris, clean them. But if the valve is damaged, replace it.

in verdict – Ryobi Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

Take the following advice if you want to face less hassle with troubleshooting.

  • Keep some necessary tools, such as socket wrench, torque wrench, fuel filter, etc., handy so that you can solve problems faster.
  • Be careful while troubleshooting batteries or alternators. Use proper insulation before you work with these components.
  • Call for professional help if you find something too complex and have no experience in it.

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