Why Ryobi Lawn Mower Won’t Start: Causes and Fixes

Ryobi Lawn Mower Won't Start

Imagine a sunny day, your grass needs cutting, and you’re excited to use your Ryobi lawn mower. But wait, it won’t start.

This is a common problem for Ryobi mower owners. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. In this easy-to-understand guide, we’ll show you why your Ryobi mower might refuse to start and how to fix it.

A lawnmower that won’t start can be frustrating, but it’s a problem many people face. By following our simple steps, you can get your Ryobi mower up and running again in no time.

Let’s dive into the 13 most common reasons why ryobi lawn mower won’t start.

Ryobi Lawn Mower Won’t Start – 13 Reasons and Fixes

1. Low Battery Power (if electric start)

If your Ryobi mower has an electric start, it relies on a battery to get going. Sometimes, if the battery is too low on power, your mower won’t start.

Signs of a weak battery include slow or no cranking when you turn the key.

To fix this, make sure to charge the battery fully or replace it if it’s old and not holding a charge. A strong battery ensures your mower starts reliably.

If you decide to replace it, consider looking for a Ryobi 40V 4.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery to keep your mower powered up and ready to roll.

2. Incorrect Battery Installation (if electric start)

If you put the battery in your electric-start Ryobi mower the wrong way, it can cause a big issue.

Battery installation might sound like a small thing, but it’s a big deal. If it’s wrong, your mower won’t work, even if the battery is good.

The main mistake is switching the plus (+) and minus (-) sides of the battery. Signs of this problem include the mower not doing anything when you turn the key.

How to Do It Right: Follow these steps:

  • Make sure the mower is off and the key is out.
  • Look for the battery under your seat or near the engine.
  • Find the plus (+) and minus (-) parts of the battery. Plus is usually red, and minus is black.
  • Connect plus to plus and minus to minus.
  • Make sure the connections are snug but not too tight.
  • Before you try to start the mower, check one more time to make sure the battery is in the right way.

3. Charging Port, Battery Charger, or Wall Outlet Connection Issue (if electric start)

Sometimes, it’s not the battery but how it charges that causes issues in your Ryobi electric mower.

If the charging port, charger, or wall outlet isn’t working right, your battery can’t power up, preventing your mower from starting.

Loose connections are a usual suspect. If the charger doesn’t stay in place or if the wall outlet is faulty, your battery won’t charge up. 

If you’re in need of a new charger, here are some of the best lawn mower battery chargers you can find to ensure your mower stays powered up and ready to roll.

How to Fix It: Follow these steps:

  • Ensure your mower is off and the key is removed.
  • Ensure the charger is firmly plugged into your mower’s charging port.
  • Confirm that the wall outlet is working by plugging in another device.
  • If the outlet is faulty, try a different one.
  • Look for damaged wires or loose connections between the charger and the mower.

4. Dead Battery (if electric start)

Dead Ryobi batteries means your self propelled lawn mower won’t come to life. If your battery is completely drained, your mower won’t have the power it needs to start.

The main reason is leaving the mower unused for too long. Signs include no response when turning the key.

How to Fix It: Here’s how:

  • Turn off the mower and remove the key.
  • Connect the charger to the battery and plug it into a working outlet.
  • Let it charge for a few hours or as recommended in your manual.
  • After charging, put the key back in and try starting your mower.

5. Starting Procedure Error

Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the mower itself, but with how you start it. Making mistakes during the starting process can keep your Ryobi mower from coming to life.

Common errors include not following the correct sequence or not engaging safety features. Signs include the mower not responding when you turn the key.

How to Do It Right: Follow these steps:

  • Ensure your mower is on a level surface and no obstacles are in the way.
  • Familiarize yourself with your mower’s starting procedure by checking the manual.
  • Pay attention to any specific steps or safety features.
  • Start the mower according to the instructions in your manual.

6. Faulty Safety Switch

The safety switch in your Ryobi mower is like a guard that ensures safe starting. If it’s not working correctly, your mower might refuse to start.

Dirt, wear, or damage can affect the safety switch. Signs of a faulty switch include the mower not starting even with everything else in order.

How to Diagnose and Fix It: Follow these steps:

  • Make sure the mower is turned off and the key is removed.
  • Find the safety switch, typically near the handle or seat.
  • Look for physical damage or dirt around the switch.
  • If you see dirt, clean the switch. If it’s damaged, consider replacing it according to your mower’s manual.

7. Loose or Pinched Wires

Loose or pinched wires can be like roadblocks for your Ryobi mower’s starting process. They disrupt the flow of electricity needed to get your mower going.

Wires can get jumbled during maintenance or damaged by debris. Signs include no response when you turn the key.

How to Safely Inspect and Fix It: Here’s how:

  • Ensure the mower is off, and the key is removed.
  • Find the wires running to the starter and ignition.
  • Look for loose, frayed, or pinched wires. Repair or replace any damaged wires.
  • Make sure all connections are snug and securely fastened.

8. Damaged Components

Your Ryobi mower has several important parts, and if any of them are damaged, it can prevent your mower from starting.

These components can include the ignition switch, starter motor, recoil pulley, or other critical parts. Over time, parts can wear out or get damaged from use.

Signs include your mower not starting, even if everything else seems okay.

How to Replace or Repair: To address this:

  • Make sure the mower is off and the key is removed.
  • Identify which component might be damaged.
  • Refer to your mower’s manual for guidance on replacing or repairing the specific part.

9. Clogged Air Filter

Imagine trying to breathe through a stuffy nose—it’s tough! Your mower’s engine feels the same way with a clogged air filter. It can’t get enough air to start and run properly.

The air filter gets clogged over time, especially in dusty or dirty conditions. Signs include sluggish starting or poor engine performance.

How to Clear It: Here’s what to do:

  • Turn off the mower and remove the key.
  • Find the air filter housing, often near the engine.
  • Take out the air filter and check if it’s dirty or clogged.
  • If it’s dirty, clean it; if it’s clogged, replace it with a new one.

10. Old or Stale Fuel

Just like your car, your Ryobi mower needs fresh fuel to run smoothly. Old or stale gasoline can clog up the works, leading to starting problems.

Old fuel often happens when your mower sits unused for a long time. Signs include sputtering or your mower not starting at all.

How to Fix It: Here’s how:

  • Turn off the mower and remove the key.
  • Empty the old fuel from the tank.
  • Fill the tank with fresh, clean gasoline.

11. Blown Fuse (if electric start)

For electric start Ryobi mowers, fuses are like tiny guardians. A blown fuse can disrupt the starting process, leaving your Ryobi mower lifeless.

Overloaded circuits or electrical issues can cause fuses to blow. Signs include your mower’s electric start not responding.

How to Locate and Replace: To tackle this issue:

  • Ensure the mower is off and the key is removed.
  • Locate the fuse, usually near the battery or starter.
  • If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one of the same rating.

12. Malfunctioning Ignition Coil

Think of the ignition coil as your mower’s spark provider. When it’s not working correctly, there’s no spark to ignite the fuel-air mixture, and your Ryobi mower won’t start.

Age, wear, or damage can lead to ignition coil problems. Signs of bad ignition coil include the engine not firing up when you try to start the mower.

How to Diagnose and Replace: To address this issue:

  • Ensure the mower is off and the key is removed.
  • Find the ignition coil, usually near the engine.
  • Use a multimeter to test the ignition coil’s resistance. If it’s faulty, replace it following your mower’s manual.

13. Spark Plug Failure

Think of the spark plug as the matchstick for your mower’s engine. When it fails, there’s no spark to ignite the fuel, and your Ryobi mower won’t start.

Spark plugs can wear out, get dirty, or develop other issues over time. Signs include the engine refusing to start or running roughly.

How to Inspect and Replace: To address this issue:

  • Ensure the mower is off, and the key is removed.
  • Find the spark plug near the engine.
  • Check for fouling, damage, or wear.
  • If needed, remove the old spark plug and replace it with a new one, following your mower’s manual.

Use the table below as a reference guide to diagnose and address specific issues preventing your Ryobi lawn mower from starting.

ReasonCommon CausesSolutions
1. Low Battery Power (if electric start)– Battery discharge – Aging battery – Electrical issues– Recharge or replace the battery – Check electrical connections
2. Incorrect Battery Installation (if electric start)– Reversed battery terminals– Install battery correctly following the manual
3. Charging Port, Battery Charger, or Wall Outlet Issue (if electric start)– Loose connections – Faulty charger or port – Wall outlet issues– Ensure secure connections – Use a working charger – Check the wall outlet
4. Dead Battery (if electric start)– Extended inactivity – Old or damaged battery– Recharge or replace the battery – Follow the manual
5. Starting Procedure Error– Incorrect starting sequence – Neglected safety features– Follow the correct starting procedure as per the manual
6. Faulty Safety Switch– Damaged safety switch – Loose connections– Inspect and clean or replace the safety switch – Refer to the manual
7. Loose or Pinched Wires– Loose, frayed, or damaged wires– Safely inspect and repair or replace damaged wires – Secure all connections
8. Damaged Components– Worn-out or damaged ignition switch, starter motor, etc.– Identify and replace damaged components following the manual
9. Clogged Air Filter– Clogged air filter restricting airflow– Remove and clean or replace the air filter
10. Old or Stale Fuel– Use of old or stale gasoline– Drain and refill the tank with fresh gasoline
11. Blown Fuse (if electric start)– Overloaded circuit – Electrical issues– Locate and replace the blown fuse as specified in the manual
12. Malfunctioning Ignition Coil– Worn-out or damaged ignition coil– Diagnose and replace the faulty ignition coil according to the manual
13. Spark Plug Failure– Fouled, damaged, or worn spark plug– Inspect and replace the spark plug if necessary following the manual

Why Did My Ryobi Stop Working?

If your Ryobi mower suddenly stopped working completely, it can be a puzzle. Several things might have gone wrong all at once.

Maybe the battery is super low, the wires aren’t connected right, damaged recoil starter pulley or there’s a safety issue. It’s like when a car won’t start because of multiple problems.

To fix it, start with the basics: remove debris under the mower deck, charge the battery, check the wires, and make sure all the safety stuff is okay like arms are fully extended. Also, check your grass lengths, they should not be lengthy. 

In case your Ryobi lawn mower blade won’t spin, check out our guide for ways of troubleshooting it.

If that doesn’t work, call a professional for extra help. Remember, regular care and quick fixes can help avoid big problems like this.

Model-Specific Problems

Ryobi 40v Lawn Mower Won’t Start

If your Ryobi 40v lawn mower refuses to start, the common culprit is often a depleted or damaged battery.

Begin by ensuring the battery is adequately charged and in good condition. Check for loose connections and damaged wiring, which can also hinder the starting process.

Ryobi 48v Lawn Mower Won’t Start

If your Ryobi 48v lawn mower won’t start, it’s likely due to battery-related issues. Ensure the battery is sufficiently charged and inspect the wiring connections for damage.

Also, verify the functionality of the charging system. 

Ryobi Ry40104 Won’t Start

The Ryobi Ry40104 mower may encounter starting issues related to its safety switch or wiring.

Begin by confirming that all connections are secure and in good condition. Address any loose wiring or damaged components to restore proper starting function.

Ryobi 13 Inch Electric Lawn Mower Won’t Start

The Ryobi 13 Inch Electric Lawn Mower may face starting challenges, often due to battery or wiring issues. Ensure the battery is charged and in good condition.

Check for damaged or loose wiring connections. Regular maintenance, including cleaning and inspections, can help keep this model in working order.


What causes an electric lawn mower not to start?

Electric lawn mowers may not start due to various reasons, including a low or dead battery, faulty wiring, a damaged safety switch, or issues with the charger or wall outlet. Identifying the specific issue is crucial for troubleshooting and resolving the problem.

What to do when your lawn mower won’t start?

When your lawn mower won’t start, start by checking the basics: ensure the battery is charged (for electric mowers), inspect wiring connections, confirm the safety switch is engaged, and check for fuel and spark plug issues (for gas mowers). Consult the mower’s manual for detailed troubleshooting steps.

How do you start a Ryobi electric lawn mower?

To start a Ryobi electric lawn mower, ensure the battery is charged and securely installed. If the model has a safety key, insert it. Engage the safety features, if applicable. Press the start button or turn the key to start the mower. Follow the specific starting instructions provided in the mower’s manual for your model.

Why Murray lawn mower won’t start

A Murray lawn mower may not start due to various reasons. Common culprits include a fouled spark plug, stale gasoline, a clogged air filter, or issues with the ignition system. Always ensure safety features are well engaged. If problems persist, seek professional assistance for diagnosis and repair.


To wrap it up, when your Ryobi mower won’t start, you need to figure out what’s wrong. It could be the battery, wiring, or safety features causing trouble.

Taking care of your mower with regular check-ups can prevent these issues. Remember to follow the manual for your specific model to troubleshoot and fix the problem.

By doing this, you’ll keep your Ryobi mower running smoothly, ensuring a well-maintained lawn and a frustration-free mowing experience.