NotTaR of small Gasoline Engines and Rotary Lawn Mowers : Lawn mower will not start               
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Lawn mower will not start

This is probably the most common problem you are likely to encounter. The cause is very often the same - lack of maintenance.

Note that the assumption here is that it cranks - the crankshaft and blade rotates in a normal manner but the engine never catches. Some larger (Briggs and Stratton) engines may have a low-oil cutoff switch which will stop the engine if the oil level is inadequate. However, this is not likely on a push mower.

If you are unable to pull the cord (or the auxiliary starter on one with electric start), there may be a clump of grass stuck between the blade and the deck or there could be serious internal damage, especially if you just encountered an immovable object. See the section: Lawn mower will not start after the blade hit an obstruction. However, you didn't forget to engage the dead-man bar, did you? On most inexpensive mowers this safety interlock is needed to both enable the ignition system and release the blade brake.