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Mower started and ran great for about 50 mins. and then stopped. I added gas as it appeared to run empty. It started back up, but would only stayed running for a few seconds, before turning off again. Repeated again where it starts, but shuts off after about 3 secs.

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You did not mention whether your mower has a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine. 2-cycle engine may require 2-cycle oil mixed with the gas to lubricate the pistons/cylinders.

4-cycle engines do not require mixing gas & oil as they have a separate sump for oil. These engines are quite easy to maintain and will last for many years. The most common problem is the fuel delivery system. If you allow the fuel to run low, debris sitting at the bottom of the tank is picked up and can clog the strainer (if so equipped). Check for a clogged in-line fuel filter and replace as needed. Occasional cleaning of the fuel inlet and strainer may be necessary; some disassembly is required. The carburetor jets also suffer from blockage usually caused by varnish residue from gasoline if the mower was allowed to sit for long periods of time without the fuel being drained or at least treated with some type of fuel stabilizer (Sta-Bil is one). If you have time, open up the carburetor and spray all the fuel passages with Gumout Carburetor cleaner to dissolve said varnish. Jiggle the choke mechanism while spraying to dislodge carbon build-up at the butterfly valve. And if you have a compressor, blow out these passages with pressurized air. Poking them with wire is a NO-NO. If it has a paper-element filter and it looks like you can plant grass on it, it is time to replace them. Does it have a re-usable/washable air filter? Clean the filter element with an air filter cleaner solution (or dishwash detergent) and re-oil (I use K&N filter oil) once dry.

Always use clean gas (your gas container may be contaminated over the years) and an ounce of STP carb cleaner per gallon of gas usually keeps things clean.

Posted on Apr 04, 2011

  • LouieBenz Apr 04, 2011

    Spark plugs could also get fouled and misfire. It only takes a few seconds to replace one, especially if you went through all that trouble to clean the carburetor and gas lines...and it doesn't cost much. I recommend bringing the original plug for the parts store to match. More often than not, parts stores may not have the capability of looking up the correct spark plug for lawn equipment but are able to cross-reference a part brought in by the customer. Replace the spark plugs once a year.

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