The Lawn Mower Mystery

Max, at about age 65, still likes to mow his own lawn with a gasoline push mower. It's not self-propelled, but it does have an engine. He's has the same mower for like 20 years, and it's been great. Well, a few years ago, he noticed that the mower was not getting very good gas mileage. In other words, the mower was using more gas per lawn cut than it used to. This seemed to be getting worse. So, for example, if one tank of gas used to get him through two lawn cuttings, now a whole tank would only get him to mow the lawn one and a half times. He would have to fill it up in the middle of the second cut. So, he knew something was wrong. He took it to the neighborhood small engine repair shop and for about $100, they replaced the spark plug, the spark plug wire. They gave him a new air filter. And they probably did a few other things like clean the carburetor. Of course, for $4 more, he could have gotten a whole new lawn mower. But, anyway, after all the repairs, he notices that the gas mileage is still lousy. He's bummed out, and he wondered whether there's something else they should have replaced. Of course, there isn't. Now, I will add here the engine and lawn mower are in perfect working order, the same as they were perhaps the day he bought the thing. The lawn isn't thicker than it used to be. The lawn density is the same as it has always been. And the question is, what's wrong?
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wrote:

The gas does not have the same BTU's as it had 20 years ago. The ethanol and MT or what ever its called doesn't have the same BTU's as pure Gasoline. I noted my truck gets much less milage then it used too. Jerry
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an extra $4 might not have bought him the quality mower this one once was.
but i would say he is using more gas because he and the mower are working longer to cut the grass with blades that are badly in need of replacement, in other words there is barely enough blade left to effect an afficient cut.
len
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comic (TOM KAN PA) wrote in

Several possibilities: 1) gas tank has a leak 2) need to sharpen the blade 3) Max's guardian angel, who's been pulling double duty as his work helper, also about retirement age, went on vacation or really retired 4) gasoline is now formulated for high performance engines and not for almost old enough to drink lawn mowers. 5) grass in Max's lawn has evolved in to supergrass that resists cutting 6) local teens planted a bypass in the rotor that takes some of the engine energy to power a local WiFi network. 7) gas tank has a bunch of junk in it, causing it to hold less gas. 8) not using the correct formulation of engine oil, causing reduced efficiency 9) someone secretly replaced Max's engine with new better tasting Folger's engine
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or 10) Max had a neighbour who in previous years used to fill up Max's mower at nightime, just to have laughs, and stopped doing so a few years ago.
Ursa..
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<< Subject: Re: The Lawn Mower Mystery From: snipped-for-privacy@wi.rr.xx.com >> << somebody siphoning gas??? >> ____Reply Separator_____ No, that's not it. But about 30 years ago I did the opposite of sipnoning gas. My neighbor bought a brand 1970 something Plymouth 6 cylinder automatic tranny. He was constantly checking his mpg every couple of days and telling me about it. So, I'd go over at night and ADD gasoline to his tank. Had a hell of a time keeping a straight face when he was thrilled getting 40 some mpg.
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So, WHEN do we get the answer???? <he asked, flipping out like a squirrel>
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Max was older and walking slower than when he first got the mower and was getting "better mpg".
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This was on Car Talk -- it now takes the guy longer to mow his lawn, hence it is using more gas per lawn cut.
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