Lawn Mower: Strange Problem

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  #1  
Old 07-02-07, 09:46 AM
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Angry Lawn Mower: Strange Problem

I bought a "very cheap" lawn mower at lowes. I put the oil in it and gassed her up and it started first try. After the second time I used it, the mower felt like it was starting to idle too low every 5-10 seconds just before the point where it would stall. Not a good sign. I put it away and can't get it to start. The mower is just a month and a half old. This doesn't seem like a typical problem and here is why:

When I pull the starter rope, the blade just spins, but the engine doesn't even try to start. I mean, not even a pop or anything. The blade just spins as if there isn't even an engine on the mower (Almost like it is an electric). I cleaned and replaced the spark plug. The air filter seems clean and unobstructed. Heck, it should, the mower is practically brand new.

The worst of this problem is that it is under warranty, but the place near me that can service Lowe's parts is backlogged for over a month.

Any ideas?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-02-07, 10:07 AM
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Check for compression and piston movement. Remove the spark plug and stick the eraser end of a pencil down the hole until you feel contact. Keep light pressure on the pencil and turn the engine slowly by hand or using the pull cord. The pencil should move up/down if the piston is moving.
If the piston is moving then you can plug the hole with your finger and again slowly at first then maybe a quicker tug and compression should blow by or push your finger out of the hole.
If you indeed have your paperwork in order, receipt and date of purchase, and it fails either of these tests, I would think you could talk your way in for an easy diagnoses and quick warranty replacement. Take it in person at an off time, mid morning or mid afternoon. Act a bit disgruntled just in case your not already
 
  #3  
Old 07-02-07, 10:27 AM
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for my $.02 I agree with BFHFixit and that amount of work is about the most I would do on a month old mower. You mention the shop that works on Lowe's stuff is backlogged that bad and again I agree with BFH about a quick diagnosis to expedite this but will Lowe's not just swap it out as a customer service issue? I could understand some resistance if it was close to the end of warranty or showed signs of abuse but a couple months old and a couple mows into it .........
As a side note, I'm guessing compression too but sure would like to know for the sake of knowing.
 
  #4  
Old 07-02-07, 02:53 PM
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Did you use old, possibly dirty gas? Will it start if you pour gas into the carburetor?
 
  #5  
Old 07-02-07, 03:51 PM
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I am trying to go the Lowes route to see if they will replace it. I will give the eraser tip idea a shot first.

Thanks for the ideas.
 
  #6  
Old 07-02-07, 05:35 PM
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If the Lowes store won't help you out immediately or without verification of the trouble and since the repair shop is so backed up, I recommend contacting the mower manufacturer and plead your case and they'll likely call and authorize Lowes to replace the unit. Although you have an apparent engine issue which would be the engine manufacturers warranty, the maker of the mower wants to keep you pleased since it is easier to keep you as a customer rather than try to win you back from a bad experience.
 
  #7  
Old 07-05-07, 05:48 AM
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Mower Replaced

It turned out that there was a blown piston in the engine. I filed a complaint with Lowes regarding how long I was going to have to wait to even get it looked at. They forwarded my complaint to the store where I purchased it. The store manager called me and asked me to bring the mower back to the store and he'd "take care of me". He was true to his word. I got a Troy Bilt mower that is valued at 3x the value of the one I purchased. He gave me such a discount on it that I ended up being refunded $40 off the price of the cheap one. It really was more than I could have asked for and I'm very pleased.

Lowes has gotten a ton of my business over the last year. I'm usually not a fan of the big stores, but they really did pay attention to customer service on this one and I have to say that I'm satisfied with the result.

Thanks for the help on this!
 
  #8  
Old 07-05-07, 06:01 AM
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Wow... Thats great! Glad it worked out for you.
 
  #9  
Old 07-05-07, 06:56 AM
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I have found that they are usually quite accommodating, it is the only quality control they have left and they do not like nor can they afford to have disgruntled patrons, especially when there reasons are legit.
 
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