Engine Stalls & Dies


Old 05-27-02, 12:02 PM
dmitchelljr's Avatar
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 72
1990 Murray

I have a 1990 model Murray riding lawn mower with a 12 HP engine with a 38" cut. The engine cranks fine, but while you are mowing, the engine will die at least a couple of times. What might be causing this to happen? Second question is: the grass that has just been cut will have a strip left in the middle. The mower has the correct size blades in it, and they are fairly new. So what could be causing this? Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 05-27-02, 05:20 PM
Sharp Advice's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
Posts: 10,440
Lightbulb Several Possibilities

Hello and Welcome D Mitchell Jr. to our Small Engine forum.

There could be any number of possiblities why the engine dies randomly. To begin checking for the reason, lets start with the simple and easiest possible correctable problems.

Check for fuel flow from the fuel tank to the carb. Remove the fuel hose from the carb and verify if fuel flows freely and continously.

There could be a resrticted fuel flow due to a filter in the tank or an inline one in the hose line. The fuel tanks vent cap may also be restricted or totally plugged. In this case fuel will flow freely for a short time then begin to slow down or stop totally. Clearing the vent hole will resolve that problem.

Always possible the spark plug/plugs could be the culprits. Install new ones and determine what happens. Also inspect the existing plug/plugs. They should not be wet or fouled with carbon or soot.

Another possible problem could be a restricted exhaust system and or muffler. Check the air filter. Clean or replace if needed.

When the engine dies or stalls, check for spark at the plugs. Always possible the ignition system may be overheating and or grounding out.

Also check for constant electrical continuity thru all switches and safety devices. The ignition switch may be faulty as could any other electrical connection. Check all wire terminals for rust, corrosion and looseness.

Sporadic problems which involve electrical parts often take time, patients, knowledge and experience to locate or isolate the problem. One of many reasons engine service techs can charge customers dearly and customers are willing to pay dearly...

Pertaining to the lack of center cutting may be do to the misalignment of the overlap between blades, etc.

Most likely I have not covered all of the potential problems. The other resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions, advice & help. Check back several times for additional replies.

If you need further assistance, use the REPLY button to add any and all additional information, etc. By doing so, the additional information you add will remain within this posting. Using this method also moves the topic back up to the top of the list automatically.

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