How to Start a Toro Lawnmower?

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Every homeowner feels pride in having a clean lawn, and the key to achieving that lush green carpet is the reliable Toro lawnmower, renowned for its cutting-edge technology and dependability. Toro lawnmowers have come to be associated with efficiency and precision in lawn care. However, for those new to the world of lawn care or even seasoned enthusiasts, starting a Toro lawnmower might seem like a daunting task.

Fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of how to start a Toro lawnmower with confidence. Whether you’re a first-time mower owner or simply need a refresher on the proper startup procedure, we’ve got you covered. From understanding the essential components of your Toro lawnmower to troubleshooting common issues, this guide aims to empower you to take charge of your lawn care journey.

So, now take your Toro lawnmower, put on your work gloves, and let us get started on the path to a well-kept lawn! With the correct information and some pointers, you will be operating your Toro lawnmower like an expert in no time!

How to Start a Toro Lawnmower: Step-by-Step Guide

The good news is that starting your Toro equipment correctly is simple when you follow the guidelines. Whether you bought a walk-behind Toro mower or a sit-atop Toro riding model, properly starting your engine is crucial. If you skip steps or do not follow the proper ignition process, you risk having an unusable mower or a difficult unit that sputters out under load, which can be very frustrating and waste time. Let’s begin!

  • Check Oil and Fuel Levels: Checking fluid levels is the first critical step in the Toro lawn mower starting procedure. Locate the oil fill cap or dipstick and remove it to verify the oil level is at the “full” indicator line. Add small amounts of SAE 30 oil if it is low. Next, visually inspect or use a fuel gauge in the tank to ensure there is adequate, fresh 87-octane gasoline to supply the carburetor and fuel system. Having appropriate lubrication and fuel prevents internal damage during start attempts.
  • Adjust Cutting Height: Properly setting the cutting height is key for safety, efficiency, and lawn health when starting your Toro mower. Identify height adjustment levers or pedals and move to lower or raise the mower deck as needed. For example, set it to the tallest height for extremely long grass, the medium height for average yards, and the lowest height for short grass. This prevents overloading and bogging when first engaging the blades while optimizing cutting performance.
  • Prime or Choke the Engine: Locate the dedicated choke control by checking the engine assembly for a sliding lever or rotary dial labeled “Choke.”. Slowly slide or turn to completely close the choke plate for cold starting. This enriches the fuel-air ratio, allowing more gasoline into the carburetor to aid ignition. Alternatively, pump the rubber primer bulb 5–10 times until soft resistance is felt. Avoid over-priming to prevent flooding. Using the choke helps cold Toro engines start without excessive cranking and starter motor damage.
  • Electric or Recoil Start: Electric start Toro mowers use a key switch to engage the starter motor and crank the engine. Turn the key fully without hesitation and hold for 5–10 seconds to trigger the starter. For recoil start models, briskly pull the manual pull cord handle to crank the engine instead. Let the cord slowly retract back in when done. Pulling it too far out or allowing it to snap back causes premature starter recoil failure over time.
  • Warm Up the Engine: After successful ignition and start, allow the engine to run for 60–120 seconds before operating the Toro mower under load. This warm-up period is critical for oil pressure to build, moving components to properly lubricate, and preventing excess metal expansion and contraction cycles. Warm engines also run smoother and produce fewer emissions. Do not engage or load an engine before a sufficient warm-up.

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How To Start a Toro Lawnmower With A Choke

Starting a Toro lawnmower with a choke is a precise process that ensures optimal cold starts and smooth engine operation. Before you go on this journey, it’s crucial to identify and understand the choke lever and control on your Toro engine. Let’s walk through the step-by-step guide on how to start a Toro lawnmower with a choke:

Locate the choke lever

Before starting the process to engage the choke, visually identify where this control is on your specific Toro engine. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the exact location and operation of the choking function. Typically, there will be a prominent sliding lever or rotary dial labeled “Choke.”.

Start a Toro Lawnmower With A Choke

Ensure you understand how the mechanism slides, turns, or rotates into the various positions prior to starting the mower. Knowing the precise choke control and how to manipulate it into the correct positions is imperative for fast, effective cold starting.

Move the choke to full choke position

After locating the choking control, fully advance the lever or rotate the dial clockwise to the closed “Start” position. Terminologies like “close” or “cold start” are typically used around the control to indicate this. If you are using a sliding choke lever, move it slowly and smoothly to the furthest forward stop.

For rotary choke dials, carefully turn clockwise until it stops. Applying delicate yet deliberate force prevents any damage to the choke linkage. Fully engaging the choke sets the fuel-air ratio for optimal cold starting.

Turn the ignition key

With the choke now set to the “Start” or “Closed” position, you can proceed to actually start the mower engine. Electric start Toro models will use a key switch to activate the starter motor when turned. Hold the key in the start position for 5–10 seconds to trigger and engage the starter. For recoil-start engines, briskly pull the cord handle to manually crank and turn over the engine instead. Let the recoil cord slowly retract unattended after each pulling attempt. Do not hold or interfere with the tensioning mechanism.

Move the Choke lever toward the open position

Finally, once the mower engine ignites and is running stable, you can begin modulating the choke position for warm operation. Slowly slide the choke lever rearwards towards the open setting, or carefully turn the rotary dial counter-clockwise. Smoothly transition in incremental steps, allowing the RPM to stabilize between adjustments.

This prevents stalling. Monitor engine temperature and response, moving the choke toward fully open only once adequate warmth and RPM are reached. Avoid hastily opening the choke.

How to Start a Toro Lawnmower Without Primer

If your Toro lawn mower does not have a built-in priming function or choke control on the engine, starting the mower requires some additional steps. Without a primer bulb or cold start mechanism to alleviate fuel vaporization issues, starting a Toro mower relies on pulling the recoil starter cord and manually manipulating the throttle. Follow these important tips when starting a Toro lawnmower without a primer:

First, check that the fuel level is adequate by visually inspecting the tank or gauge readout if equipped. Ensure there is sufficient fresh gasoline for the engine to operate. Next, locate the engine-mounted throttle control and move it to the full or fast throttle position before attempting to start. This opens the carburetor throttle plate to allow more atomized fuel into the engine, essentially priming it manually.

With the throttle full, grasp the recoil starter cord handle and briskly pull it to crank the engine. Repeat the pulling and ignition attempts until the mower starts or fires. Take care not to flood with repeated pulls with no start; this can foul the plugs. Once started, immediately adjust the throttle as needed for continued running rather than holding full throttle.

Care should be taken to prevent over-priming and engine flooding when starting a Toro mower without dedicated priming assistance. Reviewing your owner’s manual for specialized starting guidance is advised.


In summary, whether you’re a new or experienced lawn care enthusiast, mastering the skill of starting your Toro lawnmower is a critical step toward achieving a well-manicured lawn. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this comprehensive post, you can confidently navigate the process of start a Toro lawnmower and enhance your knowledge of effectively managing your lawn.


Can I adjust the cutting height after starting the Toro lawnmower?

Yes, you can adjust the cutting height before or after starting the Toro lawnmower for optimal performance based on your lawn’s needs.

What should I do if my Toro lawnmower has difficulty starting?

Check oil and fuel levels, follow the recommended starting procedures, and consult the owner’s manual for troubleshooting if difficulties persist.

How do I start a Toro lawnmower without a primer?

Check fuel levels, move the throttle to the full position, and use the recoil starter cord to manually prime the engine, avoiding over-priming to prevent flooding. Refer to the owner’s manual for guidance.

How much oil should I put in my Toro lawnmower?

Maintain the oil level at the “Full” indicator line on the oil fill cap or dipstick. Add small amounts of SAE 30 oil if low, following your owner’s manual for specific guidelines based on your Toro model.

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