Tip & How-To about Garden

Safety first

Watch out starting those small engines with the carburetor filter removed.
Or even a large motor for all that matters.
A back fire through the engine can cause a nice little camp fire in the carburetor that can turn into something bigger, and that may be the shop and house. If u must attempt this, keep a large rag or something near by, to snuff out any flames.

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How do you clean the carburetor on a lawn chief 5.5 hp push mower?


if you can get the engine to fire at all , even on choke Ive found a large dose(50/50) of car fuel injector cleaner works wonders on gummed up small engines , but it wont work if engine wont fire at all , nothing to pull cleaner thru engine

Jun 24, 2015 | Garden

2 Answers

Won't start. In storageempty18 mths. Replaced oil,filter, fuel filter,spark plug, New battery. Fresh gas w/stblzr. Engine cranks but won't turn over.


Won't start. In storage empty18 mths. Replaced oil, filter, fuel filter, spark plug, New battery. Fresh gas w/stblzr. Engine cranks but won't turn over.

Without the exact engine model, I am not sure which Kohler 19 HP you have. There are different models including single cylinder with fuel pump, single cylinder without fuel pump, and multiple versions of the twin cylinder. Therefore, some parts of this answer include generalizations which may or may not be applicable.

Sooo, with the new battery the starter motor does crank the engine; the engine turns over. This informs us that the engine/bearings, has or have, not frozen up while in storage. However, I believe you are indicating that the engine does not fire up and begin running; it won't start and it won't run.

We know the machine has been in storage 18 months. Was the machine completely emptied of fuel, tank and carburetor, prior to long term storage? That is the question of the day.

I am going to assume the machine was running fine the last time it was used; prior to parking it in storage. That means we are assuming there are no mechanical problems with the engine. I am going to assume, with the installation of new plugs, you checked for spark and all is good in that area. This really leaves us with a fuel system problem.

A mechanically functional (meaning all the internal parts are working, i.e. pistons, valves, etc) engine requires 3 things all at the right time, air under pressure (yes they call that compression), fuel, spark. So the quickest way to start your diagnostics is to remove the cover over the air filter and then remove the air filter. I do not recommend spraying Quick Start.

  1. remove air filter (set it aside for the rest of the diagnostics)
  2. put throttle on fast run (do not choke)
  3. pour an ounce or two (a shot glass, not ½ a beer) of fresh gas into the carburetor
  4. crank engine (15 to 20 seconds, rest to cool the starter, repeat 3-4 times if it does not fire at first).
Removing the air filter and placing the throttle at full speed, with no choke, eliminates the "air intake" question for now. Dumping in the fuel bypasses the fuel related question.

  • ·If the engine fires and runs a bit, then dies, you may have eliminated the spark question and you need to track down any fuel problems.
  • ·If the engine does not fire you likely must tract down a Spark problem.
I understand that you filled the tank with fresh fuel.That is step one, of 7-10 possible steps for getting fuel to the engine. Which brings us tooo..

  • Tracking down fuel problems.
  1. Make sure there is plenty of fresh fuel in tank. High Octane less than one month old. Water in the fuel system will often cause hard starting, low power, backfiring, surging or stalling. Was your tank clean and dry?
  2. Is there a cut off valve at the gas tank? If so check that it is open or working if it is electric.
  3. This step comes from repeated personal experience with JD gas tanks. Remove fuel line from filter and remove the filter, gas should pour out of the hose coming from the tank. (look at the filter before removing it, it should look ¾ full of fuel. If it's not that's a clue to fuel flow problems.) If gas does not pour out remove gas tank cap. If fuel flows now, you need to unclog the cap vent or replace the cap. The vent is that tinnnny little hole in the center of the cap. If the fuel still does not flow then blow air from the filter end of the hose back up through fuel line to blow out any blockage inside the gas tank.

    Do yourself a favor, leave the gas cap off and turn the outlet air on your compressor down below 20 psi. If the tank is nearly full you will blow gas out of the tank. Do this outside if possible; at the very least you need a well ventilated area. After blowing air from the air filter back to the tank, you may have to reverse the process and pressurize the tank to get the fuel started. I place my hand over the open tank and hold the air hose between the joint of my thumb and forefinger to seal the tank, and then squeeze the trigger. Once you have a good fuel flow out the line to the filter, reinstall your FRESH FILTER. Try cranking the engine. If it still does not start move on to the fuel pump and carburetor
  4. Check the fuel pump. The fuel pump system on the twin Koehler and the Twin Briggs are almost identical. This includes most single cylinder engines with fuel pumps. Watch this excellent, eight minute, video to learn how to check the fuel system, including the pump, up to the carburetor. . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAUZUPoopSI
  5. Note: My engine was starting hard and dying in the field this year (March 2015). While doing a valve adjustment, I found a hairline crack in the bend of the vacuum hose powering the fuel pump. It's the short hose running from the valve cover to the fuel pump. The fuel pump will not work if this hose is cracked.
  6. Note: If your engine has a vacuum operated fuel pump it requires crankcase vacuum to drive it. A Reed Valve creates this vacuum. If your reed valve is stuck, broken, or just worn out you will not have a functional fuel pump; even if you buy a new one. If your fuel pump is not working, you must verify crankcase vacuum before buying a new pump.
  7. Most, if not all, fuel systems now have a Fuel Shut Off Solenoid. This is a small cylinder on the bottom of the carburetor (with two wires running to it). The fuel shut off solenoid's main function is to stop fuel from flowing into the carburetor. It does this for various reasons
  • You turn the key off.
  • You put the mower in reverse while the blades are turning.
  • You blow the main fuse due to electrical malfunctions.
Diagnosing the Fuel Shut Off valve:
  • Assuming the battery is good and fully charged
  • Assuming the Key Switch is working.
When you sit in the seat and turn the key, one click from off to run, you will hear a faint click. That faint click is the fuel shut off valve under the carburetor. It is turning on and off when you cycle the key from off to run. If you hear this click your fuel solenoid is functioning electronically. It could still be experiencing issues inside the carburetor. Perhaps there is some varnish, silt or other trash keeping it from working. If this solenoid is not working, you will get no fuel into the carburetor, even if the pump is working. This will require a physical examination of the solenoid and perhaps the entire carburetor.

The following is an "out of carburetor" electrical check up.
  1. Remove the Solenoid.
  2. Connect one jumper wire from a terminal to the positive battery post.
  3. Connect a second wire from a terminal to the negative battery post. The solenoid should retract.
  4. Remove one jumper; the solenoid should spring back out.
If none of this solves your fuel problem you may have to remove and disassemble, clean, soak overnight in carb cleaner, or rebuild the carburetor at this point. You may have water, dried fuel (varnish) or trash in the carburetor bowl or jets. Before removing and disassembling the carburetor try draining the bowl. Or, take the bowl off, careful not to drop the small parts inside. Clean the bowl and replace. I often remove the bowl on small engines and find all kinds of built up gunk. This saves the hassle of a complete carb removal, sometimes.
What else could make the Fuel Cut Off malfunction??
Connect a volt meter across the two battery posts. If battery voltage drops below 9 volts when cranking or while the engine is running, the fuel cut off solenoid will not function. That means the engine will not start or will die soon after starting. So check your battery voltage before, during, and after cranking. If the battery voltage is good before but drops below 9 volts while cranking this is generally a sign the battery has one or more bad cells. Replace the battery. If the battery is in fact good, and the voltage is still dropping, you may have a bad starter motor which is drawing too much amperage.

If you find this fuel checkup does not solve the problem, repost your question with updated info (exact engine model) and I will walk you through the next step. Tracking down a spark problem; yes, your problem could involve the coil, coil wire and spark plug.
Small Engine Repair Checking Vacuum Fuel Pump Fuel System on Kohler Twin...

Apr 19, 2015 | Ariens 42 in. 19 HP Kohler Hydrostatic...

1 Answer

We have charged the battery because it was dead but now that it's charged it turn on but not start. Does that indicate a dead battery even though it sounds like it wants to start?


Your post leaves me a bit in the dark. For a more specific, and possibly shorter, answers please include the following Make/Model/Year/Engine Model/Deck Size, and hours on meter if you have one. A short description of the events preceding the beginning of the problem is also helpful.

The battery was dead and needed charging? Did it sit over winter? Run down while starting? Or did it just go dead while you were last mowing? Each of these possibilities leads us down a different path.

Now that it's charged and it sounds like it wants to start, I am guessing the engine is turning over (cranking)? If it's cranking lets assume the following. Let's say you have less than 300 hours on the engine. Let's further assume it worked last summer, or last week, but now it's acting up. Let's also verify the battery is in good shape and fully charged.

A mechanically functional (meaning all the internal parts are working, i.e. pistons, valves, etc) engine requires 3 things, air, fuel, spark. So the quickest way to start your diagnostics is to remove the cover over the air filter and then remove the air filter. I do not recommend spraying Quick Start.
  1. remove air filter (set it aside for the rest of the diagnostics)
  2. put throttle on fast run (do not choke)
  3. pour an ounce or two of fresh gas into the carburetor
  4. crank engine (15 to 20 seconds, rest to cool the starter, repeat 3 times if it does not fire at first).
Removing the air filter and placing the throttle at full speed with no choke eliminates the "air" question for now. Dumping in the fuel bypassed all fuel related questions. What's left? Spark. If the engine fires and runs a bit, then dies, you may have eliminated the spark question. The engine started so Spark and Air are good (for now); you need to track down any fuel problems.

If the engine does not fire, you after eliminating the Fuel questions; you must tract down a Spark problem.

Tracking down fuel problems.
  1. Make sure there is plenty of fresh fuel in tank. High Octane less than one month old. Water in the fuel system will often cause hard starting, low power, backfiring, surging or stalling
  2. Is there a cut off valve at the gas tank?If so check that it is open or working if it is electric. (No cut off at tank on the D140)
  3. This step comes from repeated personal experience with JD gas tanks. Remove fuel line from filter and remove the filter, gas should pour out of the hose coming from the tank. (look at the filter before removing it, it should look ¾ full of fuel. If it's not that's a clue to fuel flow problems.) If gas does not pour out remove gas tank cap. If fuel flows now, you need to unclog the cap vent or replace the cap. The vent is that tinnnny little hole in the center of the cap. If the fuel still does not flow then blow air from the filter end of the hose back up through fuel line to blow out any blockage inside the gas tank.

    Do yourself a favor, leave the gas cap off and turn the outlet air on your compressor down below 20 psi. If the tank is nearly full you will blow gas out of the tank. Do this outside if possible; at the very least you need a well ventilated area. After blowing air from the air filter back to the tank, you may have to reverse the process and pressurize the tank to get the fuel started. I place my hand over the open tank and hold the air hose between the joint of my thumb and forefinger to seal the tank, and then squeeze the trigger. Once you have a good fuel flow out the line to the filter, put on a FRESH FILTER. Try cranking the engine. If it still does not start move on to the fuel pump and carburetor
  4. Check the fuel pump.The fuel pump system on the twin Koehler and the Twin Briggs (and others) are almost identical. Watch this excellent, eight minute, video to learn how to check the fuel system, including the pump, up to the carburetor. .Small Engine Repair Checking Vacuum Fuel Pump Fuel System on Kohler Twin...
  5. Note: My engine was starting hard and dying in the field this year (March 2015).While doing a valve adjustment, I found a hairline crack in the bend of the vacuum hose powering the fuel pump. It's the short hose running from the valve cover to the fuel pump. The fuel pump will not work if this hose is cracked.
  6. Many systems have a fuel shut off solenoid. This is a small cylinder on the bottom of the carburetor. It has two wires running to it. It should make an audible click when you turn the key on. If it does not click you will have to replace it or track down an electrical problem.
  7. If this has not solved the problem you may have to remove and disassemble, clean, or rebuild the carburetor at this point. You may have water, dried fuel (varnish) or trash in the carburetor bowl. Before removing and disassembling the carburetor try draining the bowl. Or, take the bowl off, careful not to drop the small parts inside. Clean the bowl and replace. I often remove the bowl on small engines and save the hassle of a complete carb removal.

NOTE: Connect a volt meter across the two battery posts. If battery voltage drops below 9 volts when cranking or while the engine is running, the fuel cut off solenoid will not function. That means the engine will not start or will die soon after starting. So check your battery voltage before, during, and after cranking. If the battery voltage is good before but drops below 9 volts while cranking this is generally a sign the battery has one or more bad cells. Replace the battery. If the battery is in fact good, and the voltage is still dropping, you may have a bad starter motor which is drawing too much amperage.

If you find this fuel checkup does not solve the problem, repost your question with updated info and I will walk you through the next step. Tracking down a spark problem; yes, your problem could involve the coil, coil wire and spark plug. Small Engine Repair Checking Vacuum Fuel Pump Fuel System on Kohler Twin...

Mar 26, 2015 | Garden

1 Answer

Bought unit new last summer. Used it once last summer and once this year. It started fine both times. Today, it will not crank. I have replaced the spark plug, checked the air filter (it is clean), gas tank is full and added oil. Why won't it crank?????


Unable to crank? Do you mean unable to start?

If you leave gasoline inside tank over long period of time, that will 'gum-up' and ruin carburetor.
To prevent problem, put additive in gasoline or empty gas from tank:: under gas tank should be a hex bolt that holds up gas filter > loosen bolt and drain gas.

Starting the engine:
Take off air filter and spray WD-40 directly into carburetor.
Start engine, engine should fire on the WD-40 accelerant.
If engine fires but does not keep running, try spraying WD-40 into carburetor continuously to see if you can keep engine going.
If engine stops each time after it no longer gets WD-40, then carburetor is bad or gasoline not getting to carburetor or gasoline is bad.
Try fresh gasoline.
Do not turn small engine on side or upside down or oil will get into carburetor.

Check gas supply: Go to gas filter under gas tank. Pull loose rubber hose that connects to carburetor and see if gas comes out rubber hose.
If gas is flowing to carburetor, then carburetor is gummed up.
Small engine repair might suggest 'gum out' or have other suggestions ... but you may need a new carburetor

If engine will not fire on WD-40
If engine will not fire on WD-40 at all, then spark coil may be bad or exhaust port is clogged
Check screen that covers exhaust >> is it covered with carbon and dirt or can air pass through it easily?
Check spark
Remove spark plug
Put spark wire back on spark plug
Hold spark plug by rubber spark cap so hands don't touch metal part of spark plug
Touch spark plug threads against hole where spark plug was removed >>> metal to metal so it conducts electricity
Pull start cord and look for sparking between spark plug threads and metal of engine (don't look at the spark gap ... look where metal meets metal
If you have no spark, the spark coil is bad >> time for estimate from small engine repair shop or get your part number and order replacement

Oct 13, 2010 | Craftsman Garden

1 Answer

ENGINE WILL NOT START


My power-washer suffers from same problem after sitting idle.

After paying for a new carburetor, I discovered how important it is to drain the gas if washer is going to sit idle.

Another time, we had a problem with the screen covering exhaust outlet. Deposits from the engine + dirt clogged the screen. Although it's not the solution for everybody, we broke the screen open with a screwdriver and the machine ran fine after that.

Small gas engines require 3 things. Compression, spark, and fuel. Take out spark plug. Put finger over spark plug hole and pull cord or push starter. Do you feel suction? If yes, then you have compression.

If machine will not turn over at all, then your motor might have run out of oil. Power washer needs oil in 2 places. It needs oil for the engine just like a lawn mower. Oil plugs are located low on each side of engine. It doesn't hurt to change oil, but do NOT NOT turn small engine upside down or oil will get into carburetor which requires removal and cleaning. I learned that the hard way.

The power washer also needs oil for the pump head. This is the box attached to front of engine. Usually 10W20 non-detergent is a good choice. Oil is usually about half way up inside pump head.

Now hook spark-wire back to spark plug. Hold spark plug in hand. Touch threads of spark plug to metal spark plug opening. Now pull cord or push starter. Do you see sparking in the spark plug gap? If yes, then you have spark. Put new spark plug in anyway. If no, then you need parts from small engine repair service.

Spark plug is in. Take off air filter so you have access to carburetor air intake. Put fresh gas in tank. Use starter spray or WD-40 as a starting accelerant. Set your choke to start engine. Spray starter fluid into carburetor opening and pull cord or push starter. The engine should fire up on the starter fluid. If engine doesn't fire, then try setting choke in different positions. If engine doesn't fire up then carburetor is suspect.

If engine fires but dies, keep spraying starter fluid into carburetor to see if you can keep it going that way ... and then move choke in different positions ... you might need extra hands for that maneuver.

If machine turns on, but dies when filter is put back, then filter might be clogged. Time for a new filter anyway.

Finally check the fuel filter and fuel line below the gas tank. It usually has a hex head bolt. Loosen bolt and see if fuel is able to fall out of tank. Loosen rubber fuel line at both ends and see if fuel is flowing. This will tell you if fuel can get to carburetor.

Usually these measures get the thing going or tell you if professional service is needed.

Sep 29, 2010 | Briggs Stratton 020273 Elite Series...

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