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Cant get the mower to run after the prime is gone...any thoughts

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Full tank of gas?

I have had this issue on several units (lawnmower and weed wackers) that are more than 5 years old. Most common problem in order most to least: Flexible fuel line is rotted somewhere (replace all of it), the primer bulb is rotted ($10 or less), the diaphragm in the carburetor is old/stiff/separated (rebuild kits or new carb).

If you rebuild, pay particular attention to the diaphragm position on old one and you will need to prime the carb heavily. Winter weather can cause varnish and so you will need to blast all orifices with carb cleaner thouroughly no matter on any rebuild.

Sometimes you can get a whole carb with primer bulb and it makes sense and $$ to just swap it all out. Ensure you change the fuel lines no matter what. Check eBay - I got a new name-brand carb kit for $5.00.

If you need to spend more than $50 in parts or service or both and the unit is more than 7 years old, consider a new purchase - don't waste your time as I did once.

Posted on May 03, 2012

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  • Poulan Master
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Sounds like you will need to clean your carburetor.
Sometimes you can get by with priming the carburetor a few times, and letting it run a few times like that and it will flush the gunk out of the jets,but most of the time you will need to rebuild the carburetor.
If the mower/weedeater is over a couple years old, then I also recommend that you buy and install a new carburetor repair kit,because the diaphragm will get hard and that will cause it to be hard to crank.
When you clean your carburetor and remove the jet screws, You will first seat the jet screws and count the number of turns it takes to seat the jets from their original position.
That way when you go to put the jets back in, you know how many turns they were in/out.
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I hope this helped

Posted on Aug 11, 2010

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2 Answers

I have a hitachi cs40 and whe I prime it 10 times it starts up and runs until the prime is gone the shutsdown.


rebuild the carby as the diaphragm is not functional and pumping the fuel up

Feb 05, 2017 | Cars & Trucks

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I have a craftsman Briggs & Stratton 550 Silver Series mower that won't idle after being primed. I have tried every solution found online and it still won't idle. Any thoughts?


what is every solution found? does it run at full throttle? if I remember right the 500 series is all or nothing and if it's nothing then I'd say to replace the carburetor. it is running on the prime and once that s gone it dies as the carburetor can't supply fuel enough to keep it running. you can try cleaning it but for about 30 or 40 bucks it's just as easy to replace.

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The riding mower has been used in June. Now when I try to start it I cant. I have checked the battery, gas, etc. before trying to start it. What can I do now?Thanks


put gas right into the carburetor and see what happens. if it doesn't do anything then you have a spark issue, if it runs until the gas you just put in runs out then it is a carb issue. sometimes just priming the carb with gas will get it to run again too

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My quantum xts 50 after priming wont fire


does it start when you prime it or does it not start at all? if you prime it and it runs until the prime burns off then won't start again, try priming it again. If it starts and runs until the prime burns off again then it is a carburetor issue. It isn't supplying the engine with fuel to run after the prime is gone

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1 Answer

Lawn mower will start when primed but will only run for few secon


It starts because of excess fuel from priming. It usually then gets it fuel from main jet in carb.

You need to find the main jet and run a fine piece of sturdy wire through it. That will restore fuel flow so your mower can continue running after the priming fuel is gone.

This is a good thing to learn. Main jets tend to clog a lot on mowers these days.

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Guessing you have a briggs and stratton motor with a tank mounted carb.Remove the tank and carb. from the mower and replace the rubber diaphram between the carb. and tank and clean it while its off

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If your mower will start when you prime it, and then it dies right away, you have a carberator pluged. If after primeing the mower and it will not even start for a few seconds, you have lost spark. If you have no spark, this can be cause by two things. First, the magnito could have gone back, but this dosen't happen to often, but it can happen. First, check to see that the cable from the brake handle has not stretched. This controls engine brake and its also the kill switch, which kills the spark. Get acess to your engine brake, and you will find a wire connected to a tab. Remove this wire and try to start the mower. If it starts, replace the control cable. If it dosen't start, hook the wire back up and replace the magnito. I hope this is of some help

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1 Answer

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lawn mower only starts if i prime it. yard machine push mower. m/n 11a-549q229

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