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Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1800
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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My craftsman lawn mower has an 18 hp Kohler engine. It seems

Customer Question

My craftsman lawn mower has an 18 hp Kohler engine. It seems to overheat and dies. I changed the oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plug and cleaned all of the exterior of the engine so that the heat exchange areas were free of oil and lawn dirt. It still shuts down after about 15 minutes. After it sits for about 10 minutes it will restart. It isn't the gas. What do you think is causing the engine to shut down. I think it is overheating for an unknown reason. Maybe it is something else.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is***** will be happy to assist you.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

I would like to confirm something. Are you saying that you have to wait ten minutes, before your engine will re-start, after it shuts down?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
approximately
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your response. We need to determine if our problem is ignition related. Are you familiar with checking for spark to your spark plug?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the the engine runs fine right up to the point it shuts down. It was doing it with the old spark plug and with the new. Could it be the ignition?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It may be unrelated but I have to charge the battery after every four or five uses.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for that information. What are the model numbers for your mower? These number will be under your seat. I am concerned about your ignition coil. I am wondering if you are still getting spark to your spark plug, during your ten minute wait.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the mower is not here right now. It is at my daughters where it stopped working and didn't have enough battery charge to restart. How do you test the coil?
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

No problem. Do you have a manual pto, or electric pto?

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

These are only troubleshooting questions ...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
manual.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

During your ten minute wait time, does your engine spin as fast as it normally would, before it shuts down, or does it spin at a slower pace?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
normal
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

I am trying to get a general picture of what could be causing our problem. When will you have an opportunity to try starting your mower again?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I had the battery recharged I could do it within 10 minutes, but it isn't charged. It will be tomorrow morning.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

I will explain a simple way to check your ignition ...

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Do you have access to another battery?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Great!

Immediately after your engine shuts down, spray a small burst of carburetor cleaner (preferably), or starting fluid, directly into your carburetor. Let's see if your engine will start back up briefly, without you having to wait ten minutes. If your engine starts, then chances are, your ignition is okay, and we have a fuel related issue.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

Also, shine a flashlight into your fuel tank, to inspect for sediments.

Expert:  Donald replied 1 year ago.

After you do the test, using the carburetor cleaner, your results will give us a good starting point.