Spartan Lawn Mower Won’t Start

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Ready to mow but your Spartan lawn mower won’t start? Don’t call the technician just yet.

Read this article until the end to learn about the fixes some other Spartan lawn mower owners with similar problems have used to get their mower working again.

But before we get into that…

Some of the reasons a Spartan lawn mower won’t start include:

  • No fuel in the fuel tank
  • Bad or old fuel
  • Faulty Fuel Cap
  • Clogged air filter
  • Dirty carburetor

Spartan Lawn Mower Won’t Start: Causes and Solutions

1. Spartan Zero-Turn Mower Broken Flywheel Key

The flywheel key is a small metal piece that keeps the flywheel and crankshaft aligned when you tighten the flywheel nut.

The mower’s engine may suddenly stop if the zero turn mower blade hits a hard object. 

If this happens, it breaks to protect parts such as the crankshaft from getting damaged.

For instance, a broken flywheel key may prevent your Spartan zero-turn mower from starting. To check if the flywheel is broken, remove the flywheel and inspect the flywheel key.

Fix: Replace the broken flywheel key.

2. No Fuel in the Fuel Tank

Another main reason why your Spartan mower won’t start is if your tank is empty

Empty fuel tanks can halt operations, yield below par performance and make rough sounds.

It is important to always check your fuel level regularly before you start the mowing machine.

Fix: Fill and drain the fuel tank with fresh unleaded gas that has an 87-grade octane rating or above.

Avoid using gas that has more than ten percent ethanol content. It is also important to buy high-quality fuel to ensure maximum performance.

3. Old or Bad Gas 

Using a bad or old gas in your Spartan mower can prevent it from starting. Gas may begin to deteriorate or become ineffective after thirty days.

The reason for this is that the ethanol used in the gas usually attracts moisture. In this case, the moisture evaporates and leaves a sticky residue that can block the fuel system.

It is advisable to buy your gas from a fast-selling petrol station. In addition, ensure that you make use of it within thirty days.

You can also add a fuel additive to stabilize the fuel if you can’t finish it within the specified time frame.

Fix: Use a fuel siphon pump to take out the old fuel from the tank.  To clean or remove moisture from the fuel system, you need to add fresh gasoline and a fuel additive.

4. Defective Spark Plug 

Defective-Spartan-mower -plug

A defective spark plug may result in Spartan starting problems. 

Unwanted carbon buildup and oil around the spark plug may develop starting issues.

Use a spark plug tester to check for defective spark plugs. If there is no spark, it means that the spark plug is faulty and it needs to be replaced.

Fix: Inspect the spark plug for symptoms of a broken porcelain insulator or carbon buildup. 

Also, you can replace the defective spark plug. Use a feeler gauge to check if it is properly gapped.

5. Clogged Air Filter 


For optimal performance,  your mower engine requires proper airflow to operate.

Dirty air filters can deprive your engine of adequate air which may result in overheating and can also cause serious engine damage.

Fix:  Use a mild soap and cloth to wipe off excess dirt and oil in the air filter . Ensure that you do not clog it with loose dirt. 

Note: Do not use an air compressor to clean the air filter. It deteriorates the mower’s level of performance.

6. Clogged Fuel Filter

A fuel filter helps to prevent debris and dirt from entering the engine of your Spartan mower. 

Clogged fuel filters can jeopardize the health of your Spartan mower engine.

The signs of a clogged fuel filter include smelly fumes, no engine power and engine misfiring.

The engine of your Spartan mower may also stall when accelerating. It is best to replace the fuel filter if you notice all these signs.

Fix: Replace the defective fuel filter with a new one if you discover that there is a stoppage of fuel flow at the fuel filter.

7. Spartan Riding Mower Won’t Start because of a Faulty Fuel Pump

If your Spartan riding mower won’t start, it might be due to a faulty fuel pump.

The Spartan fuel pump has three ports (the gas in port, gas out port, and pulse port) and two small check valves on the input and output ports. 

Your fuel pump may malfunction over time. This problem can be related to bad or fuel gas.

Fix: Inspect the fuel pump for cracks. Use a fuel shut-off valve to control the fuel flow of your Spartan riding mower.

Inspect the fuel filter or line for restrictions. Once you notice that the pump is getting fuel, check to be sure that the fuel is pumped out properly. 

Replace the fuel pump if the problem persists.

8. Loose Terminals or Bad Battery 

Your mower’s battery needs to be fully charged to enable the mowing machine to start with ease. 

If the cables are loose, it can result in starting problems. This is common with Spartan RZ Pro 61 and KG Pro 54 Kawasaki FT730 mowers.

Fix: You can use a multimeter to test the battery. It is recommended to get a reading of about 12.7 volts. 

You may need to charge the battery if the level is lower than 12.7 volts.

Replace the battery with a new one if it does not hold a charge.

9. Clogged Fuel Line

Old fuel might block the machine’s fuel line. This will cause the engine to sputter and result in the mower not starting.

Other symptoms that may arise include smoke coming out from the machine or its engine switching off.

Fix: The first step to take is to inspect the fuel line to see if it is clogged. 

Take off the fuel line, and use a spray carburetor cleaner to clean the choke plate so that it can move freely.

You can also remove the dirt and sticky residue with compressed air. 

Regardless of this, it is best to replace the fuel line with a new one.

10. Clogged and Dirty Carburetor Causes Spartan Riding Mower Not to Start

A clogged or dirty carburetor is mostly caused by leaving the fuel in your mower for an extended time. 

This issue is common with the Spartan RZ Pro 61 riding lawn mower.

Over time, some ingredients in the fuel evaporate and leave behind the stickier and thicker substance. 

This will clog up the carburetor which will fail to regulate the fuel that the engine receives, causing your engine not to start.

Fix: Clean the carburetor or replace it if it is in very bad condition. 

If you know that you can’t handle this task, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional to assist you in fixing it.

11. Loose Cables or Corroded Terminals

Ensure that the battery terminals are attached securely to the battery or else the mower may fail to start. If you detect loose cables or corroded terminals, you should fix them.

Fix: Clean corroded terminals in a baking soda solution containing three rounded tablespoons of baking soda and two cups of water. 

In addition, scrub the terminals clean with a wire brush.

12. Defective Ignition Coil

The ignition coil works as a source for the spark plug to acquire voltage from the battery. 

A defective ignition coil may prevent your Spartan mower from starting. This happens when an improper ground wire connection to battery voltage fails.

Fix: The first step to take is to verify if the spark plug is functioning properly. Use an ohmmeter to check its continuity.

Furthermore, change the defective ignition coil if there is a break in the continuity.

13. Spartan Zero-Turn Mower Faulty Safety Switch

Safety switches help to turn off the engine when the mower deck is engaged and when the rider gets off the seat.

In addition, the safety switch provides vital protection by stopping the rotary blades from turning.

When this switch fails, your Spartan riding zero turn mower may no longer start.

Fix: You should replace the bad switch with a new one.

Note: It is advisable not to operate your Spartan riding mower without installing the safety switch.

14. Bad Ignition Switch

A bad ignition switch may stop your Spartan mowing machine from starting.

It is important to get a multimeter to test it to confirm if it is not working properly.

Fix: The simple way to fix this is to replace the bad switch.

15. Incorrect Operating Procedure

Spartan mowers are equipped with safety features that prevent them from starting unless you adhere to the procedures starting them.  

Fix: Check the mower’s manual to be sure that you are using the mowing machine properly so that you don’t set off safety systems that can prevent your mower from starting.

16. Faulty Fuel Cap

A faulty fuel cap may cause your Spartan mowing machine not to start. This component comes with a vent. 

When the vent gets clogged, a vacuum is created in the fuel tank and this prevents the machine from drawing gas out of it.

To verify this problem, you may need to remove the cap and start the mowing machine. 

  • If it starts, try to re-install the fuel cap while the machine is still operating.
  • After that, wait for some time to check if it will sputter or die again. 
  • If the Spartan machine dies or sputters, it means that the fuel cap is faulty.

Fix: Replace the faulty fuel cap.

17. Faulty LCD circuit board

Some users took their unit to the dealer after the machine developed starting problems. 

This problem may come from a faulty LCD circuit board.

Fix: Replace the faulty LCD circuit board with a new one. If the problem persists, it is best to contact the manufacturer to solve the problem.

Spartan Mower Won’t Stay Running

You may face this issue while operating your Spartan mowing machine. The engine of your machine may crank but it will not keep running.

This may arise as a result of dirty cleaner, choke or throttle not in starting position, water or stale fuel in the system, dirty fuel cleaner or the fuel valve is off.

Fix: Put choke or throttle into starting position, put handles in neutral and press break to troubleshoot choke/throttle problems.

You can also replace the fuel cleaner and open fuel valve. Contact the dealer if you notice that there is dirt, water or stale fuel in the fuel system.

Spartan Mower Won’t Start When Hot

If your Spartan  mower won’t start when hot, the problem may be as a result of the following:

  • Engine overheating
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • Defective carburetor
  • Compression Problem

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Allow the engine to cool down, and clean out the fins and the underside of the shroud.
  • Replace faulty spark plugs and carburetor.
  • Contact a professional to help you troubleshoot the compression problem

Spartan Mower Won’t Start After Winter

If your Spartan mower fails to start after winter, it may be due to the following reasons:

Faulty Carburetor

The old gas in your mower may clog the carburetor. It can also enter the float bowl, making the mower not start after winter.

Fix: Disassemble the carburetor and clean it with a carburetor cleaner. 

You may also replace the entire carburetor if you are unable to clean it effectively.  

Flat Battery

The battery of your Spartan mower is bound to be flat after sitting idle for a while. 

This battery will lose power because it hasn’t been charged during the winter period.

Fix: Put the battery on charge and ensure that the terminals are clean. 

You may need to replace it if the battery doesn’t hold a charge.

Bad Spark Plug

A bad spark plug is also one of the reasons why the mower won’t start after winter. 

Ensure that you use a spark plug tester to check if it is faulty. If there is no spark, it means that the spark plug is faulty.

Fix: Replace the faulty spark plug with a new one.

Spartan Mower Won’t Start After Running Out Of Gas

If your Spartan mower won’t start after running out of gas, the most likely problem is a dirty carburetor.

Other causes may include faulty auto-choke, contaminated gas, and a defective carburetor.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Clean the carburetor or replace it if it is in very bad condition.
  • Check if the auto-choke is functioning properly. Ensure that you put it in the correct position.
  • Drain the old gas and add a fresh one.

Spartan Mower Won’t Start Without Starting Fluid


If your Spartan mower won’t start without using starting fluid, you could be dealing with a faulty spark plug, dirty carburetor, old fuel, or clogged air filter.

These are likely problems that may happen to your machine especially if your Spartan mower has been sitting dormant all winter long.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Clean the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner or replace it if it is in very bad condition.
  • Replace faulty spark plug with a new one.
  • Use a fuel siphon pump to remove the old gas from the tank. You may need to add fresh gas and a fuel additive.
  • Clean the air filter with water and dish detergent to remove dirt or grease. 

Spartan Riding Mower Clicks But Won’t Start

If your Spartan RZ Pro 61 or any other Spartan riding mower clicks but won’t start, the problem may be from the starter solenoid.


The most likely causes of solenoid clicking include low voltage, corroded or loose cable connections between the battery to the solenoid, or loose connection between the solenoid and starter. 

Furthermore, you can also check for a corroded connection between the battery ground circuit to the tractor frame. 

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Charge or replace the battery to fix the issue of low voltage.
  • Inspect connections, remove corrosions and re-establish good electrical contact to fix loose connections.
  • Check for faulty solenoid and replace it with a new one.
  • Check for the defective starter or any other mechanical issues with the engine

How Do I Know If My Spartan Solenoid is Bad?


The solenoid of your Spartan riding mower may be bad if you notice a hum or click when you turn the ignition key. This causes your mowing machine not to start.

Another symptom of a bad solenoid is when the wire gets hot and begins to melt or smoke. 

To diagnose a bad solenoid, you need to follow these steps:

  • Ensure That Your Battery Has A Full Charge.

Use a voltmeter to ensure that the battery has at least 12.3 volts in it.

  • Get Your Mowing Machine Ready To Start

To do this, you need to set the parking brake, put the machine in neutral and turn the key to the “on” position.

  • Use A Screwdriver To Bypass The Starter Solenoid

You can use a screwdriver to bypass the starter solenoid. Look for the cable from the battery and the cable to the starter. 

This may result in a spark when your screwdriver makes contact with these cables.

There is an indication that the solenoid may be bad if the engine turns over when you have bypassed the solenoid. 

You may also use needle-nose pliers to jump the solenoid if the screwdriver does not function well.

  • Test the solenoid

You need to take off the starter from the engine to test the solenoid with a battery charger. 

Once you have done this, attach the negative clamp to the starter’s case and touch the positive clamp to the big post and exciter wire on the solenoid.

How Do I Know if My Spartan Starter is Bad?

A faulty starter may show signs of a clicking sound when you press the ignition button, a cranking sound without the engine turning over, or when the mowing machine fails to start.


If your Spartan mower isn’t starting, the first step to take is to figure out the causes. 

In this article, we have shared some of the possible causes such as defective spark plug, bad fuel pump, clogged air filter and faulty fuel cap. 

Follow the recommended fixes to get your Spartan mower working again. If your mower still refuses to start after implementing the tips in this article, it might be best to seek a technician’s help.

Top Recommended Handy Tools for Troubleshooting & Servicing Your Lawn Mower

Multimeter – This is useful for checking voltage, continuity & current to identify electrical problems in your mowerFilter Wrench – For loosening your mower’s filter.
Carburetor Cleaner – Choke and Throttle Body Cleaner for cleaning clogs & buildup in the fuel system.Blade Balancer–Balances Blades After Sharpening.
Fuel Stabilizer – This stabilizes & cleans your fuel to reduce fuel system buildupBattery Inflator – This helps to ensure your mower tires stay inflated to prevent steering or uneven cutting issues.
Socket & Allen Wrench Set – These tools are needed to service & troubleshoot your mower problemsTachometer– Evaluates your mower’s engine performance and provides accurate data about the status of the engine
12-Volt Battery Charger – This is useful for charging your mower battery.Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener– Adjustable Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener for Right and Left Hand Blades.