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MTD 12.5 HP Ride On Mower won't stay running

My MTD Ride on Mower (model 131-660F00/C181H1) won't stay running. It starts and makes one pass around my large yard then sputters and dies. If I adjust or put the choke on it stays running for a little longer but eventually dies out. The ride on is at least 20 years old about now.

Is this a carburetor issue?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Donna

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  • 391 Answers

It could be a needle valve sticking or a mal-adjusted float but more common is a fuel filter that is restricted, once you use up the fuel in the line and float bowl it runs out and dies. A less common but easily tested issue is when the mower has run for the amount of time it begins to sputter and die, loosen the cap on the fuel tank just a bit, if it helps or resolves the issue the vent in the cap may be clogged.

Posted on May 26, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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My question is Why did it need a head gasket to begin with?
Will bet it was not running...

A more likely cause if not a fuel problem is to check engine oil if that is good remove the wire from the low oil sensor and see it it will start up for you.

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The bigger challenge you will have is getting the engine running again unless you have maintained it the past 7 years. My free advice is get the motor running and make sure the tractor still functions before you start adding accessories. Once you have driven it around the block once or twice, then get the parts you need to operate the deck. I think these parts will be a little pricy.

I say these things because of a similar experience with a International Cub I got. I spent a lot of money to get the mower running before I got the tractor running, reliably. I didnt get my fair value from my $ as a result. I then bought a geenuine Troy and have never looked back. (MTD owns the Troy brand now also.)

Good luck with your project

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I got a new air filter for mine today, plus cleaned out the metal fuel canister under the carburator and the little brass bolt and my mower started right up. I was having hte same problems getting my mower to run and stay running. Glad I checked this site!

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