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JohnF2015
JohnF2015, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1083
Experience:  Owner/Service Technician at S & J Small Engines
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I can't get my riding mower to start

Customer Question

I can't get my riding mower to start
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Hi, my name is***** will be assisting you.

You mentioned that you check the battery. Did you load test the battery?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
After reading some other of your reviews I found that one of the safety features in the seat was not working. I can now get it started, but it will not run in high mode and the engine chokes out when I try to engage the PTO drive.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

What happens in high mode? Does it die?

When you engage the pto does it die instantly or sputter a little while then die?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I try to push the throttle to high mode it sputters and black smoke out of exhaust and dies. When I try to engage the PTO it dies right away.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

The throttle not going to full throttle sounds like you either have an air filter that is stopped up so that the engine is not getting enough air and choking itself out or you are actually going into the choke mode which would do the same thing.

The machine dying when you engage the pto sounds like a seat safety switch issues. What happens if you try to release out on the clutch and drive the machine with the pto turned off?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can drive it around as long as the throttle is not at full power. If I push it up as far as I can go without killing the engine and drive around it is ok for a minute or so then it starts to sputter and die.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Let's try this, remove the air filter and see what happens when you go full throttle or engage the pto.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, so gave it a try. It runs about the same. If I keep the throttle at about 1/3 to 1/2 power it runs fine and the pto will work and not kill bog down the engine and make it sputter. If I try to increase the power it starts to sputter and choke.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Have you checked the oil level?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just rechecked. Right at the level it is supposed to be.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

The only other thing that I can think of is maybe the carburetor is over fueling so that at higher speeds it floods the engine. Have you ever noticed the engine being hard to crank when starting?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just this last time. I also can't start the engine in the choke mode.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

It definitely sounds like the carburetor is over fueling, especially if you can't start it in choke mode. You might check the choke linkage to make sure that it is not sticking or hanging this would cause the same problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll give it a try and let you know.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Just let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Near as I can tell everything is moving like it should. the Valve moves back and forth with ease.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

I would focus on the carburetor as being a problem. It is most likely leaking and flooding the engine.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Whats the best way to take care of that?
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

I would remove it, give it a good cleaning and install a rebuild kit. This should take care of your problem.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will give that a try and let you know. Thanks
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** been a pleasure to assist you. Let me know what happens once you do that.

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Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 1 year ago.
Do you still need assistance with this problem?
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