Small Engine Problems? Ask an Engine Mechanic for Answers ASAP
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The fact that you made a point of saying that you gave it new gas makes me suspicious that perhaps at one time it did not have new gas in it
It you ever used gas older than 30 days old, I suspect your problem is still in the carburetor
did you install a complete carb rebuild kit in when you cleaned it?
did you soak the carb submerged in carb cleaner?
I ran it low after mulching, but it still had some gas in it. In other words it sat for 2 weeks and I filled it up
no soak, air clean only with a carb cleaner from the store
did you poke through the tiny holes in the bowl nut and other orifices in the carb with a tiny wire such as found in a bread twist tie
then blow them out with compressed air?
If these answers are no, then you are the right track, you just need better instructions
just used a can of air
OK... Not uncommon, just not quite good enough.. You meant well
Most likely you have a fuel delivery or fuel quality problem.
As engines sit or get older, fuel that is left in the carburetor can turn to gum and varnish and cause this and other problems.
Also, any gasoline that was left in a gas can for a period of more than 30 days must be discarded because it also has begun to turn to varnish.
Today's gasolines contain MTBE and alcohol. (Ethanol) They turn to "Junk and garbage" very quickly. Alcohol absorbs water. And they call it "Oxygenated fuels! It is the oxygen (and the water) that breaks down the organic compounds in the fuel and turns the gas to "Garbage" (Gum and varnish) The fuels we had just a few years ago had no alcohol in it and would store for longer periods of time before going stale.
Fuel stabilizers do almost nothing to prevent the fuel from going bad with the changes in today's fuels. The whole point of a fuel stabilizer is to form an oily film on the surface of stored gasoline whether in the tank or in a gas can. The idea was to keep oxygen away from the gasoline to prevent breakdown. Since the fuel is already oxygenated, the fuel stabilizer concept is null and void. These fuels start to degrade immediately upon the addition of the ethanol.
Do not buy gas from the "Discount" Stations. The discount stations get a reduced price on gas because they may be buying fuel that is nearly 30 days old already. You may be getting fuel that's nearly stale right from the pump when buying from a discount station. Purchase your fuel from the well-known stations such as Shell, BP, Sonoco, Phillips 66 etc.
More than 70% of all of our repairs in our small engine repair business are due to these same issues. You most likely have dirt, gum, varnish...etc in your carburetor plugging up the small passageways and jets in the carburetor.
The carburetor will need to be cleaned and overhauled as well as the rest of the fuel system.
In an Emergency such as a blizzard where you cannot get out to buy a carburetor kit until the plows come through, or during an emergency power outage and you need a generator running even if it runs poorly, you might try the following if your carburetor is the type that has a bowl. Sometimes this procedure works:
While the carburetor is still mounted to the engine:
You may be able to finish the job at hand then clean and overhaul the carburetor correctly when you have more time and a new carburetor overhaul kit.
If you don't feel comfortable with these kinds of repairs, or if the carburetor still doesn't work correctly after your attempt, I would suggest sending it to a profession repair shop with a reputation for having friendly, knowledgeable, experienced service technicians. It would be best to take it to someone who has an "Ultra-sonic" cleaning machine. This machine uses a very mild carburetor cleaner in concert with ultrasonic vibrations to get the very small passageways clean. This method is very effective even when traditional methods fail.
There is a New Product that you can try which is guaranteed to work or your money back (per the manufacturer).
It is designed to help clean the carburetor without damaging the diaphragms and rubber parts like regular carburetor cleaner. Click on this site and it will tell you all about it. http://www.b3cfuelsolutions.com/html/mib.html
The mechanic in a bottle is NOT a conventional carburetor cleaner.
It actually breaks down the varnish into it molecular components and it completely dissolves. It DOE NOT clog up the jets as conventional carburetor cleaners do. Conventional carb cleaners just loosen the varnish and the varnish particles will go into the jets and filters and clog them up.... usually causing much more problems that was originally there. The conventional carb cleaners also will loosen the "GUMK" that has formed in the gas tanks and cause all of that gunk to go through the carburetor as well.
The Mechanic in a BOTTLE is a completely revolutionary product that will in many cases alleviate the need to tear the carburetor down and rebuilt it..... unless there is mechanical wear and tear that would require that parts be replaced.
In addition, the special formula actually is designed to soften and restore the rubber parts in the carburetor such as the needle and seats and gaskets.
Mechanic in a bottle is NOT a cure-all but it can help customer get going in many cases without them having to tear the carburetor apart. If the customer is NOT mechanically inclined, it might save them a trip to the repair shop.
Yes I was very skeptical about this product when I first was introduced to it, but the Distributor demonstrated it and we have tried it on many occasions with terrific results.
Otherwise you will have to clean and rebuild the carburetor.
Please feel free to ask follow-up questions so that we can always arrive at the correct solution. We want you to be 100% satisfied.
Scroll up to read all the details of the 100 lines I just posted
All of this assumes that you have good compression and good spark...
Small engines are pretty simple systems (in theory).
In order to work your engine needs these things
I would check your compression, which must be at least 90PSI, and 110 is desirable.
If the compression tests good with a meter,
I expect you have either a fuel Quality or fuel delivery problem.
But first, we need to know it has spark of good enough quality .
Even if you got it to start and it died, try to start the unit one more time,
Take the spark plug out, reattach the plug to wire to it and ground it to a head bolt. (When you had it out, was it wet or dry)?
If it is dry, we are 99% sure we are on the right track, but we still need to know if you have spark.
Turn unit on and either pull rope or engage electric starter. Look for a bright blue spark and see if you hear it. If it has spark, put a teaspoon of gasoline in the plug hole and reinstall the spark plug.
If the unit tries to start, but only runs until the gas you put in is gone then we need to look at cleaning the carburetor (especially if the plug was dry when you took it out).
Some of these engines have a tendency to sheer flywheel keys. If this happens, you may have no spark, or it may spark at the wrong time because the flywheel has spun on the crankshaft. Eventually, you may want to check this.
You may get lucky and it may start and run. If so, let it. It may "clear its throat" or you may get some work done right now.
I don't have all tools listing above. Im a novice at best when it comes to small engines, but I have spark and combustion....I think! I removed the carb, there is gas at the bottom, I turn the key to start and POOF big orange Flame! What does that mean?
there is gas at the bottom of the car? that went poof after you took it off?
I took off the carb and turned the key
If you turned the key with the carb off, and it went poof with a flame, you may ALSO have an intake valve problem where it is not sealiong all the way...
have you experienced backfiring too?
when you changed the oil, did it smell like gas?
everytime the mower is turned off actually
not a lot, but it was in the air!
Sounds as if in addition to the carb still being dirty, the float in the bowl of the casrb is sticking and the gas is not shutting off completely
your engine can have two diffeent carbs
one is a Nikki, and the other is a walbro..
fdo you know whic one you have?
let me go take a look
compare it to these two diagrams while I go get my soup
from the microwave.
still here, but I don't have the engine apart. that would take more time
in general what else to you recommend. It's an old lawn mower and don't want to dump a lot of money into it. Just trying to get through this year and maybe next
no, other really. other than reclean the carb
let me know if you need more help
I will. thank you for the directions
I will be notified of your replies and follow ups via email
My carb style is a Nikki. when you say clean, do you have any at home cleaning supplies that would save me a trip to the store?
This may help know exactly which holes and orifices to clean if this is your carb
You need an industrial strength carb cleaner.
Even Gum out is not even close to good enough.
You will need to go to the store to get the carb kit and gaskets anyway, because if you try to clean them with out, you will just be cleaning again.
The carb cleaner must be strong enough to eat everything including plastic which is why you never put the plastic parts in it..
And you limit the exposure of the metal parts to it as well or they will become pitted...
You can likely take the carb into the shop off the mower and get it cleaned for less than $60 labor and possibly as low as $40 labor (plus parts)..
Costs less if it is not mounted..
If you want to try to use the mechanic in a bottle option, you still have to go to the store to get it...
I am sorry there is no Magic bullet for this problem.