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My mower motor would rev down while operating. This persisted until it got worse and now will not start. Any ideas?

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If there is grass or other debris build up in the engine cylinder fins, or any damage to the fan assembly or housing, it can cause the unit to overheat and lose power.

It might be a good idea to use the parts illustration in your manual or at Sears PartsDirect as a guide and disassemble the shrouding so you can clean the cylinder and fan areas. If the unit is running with restricted fuel flow it can also cause overheating. If the spark plug looks dry and white after some use, rather than slightly wet or tan colored, then you still could have something restricting fuel, possibly a partly blocked fuel line or tank vent or something plugged inside the carburetor itself. The issue might even be engine related. Check if you still have spark when the unit is hot and stalls out. Sometimes an ignition coil or even a spark plug can work fine when cold and cut out when enough heat is absorbed. The symptoms could also point to valves running a little too tight and lowering compression once hot. Another potential problem that might cause low compression could be the piston rings, in which case you might also notice the unit consuming some oil during use. Both might require testing compression when cold and hot to confirm if the loss is normal, and the side valve design your 143.996000 engine uses is very compact and quite efficient but does require some technical expertise to adjustment, so you might consider consulting a professional at that point.

I’m happy to help further over the phone at

Posted on Jul 10, 2010


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