need help with lawnmower

Page 1 of 3  
My lawnmower has been on the fritz all summer. It started cutting out when it was running. I took it to the local neighborhood guy (he has a landscaping business & fixes mowers on the side) and he "tuned it up" and etc. and it ran fine. For awhile.
Then the pull rope broke. I replaced it. It ran fine.
Then a couple weeks later it became difficult to start. As in 15-20 pulls and a shoulder almost out of joint trying. And when it was turned off it wouldn't start again.
I took it back. He said it was the starter, and replaced it. Cost $80 for that and a wheel lock which was broken.
I took it home. I couldn't start it. I took it back. He said it was fine--he could start it on the third pull. Sometimes the first.
Meantime I'd borrowed my neighbor's mower which was indeed possible for me to start on the first pull. In fact, I often didn't even have to pull the rope out all the way.
I still can't start mine and am at my wits end. I think he doesn't know how to fix it, and doesn't see the problem. He says "its old" and like old things & people is now more difficult to start. I can't agree.
Oh, and by the way, he let me try to start his lawn mower. I had no trouble. The rope gives a lot of resistance, but you can feel it engaging the motor. I don't get that kind of feedback from mine.
Yet he insists there is nothing wrong with mine.
Does anybody have any ideas before I take it to another repair shop and have to pay another $80? I am pretty strong, but unwilling to destroy my arm yanking on this crank.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Betsy wrote:

Greetings,
Try using starter fluid (EVERY TIME) if that makes it easy enough for you to start I would just live with it until that solution doesn't work anymore. Once that solution doesn't work come back and post again.
William
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I've had the same problem but in my case the gas was old, may have had water in it. If you dont close the seal tight, condensation will foul the fuel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My best advise: Buy a Honda

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Brand, model, age, size of mower and engine?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Betsy wrote:

When was the last time you replaced the spark plug? Maybe it's time to do so again.
Does it smell "gassy" when you pull it over and it doesn't start? If it doesn't by the third or fourth pull then if it has a choke, that isn't working, or if it doesn't have one but uses a primer bulb you press two or three times, that isn't doing it's thing.
Try buying a spray can of automobile "starter fluid" and spray some into the air cleaner, then try and start it. If it fires right up, then you have a choke or primer problem.
Let us know what works and doesn't,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks. It has a primer bulb. I push it about 10 times (at his suggestion). I used to only have to push it 3 times. It smells gassy when I pull it and it doesn't start. I have wondered if I flooded it, so have come back and tried to start it without pushing the bulb. No dice.
He maintains the plug is fine. I witnessed him start it several times today. He has no problem. But he is a lot stronger than me. But I used to have no problem with it, either. I just don't get it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

when
to
A plug is less than 5 bucks, and the wrench to change it yourself is another 5, if you don't have one already. Any of the big-box places will have them. Need to know engine size, brand, and year. If you can see any numbers on the old plug, write them down, or if you have a wrench, take the old plug with you. I'd definitely try that before spending more money elsewhere. It can't hurt, and it may help.
aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It sure sounds like your mower has a lot of wear on it, and has lost a little compression. Someone stronger could turn it over faster and get it to start, where a weaker person can't spin it fast enough for that.
rusty redcloud
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

and
turned
pull
know
my
do
or
Am new to the newgroup, so that's why the tardiness for a reply.
If the engine is flooded, remove the spark plug and air filter. (if the engine valves are in the wrong position, the fuel can't dissipate in the engine) Walk away for about a half hour. Reassemble. Give it a few cranks. If doesn't start, prime per manufacturer's recommendations.
A new spark plug is always the first step with starting problems. Always keep a new one in the garage. If your lawn is a bit dusty, maybe the air filter is the culprit. Clean and oil the filter. Don't use old gas, over a month old including what's in the lawnmower's tank from the last mowing. If you've had a lot of rain and heavy morning fog and dew, could be water in the gas tank from condensation. Check the refill gas container for water droplets. Remove and dump the contents of the gas tank. Wash it out with a few ounces of charcoal lighter fluid. Let it dry for a day. Use a spray drying agent to assure its dry. Reassemble and fill the tank with new, uncontaminated gas.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Which explains the cross posting, and excessively long un trimmed quotes....
Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets. To plant a pine, one need only own a shovel. -- Aldo Leopold
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks, Dave. Much appreciated.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

He said it is old, and he may be right. If you are not getting much resistance, it could be because there is not enough compression, meaning it is old, and worn. Add to that an old plug, weak magneto = no start. could be a few other things also. Just how old is it? What engine?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's not very old--2000. And the lawnmower he owns is 15 years old, and started easily. There is a lot more initial resistance on the starter rope, but give it a good pull and it engages the engine.
wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

From your description it sounds like the engine in your lawn mower is worn. As the engine wears compression is reduced which causes you to have to pull the rope harder or faster than you had to when the engine was new. The only practical solution to this is to replace the motor. It can be repaired but with parts and labor prices being what they are it is often just cheaper to replace it.
Several have suggested that you use automotive starting fluid. This is an excellent suggestion and will probably get you several more years out of this mower. Just spray some starting fluid in the air filter and pull the rope. Should start up like a charm.
Steve B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll try it. Where do I get it--Pep boys, etc.? Is it called "automotive starting fluid"? When you say "in the air filter" is that on the filter itself, when removed (haven't done that yet) or in the housing when the filter is removed, or where. Sounds very mystifying to me. Is there a web page that might have a diagram?
Thanks.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It is called "Starting Fluid" and is available in the auto department of most any store that has an auto department. It is a typical spray can and costs a couple of bucks.
You haven't told us what kind of mower you have (and it probably wouldn't help much if you did) but you air filter has an opening somewhere that it pulls the air in from. Spray wherever the air will be sucked in. Not tooo much... just a coupe seconds.
I have an old mower myself that absolutely will not start without starting fluid but starts on half a pull with it.
Steve B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I had a lawnmower (a Murray) last 10 years and the next one lasted 2. They do NOT make them well anymore. Try removing the carb and look for the clogged needle. You should not have to push the primer bulb more than 3-5x.
A can of carb cleaner is 2 bucks. Soak it overnight to remove deposits. Never let the mower come to less than 1/4 tank of gas.
Check your oil level too... many mowers have a low-oil cutout switch which won't let it start or run if the oil level is too low. But do not overfill your oil either.
Betsy wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

The "starter" ??? Doesn't make sense if this is a "pull start" machine. Unless he meant the recoil starter - the spring loaded mechanism that holds your pull cord. Maybe the "cogs" are not engaging - this would account for why he can start it and you can't. Before actually pulling, give a quick tug on the rope to engage the "cogs" - make it a short tug and you shouls quickly feel resistance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.