Lawn Mower Starts, Runs for 8 seconds, Stalls. Help!

Old 11-28-05, 06:17 AM
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Lawn Mower Starts, Runs for 8 seconds, Stalls. Help!

Hello all. I have a craftsman lawn mower that is relatively new. Here's the deal. It has been sitting for about a month with no use at all. It has been outside (but covered) the entire time. I go to start it and I have to prime like hell to get it to turn over . . . and it does turn over. But it only stays on for about 5 - 10 seconds and then stalls. It's almost as if the mower is only getting the gas that is getting through via priming but that's it. Anyway, any ideas? Thanks!
Old 11-28-05, 09:16 AM
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try it with the gas cap off. the vent may be plugged
Old 11-28-05, 10:24 AM
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Hello egbrown76. Welcome to the Do-It-Yourself Web Site and our Small Engine forum.

I agree with kerry. Remove the fuel tanks cap and run the engine. If the engine continues to run well for a reasonable time span, the vent hole in the fuel cap is restricted and or plugged. Clear fuel caps vent air hole or replace the cap.

Another method would be to remove the fuel hose at the carb and allow fuel to flow freely for a minute with the fuel cap on the tank. Flow should flow freely for at least one minute.

If fuel does not, slows down in the flow rate or stops, remove the cap and continue the test. Doing so will determine if the cap is the cause of the problem. Once cap is removed fuel will resume flowing freely.

Based on the problem description it appears to be a fuel related problem. Fuel not getting into the carb or flowing to the carb from the fuel tank.

Always possible the carb is gummed up or the filter is, if a filter is used. Look for one in the fuel line or in the fuel tank.

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Old 11-29-05, 01:46 AM
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I believe you will find that the carb is gummed up and in need of cleaning, has water in it, and/or the solenoid on the bottom of the carb is not opening.
Old 11-29-05, 05:36 AM
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Thanks to all who have responded. I have tried running it with the gas cap off but the problem persists. I will try all of the other things that have been suggested. Thanks again!
Old 11-29-05, 09:20 PM
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i would say probablly water.... it was under a tarp outside.... if no way is given for water vapor to escape, it'll condensate. though for a month with untreated gas? it could have gummed some maybe.
Old 11-30-05, 12:42 AM
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At first, I thought this was a rider, but now I get the impression it's a walk behind. Since it's a craftsman, and maybe a walk behind, then you have no carb solenoid like I mentioned. It probably has a tecumseh engine. If so, remove the bolt on the bottom of the carb and clean the tiny passages in it.

There is little info given with your post, so I am just assuming what you might have here.
Old 10-07-07, 01:35 PM
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I had a problem with my riding lawn mower dying sporadically and found that the problem was a dirty air filter.
I took it off and cleaned it thoroughly using the blower on my air compressor and haven't had a problem with it since. It's a simple thing and you can't go wrong taking a few minutes to clean the thing up.
Old 10-10-07, 06:11 PM
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I hate to jump another guy's thread, but I have a similar problem with my Walmart lawnmower. It's a walk behind. I have no idea what the motor make is, but it claims 6.75 hp.

It ran fine most of the summer. 1 pull and off ya go. Last week, I got half-way through and yard and it just died. Yes, I do think I had just added gas to the tank. No, I'm not sure the gas is good. Anyway, I can prime it by pushing the rubber button thing about 5 times. Give it a yank and it'll run for 5 seconds.

So, I emptied the gas tank. I even changed the fuel line to one of those clear ones. I took the carb off and sprayed with carb cleaner, de-gunk stuff. The can recommended spraying some in the spark plug hole, too, so I did. Then, I reassembled it and gently pulled the string to clear out some of the de-gunk stuff (fired the plug but not enough to start it.) Then, I filled it with gas, primed it lasted for about 15 seconds while it blew out all the junk. After that, it's back to only lasting 5 seconds.

If I manually hold the throttle open a tad, it runs very rough (sounds like it misses occasionally). When I let off the throttle, it dies, like it's starving for gas.

It is stored under a tarp year long.

Any ideas??
Old 10-10-07, 07:49 PM
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If everyone would post their own thread we could possibly help someone, so far there are 3 different problems and the same answer doesn't apply to all, so to solve all the problems at once, change the filter, clean the main jet, redo what you just did but use a bath type cleaner and get a rebuild kit but don't get the rubber parts in the cleaner then use brake parts cleaner to remove the residue from the other cleaners unless you have a very weak spark then check the compression with a leak down and if mag clearence isn't correct go find someone with a new business card so you can check it. Have a good one. Geo
Old 05-11-11, 06:25 AM
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Google lead me here. GREAT INFO IN THIS THREAD.
15 year old Craftsman Push mower, 5.5 Tecumseh engine, always ran great then would start and die out, had to keep pumping the primer bulb to keep it going. Tossed it aside for two years.
Gave it another crack last night, found this thread, removed the carb bowl, one bolt with holes in it, cleaned them all out with an air gun, changed the oil, gas, seafoam, started up after a few pulls and now runs again like a champ!!!!!!

Clean your carbs everyone!
Old 05-12-11, 01:27 PM
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Keep in mind if you live in an area that has predominatly Ethanol based fuel (E-10) then you need to be in the habit of treating your fuel with products such as Stabil, Startron, etc to counteract the phase separation that takes place in corn based fuel. This hold especially tru towards the nd of the summer when your lawn & garden 2 or 4 stroke machines get put away for a long periods of time. If you don;t then will consistently have spring related problems from gummed up carbs or soured fuel.
Old 05-12-11, 04:09 PM
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Stale gas

If I don't anticipate using a piece of equipment in a couple of days, I shut off the gas (I have shut offs installed on every gas line) and run the engine until it dies. I don't keep gas more than two weeks. I never make up more than a gallon of premix. If I can't remember exactly when I bought the gas, I pour it into my truck gas tank. I buy mid grade gas, not the cheapest, and always from the same place. All of these precautions and that stinking methanol will STILL cause a problem now and again. Next I am going to start using the stabilizer someone suggested. If I still have problems, I'm paving all five acres.
If your mower won't run after sitting a while and you have good spark, clean the carburetor, get fresh gas. Keep a rebuild kit handy or at least a gasket kit.

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