- My mower will not start even though it was running the last time I used
it. I have changed the spark plug and air filter but it still refuses to start.
This is a problem that we see alot and is most likely caused by the engine not receiving any
fuel. In order for an engine to run properly it must have good
compression, a good spark, and a proper fuel and air mixture.
If the engine is not getting fuel, you could have one of several problems.
The most common problem that we see is debris or water in the fuel
tank. Over time, water condenses in fuel tanks and small amounts of
grass and dust are knocked or poured into the tank during refueling.
Even this small amount of debris is enough to clog the jets and ports
of a carburetor. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the
debris, it is capable of clogging the carb. In this situation, the fuel
tank and carb must be removed and cleaned.
Another problem that we see alot is stale fuel. If gasoline is stored for an
extended period of time, it will begin to break down and form a
yellowish-brown varnish. Because of the chemicals that are added to
present day fuels, gasoline can not be stored for more than about 3
weeks before it starts to go stale. If stale fuel is the cause of your
problem, the carburetor will have to be rebuilt and the fuel tank will
need to be cleaned or replaced.
- Why does my mower blow white or blue smoke when it is running?
The simple answer is that your engine is burning oil. This could be caused
by over filling the engine with oil, turning the mower on its side, or
worn piston rings. The most common problems that we see are customers
over filling the engine with oil or turning the mower on its side.
In the case of over filling, the excess oil is forced out of the crankcase
through the breather by the movement of the crankshaft, piston, and
rod. This oil is then sucked into the carburetor and eventually burned
by the engine.
When a mower is turned on its side with the carburetor facing down, the oil from the crankcase
is allowed to pour straight into the carburetor and muffler. This will
cause the engine to smoke very badly and, in some cases, will clog the
carburetor bad enough to require it to be removed and cleaned.
- My mower is vibrating very bad and parts on my mower are breaking for no apparent reason.
Both of these problems are caused by a bent crankshaft. When the crankshaft
is bent, the engine is thrown out of balance and will vibrate
violently. If the problem is not repaired ASAP, the high frequency
vibration will cause all of the metal and hard plastic parts of the
mower to fatigue and crack (much like bending a paper clip back and
forth until it breaks). It may also rip the oil seals out of the engine
and cause the engine to lose most or all of the oil.
Although a bent crankshaft is a serious problem, it can be repaired in most
cases as long as the problem is caught early. If you suspect that you
have a bent crankshaft, bring your mower in as soon as possible so it
can be checked. If you continue to use the mower with a bent crankshaft
and parts begin to break due to fatigue, it will no longer be cost
effective to repair the mower.
- Whenever I try to start my mower, the pull cord is violently jerked out of my hand and I can not start the engine.
This problem is most likely caused by a sheared flywheel key. All mower
engines use a small square key to index the flywheel on the crankshaft.
These keys are designed to shear in half to prevent damage to the
engine when the blade or flywheel are stopped suddenly. When the
flywheel key is sheared, the ignition timing of the engine is thrown
off which will cause it to fire at the wrong time. In these cases, any
attempt to start the engine with the pull cord will be met with a
violent jerk that can cause personal injury.
There are a number of things that can cause a sheared flywheel key. The most
common cause is running over an object in the yard which is hard enough
to stop the blade from rotating. In this situation the crankshaft and
blade are usually damaged bad enough to require repair or replacement.
- My mower makes an awful squealing noise when it is running.
If the noise you hear sounds like you "ran over a cat", then you most
likely have a worn out starter clutch. The worn clutch will bind up and
cause the clutch to rub the crankshaft. This rubbing will create a high
pitched squealing noise and may also damage the recoil and pull cord.
The only real remedy for a worn starter clutch is to replace it with a new
one. We often see customers take the starter clutch apart and attempt
to quiet the squeal by filling it full of grease, but this only makes
the problem worse and will lead to more damage. If you suspect your
starter clutch is worn out, have it replaced as soon as possible to
prevent further damage to your engine.
- When I attempt to start my riding mower, I can hear the starter motor turning but the engine will not turn over.
Try rotating the engine a 1/4 turn by hand and see if the engine will turn
over. If it does, you have teeth missing on the ring gear of your
flywheel. In this situation, the flywheel will need to be removed and a
new ring gear installed.
If rotating the engine a 1/4 turn does not help, the bendix gear on your starter is
worn out or broken. In order to fix the problem, the starter will need
to be removed and the top end of the starter rebuilt.
- I have installed a new battery in my riding mower but the starter doesn't engage when I turn the ignition switch.
There are several problems that can cause this, but most of them can be
difficult to find. The two most common causes are a bad ground on the
mower chassis or a bad starter solenoid, but before you go out and buy
a new solenoid, remember that there are several other components that
make up the starter circuit. Depending on the brand of mower, these
components can include safety switches, interlock modules, relays,
fuses, and the ignition switch itself. A failure of any of these
components will prevent the mower from starting because the starter
circuit will stay open even when the ignition switch is turned to START.
The worst case scenario would be a faulty starter motor, but this is extremely rare.
- I have not changed or adjusted anything on my riding mower but it has suddenly started cutting the grass uneven.
Check your tire pressure. Uneven tire pressure will cause the mower to lean
to one side which will make the deck cut uneven. If your tire pressure
checks out ok, you could have a bent blade or a damaged mowing deck.
- The tires on my riding mower have started to leak air. I have tried
everything to stop the leaks, but the tires continue to go flat. Whatshould I do?
First of all, DO NOT USE FIX-A-FLAT in a tire with painted steel wheels. Fix-a-flat and
similar tire sealants are caustic and will eat away the paint of the
wheels allowing the underlying steel to rust. If left long enough, the
tire will actually become rusted to the wheel and will be extremely
difficult if not impossible to remove. The sealant can also clog the
valve stem and make the tire leak even worse.
The best course of action for a tire that will not hold air is to install
an inner tube. Even if the tire is labeled as "Tubeless", an inner tube
can be installed and will hold air much better than the tire alone.
- What information do I need when ordering or inquiring about parts?
For engine parts you will need the model number, type or family number, and
code number. These numbers are usually stamped into the recoil/flywheel
housing or riveted to the housing on a small plate. If you can not find
these numbers, check with your equipment documentation. If you still
can not find the numbers, bring in the part and we will attempt to
For mower parts you will need the model number and possibly the manufacturing number. On push mowers
these numbers can be found on a sticker at the rear of the deck (near
the handle). On riding mowers the numbers are usually located
underneath the seat or on the rear of the mower. If you can not find
the model number, check with your equipment documentation or bring in
the part and we will attempt to match it.