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I have a Briggs @ Stratton self-propelled mower that will start but cuts off after a few seconds

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There is probably water in your carburetor that is keeping the unit from running. When you press the primer bulb you are pushing fuel past the water into the carburetor .. this is why it will start up. Then it will try to pick up the water and then the unit will die. I would loosen the bowl nut on the bottom of the carburetor and dump the fuel from the fuel tank into an approved container. Also you may take the carburetor bowl off and see if you can see some water on the bottom of the bowl. Keep the bowl steady when you remove it. Also, check to see if the carburetor has any corrosion from the water sitting in it. It may have a white "stalagmite" appearance, or a varnish if the fuel was left in it from the last time you ran the unit last fall. If there is any corrosion you may be able to clean it up with some carburetor cleaning spray. This is available at any hardware or automotive store. After you have done this, then put some fresh fuel in the unit and prime it up and see if it will continue to run. If it does not run, then the carburetor needs to be removed and cleaned. To clean the carburetor you will need a thin wire. You can use this wire to probe the holes in the carburetor and "push" any obstruction out of the way and then you can use the carburetor cleaner to make sure the passage is clear. Then blow the holes out with compressed air. This should clean it up. If the unit still does not run then you may have to replace the carburetor with a new one. If you have to get a new carburetor, take in the MODEL, TYPE, and CODE off of the flywheel housing. It is stamped in the metal.

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