60 Day old Toro w/ B&S engine suddenly hard to pull the recoil starter

Old 06-19-14, 03:51 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
60 Day old Toro w/ B&S engine suddenly hard to pull the recoil starter

In April I purchased a new Toro 30" walk-behind self-propelled mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine (model details below) at Home Depot. There is no throttle or choke control, just a recoil starter rope to get it going and a momentary-contact switch to shut it down.

The first 6 or 8 times I used it, it was very easy to start, usually with the first (easy) pull.

Suddenly, after no incidents, it became hard to pull the starter. It pulls a bit then hangs up / gets stuck / resists. The point at which the rope becomes hard (often nearly impossible) to pull varies, probably depending on where the piston stroke is at that time.

With the plug out it pulls very easily, no hanging up. There's no oil in the cylinder as nothing comes out the plug hole when I pull it with the starter and when I do get it started there's no smoke. Once it's running, it runs perfectly.

I'm using SAE 30 oil. It's filled to the full line on the dipstick. I check it each time before mowing. It's remained right on the 'full' mark. I haven't had to add any to it since the initial fill.

I found a thread on here where a guy was having the same problem with a pressure-washer. His resolution ended up being that a compression release device had failed and needed to be replaced. I found a parts list on the Briggs and Stratton web site. There is no compression release component. I chatted with a B&S rep who said the compression release is part of the camshaft.

The engine model number is 121S02-0130-F1.
The engine serial number is 13 11403 62 54352
The Mower is Toro TimeMaster 30in Model 20199

I'm stumped as to what may have cause it. There were no incidents. Just suddenly, it started having this problem. The mower is barely 60 days old. I have at most about 15 to 20 hours on it.

Thanks in advance for any help!
Old 06-19-14, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2,289
Upvotes: 0
Received 28 Upvotes on 27 Posts
It most likely needs the valves adjusted, the compression release is not being activated. Have a good one. Geo
Old 06-19-14, 07:49 PM
cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 15,925
Received 134 Upvotes on 123 Posts
Any chance you've removed the blade?
Old 05-23-16, 06:41 AM
Join Date: May 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Final Outcome

I currently have the same issue.
What was the final outcome, or lesson to be learned?.....Thanks.
Old 05-23-16, 10:21 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,828
Received 33 Upvotes on 32 Posts
I see where you've tried it with the plug out, which is the first thing I would try. I wouldn't think the valves would need adjusted that soon out of the box. But without the hydrolock as a possibility, that's about the only thing that would give you an easy spin without the plug in it then a hard pull trying to start it.
Old 05-23-16, 03:18 PM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5,046
Received 159 Upvotes on 145 Posts
60 days old! It goes back to HD if it were me.
Old 05-23-16, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 198
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
What issue do you have and how old is the engine ? If it is a new mower then bring it in for warranty work.

A engine model number would help or tell us Briggs bowl type carb or tank and carb assembly or OHV engine ~!~!
Old 05-23-16, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 198
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
@ Toro 3 zero my last comment was directed at you.

You revived an old thread and comments were made at the older thread,But I knew you were asking a new question ~!~!
Old 05-24-16, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,460
Received 47 Upvotes on 43 Posts
If it is within warranty it is important to get it back to them to establish that the problem occurred within the normal warranty. If fixed and the problem returns after the warranty period then you can request warranty coverage under a prior claim. Basically it extends your warranty period.

A couple of weeks ago I shopped and bought an inexpensive walk behind for my daughter and saw the Toros you probably have. Saw many machines but one was bold enough to say, if it doesn't start on the first or second pull we will fix it for free, I believe the time frame was one year. I didn't buy that one but the Murray I did get is purring like a kitten, B&S engine. One pull every time.

For the record, my 4 year old sears (again B&S) with a primer will and has always started first or second pull. They should all be that way until the body rusts away.


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: