Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I have a Sears 16 hp twin riding mower. When I went to start it the engine didn't suck gas through the gas line. After cleaning the carburetor the engine sucks gas part way to the carburetor. What do I do? How do I check the fuel pump and where do get a new one?
By fireman21 from Napa, CA
Could the fuel line need blowing out?
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I can't get my lawnmower started.
2003 Briggs and Stratton 6.5 HP
I have changed the fuel, changed the spark plug, changed the air filter, changed the air filter gasket, and changed the oil. When I dump lots of fuel in the carb it will run for about 2 seconds, then it dies. Any suggestions?
A friend suggested that when I put my riding mower away for the winter I add Stabil to the gas tank instead of draining the gas. I did and the mower would not start the next spring. I had to take the mower back to the dealer. He said the stabil turned the gas to a thick jelly. He had to remove and clean the tank, the gas lines, clean the carb, and replace the fuel filter. From then on I have drained the gas tank and run the mower to use up the remaining gas in the carb. In the spring I add fresh gas and the mower starts up with no problem. (06/18/2008)
I tried blowing into the tank. This only acted like priming. It would still only run until the prime gas ran out. Then I looked in the shed and found a bottle of octane increaser. I primed again but this time added a shot. After a couple pulls the engine started and revved higher than I have ever heard it before. After the RPMs came back down It continued to run. :-) (06/24/2008)
My B/F suggested for you people out there that might need to fix this problem, you need to replace the float.
I bought a $125 Walmart lawnmower a few weeks ago and the same thing happened to the mower as happened to your lawn mower. I bought a new and better mower and was about to throw the other one away and just thought I would take a chance on a quick, simple internet solution and that's when I came up on this page. It worked for me too. Great idea and thank you very much. Now I have a spare mower. (07/09/2008)
By Ken F.
Jean, my bartenders thank you. Your "blow in the tank" trick got my mower going, and now I'll have plenty of money for happy hour this week since I don't have to buy a new mower. Thanks! (07/23/2008)
I have a slightly different question. Gas is not getting to carburetor, but rather is being blown back through the air intake valve. I have blown all the hoses clean and checked the gas filter. There is a fair amount of pressure being built up in the tank; when I remove the gas supply line, it squirts gas a foot in the air. When I look down into the throat of the carb, it is dry. I know (ouch!) that I am getting spark. This is an Echo weed eater. It has been running well until I tried to start it with the switch turned to off. After that I can't get it to start. (07/28/2008)
Well, I am a regular non-mechanical housewife who took your advice on how to get my mower started and guess what? It worked! I took the Poloun push mower out back where no one would see me and I blew through a paper towel into the gas tank and presto-magic-o - my mower now works! Thanks! I'm off to mow my lawn :) (08/03/2008)
I have an inexpensive (cheap) Murray lawnmower that wasn't getting gas to the carb. Blowing into the gas tank got it started then it stopped immediately. Another symptom was that the primer didn't work. The solution in my case was to replace the diaphragm in the carburetor - $6.00 at my local lawnmower service shop. Remove the air filter, two bolts to remove the gas tank, then remove the carburetor from that, and the diaphragm is between the two. It's a very simple carburetor - one piece of plastic - so this may not work for everyone. (04/24/2009)
By Grampy Jack
I know this sounds ridiculous, but it worked for me.
Take off the gas cap. Put a rag or handkerchief over the opening. Place your mouth (yes, your mouth) over the opening and blow as hard as you can a couple of times.
My father taught me this trick. I've had to use it a few times and it always worked. (10/05/2007)
By Jean from Mississippi
Possible gummed up carburetor, if it has sat for any length of time. Drain all gas out, put fresh fuel in, and use starter fluid until it runs on its own. (10/21/2007)
To prevent a mower or other gas operated device from getting all messed up when stored over winter, it is a VERY GOOD idea to put something in the fuel called "STA-BIL" fuel stabilizer. It comes in a strange looking container and is sold in Hardware Stores like LOWES or HOME DEPOT for about $5. It works really great! I've had mowers get all gummed up during winter storage and STA-BIL stopped that right away.
We tried lots of different things. We put Briggs and Stratton Fuel Stablilizer Plus in the gas and it didn't make a big difference, but my husband followed Jean's advice and put a cloth over the gas tank opening and blew a couple times and that did the trick. Our lawn mower hasn't run this well in YEARS! Thanks for the suggestion Jean. (02/23/2008)
By Annette and Jerry from California
Tried to start mine for an hour. Took the advice of blowing into the gas tank. First pull after and it started right up! Thanks for the advice. (05/01/2008)
By Dave in NY
Had similar no start not getting fuel. After priming would run for a few seconds until it burned up the primed gas. Using the "nothing to lose" attitude I removed the air fiilter again, removed the gas cap, put a paper towel over the fill opening and blew into the tank. I could see gas enter the carb. Pulled the cord and viola the mower started and ran really well while I mowed my lawn. Just for kicks I let the mower sit while I had a glass of iced tea. When I finished the tea, went back outside, pulled the cord and vrrooom it started.
Thanks for the tip. Funny thing, it really makes sense when you see the fuel come into the carb. I cleaned the carb. and put some Stabil in the tank just in case.
Devon from Bothell, WA
There could be range of different things to isolate put your finger over the spark plug hole and turn over the motor. if there is no compression it won't suck the petrol in through the carb. Lack of compression could be rings or valves assuming thats fine move to the carb blow out all jets in the carb with a air compressor if they are blocked that could cause petrol to not get through. other wise check that the choke mechanism is working take off the air filter and when the choke is on the butterfly should be in the closed position if it isn't it needs to be adjusted. If it is the pump type the pumping mechanism may be faulty you will need to replace it. if there are any filters in the line they may be blocked you will need to clean filters. sorry can't do any better without knowing make model or type of briggs motor hope that helps brent nz (03/30/2007)
By brent nz.
Thanks Brent for the info. The engine is a 4.5 hp (5 years old) and could not find the model number. I will give it a wirl. (03/30/2007)
I have a B&S quattro 4 hp that is 9 years old with the same problem. Have changed out the diaphragm for the carburetor but no gas is going from the bulb. No gas is coming from the tank. Hopefully someone can help us both (04/08/2007)
I have a similar problem with a Briggs&Stratton mower engine - Model 101908 (4HP). Mower has not been used for a while, but after a few pulls it starts and sounds ok - but after about 5 seconds, stops.
What can I do or does it require professional help?
We have 2 Briggs & Stratton push mowers. One we bought in 1991-1992 & still runs. My husband says there is fuel additive for lawn mowers that he uses, think it's made by Gum-Out. It has a pre-measuring cup on it & the liquid is green. You might have rust or varnish in the tank, if you've left gasoline in the tank. He's always run his mower empty before storing it for any time at all. You might try taking the air filter off & spraying the in-tank with WD-40 to see if it will start. Check your spark plug to see if it's getting a spark. Sounds like it might be time for a new mower. Wal-Mart more than likely, will have a mower cheaper than you might can pay for repairs. Or you might can go to Home Depot or Lowe's to see if someone might have bought a new mower & returned it for some reason & get a discount. (we got our 2nd mower like this, at Home Depot & it still runs.) (04/25/2007)
Ok I don't know what much is called on a lawn mower, but I can tell you what it does & how to fix it. Firstly if your primer is not getting gas to the bowl it may not be the carburetor. on the underside of the bowl there is a screw. Loosen it just a little, put a little gas in the tank, & prime it. If it leaks then you know that it is not your Carburetor. If it doesn't then at least you have isolated the problem between the carburetor & the bowl.
If it doesn't leak: Relax this should be a quick fix. Check the seal between the carburetor & your bowl. Most often this is broken just take it to a parts store & replace it. If it is unbroken, open your bowl & pull the pin that holds the bobber in place. There should be a little plug that goes up & down with the bobber, located under the part of the bobber that you just pulled the pin from. It should come out with the bobber if not then there is your problem. If the bobber is broken where it should hold the plug in place, you either need a new bobber, or a whole new bowl. (It is much harder to find a bobber that fits that bowl, then it is to find a bowl that fits that mower.)
If the bobber has the plug with it when it comes out. Then blow air into the place that plug just came from. If it does not go all the way through, get a new bowl. You can fix the old one, but I don't know how to put how to do that into words.
If air comes out of where the where the gas tank attaches to the bowl Blow your hose. If that doesn't work soak it in a mix of old gas & oil for a while. (Preferably 30lb)
If the bowl does leak: you want to check your spark plug by having someone hold it against some mettle. If you get a spark put it back in, & check every hose & pipe between the gas tank & the combustion chamber. (The part you screw the spark plug into.) More then likely you have a clog in something. If you find it, Blow it out with an air hose. If that doesn't work soak it in a mix of old gas & oil for a while. (Preferably 30lb) If it still doesn't work your pistons are probably out of line. If it still doesn't work, go to a pawnshop & buy a new mower.
The original post only mentions that the primer is not sending fuel to the carb. This is a common problem on B&S engines with the square airfilter box [about 4x6] on the side of the engine. There is a fairly complex gasket between this filter box and the carburettor which also serves as a channel between the primer bulb and the inlet manifold side pipe. If this gasket is worn or pierced, then the primer bulb will not be able to build up any pressure in order to inject fuel. The engine should still start OK in this case, but may take rather a lot of pulling. New gasket only costs a few dollars. (07/29/2007)
By Tom NI