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Mower With a Briggs & Stratton Engine Won't Start

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Red lawn mower on fresh cut grass.
This is a page about diagnosing a mower with a Briggs and Stratton engine that won't start. Before you take your mower to a repair shop, here are some possibilities to look into. Diagnosing the issue yourself can save you time and money, so its worth a try.
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18 Questions

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.

April 12, 2013

I have a Briggs and Station 14.5 42in and it won't start. It acted like it wanted to start, then just stop making any noise.

I charged the battery and it has 1/4 tank of gas. Still nothing. Any ideas?

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 116 Feedbacks
April 12, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do light tech for lawn and garden equipment, so I may be of some help. Not knowing whether you have a push mower or a riding mower, I am giving you the trouble shooting for a push mower that will not start.

Unit will not start

Possible Causes -- Corrective Actions

1 Control handle is not engaged -- Engage control handle

2 Spark plug wire is disconnected -- Connect spark plug wire

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3 Fuel tank empty or stale fuel -- Replace with clean, fresh gas

4 Blocked fuel line -- Clean fuel line

5 Faulty spark plug -- Replace, clean, or adjust gap

6 Engine flooded -- Wait to restart, do not prime

7 Air filter filled with dirt or debris -- Replace or clean air filter

Try these and if they don't work, you will have to check with a service center. Good Luck!

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April 14, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Have you checked the fuses? My son's riding mower wouldn't crank. Blown fuse was problem. Locate your fuse box and check out.

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April 20, 20130 found this helpful
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I had the same issues; try starting and 'click' or a longer hold on the key would finally start it up, however, Tried the turning of the cooling fan into a position where resistance was felt and it worked sometimes, I received this from other posts. I prefer a permanent fix not a makeshift one.

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So here is my fix:
Checked that the battery was fully charged (it was), did a once over of all the electrical connections (all good), adjusted valves (a few were extremely loose, they need to have a 0.004" gap) this did the trick! It starts evertime now just like it was from factory. If your a do-it-yourself type person there are some you tube videos on line that will show you the valve adjustment procedures.

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June 9, 20130 found this helpful
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I had same problem for two years. had to buy new push mower. Sears came out the following year and found the ground wire attached to mower frame came loose.

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You can not start engine without a ground. I did the same as you but bought two new battery thinking that would work.

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April 12, 2014

I have a Yard Machine 17.5 hp. Briggs motor. It turns over slowly and won't start. It has a new battery, new spark plug, new fuel line, and filter. I checked for loose wires. I tried to jump it directly from the positive battery post to starter, but it still turns over slowly and won't fire.

By Denis

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May 5, 20140 found this helpful
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Try to adjust your valves pull the plug out bring it up to top dead center and set the Valves to 00.4 for the top one and 00.5 for bottom one see if that help you.

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October 3, 2019

I have a 22hp twin ohv Intek Briggs and Stratton motor on a riding lawn tractor. When I try to start the motor it will pop from the air intake and not fire. What might be the problem?


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October 4, 20190 found this helpful
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Took off valve covers off and there is bent push rods. Found my problem. Thanks for the imputes I received.

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July 19, 2016

My Murray 17hp Briggs, starts great when cold. If I shut the machine down and start right away, it will usually start, but if I leave for 5 minutes or more it won't. It seems to be dumping a lot of gas into the carb. If I wait a period, an hour or 2, it cranks back up.


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
August 11, 20170 found this helpful
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After doing a lot of research I found some good answers. Many people say that hot start problems are valve related. It seems when you engine heats the valves expand and they are not completely closing.

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They suggest that you test your engine with a gage when it is cold and again when it is hot. Check to see how strong your compression is.

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January 4, 2017

I have a Briggs and Stratton 8 HP engine with a horizontal shaft. It has a faulty carb that will run on choke idling, but I have to open the choke to throttle up above 1/4 throttle, otherwise if I leave it shut it will just after-fire (aka back fire but the proper term is after fire) and die. The same goes vice versa if it is idling then the choke has to be all the way shut for it to idle, otherwise it will just studder and die.

I have an old Briggs and Stratton 8 hp vertical shaft engine that is blown up. Could I swap parts from the vertical shaft engine and put them in the horizontal engine? Please help me.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 107 Posts
January 20, 20170 found this helpful
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In my experience, it is never a good idea to just mix and match components from different machinery/sources, etc, unless you are certain that they are 100% compatible. Things, from engines to printers to vacuum cleaners are designed with specific parts that fit perfectly with each other and interact perfectly with each other. By swapping with a similar-but-not-exact part, you run the risk of something that does not quite fit, that causes a dangerous malfunction.

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I am not familiar with these engines or carburetors so I do not know if they ARE interchangeable, though if one is vertical v horizontal, that to me sounds very different.

YOu could actually TRY it, and see if it works. OF course you run the risk of destroying your engine.

A better option would be to simply go on ebay or orhter parts replacement online shop and investing $20 in a carburetor that you know works. www.ebay.com/.../i.html?_nkw=briggs+and+stratton+carburetor...

www.ereplacementparts.com/briggs-and-stratton-engine-parts...

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November 20, 2016

I have a 14.5 OHV Briggs that will not start. I've done the following: replaced the solenoid, carb, removed all safety switches, and replaced all wires. The starter switch is now a push button starter relay with a separate kill switch, also a fuse-block so all wires have a fuse, only active wires are to starter and carb.

The flywheel has a new key and the valves are set at .004. It gets spark and fuel. The battery and starter are good. It turns over, but will not start.

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June 29, 20170 found this helpful
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I'm no expert but went through
A similar experience recently changed the carb because it was getting fire etc. and I couldn't get it to run. Took it to a shop and he
tried a brand new spark plug and voila!
I wish I'd tried that first

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March 15, 2014

My Briggs and Stratton 18.5 hp will not start, it won't turn over; it just clicks. I just replaced the solenoid and the battery is charged.

By BHall

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May 3, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check for a proper grounding. Next see if your getting power from your battery to your starter.

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April 2, 2017

I have a Briggs and Stratton 22hp v-twin mower. I started it for the first time this year. It ran about 5 mins. made a pop noise and stopped running. Now it will not start. Help! I can hear the grass growing.


Lol

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Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
April 2, 20170 found this helpful

Have you tried checking the spark plugs? air filter? or fuel?

Reference/More Information:

www.briggsandstratton.com/.../top-5-mower-troubleshooting-tips...

Good luck!

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May 24, 2010

I have a Briggs and Stratton 12hp engine in my ride on mower that will not start. I have replaced the battery and starter, and have cleaned the carburetor. The engine turns over slowly as if the battery is low on charge (although I have charged it up) and there is a good spark at the plug. I have tried jump leads off the car, but it does not help. Any ideas?

By gd21 from Sunshine Coast, Qld

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

Go to youtube type in cant start whatever model mower wont start and lots of videos will show you how to. All kinds of mowers. No harm in trying.

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful

Also it might not be earthing properly when you replaced the starter motor and battery.

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March 3, 2019

The problem may be the starter or the alternator if your engine will not crank over fast enough to start. This is a page about 16 hp Briggs and Stratton engine won't start.

A lawnmower in tall grass.

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May 24, 2010

My Briggs Statton push mower won't start. I put fresh gas in, checked the oil and the spark plug. What could it be?

By Carol from Peachtree City, GA

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April 24, 2010

I have a Briggs and Stratton motor on my riding lawn mower that will not spark. Thought it might be the magneto and replaced it. No joy. How do I know I am not getting a spark? I pulled the plug wire and turned over the engine and put the wire next to the block hoping to see a spark, but I did not. Is there anything else to check to see if a spark is there?


By Vincent from Lakeland, TN

Answers:

Mower With a Briggs and Stratton Engine Won't Start

I know this sounds silly, but did you replace your spark plug with a new one? Might be worth a try. (06/30/2009)

By lesley

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