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My lawnmower will start but will not continue to run. How can I fix this problem? The gas is new and the oil is changed. It is clean underneath. Is this a carburation problem and how can I find the carburetor?

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Probably some kind of fuel supply problem. You may have an inline filter between the tank and the carburetor. That filter could be pugged.

Also if the mower has been sitting for a coating sometimes called 'varnish" can develop on the jets in the carburetor. If the mower is starting its getting fuel flow..... if it won't stay running its because the fuel supply stopped

Posted on Jul 14, 2009

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I have a Craftsman 21" cut with Briggs and Stratton motor. Worst thing ever! It is so sensitive to dust and debris getting in the carb and/or gas tank.

Not sure what kind you have, but it sounds like the problem I was having. When crank, run for a few seconds and then stop. I replaced the gas, speculated when it still wouldn't run, cleaned the carb, which was clean as a whistle, as the mower was pretty new. Turned out the diaphragm (in between the gas tank and under the carb was the issue. I changed it out, put everything back together and it ran sweet for a couple of months.

I'm now looking at the same issue because we used it to cut my mothers yard which has alot of sand (we're in the Sandhills of NC) and here I am back...this time it won't even crank. After cleaning out the tank, cleaning the carb again, replacing old diaphragm, still won't start. Going to replace the spark plug this time to see if that is it.

Does yours have the pump ball to prime the gas? If so, THAT is the carb. It is fairly easy to disassemble and put back together, just keep track of your springs etc. Good luck!

Posted on Jul 26, 2009

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Why won't it fire up?


lawn mower trouble shooting, no start
First check the air filter. Is it getting air and gas? If not lets find out why.
1. Air Filters; There are 2 types. One is made of paper and the other is made of foam. NOTE: (Whenever you lift your lawnmower for any reason disconnect your spark plug and ground it.) NOTE: Do not run your engine or any engine without the air filter, it will RUIN the motor. When lifting your lawnmower on its side, always lift it with the carburetor up. A little oil Will come out, but not enough to hurt anything. If you lift your lawnmower with the carburetor down oil & gas will go everywhere. If your air filter is made of paper the oil & gas will ruin it. If not you will have to clean your foam one.
a. Paper filters cannot be cleaned with gas or any solvent, you can only use compressed air to blow the dirt out. If it's very dirty, it's best to replace.
b. Foam filters can be cleaned with dish washing liquid and water and dried with a rag. Then very liberally, work new engine oil throughout the air filter and squeeze out excess. The oil in the filter is what traps the dirt. If your foam filter is deteriorating or coming apart replace it, it can ruin your engine. Clean every 25 hours under normal conditions. Note: Use the same type of engine oil you use in your small engine to lightly oil your filter.2. Check your gas cap. The gas cap is a source of ventilation for the fuel tank. If your gas cap is clogged it will make your fuel tank vapor lock, and you will have no gas flow. To check and see if the gas cap is bad, loosen the gas cap and see if it will run longer than before you loosened the gas cap. If it continues running, you need to replace the cap, if it does not continue running check further in this troubleshooting guide for more information.
3. Is the fuel line clogged or partially clogged? Example: when you disconnect the fuel line from the carburetor and the gas is steadily flowing there is not a problem. But if it only drips with a full tank of gas replace it after checking the gas cap.
4. Do you have a fuel cut off? If so, is it cut on?
5. Do you have a gas filter? If so is it clear? If not, replace it.
6. Is the gas flowing in to the carburetor? If not you could have a piece of trash in the needle & seat. The needle & seat controls the gas flow that starts & stops the gas. You will have to clean or replace. It's best to replace.
7. The float controls the gas level in the carburetor. If any of these signs occur, the carburetor is overflowing out of your air filter or out of your primer. If you have gas in your oil, you have carburetor problems. NOTE: Drain the oil if there is gas in it, if you don't it can be dangerous. You need to check the needle & seat to see if it has trash or is bad. Is your float bad? To check the float pull the pin that holds your float in place, shake the float and if there is fluid inside of the float, replace it. Don't forget to set the float level.
8. Carburetors with primers represent a large majority of lawnmower and small engines today. They have primers to push or force air in the carburetor and in turn force gas through the center jet to make starting easier. Then look to see if the primer is pumping gas in to the engine.

9. Things to check for if the primer is not working. This applies to several different types of engines. Check for holes or tears if you have a carburetor that has a diaphragm. (A diaphragm is a gas pump located in carburetors that have the gas tank and carburetors assembled together.) Replace the diaphragm if the diaphragm has a hole or has hardened or slightly slid over to one side, or if the engine will not run correctly and is skipping, not priming, or will not run at all. If you have a float type carburetor, the bowl gasket Will not be sealed properly and air will leak past the bowl gasket and will not prime. If you have a air assembly primer box where the air filter box is connected to carburetor, your gasket Will not be sealing correctly. If there is a tear or a hole in the gasket, air will leak past it and will not force air in the carburetor which will not force gas through the center jet. Also your air assembly box Will have a crack and will be warped because it was over tightened. If so, replace it.
10. Some models have chokes. Chokes are used to draw gas through the center jet to run. If the choke is not working properly and it is not closing all the way the engine cannot draw gas through the center jet and will not crank.

11. The throttle cable is what operates the choke on some models and the primer on some others, but it works the speed of the engine. To adjust the throttle that works the choke you need to loosen the throttle and open the throttle all the way, then push it until the choke is closed all the way. To adjust a "speed only" open the throttle all the way and make sure that the engine speed will be all the way open and then tighten the cable back up on the engine. Make sure if you have a kill switch on the throttle cable, that it works when you lower the speed all the way. If not, adjust again. Carburetors: Carburetors are the cause of 99% of all small engine problems. Carburetors are the easiest thing to repair on small engines.

We have videos to that will help you in the repair of your Lawn Mower and Small Engine

Section 2 Troubleshooting safety switch system
1. Spark. There are several things that would keep a lawnmower or small engine from sparking like the safety switches. Lawnmowers and small engines have several different locations where the safety switches Will be. If your lawnmower or small engine doesn't spark you need to get your owner's manual and find out where your safety switches are and then try to trace the problem.
2. Oil sensor. If you have one ... The oil sensor will make your lawnmower or small engine quit running until you fill it with oil to the "full level." This will cause the engine not to spark because of the oil being low. NOTE: This is a safety feature to protect your engine from running out of oil.
3. Stop cable or blade brake. This cable is connected to the handle bar and you have to hold the handle bar down for your engine to run. This cable becomes stretched after some time and needs to be replaced. There is a safety switch on the other end of that cable, on the motor, that Will not be opening all the way and in turn, not letting the engine spark.
4. Coils. Lawnmowers and small engines have changed a lot in the last 15 years. 99% of all lawnmowers and small engines today have electronic ignition coils which means no points. When you start your lawnmower or small engine and it runs until it gets hot and won't start back again until it cools off you Will have a bad coil.

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1 Answer

Lawnmower starting problems


Clean or replace air filter. Fill oil, 30w. Clean & gap plug or replace.
Remove carb bowl from bottom of carb & clean. If gas is 30 days or more old, use fresh gas with Stabile.

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Lawnmower starts and dies... where is the main jet for the carb?


try cleaning the air filter, then a touch of starting fluid right into the carburator by taking the air filter off. If it then starts but wont run or stay running, the reservoir below the carb should be removed to clean at and the pinhole in the intake tube above the bowl nut. This is the most common problem with lawnmower start problems, the pinhole can be unplugged with one wire from a wire brush. Be careful with the gas, at least pinch off the gas hose with a vise grips while removing the carb bowl.. Never use a droplight around gasoline. most lawnmowers have no mixture adjustments, so it is a matter of cleaning the carb, tank, gas lines. Some oils in gas mix systems settle and clog after less than one season.

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Try a touch of starting fluid right into the carburator by taking the air filter off. If it then starts but wont run or stay running, the reservoir below the carb should be removed to clean at and the pinhole in the vertical intake tube above the bowl nut. This is the most common problem with lawnmower start problems, the pinhole can be unplugged with one wire from a wire brush. Be careful with the gas, at least pinch off the gas hose with a vise grips while removing the carb bowl.. Never use a droplight around gasoline. most lawnmowers have no mixture adjustments, so it is a matter of cleaning the carb, tank, gas lines. Some oils in gas mix systems settle and clog after less than one season. Spark can be tested by sight, remove the plug and use a clip-on ground wire from spark plug body to metal on the engine with the plug wire connected.

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Try a touch of starting fluid right into the carburator by taking the air filter off. If it then starts but wont run or stay running, the reservoir below the carb should be removed to clean at and the pinhole in the intake tube above the bowl nut. This is the most common problem with lawnmower start problems, the pinhole can be unplugged with one wire from a wire brush. Be careful with the gas, at least pinch off the gas hose with a vise grips while removing the carb bowl.. Never use a droplight around gasoline. most lawnmowers have no mixture adjustments, so it is a matter of cleaning the carb, tank, gas lines. Some oils in gas mix systems settle and clog after less than one season. Spark can be tested by sight, remove the plug and use a clip-on ground wire from spark plug body to metal on the engine with the plug wire connected.

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Was it blowing out blue-ish smoke before ??

Take the spark plug out and clean it good with gas & wire brush..

Hope this helps !!
rate me good ;o)

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2 stroke gas mixture in 4 stroke lawnmower


Your carburetor jet is probably clogged with oil. Try an additive in the gasoline -- something for cleaning injectors -- it will only require a small amount -- use the same ratio as described on the label.

You'll have to keep starting the engine to get the cleaner into the carburetor. After you've done this several dozen times, let it sit for a day.

If this doesn't clean it out, you'll need to take the carburetor apart and clean it.

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