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Those are listed in order of how hard they are to do.First check the plug and wire.Now is a good time to change the air filter also.
Step two will require a compression gauge,if you do not have one before you go buy one.Try to start the mower.If when you pull the rope goes back in and pulls tight your compression is ok,if not buy a gauge.
Step three.Check that the cable(kill switch) attached to the handle is in good repair.
Next is the carb.You may need to clean it.Carb cleaner would be my first choice,the spray can type. Now if that still wont fix it.You need to tear down the carb and clean a small screen on the inside.That step is far from fun,but is not very hard to do.
Lastly is to check the timing.This can be done by dissembling the crank case and realigning the gears. The gears are marked so it is not as hard s it sounds.
Should none of that work,look at the belt make sure it is not broken and jammed up in the pulleys.
remove spark plug wire from plug,tip machine on its side.look under blade for a threaded plug with a square head where bottom of motor protrudes through deck.on most models you can simply tip machine over far enough to allow oil to drain out the dipstick[filler]tube.
If you take the wheels off and remove the belt from the small pulley on the the front axle underneath the pulley you should see a small transmission. You usually can split this unit in half . You will see two gears and sometimes one plastic and one metal. The plastic one is usually the culprit. Hope this will help you out. Donnyb60