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Old 05-16-2011, 04:37 PM
Location: Austin, TX
16,760 posts, read 42,346,248 times
Reputation: 9292


Originally Posted by beachmel View Post
Do you have a small pin hole in your gas cap?...or some other sort of "air intake". Some mowers do, and it could be clogged and causing a vacuum, which could be affecting the fuel flow! A pin will unclog it, if that's the case. Also, someone already mentioned draining the gas and putting fresh fuel....NO topping...start with brand new fuel. Is your throttle cable working properly, or is is sticking....or the choke?
Ahh, I see you have had a similar experience.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:44 PM
Location: Western Washington
8,004 posts, read 10,335,157 times
Reputation: 19477
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
Ahh, I see you have had a similar experience.
LOL...yes, after a complete overhaul and tune up, turned out to be the air hole in the gas cap. It happened a couple of times with mowers and also my rototiller. LOL
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:05 PM
Location: Destrehan, Louisiana
2,192 posts, read 6,367,598 times
Reputation: 3629
Originally Posted by bjornb17 View Post
Recently while cutting my grass my lawn mower began to sputter and shut off. Whenever i try to restart if (after priming), it will chug for a couple seconds and then shut back off.

I cleaned the air filter, topped off gas, and checked oil. All of those items are okay. What else could it be?


Clean the carburetor and quit using gas with ethanol in it. I had the same thing happen with my mower, generator, pressure washer, and truck. After time ethanol gunk's up the carburetor.

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Old 05-17-2011, 04:16 AM
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,466 posts, read 5,364,350 times
Reputation: 7427
I have to second Bustaduke about the gas with ethanol gumming up the works. I'm waiting for a gasket set for the fuel pump on my 4 wheeler and the amount of crude in it was amazing.

Go with gas that does not have ethanol. You can add a product called Sea-Foam at the end of the season to your fuel, my mechanic recommended using about 2 times what they say and running the equipment for 15 minutes so that it circulates all through the mower or other item.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:46 AM
Location: in my living room
1,170 posts, read 1,964,763 times
Reputation: 1872
My mower is doing the same thing as the OP's, I pick it up from the shop tomorrow. Hope the warranty covers the problem. Good to know I'm not the only one having this situation. Of course mowing an acre with a push mower probably put the poor thing in shock!
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Old 05-17-2011, 07:14 AM
Location: Oklahoma
468 posts, read 1,335,299 times
Reputation: 466
I had a similar experience a couple of years ago with an old push mower. I drained all the gas and allowed the tank to air dry. I cleaned the filter and the entire filter housing. I changed the spark plug. All to no avail. The lawmower would sputter like it was about to die, then surge back to full power, then back to almost dying... over and over and over.

Turns out the magneto was failing. Those little mechanical wonders are probably the most reliable part on a push mower, but they can fail.

You can try cleaning the magnets on the "contact areas". Maybe there is some corrosion that is preventing a full electrical charge to the spark plug.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:12 AM
Location: NJ
17,971 posts, read 12,534,315 times
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Diaphram in carb might be cracked and needs to be replaced with a simple carb rebuilding kit...nothing to those carbs.

classic diagnostic...prime and mower runs for a second and shuts off, its the diaphram

sometime the a wire gets loose form the harness and might be touching metal and grounding but it still sounds like a cracked diaphram

also I've had ethanol laden gas turn the fuel feed rubber hoses to spaghetti for a sudden break down of a fine running chainsaw and chipper
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:16 AM
1,610 posts, read 4,129,264 times
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Sounds like a dirty carburetor to me the float valve might be stuck shut, when you prime it you bypass this function.Google carburetor float valve on lawn mower to see it also probably on YouTube site.Can be tricky so note how all parts go back together position wise.While apart also clean tiny jet holes with carburetor cleaner.Happyness is having it start on the 1st pull.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:14 PM
1 posts, read 12,835 times
Reputation: 11
Default twist

When mine started doing that a couple of years ago, I drained the little bit of gas from the tank, put in a bit more clean gas, and tried again. Same thing. Ran fine for a few seconds, ran rough, then cut out.

I checked the gas cap, air filter, spark plug, and, finally, the carburetor. In the process, I spent about ten minutes looking for the fuel float's tiny hinge pin I dropped. Then, because I didn't pay attention to the needle/seat assembly when I took it apart, I had a bit of a head-scratch trying to get it reassembled correctly. Noticed the gasket behind the air filter chamber was split, so I ordered a new one and replaced that (it's where the trash I found in the fuel bowl came from, I imagine). That did the trick!

At least 'til today.

Two years later......same symptoms.

I pretty much went straight for the carb this time, assuming that was the problem again. The job went a lot smoother than when I did it the first time, but this time it didn't solve the problem. The engine ran great for a few seconds and cut out. I realized that during the fix attempt, I'd also disconnected the spark plug wire, so that might be a variable this time. The connection to the pole of the plug- the little clip in the end of the wire- was a little loose, so I tightened that and snapped it back on. It ran. It cut out.

"Spark plug, maybe?", I thought. Once I finally found my plug socket, and went to remove the spark plug, I noticed that the plug was only seated by a tiny amount of thread--barely screwed in at all.

Took it out, checked for gunk and ceramic cracks, shined up the contacts, and put it back in nice and snug.

Loose spark plug. Hmm.

I quit cussing, and finished mowing.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:39 PM
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,134,513 times
Reputation: 383
low speed( idle jet ) clogged if it runs with a choke only. I know, have the same problem with a Honda 160- just zip tied back the choke temporarily. To take it apart tomorrow, been putting it off. I ran a whole tank of fuel and Seafoam to no help.
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