Cub Cadet Starting Problems – Crnaking Or Not Cranking


Cub Cadet mowers are well-known for their reliability and durability, which is why they are so popular with homeowners. The Cub Cadet company was started in 1985 by a group of farmers who wanted to produce agricultural equipment that would last longer than other brands.

Cub Cadet offers a variety of lawnmowers, including:

Walk-behind models: These mowers are small enough to push by hand and designed for use on small yards or lawns. They have rear wheels and can be folded for easy storage.

Riding models: These mowers feature three-wheel design and seat belts for added safety when driving over rough terrain. They come in gas and electric models ranging from 21 to 40 inches wide.

Front-wheel self-propelled models: These mowers have front wheels that drive the blades using an electric motor or gas engine attached directly to them. They offer more power than walk-behind models because they don’t require as much effort from the operator, but they’re also heavier and harder to maneuver around obstacles such as trees or flower beds.

What would cause my Cub Cadet not to start?

What would cause my Cub Cadet not to start

It could be any number of things. It could be a faulty battery system, loose spark plug, clogged air filter, or dirty carburetor.

Check Tank And Fuel

Check Tank And Fuel

First and foremost, make sure that the gas tank is full. If the gas tank is empty, the engine won’t be able to turn over and start. If it’s not full enough, it might not be able to start either because there won’t be enough fuel in the carburetor for the engine to run properly.

Check Spark Plug 

Check Spark Plug

Take a look at the spark plug first. Make sure it is tight and has good contact with the engine head. If it doesn’t have good contact with the head, replace it with a new one. This can be done by popping off the cover on top of the engine head, removing the old plug, and replacing it with a new one.

Check Battery And Its Wiring

Check Battery And Its Wiring

Now check your battery system for leaks or corrosion on any of its terminals or cables. If you see any corrosion or leaks, clean them up and try starting again. If this doesn’t do anything, you should replace your battery so that you don’t have to go through this again in the future, as it could cause other problems if left untreated.

Check Air Filters

Check Air Filters

Now check your air filter by opening up your mower deck and checking for any debris or leaves that might have gotten in there from being used recently without having been cleaned out before doing so to keep it running efficiently.

Check the battery terminals and battery cables 

Check the battery terminals and battery cables

A loose or corroded connection can prevent your lawnmower from starting properly. Corrosion on the battery terminals can lead to poor electrical contact and prevent your lawnmower from starting up properly when you turn the key. This corrosion can also cause other issues with your Cub Cadet mower, such as stalling, rough idling, or shifting between gears.

If everything checks out on these basic things, you should take your mower to an authorized service center so they can diagnose the problem with it if they have yet to be able to figure it out on their end.

What are the possible Cub Cadet Starting Problems?

There are several different types of Cub Cadet starting problems that owners may encounter:

1) The engine will not crank or turn over when you try to start it;

2) You hear a loud squealing sound coming from the engine when you try to start it;

3) The starter rope does not engage at all when you pull it;

4) The starter rope engages but will not pull hard enough to start the engine;

5) You hear a clicking sound when trying to start your Cub Cadet lawnmower

Let’s find the major issues in detail hereunder;

Low Oil Level Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower


Filling up your gas tank with lousy or old fuel will cause issues with starting your mower. Gasoline is flammable, and dirt in the tank or lines could cause an explosion inside the tank or carburetor when it gets hot from running the engine. To prevent this from happening, always use fresh gasoline from a clean source when filling up your tank (such as a gas station). Also, only let your gas sit for a short time in your tank, especially if it’s been sitting for more than a month since you last ran your mower.

Low oil level

Oil is a lubricant that keeps metal parts from rubbing together. When the oil gets low, it can’t provide enough lubrication to keep the engine parts from wearing out. Without oil, metal surfaces will wear away quickly until they break apart, and your engine stops working completely.

Air in the fuel line

When you pull on the starter cord, air bubbles present in the fuel line can get caught in its path and prevent the engine from turning over. To solve this problem, make sure there aren’t any air bubbles in the fuel line by removing the spark plug and blowing through it into a bucket before trying to start your mower again.

Stale fuel

Stale fuel

Start by cleaning out the carburetor with a spray carb cleaner. If that doesn’t work, remove the spark plug and pour a little starting fluid into it. Put the plug back in and try to start your mower. If it doesn’t start, then you have a bad coil or wiring problem that needs repair by an authorized service center.

Spark Plug Is Damaged Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower


Spark Plug Wires

The spark plug wires connect to the distributor cap on top of each cylinder head. There should be four wires going into each cylinder head: two brown and two black ones (one brown and one black). Each wire has a pigtail at its end that connects to its respective coil pack (see diagram below). If there is no voltage coming from either coil pack, it could be a bad fuse or wiring issue between them or between them and the distributor cap itself. To check this, use a volt/ohm meter to test for voltage on the positive side of each coil pack. If there is no voltage on any coil pack, it could mean one of two things:

  1. The ignition switch isn’t working properly;
  2. The wiring between the ignition switch and distributor cap is faulty or broken.

Spark Plugs/Coil Packs

Spark Plugs-Coil Packs

The spark plugs are on top of each cylinder head, just below where the spark plug wires connect. They have a metal electrode that goes inside the combustion chamber and makes contact with the piston, which causes an electric discharge to ignite the fuel inside the chamber. The coil packs are mounted near the bottom of each cylinder head, containing two coils that generate the electricity needed for ignition. If these components fail, your lawn mower will not start.

Distributor Cap

Distributor Cap

If you have power going to both coils and they are not firing, you may have an issue with your distributor cap. The distributor cap is located on top of your engine block by the starter motor and can be accessed by removing the air filter housing cover plate. Locate the three terminals out of your distributor cap; these terminals correspond to each spark plug wire on top of your cylinder heads. These terminals have a fragile wire with a cup on one end that slides over each terminal before securing it with a screwdriver or wrench (do not overtighten this terminal as it will strip easily!). If one of these terminals appears broken off or corroded, replace it immediately! If one terminal is broken off, check to see if there is another way for that terminal to be grounded. You will need to replace the distributor cap assembly if one terminal is missing.

Fouled Spark Plugs

Another problem that could cause starting problems is if one or more of your spark plugs is fouled or broken off inside the cylinder head. You can remove any spark plug and check if any gap is left between the exposed metal threads on top of your piston head and the spark plug base itself (see picture below). If there isn’t any gap left between these two surfaces, your spark plug may be broken off in your engine.


If this is the case, you should replace your spark plugs with new ones as soon as possible. The only way to get these stuck plugs out is to take apart the entire engine and remove each cylinder head individually so you can access the stuck plug in question.

Check The Voltage With Voltmeter

Check The Coltage With Voltmeter

If you have a voltmeter, you can test for voltage coming from the distributor cap by testing across each of the wires with the engine idling. When tested this way, you should see around 12 volts coming from each wire. If not, then you have a bad connection somewhere along that line.

Air Filter Is Clogged Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower

If your Cub Cadet mower is not starting, a clogged air filter is one of the most common causes. The air filter is located at the top of the engine and can be easily removed by lifting the cover and pulling it off.

Check to see any dirt or debris in the air filter. If there is, clean the filter with a paper towel dampened with cleaning solvents such as mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. Allow the solvent to evaporate completely before replacing the filter.

If you have already cleaned out your air filter and cannot start your Cub Cadet mower, look at other possible causes for starting problems, such as low fuel levels or clogged fuel lines.

Fuel Filter Is Clogged Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower

Cub Cadet starting problems can be caused by several things. The mower may have fuel but not enough to start the engine, or the engine may not get any spark to ignite the fuel. A clogged fuel filter can cause starting problems, so ensure your mower has a clean fuel filter.

Check the spark plug first if you need help starting your Cub Cadet mower. It is time for a new one if it is black or oily. If not, there may be other problems causing your Cub Cadet not to start.

Cub Cadet Fuel Cap Is Faulty Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower

The fuel cap has two rubber gaskets and two plastic rings that hold the cap in place. The gaskets allow fuel to flow from the tank into the engine and prevent any gases from escaping back into the tank. The plastic rings will enable you to remove the cap without breaking it or causing damage to your fingers during removal or installation. If these parts are missing or broken, you may need help starting your Cub Cadet mower because it cannot correctly draw fuel from its tank. If this happens, you will need to replace them with new ones before attempting another start-up attempt.

Issue With Starter Relay Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower

The starter relay is the component that sends power to the starter solenoid, which in turn allows current to flow through your battery and out to the mower’s ignition coil. The starter relay can cause starting problems in Cub Cadet mowers.

Symptoms of a bad starter relay include:

  • The engine will not crank over no matter how long you hold down on the start button or how many times you try to start it.
  • The engine cranks but won’t fire up after several attempts.

Check the following items before replacing the starter relay:

  • Check for loose or corroded connections on all cables at the battery, starter, and solenoid terminals.
  • Check that all connectors are seated correctly in their respective terminals.

If the problem persists, replace the starter relay by following these steps:

  • Disconnect the negative battery cable(s) from the starter solenoid first, then remove the starter solenoid from the engine block using a socket wrench and ratchet/breaker bar.
  • Remove two screws holding the starter to the mounting bracket and carefully lift out of the bracket. Remove the old starter relay by removing the retaining bolt. Install new relay in reverse order and ensure all cables are correctly seated in their respective terminals before reinstalling into bracket assembly. Reconnect negative battery cable(s) last when finished.

Lack of Maintenance Cause Problems In Starting Cub Cadet Mower

If you do not maintain your mower properly, this can cause problems starting your mower. The most important maintenance part is changing the engine’s oil and filter. If you do not change the oil and filter, it will cause issues with starting and running the engine. When the oil gets old and dirty, this can clog up the engine and prevent it from running properly. Also, if you have a gas-powered mower, make sure that you change the spark plug every year or so, depending on how much it is used. This will keep your engine running smoothly and prevent any issues with starting up your mower when it comes time to use it again.

Why is my engine cranking but not starting?

There are several reasons your engine may crank but not start, and a lack of fuel is just one possibility. Here are a few other potential causes to consider:

  1. Battery: A weak or dead battery can prevent the engine from starting, even if it cranks when you turn the key. If the battery is the issue, you may hear a clicking sound when you turn the key, but the engine won’t start.
  2. Ignition system: The ignition system is responsible for producing the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If there is a problem with the ignition system, such as a faulty spark plug or ignition coil, the engine may not start.
  3. Fuel system: In addition to a lack of fuel, other issues can arise in the fuel system that can prevent the engine from starting. For example, a clogged fuel filter or a faulty fuel pump can prevent fuel from reaching the engine.
  4. Starter motor: The starter motor is responsible for turning the engine over when you turn the key. If there is an issue with the starter motor, such as a faulty solenoid or damaged wiring, the engine may not start.
  5. Timing belt/chain: If the timing belt or chain has broken or slipped, the engine’s valves may not open and close correctly, preventing the engine from starting.

These are just a few potential causes of cranking but not starting the engine. If you cannot identify the problem, take your car to a mechanic for diagnosis and repair.

Why does my lawnmower start and then dies?

There are several reasons why your Cub Cadet lawnmower might start but die shortly after. Here are a few potential causes to consider:

  1. Carburetor issues: The carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air in the correct proportions to power the engine. If the carburetor is dirty or clogged, it can cause the engine to stall shortly after starting. Cleaning or replacing the carburetor may be necessary.
  2. Air filter issues: The air filter prevents debris and dirt from getting into the engine, but a clogged air filter can restrict airflow and cause the engine to stall. Replacing or cleaning the air filter may be necessary.
  3. Bad spark plug: A faulty or worn spark plug can prevent the engine from starting or cause it to stall shortly after starting. Replacing the spark plug may be necessary.
  4. Fuel issues: If the fuel in the tank is old or contaminated, it can cause the engine to stall. Replacing the fuel or using a fuel additive to clean the fuel system may be necessary.
  5. Electrical issues: Faulty electrical connections or a failing ignition coil can cause the engine to stall shortly after starting. Checking and replacing any faulty electrical components may be necessary.

These are just a few possible causes of a lawnmower starting and dying. If you cannot identify the problem, take your lawnmower to a professional for diagnosis and repair.


In this article, we told you about cub cadet starting problems. The starting problems are simple and what you need to do is to check the mower in steps. You can’t skip the first part and go into the next one. When it comes to Cub Cadet starting problems, a few things should be checked first. These include spark plug and coil issues, fuel filter, and carburetor adjustment.

Once you have addressed these issues, you can move on to other problems, such as battery or starter solenoid. If none of these solutions work, your engine may need replacement altogether. We hope this article will help you in answering all your questions.

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