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Mower starts then stalls out. i wonder if i did something. ran perfect yesterday. noticed oil was low. so today all i could find was 20 car oil so i added just a little till i can get the right kind. but then i didnt tighten down the oil cap and when i tried to start it, it started up then stalled out and continued to do this after i tightened. i wonder if the oil somehow got where it doesnt belong when it was sloshing around with the cap loose? after it sat an hour or so, i noticed it stayed started longer but then stalled. it's not very old, was just at the shop this spring for a broken cable and runs great, always starts right up. yardman, variable speed, has the hyped start guarantee,start on first try (or second), or you get a million dollars, something like that.

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  • farmhouslady Oct 10, 2010

    i really appreciate the prompt reply. please let me clarify a couple things i have a question about. i will surely do what you recommend (tomorrow).

    first, WOULD what i did cause any of the oil to get where it doesnt belong? is the oil under pressure, where starting it up with the cap not on properly (or off) would make it pollute other areas? just for educational purposes. i like to understand how things work...

    second, i believe what you say about a mower being sensitive to the type of oil and i really hesitated to put in the wrong kind, however i recalled the repair shop guy telling me one time on a phone call, to put in some different kind of car oil (different from what the mower shouldve had, different mower, some time ago, when i was out of the oil i should have used), so i thought maybe if i only put just a little in, it might not hurt. it was just low on the dipstick, not out. and i only put a tiny bit. i bet i put much less than 1/4 cup. i figured (that's always my first mistake) it would be DILUTED with the oil that was there... i was worried it might run OUT while i was mowing... anyway, is it true that THAT little bit would upset her, give her indigestion, gas, or whatever? it WAS the only thing that happened between when it ran beautiful, and when it sputtered, so i did suspect it as the cause. only it was such a little bit that i added.

    thanks so much for your reply. it's so good to get support and not be left entirely to one's own ignorance and guessing games when one is a little old decrepit senior citizen lady who lives alone!

  • farmhouslady Oct 10, 2010

    can i clarify what i was saying.... i guess what i was asking was whether the oil could have some how gotten into the GAS by putting in the wrong oil? because why would it sputter, like it wasnt getting gas, or air, or something, like something somewhere was clogged... sorry. there, i am really done now.

  • farmhouslady Oct 12, 2010

    thanks for the additional information. but i am still having essentially the same problem. here is what i did. drained old oil, VERY carefully, from the fill hole, tilted the mower very carefully to the oil fill side after covering up the gas. let it drain thoroughly while i did something else. carefully filled with sae30 oil as per the manual, checking the level so it was not to the top, but more than half filled. did not want to over fill. let that set a little while. but then, the pull cord would not pull. checked online, then tried removing the spark plug (which did have some oil on it), then turning the blade, then the cord would pull. then it started up and smoked white for a few minutes but acted great and i thought the problem was solved. i mowed about 10 feet, then it sputtered and stalled out again. i repeated the procedure of removing the plug, turning the blade, etc. again, it started up again, but it just missed and sputtered and died again, just like in the beginning. i think i did the spark plug thing 3 times (dipping it into gas to clean it each time), and it was coated with oil each time. wondered if that was normal. i think i am at the limit of my patience with it. it is under extended warranty, but by the time i get it back from the shop i will be lucky if i will be able to even get it through the jungle that is growing so fast here with all the rain. and i have quite a huge area to mow. by the way, i always add gas stabilizer to all my gas so the gas shouldnt be stale or bad. it almost seems like the oil is getting where it doesnt belong (smoke). but i sure am not up on these things! i am, however, very curious and interested in how stuff like this works! and i do have TOOLS.... have you any other enlightenments to offer?
    thanks.

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You have something else wrong the low oil level wouldnt stop it from running .or the loose cap as all the electrics are all sealed ,sae 20 engine oil is ok for the machine so their is something else wrong here

Posted on Oct 10, 2010

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Usually mowers are sensitive to the oil which goes into them. When the oil which is put inside is not exactly the recommended one. Lawn mowers run on lighter oils than cars. Also you worry of the oil seeping to other components and cause the damage is very unlikely as most of the components around the oil parts are able to resist damage caused by oil.
The best solution is to open the oil release knob and allow all the oil in the unit to flow out completely. After doing this get the recommended oil and put as much as is required into the unit and run it. Although the first couple of time it will still malfunction for a bit as some oil have been inside the system already.
Hope this solution has been helpful?

Posted on Oct 09, 2010

  • Rockme
    Rockme Oct 10, 2010

    Well sorry my reply is coming a bit late it was due to the difference in time. Well the oil wouldnt have caused any blockage but more along the lines of over digestion. Usually the level of viscocity in the oil used for cars are on a different level with those used for mowers. This might make the friction in the engine of the mower to be either too much or not enough.
    Putting the mower on without the cover for the oil does not affect anything because usually the oil goes deep into the system and is no where near the opened outlet.
    Some mowers would take almost any oil while others would only take oil with a certain level of viscocity.
    Hope this solution has been helpful?
    Do please endeavour to rate the solution provided
    Thank you for using fixya

  • Rockme
    Rockme Oct 13, 2010

    If the plug was removed and cleaned and the unit worked fine for a bit then stalled again. This is an indicator that the plug is getting wet from fuel. Usually these is supposed to be gas which goes to the spark plugs. What should be done is simply clean inside spark plug and the spark plug connector. Clean both ensure the unit is serviced.

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