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Lawn Mower Tipped Over Causes and Fixes

The lawn mower is one of the worst lawn tools to use incorrectly. It can be tipped on its side or upside down, which will make anything that is on the underside fall off – like the air filter.

If you are not careful, you can tip the lawn mower the wrong way. This could have disastrous consequences for the machine and your lawn.

The side that the carburetor and air filter is on needs to be up. If you are not careful, you can tip the lawn mower the wrong way. This could have disastrous consequences for the machine and your lawn.

Gravity is the enemy in this case. It will work against you, sinking your mower at an angle, which can make it difficult to recover. 

When this happens, you should shut off the engine before giving it a slight twist to release the blade from the ground. It may take some effort but eventually you’ll be able to lift it back upright and start over again.

The worst thing you can do is tip it back over to right side up before you are done because the motor oil will have leaked out all over your air filter and it will be absolutely soaked in oil and no longer usable.

The spark plug could have been contaminated by oil, which would cause the lawn mower to not start. The combustion chamber is flooded with too much oil, which would also cause the lawn mower to not start.

Oil in the spark plug and combustion chamber can result in a fire or an explosion that can be deadly if it occurs near you. 

Lawn mower mowing in a lawn
Lawn mower mowing in a lawn

Causes of a lawn mower to tip over

  1. Fuel leak into the carbon cap
  2. Oil inside the breather tube
  3. Fuel leak into the air cleaner and engine

Fuel leak into the carbon cap

The reason why a lawn mower can tip over is because the fuel can leak into the carbon in the cap which restricts the venting of the fuel system. The other problem that could lead to your lawn mower tipping over would be if there was too much oil in your engine. 

This would make it difficult to start and could also cause it to jam up and stop suddenly while you are using it, leading to tipping as well as possible damage to your engine.

Oil inside the breather tube

When the oil spills into the breather tube, it will soak into the air filter, causing black smoke to come out of the engine. This is one of the causes of a lawn mower to tip over.

Some people refer to this problem as “oil in the pipes”. The cause of this problem could be due to either a faulty oil drain plug or improper installation of the breather tube. 

As soon as you notice this problem, you should remove excess oil from inside your lawn mower and replace your air filter with a new one.

Fuel leak into the air cleaner and engine

Carburetor fuel can leak into the air and engine, causing it to flood and fail to start.

In order to prevent a lawn mower from tipping over, avoid spilling fuel on the ground or on top of the air cleaner. If fuel does spill, add a gas line stabilizer before starting.

Things you should do to fix a tipped over lawn mower

Lawn mowers are heavy machines that when tipped over, can be a challenge to fix. If you know what to do in this situation, then you will save yourself a lot of time and money.

If you find your lawn mower tipped over on the ground, there are some things you should do to fix it. First, make sure if there is any fuel spilled or leaking. 

You should then check the air filter and replace it if needed. Next, clean the carburetor using carburetor-cleaning solution and remove the spark plug to clean the combustion chamber.

Replace the air filter

To fix a tipped over lawn mower, you need to replace the air filter and clean up all of the oil residue.

Dirty air filter of a lawn mower
Dirty air filter of a lawn mower

A spindle that has been out of balance for too long can lead to serious damage to the engine. This imbalance can be caused by a faulty air filter, oil leak, or other problems. 

But, one thing you may not have considered is that if your air filter is completely saturated in oil, it will clog up the engine and cause it to stop working.

Use carburetor-cleaning solution to clean the carburetor

Carburetor cleaner is a carburetor-cleaning solution. It’s made of different chemicals which break down and remove any type of dirt and grime that may be clogging the carburetor.

Cleaning the carburetor with a cleaning product using hand
Clean the carburetor with a cleaning product

Step 1: Turn off the lawn mower and let it cool off for about 15 minutes. This will prevent you from getting burned with the hot engine oil.

Step 2: Spray some carburetor cleaner onto a rag, or onto your hand or arm, and wipe it over the top of the carburetor to clean any excess oil from it. Wipe with an up-and-down motion so that you don’t accidentally spray the cleaner all over the engine

You might need to remove the carburetor and thoroughly clean it with carburetor cleaner.

Remove spark plug and clean combustion chamber

First, disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug itself to make sure the engine doesn’t start up again and flood the chamber even more in case it does not start on its own.

Then remove all debris that may be in or around the engine and in the combustion chamber. Make sure that the combustion chamber is dry before re-installing your spark plug and starting up your mower again.

There are many reasons why a lawn mower may tip over, such as bumping into an obstacle, running out of gas or having something wedged against it. Regardless of what caused this problem


Maintaining a lawn mower properly is essential to avoid any potential accidents. As the machine gets older, the risk of it tipping over while being serviced rises. 

If you notice that your lawnmower has tipped over, turn off the engine, disengage blades, and put it back upright before restarting. 

To avoid this from happening, before performing any kind of maintenance on your lawn mower, read your owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly tilt or remove the blades.

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