1) Choke is not working properly, making starting difficult.
2) Gummed up carb from stale gasoline in the mower
for 3 years. Highly probable.
3) Bad carb gasket causing an air leak.
4) If this is a 2-cycle engine, the possibility that the
engine has been damaged due to lack of oil mixed
with gas in the past. If it is a 4-cycle, the possibility
that the engine has been damaged from being run
with low oil levels.
5) Poor compression. (See #4 above).
You should be able to get some feeling for compression
when you pull the recoil starter.
You can check on fuel delivery by spraying an appropriate
aerosol into the air intake while starting and running the
engine. Obviously, starting fluid will work for this operation.
Have one person squirt in a bit while another person tries
to start the engine. If/when the engine begins to run, give
it an occasional squirt to attempt to keep it running. You
probably don't want to do this for too long since starting
fluid is believed to be "too hot" for extended use in engines.
Switching over to other sprays may be easier on the engine
(WD-40, carb cleaner, etc.?) once it has started and you are
still testing and keeping the engine limping along. If the mower
has the right sort of manual primer, then an occasional pump
from the primer can keep the mower running if there is a fuel
Did the engine start easily and run well 3 years ago before
going into storage? If so, then the only probable problem is
the fact that it sat around for 3 years with stale gasoline.
Sometimes running the engine a bit and using both spray
and pour-in carb cleaners will get it working ok again. Some-
times not. I've received may free mowers and many of them
have sat for years before I received them. Most often, I can
get them working well with little effort. (I currently own 8 push
mowers. My son operates a mowing business, plus we often
fix mowers and donate them to folks.)
I'm no expert; my in-laws will quickly agree to that. :) Still,
I hope the advise is useful to you.
email@example.com wrote in message
(Computer geek can't figure out small engine repair issue). When my
mother went into Assisted Living I brought down her slightly used Honda
mower as a backup. I haven't touch it in 3 years, but I can't seem to
get it started.
1. Figured out there was a spark (new plug) by laying the plug on top
and turning it over.
2. Figured out the kill bar wasn't a problem because when it was
3. Pulled off the air filter (it is pretty new)
4. Replaced the gas.
5. Emptied the carbs float bowl.
6. Made sure gas was turned on.
Turned it over a few times, nothing. Tried wiring throttle full on (in
case the throttle cable was too loose), nothing doesn't start. Checked
the plug and it wasn't wet. Poured a bit of gas directly in the
cylinder, boom it turned over ! ... then died out :-( .... float bowl
was filled with gas so I assume the carb is clogged ???? Took the
carb off can't see that it is clogged and the carb is so simple I can't
believe that this is the problem.
Can someone give me some debugging tips or advice (I am too proud to
bring to a repair shop).