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Dies out like it ran out of gas after 15 min. but will restart after it sits for a while

Craftsman self propelled mulching mower dies out after about 15 minutes but will restart after sitting for a short while. sounds like it runs out of gas when it is dieing out.

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The fuel is not getting into the carburetor as it should, the issue may be one of the following:

  1. Clogged or restricted fuel tank exit.
  2. Clogged or restricted fuel filter
  3. Fuel shut-off valve not open fully
  4. Float valve in carburetor maladjusted, fouled
  5. Excessive water in float bowl

This is what I do to check 1,2 and three all at once.
  1. I run the mower out of fuel after draining as much as possible into a suitable container.
  2. I remove the fuel line from the carburetor and direct it into a catch container such as a clean water or soda bottle.
  3. I add a small amount of fuel to the tank (less then the catch container you are using) and observe how quickly the gas flows from the tank to the catch container. If the fuel trickles in the issue is likely one of the three described above. If the fuel drains into the catch container quickly then the issue is internal to the carburetor which may require a trip to the local small engine shop.
  4. Once all of the fuel has drained into the catch container re-attach the fuel line to the carburetor. If the mower is equipped with a push button drain on the bottom of the carburetor press it momentarily to ensure that the float bowl is not partially full of water (common in the spring). If more than a drop or two of water came out you may have solved the problem.
  5. Place a folded shop towel or paper towel under the drain button to hold any fuel. I recommend wearing nitrile exam gloves for the next part, pour the fuel from the catch container into the fuel tank while pressing and holding the drain button on the bottom of the carburetor, under normal circumstances with items 1,2 and three testing out ok the fuel will run out of the drain button in a steady stream, if it comes out in drops then the cause is likely the needle valve or its related circuitry within the carburetor, this is best handled by those with advanced experience such as a small engine repair shop.

Posted on May 14, 2009


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