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starting a lawn mower....


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I have a lawn mower thats not been used much...it did start and run in June, but now won't fire at all...


I have pulled and pulled but not so much as a cough. The mower itself is only two years old...


1. Is it just "old" petrol? its been in the tank for awhile as I only started it in june to keep it ticking over


2. Has the carb( or whatever it is) got blocked?


In order of easiest/quickest to hardest/slowest, what should I do to try and fix it/test it?


Its a cheapo mower with basic briggs/stratton engine.



my mind is blank....

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I had one of them Briggs/Stratton things only lasted me three years. Try replacing the spark plug or cleaning it.


After replacing the spark plug about five times, taking the head off and cleaning the cylinder I ditched it and bought a Honda.



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smell the petrol,if it smell's like vinegar,its gone flat,it should smell sharp like a spirit.

also,check colour of spark,if its orange,bin it,it should be blue/white,and if you have tipped it on its side,did you make sure it was exhaust up,if your getting tired pulling the cord,take pull cover off and put a socket and drill on crankshaft nut to start it,whenit starts,pull socket off quick,as mower spins quicker than drill.

this way is handy if cord snaps,as it will get you out of a pickle.

good luck.

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BTW, if you store a Briggs and Stratton "nose down", the oil tank will drain into the engine. That stops it working proper! I couldn't be arsed fettling our old B&S time after time and also went out and got a Honda - a nice little self powered 18" Izy. Starts first time after months of sitting and actually does a good job of cutting the grass!




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The cheapo B&S carbs have a very odd fuel delivery system. There's a little tube below the carb that sits in the tank. It has a ball valve (non return valve). If fuel is left in the tank for long periods it gums up - strangely enough this has the opposite effect from what you'd imagine - mower runs rich and fouls the spark plug.


Free this off and replace the old petrol and I think you'll be fine, but drain the tank (run it empty) before future storage.




Should add - check condition of the plug and test for a spark.




Edited by - allen on 17 Nov 2010 14:52:11

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I used an addative made by B&S to stop petrol going stale and gumming up works. after using pulled the string until felt the unit was at the top of compression stroke both valves shut so dont rust up. sometimes used bradex easy start. worked fine for 20 years with just one carb rebuild (when diaphragm pin holed). just sold it on to mate who still has no trouble with it.


easy start or similar ether based product should start most things--only tinker with it if it dont!!


best of luck







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