How to tell if riding lawn mower engine is seized? A share from mechanics

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After a parking season, it is exciting to start the lawnmower again (but sometimes, the lawn mower won’t start). Unfortunately, the lawnmower doesn’t move. Moreover, everything seems to be stuck.

Does it catch the seized problem? How to tell if riding lawn mower engine is seized? You can find the answer by going through the article.

The knowledge comes from a 10-year experience in mechanics. Therefore, the method is one of the most effective. 

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How to tell if a riding lawnmower engine is seized (6 signs)

how to tell if riding lawn mower engine is seized

Sometimes, the lawnmower performs badly. However, you don’t know what is wrong with it. If your lawnmower has the following signs, it is seized.

  1. The engine has a rough sound.
  2. It’s difficult to start the engine.
  3. The blades don’t perform well. It seems to be stuck.
  4. The piston and the cylinder are in the park position, although the engine starts.
  5. The lawnmower doesn’t have enough oil.
  6. The fuel quality goes down.

What is the reason for a seized lawn mower engine?

The engine is seized for some reason. Most of them relate to bad maintenance. We will show you the actual reason:

  • The lawnmower has been parked in the garage for a long time. In this case, the engine is easily seized up.
  • The piston and other mechanisms lack lubricants. 
  • The metal mechanisms are oxidized. You can look at the moving parts and check out the problem.

How to check to ensure that a lawn mower engine is seized

Identifying the problem is very important. Let’s check the issues by the following steps:

Step 1: Listen to the engine’s sound

When the engine catches the seized problem, the moving parts are stuck. The lawnmower can’t perform well because some parts lack performance. Although you don’t have any difficulties starting the engine, it can die after some minutes of work.

The sound before it dies is a huge grinding. This reason is that there are some collisions between the moving parts. The clear sign of a seized engine is a sudden switch off with a huge gurgle.

Step 2: Try starting the lawnmower

If the engine is seized, you will catch 2 scenarios when you start the lawnmower:

  • The engine started in a while. In this scenario, the engine makes some rough sound. Then the engine immediately turns off.
  • The engine dies at all. And the blades are stuck. Moreover, the core is tightened. Although you try starting many times, the engine has no live sign. If the engine is in the second scenario, you must deal with a lot of problems. It’s difficult to start the engine again.

Step 3: Confirm the blades

The blades are stuck if you see that:

  • The blades rotate hard because it’s jamming.
  • The blades are locked up due to the internal components.
  • You can’t start the engine. Or the engine will shut down suddenly.

Step 4: Confirm the piston cylinders

Check if the piston is stuck into the cylinder or not. There are some reasons for the problem. The engine may get stuck after you drive the lawnmower through a puddle of water. The scorching engine can be damaged by moisture. This can lead to some explosions in the seals and valves. 

If the seal is in bad condition, the piston can be free. The lubricating oil will go away fast. Because the piston isn’t lubricated, it can’t work properly. This is the reason why the cylinder stuck up. The piston doesn’t move, so there will be no energy. 

Step 5: Confirm the oil in the tank

The piston can be stuck because of a lack of lubricating oil. Make sure that the oil is at the proper level. Add some oil if it is necessary.

Step 6: Confirm the fuel’s quality

The engine can be seized because of low-quality fuel. If the fuel is clogged up in the chamber, it can cause a stuck. 

The fuel that isn’t burned correctly can lead to debris. Therefore, the engine has a failure of performance.

How to fix a seized lawn mower engine?

To enhance the performance of your engine, you should fix the problem as soon as possible. Don’t hesitate. The following guide can help you do the repairs by yourself.

The necessary tool:

  • The oil lubricates the engine.
  • A spray can.
  • A container.

Step 1: Remove the remaining oil

Put the container under the oil tank. Drain the oil in the tank out.

Step 2: Extract the spark plug

Step 3: Spray the oil

  • Spray the oil straight into the spark plug.
  • Then do the same step to the remaining parts.
  • Put the spark plug back in the combustion chamber.
  • Soak it for about an hour.

Step 4: Try moving the blades

  • Now you install the spark plug and the engine. 
  • You grip the blade and use your hands to move it.
  • Moving the blade forward and backward can help reduce the dullness.
  • Do the process from time to time.
  • The process ends when the blades can move freely.

Step 5: Add some oil into the tank

It’s important to provide enough oil for lubricating. Check the oil level. Then pour as much oil as possible.

Step 6: Start the engine

  • Put the key into the keyhole.
  • Rotate the key to start the engine.
  • If it is a push lawnmower, you pull the cord two or three times.
  • After the engine starts, let it burn for about 5 minutes. The step helps warm the engine.


  • Having some protection is important. Wearing a pair of gloves helps your hands be safe and sound in every situation.
  • When you fill the oil tank, you shouldn’t overfill.

Final thoughts

It isn’t a big deal to tell if the riding lawn mower engine is seized. Doing the maintenance regularly is recommended. Good habits help extend the life of your lawn mower

We hope that this clear article: How to tell if riding lawn mower engine is seized? will be a useful introduction to you. Thanks to the guide, a lot of people succeed in fixing the seized problem. Then, it’s your turn. Good luck!

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