Question about Poulan 42-Inch Steel Deck 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton I/C Engine With 6 Speed

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Poulan Pro model 185H42ST dies after 30-45 minutes mowing

The mower dies after about 30-45 minutes mowing and will not restart until it sits and cools down for aobout 15 minutes. I had it completely serviced last summer, but it did not help the problem. (replaced head gasket and general maintenance, oil chnge, fuel filter, etc.). It also backfires every time you turn off the key.

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  • 24 Answers

Put a carb kit in it. If that does not work replace the gas cap they are supposed to breath and if they get clogged it will create a vacuum in the tank starving the engine for fuel.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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There are many reason a lawn mower dies in gear. Buildup of grass on the underside of the deck, mowing in too deep or thick lawn causing too much load on the blade, or the air filter needs cleaning.

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Oil is fine, runs fine for about 10 minutes then bogs down and dies. Let it sit for 10 minutes it will start again and run fine for another 10 minutes. Used to be 20 minutes, then 15. The cooler the...


It could easily be an electrical issue, or not. Get a spark tester (hooks up to the spark plug). Pep boys, Autozone, and Napa all sell them for less than $10. Check for spark when the mower has quit. If no spark, most likely need to replace the ignition module. Also check the flywheel key, if it is has been sheared or even knicked, the engine will run hot.
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1 Answer

Carburetor adjustment


it would be a lot easier if you take the cover off the top of lawn mower.
find the carb, it usually sits near gas tank, there should be a screw sticking out of it. tighten until it runs normal. also adjust the air intake/ throttle arm on carb

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My mower starts and runs great when cold but dies when hot. It will restart but won't stay running until it cools off again.


How old is your mower ? Sounds like points and condensor if older model ,or ignition module if its newer , points tend to stick together when they get old causing no spark at plug when they cool they come appart allowing it to spark again , module is sort of the same except you have no way of replacing points you have to replace module .

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