I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't do right by my lawn mower last
Fall and just left it in the garage over the winter without doing any
winter prep. It's warm enough today that I thought I'd drag it out and
see if I could start it, and I couldn't after priming the engine and a
few quick on the rope. What should I do at this point? The lawn mower
is a Murray with a 4-stroke engine (model 20617A for those that care).
I bought it used and didn't get a manual or anything like that with it.
As a follow up, what's the right way to put this machine away for the
Thanks in advance,
For starters, dump the gas in the tank and in the can. Then drain the
carburetor-- there's probably a drain screw in the bottom of the float bowl.
If not, just remove the big screw in the bottom of the float bowl and the
bowl will lower. Actually, you probably want to pull the bowl anyway and
spray everything with carb/choke cleaner ($4.00 at Wal-Mart). Also drain and
replace the engine oil- go to engine mfr's website to see the weight of oil
to use. If no info, it's hard to go wrong with 10W30.
While you're at Wally's pick up a can of starter fluid to spray at the air
cleaner right before you make your first start attempt. Also, remove and
clean/replace the air cleaner. Also remove the spark plug. You can clean/gap
it to save money or buy/install a new one. Do the plug last because you'll
want to put a shot of starting fluid in the spark plug hole right before you
reinstall it and do your start.
Buy a can of fresh gas, fill the tank, set the choke, press the primer bulb
and she should start.
At the end of the season, do all the maintenance I mentioned above-- except
for the starting fluid of course.
One other thing that I do to mine is add some Sta-Bil (gasoline stabilizer)
to that last tank of gas at the end of summer/fall and then do all the stuff
Kicking Bird said.
All sounds good to me except starter fluid can easily damage these cheap
engines. If the primer bulb is working you shouldn't need starter fluid.
The primers are connected by very small gas line and they tend to fail
easily. Is there a gas shut-off valve ? If so make sure it is open. If my
small engines don't fire after the first few pulls I take the cap off the
gas tank, press my lips tight inside the opening, and blow as hard as I
can - then try to prime and start again.
As for winterization, I'm of the opinion that Sta-Bil is a mower's
best friend. I don't believe in draining the carb bowl because even if
you do that, there is still fuel residue in all of the jet orifices
and passages -- and THAT's where gum is the big problem. Just top off
the fuel tank, pull the spark plug and spray some WD-40 in the
cylinder, gap the plug and reinstall it.
But -- I run Sta-Bil in ALL my fuel all summer long, not just for
winterization. That may make a difference. I get gas in a 5g container
and just add the Sta-Bil to that and it lasts the summer and then
some. Never had an issue with year-and-a-half-old gas.
remove air cleaner dump some gasoline in the air intake..... pull like
or remove plug, pour some gas in plug hole, put plug back in, pull
either of these will likely get your mower going again
On Mar 26, 9:02 pm, email@example.com wrote:
I am a firm believer and religious user of Sta-Bil, but gas will STILL
get old. The best thing is to make sure that your last tank of the
season has Sta-Bil or some other fuel conditioner in it, pour almost
all of it out, then run it until it's dry. That way you don't get the
gum that you are worried about because of the stabilizer in the fuel,
but you aren't leaving stale gas in it all winter. I also spray pour
a tiny bit of motor oil in spark plug hole and pull the rope a couple
of time so that I don't risk the piston corroding to the cylinder
Mine mowers and tiller, and even chain saws and other two-stoke
critters, virtually always have started on the third or fourth pull -
it takes a couple, I guess, to get the motor oil out of the system.
Once in a while I get a first-pull start at the beginning of a
season. When that happens, I go have a cold beer and contemplate the
perfection of the world. :)
Your best solution is prevention: Fire the mower up a couple times over the
winter and let it run 10-15 minutes. Especially if it has a battery/charging
system. I do and never have any problems getting either of them going in the
My old snapper always needs a shot or two of starter spray (ether) in the
carb to fire up for the first time every season. Other than that I run it
out of gas before storing it for the winter and come spring I change the oil
and put in a new spark plug every couple years. I usually sharpen the blade
a couple times a season also. This has kept this used mower functional for
the last 15 seasons.
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