How to Troubleshoot a Troy Bilt Tiller

Cameron Easey

Tillers, such as those from Troy-Bilt, are tools that allow you to remove weeds and till the soil of your yard with relative ease. However, when your Troy-Bilt tiller is not running or performing properly you will need to troubleshoot to find the cause of the problem.

Lawns can be rototilled with a Troy-Bilt tiller.

Problems that you may encounter with your Troy-Bilt tiller include the engine not starting and sub-par tilling performance.

Engine Not Starting

  1. Verify that the starter on/off switch is in the “on” position.

  2. Remove the gas cap and see if there is enough fuel in the tank. Add more fuel if the tank looks empty.

  3. Look and see if the spark plug wire is loose or has become disconnected. If the spark plug wire is not connected to the spark plug the tiller will not start.

  4. Remove the spark plug wire and examine the spark plug. Use a socket wrench to remove the spark plug from the engine. If the spark plug appears dirty it may be fouled. A fouled spark plug will need to be replaced.

  5. Insert the spark plug back into the engine. Secure the spark plug with the socket wrench.

  6. Verify that the choke lever is in the correct position. The choke should be in the “open” position until the engine has started and then it needs to be closed.

  7. Pull the starter cord to see if the engine will now start. If the engine still does not start you will need to take it to a Troy-Bilt dealer for repairs.

Sub-par Tilling Performance

  1. Look at the tines to see if they are worn. Worn tines will be dull and will not till the ground efficiently and should be replaced.

  2. Verify that you have the depth of the tines set to the correct level. If the tines are set too high they will not penetrate deep enough into the ground.

  3. Examine the belt on the tiller to see if it is worn. A worn belt can slip off the pulleys which will prevent the tines from turning. If the belt is worn you will need to take it to a Troy-Bilt dealer to have it replaced.

  4. Tip

    A spark plug is fouled when gas, dirt, oil or other debris has corroded the tip which makes the spark plug unusable.


    Do not touch the spark plug when the on/off switch is in the “on” position, if the tiller has an electric start.