Toro Recycler 22 won’t start (7 Commons Problems)

The Toro Recycler 22 is a reliable lawn mower known for its efficiency and durability. However, like any piece of machinery, it can sometimes encounter problems, such as not starting.

This can be frustrating, especially when your lawn needs mowing. In this post, we’ll explore common reasons why your Toro Recycler 22 won’t start and provide detailed troubleshooting steps to get it up and running.

Toro Recycler 22 won’t start

When your Toro Recycler 22 fails to start, it’s often due to a handful of common issues. These can range from fuel problems to ignition issues. Here’s a breakdown of the most frequent culprits:

1. Fuel Issues

Fuel-related problems are one of the most common reasons for a mower not starting. This can include stale fuel, fuel contamination, or issues with the fuel system.

2. Spark Plug Problems

A faulty spark plug can prevent your mower from starting. Spark plugs can become dirty, worn out, or damaged, affecting their ability to ignite the fuel mixture.

3. Carburetor Issues

The carburetor is responsible for mixing fuel and air before it enters the engine. If it’s clogged or malfunctioning, it can prevent the mower from starting.

4. Battery and Electrical Issues

For electric start models, a dead battery or faulty electrical connections can be the issue.

5. Air Filter Problems

A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, preventing it from starting.

6. Safety Switches and Controls

The Toro Recycler 22 is equipped with various safety switches and controls. If these are not in the correct position or malfunctioning, they can prevent the mower from starting.

7. Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues, such as a stuck recoil starter or a problem with the engine’s internal components, can also cause starting problems.

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Troubleshooting Steps

Step 1: Check the Fuel

  1. Inspect the Fuel Level: Ensure there is enough fuel in the tank.
  2. Check for Stale Fuel: If the fuel is old, drain the tank and refill it with fresh fuel.
  3. Examine for Contamination: Look for water or debris in the fuel tank. If found, clean the tank and replace the fuel.

Step 2: Inspect the Spark Plug

  1. Remove the Spark Plug: Use a spark plug wrench to remove it.
  2. Check for Dirt and Damage: Clean the spark plug with a wire brush if it’s dirty. Replace it if it’s damaged or worn out.
  3. Test the Spark: Attach the spark plug to the ignition cable and ground it to the engine. Pull the starter rope to check for a spark. If there’s no spark, replace the spark plug.

Step 3: Clean the Carburetor

  1. Remove the Carburetor: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the carburetor.
  2. Clean Thoroughly: Use carburetor cleaner to clean all parts. Ensure all passages are clear.
  3. Reassemble and Test: Reassemble the carburetor and test the mower.

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Step 4: Check the Battery and Electrical Connections (For Electric Start Models)

  1. Test the Battery: Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. Charge or replace the battery if needed.
  2. Inspect Connections: Ensure all electrical connections are clean and tight. Look for any signs of corrosion.

Step 5: Examine the Air Filter

  1. Remove the Air Filter: Take out the air filter from its housing.
  2. Clean or Replace: Clean the filter if it’s dirty or replace it if it’s clogged.

Step 6: Verify Safety Switches and Controls

  1. Check the Position: Ensure all safety switches and controls are in the correct position.
  2. Test for Malfunction: If a safety switch appears to be faulty, consult the owner’s manual for replacement instructions.

Step 7: Inspect Mechanical Components

  1. Recoil Starter: Check if the recoil starter is stuck or malfunctioning. Lubricate or replace as necessary.
  2. Engine Internals: If you suspect internal engine problems, it might be best to consult a professional.

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Preventive Maintenance Tips

To avoid future starting problems with your Toro Recycler 22, regular maintenance is crucial. Here are some tips:

1. Regular Fuel Maintenance

  • Use Fresh Fuel: Always use fresh fuel and add a fuel stabilizer if the mower will be stored for an extended period.
  • Clean the Fuel System: Periodically clean the fuel tank and lines to prevent contamination.

2. Spark Plug Care

  • Regular Inspection: Check the spark plug regularly and clean or replace it as needed.
  • Proper Gapping: Ensure the spark plug is properly gapped according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

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3. Carburetor Maintenance

  • Keep It Clean: Regularly clean the carburetor to prevent clogs.
  • Use Carburetor Cleaner: Use a carburetor cleaner periodically to keep it in good working condition.

4. Battery Care (For Electric Start Models)

  • Charge Regularly: Keep the battery charged, especially during off-season storage.
  • Check Connections: Regularly inspect and clean electrical connections.

5. Air Filter Maintenance

  • Clean Often: Clean the air filter regularly to ensure proper airflow.
  • Replace When Needed: Replace the air filter if it’s damaged or excessively dirty.

6. General Maintenance

  • Follow the Manual: Always follow the maintenance schedule and guidelines in the owner’s manual.
  • Store Properly: Store the mower in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.

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When to Seek Professional Help

While many starting issues can be resolved with basic troubleshooting, some problems might require professional assistance. Here are some scenarios where it’s best to seek help:

  • Persistent Starting Problems: If the mower still won’t start after troubleshooting, a professional can diagnose and fix the issue.
  • Internal Engine Issues: Problems with the engine’s internal components should be handled by a professional.
  • Electrical System Repairs: Complex electrical issues are best left to those with the appropriate skills and tools.


Why won’t my Toro Recycler 22 start after sitting all winter?

Stale fuel is a common issue after a mower has been sitting for an extended period of time. Drain the old fuel and replace it with fresh fuel. Also, check the spark plug and carburetor.

What type of fuel should I use in my Toro Recycler 22?

Use fresh, unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Avoid fuel with more than 10% ethanol content.

How often should I replace the spark plug in my Toro Recycler 22?

It’s recommended to inspect and replace the spark plug every season or after 25 hours of use.

My Toro Recycler 22 has an electric start. How can I maintain the battery?

Keep the battery charged during the mowing season and store it in a cool, dry place during the off-season. Clean the terminals and connections regularly.

What should I do if my mower’s recoil starter is stuck?

Check for debris around the recoil starter and clean it. If it’s still stuck, it may need lubrication or replacement.

How can I tell if the carburetor needs cleaning?

Symptoms of a dirty carburetor include difficulty starting, rough running, and poor performance. Regular cleaning can prevent these issues.

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Final Remarks

Experiencing problems with your Toro Recycler 22 can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue yourself. Regular maintenance is key to keeping your mower in top condition and avoiding future problems.

If you encounter persistent issues or complex mechanical problems, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. By taking care of your mower, you’ll ensure it remains a reliable tool for keeping your lawn looking its best.

George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.