it will start that way. Take the air filter off, spray it in and then try to start it with the air filter off. If it starts, then you can shut the mower off so you don't cut your hand off, then spray a little more into the carburetor and put the air filter back on before trying to start it again. If the mower has sat awhile, or outside, there could be water mixed in the gas. It's not that hard to take the carburetor off, spray it out well with carb cleaner, drain the gas from the tank and put new gas in, and go. Maybe that would work. I am no expert but that's what I did when my mower wouldn't start.