Lawnmower won't start


I picked up a year old Toro lawnmower from a moving sale. I tried to start it up but nothing happens. It appears gas was left in the lawnmower over the winter. Not sure any stabilizer was added, probably not as it does not want to start. What should I do to try and get it started? Deal was too good to pass up so I figured it was worth the hassle.
Thanks
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If you have compression, fuel and spark the engine will run.
First check the spark, but be well insulated because the magneto will knock you on your ass.
Next peek down the carb and see if you are getting any gas.
The compression you should be able to feel tugging on the starter cord.
If you have no gas replace the fuel and clean the carb.
No spark check the points and condenser could also be a bum pickup coil.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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wrote:

First thing is fresh fuel. (Make sure the fuel tap is turned on.)
Clean the spark plug. Check you have spark.
Try starting it with a petrol soaked rag jammed in the carby mouth, or even just a dry rag. This rag chokes the carby better than the actual choke does.
If there is a primer button, it may require experimentation to find out how much priming is required.
Some or all of these things usually get small engines running for me.
Ross
(To get email address ROT 13) ebff snipped-for-privacy@lnubb.pbz
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If it has a spark, dump or squirt 1/4 tsp or so of gas into the carb (remove the air filter first), then try cranking it. If it starts then, you know the spark is at least working. If it starts, then dies, you probably have a carb or choke problem. Try several squirts of gas/starts - sometimes doing this a few times will get it working. If not, the carb needs cleaning.
Bob
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I use starting ether to test for a fuel problem. If a short squirt into the throat of the carb will let you start and run the engine for a few seconds, you have a fuel system problem. A squirt of starting ether is more definitive than a squirt of gas (which doesn't always work).
Jason
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wrote:

It always has for me.
Bob
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If it has a Tecumseh engine, check the flywheel key. If it has sheared, which is fairly common, the timing will be off and the engine will not run. Common failure mode is hitting a rock/brick/whatever with blade, stopping engine, inertia of flywheel shears key and flywheel keeps rotating, magnet on flywheel is no longer in proper location with respect to crank throw.
nate
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wrote:

This happens to B&S engines also. Another symptom is hard jerks on the rope while starting, often breaking the rope.
Bob
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