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Lawn Mower Doesn't Stay Running


I have a Briggs & Straton 4.75 horsepower mulching lawn mower (branded Weed Eater Q4.75) and it suddenly stop running. I was in the middle of mowing when the mower just stopped. Have used the mower about a half dozen times this season with no issue. I could get it to run for about 10 seconds by priming and pulling the cord, but it was a bit 'chuggy' and then would stall. The oil level was almost non-existant and what was there was fairly 'sludgy.'

I have since replaced the muffler, left off the air filter and added oil. The air filter was dirty around the vent holes, but not horrible. I removed the spark plug to find it blackened and burnt looking so I replaced it. I have also pulled all the gas in the tank and replaced it with fresh just in case it was stale though I was fairly certain it wasn't.

At this point it will run for about 20-30 seconds but is still 'chuggy.' If I press the prime bulb while it is chugging along it will continue running, but it is fairly rough. I have pulled the new spark plug and see a very slight amount of oil on the plug - almost not noticeable unless you really look closely.

The big question at this point: Is it worth more time and money to keep trying to get this working or is it likely the mower is fried? Since the oil was almost gone and what little it had was sludgy I wonder if I killed the engine due to poor maintenance. I am fairly handy but don't want to rebuild the engine. I am open to try other things though as I would like to keep this mower running if possible.

Thanks in adavnce for your help,


Posted by on

    CLEONTI Jul 16, 2009

    Hi Baboono - I tried what you noted and it didn't make much a difference. The carb doesn't look easily removed and I didn't see a float bowl either. I did find that if I crank up the throttle a bit the mower will stay running. For the moment I have just jury rigged something to keep the throttle about 25% higher than the default and the mower is usable. It seems the mower is running fine just not able to run at the default throttle any longer. It is strange that this literally occured in the middle of mowing the lawn but it could be a coincidence with the low oil situation. Does this new wrinkle change your thoughts about a solution? Thanks for the help, Chris



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Try this, while the motor is running rev it up as high as it will go if possible with air cleaner off then cover the carb hole with your hand, this will stall the mower be patient and do this over and over 5 times this should pull out any debree blocking the gas flow if this doesn't rectify the problem remove the float bowl if equiped and clean the bowls chamber replace , if it is the type of carb without float bowl remove the tank and carb disassemble clean reassemble and start/run.

Posted on Jul 15, 2009


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