chirping sound on startup


Old 10-21-02, 09:32 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Cleveland, OH USA
Posts: 582
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
chirping sound on startup

I have a 9 yrs. old Sears self-propelled mower with a 5hp "Eager-1" engine. It is making a chirping or squeeking sound on startup. It seems to go away after about 5 - 10 seconds. Also, my wife (who does the mowing) complains that it makes a high pitched noise occassionally when mowing.

Am I just waiting for it to die or is there something I should be doing for it that I haven't ?
Sponsored Links
Old 10-21-02, 11:45 PM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 17,401
Received 31 Votes on 26 Posts
Hello pjaffe!

I think of a bad head gasket when you say "chirping". If it is a chirp with a frequency, as in not a constant squeal, then I would say either the head gasket is leaking, the blade is scraping something under the deck, compression is leaking past the plug, or possibly the flywheel is hitting something in the fan shroud. Without actually hearing the sound, it is difficult to say, but I think it wiil be the head gasket.

Let us know what you find, or if you need more ideas or guidance.
Old 10-22-02, 07:49 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Cleveland, OH USA
Posts: 582
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
do it now or later?

If it is the head gasket as you suggest, I have two questions.

1. why does it only happen for a few seconds at startup?

2. Do I need to change the gasket or can I let it go? What will happen if I don't change it?
Old 10-22-02, 08:18 AM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
Admin Emeritus
Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
Received 5 Votes on 4 Posts
Hello: pjaffe

If the noise is caused by the head gasket like cheese stated, the head gasket may not need to be replaced. Simply tightening up the head bolts may help or correct the problem.

Since the mower is 9 years old, tightening up the head bolts may be a better choice then gasket replacement and allow more time to use the mower before it actually dies...

The noise may stop because the engine heat expands the head and seals the gasket. Same can be said for metal parts which come into slight contact until the engine warms up.

The noise could also be coming from the rope pull starter or sprague clutch. These parts are under the starter housing cover. Removing it may disclose the problem. Look closely at the rotating parts for marks, etc. Heat may cause expansion and stopp the noise here also.

Regards & Good Luck,
TCB4U2B2B Enterprises
Small Engine Forum Host & Moderator
"Accurate Power Equipment Company"
Small Engine Diagnostics Services and Repair.
Old 10-22-02, 03:17 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Chirping ??

Why...I think there's a bird in there somewhere !!! Probably not
a head gasket or would be hard to start. Got to be in the rewind
area, or the blade hitting something. However, the "mystery" is
that it only does this for a very short while ?? Hmmm??? Maybe is
a head gasket, but I've not run across that....Let us know, Pjaffe,
what you find out....I think we ALL would like to know. That the
engine runs good and cuts grass is what's confusing to me. The
mower should be hard to start and lack power if the head gasket
was leaking, even just for a short while....

Old 10-22-02, 05:43 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
The crank shaft has to be very clean under the starter clutch. I bet it is gummed up. Remove it, use some emery sand paper and polish it up. Put the starter back on and I'll bet it stops your noise.

Dirt and rust get under there which engages the starter as the engine is running. I just fixed this on a Briggs engine yesterday.
Old 10-22-02, 06:15 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Chirping Engine Noise


Agree with you for those engines equipped with a starter
clutch, however....this one's a Tecumseh and starter clutch is
not used on this particular application.

Old 10-22-02, 07:26 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

Unless that engine has actual bearings in side that are on the verge of dieing.

Or the self propeled belts are pulley is dieing as well. I've never looked at a lazy man lawnmower before so I'm just guess.

Thats the only things I can think of.
Old 10-22-02, 07:43 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Also make sure the blade brake cable is moving theblade brake
all of the way back. A head gasket is also "possible".
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: