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Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 1869
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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I have a Toro Z4200 zero turn mower that is turning over but

Customer Question

Hi Pearl - I have a Toro Z4200 zero turn mower that is turning over but not starting. It worked fine a week and a half ago. Any thoughts / tips? I just added oil as it was a bit on the low side, and I added gas before I tried to turn it over. Any tips?
JA: Do you have fuel in the tank? If so, is the shut-off valve open and the fuel clean?
Customer: yes, there is new fuel in the tank.
JA: What happened just before this problem started? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: A week and a half ago it started on the first try. I checked the air filter / choke, everything looks good there. Added some oil. Checked the push / drive switches on the back as well.
JA: Anything else you want the engine expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: Don't think so, thanks.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Hello. Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is***** will be happy to assist you.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Hi Donald - thanks for taking the time.
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome! You and I need to determine if our problem is fuel related, or if our problem is ignition related. Do you have some carburetor cleaner in a can, or some starting fluid?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I do - I actually just sprayed some in the choke while I was waiting. The engine starts briefly and then dies.
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for this information. There are two things we need to check.

Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Check to see if you are getting a steady flow of fuel from your fuel tank, to your carburetor. If so, then we need to check your fuel shut solenoid. It is located under the fuel bowl on your carburetor.

Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Your fuel shut off solenoid should click each time you cycle your ignition switch on and off. It has a spring loaded plunger that must retract, when your ignition switch is on, to allow fuel to flow within your carburetor. Sometimes this part will fail either before, or after it reaches full operating temperature.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Any brilliant tips on checking the first?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

The first: Remove your fuel hose from your carburetor, and place it into a suitable container, to catch your fuel. Turn your key to start position, as you observe your fuel flow.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
OK, I have discovered something. What's the rubber hose coming out of the back part of the mower that says OHV? It appears to not be connected wherever may have been previously located. The tip quarter inch is solid black as opposed to covered by dirt like everything else. I can't quite see where it goes though.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Perhaps back under the air filter cover?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Yes it is in that area. I would check your solenoid first, to see if it is clicking.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Solenoid is clicking.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
this hose that is loose has the numbers 20-326-20 (or 2C) on it.
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Okay, thanks for checking. Check your fuel flow next. If your fuel flow is good, then you will very likely need to give your carburetor a really good cleaning.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Donald - haven't seen anything about this hose being disconnected. Google says it's a "hose breather" - is it important?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

You are correct. That is your breather hose. Your engine breathes through that hose.

Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Your fuel hose fits directly to your carburetor.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
if it's disconnected, that could be causing the issue?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Your engine can run with your breather tube disconnected, but with it disconnected, dust and debris can enter your crankcase.

Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

I am lead to believe your carburetor is at fault ...

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the breather tube is not likely to be the cause, then?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

No, it would not prevent your engine from starting.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I just had this thing serviced six weeks ago, so that's frustrating, but thanks. Would recent service change your diagnostic?
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

Based upon the fact that your fuel shut off solenoid is clicking, and your engine will start if you use starting fluid, usually is an indication that you have either a partially clogged jet, or a partially clogged fuel passage inside your carburetor.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. I'll get it looked at.
Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

You are very welcome!

Expert:  Donald replied 6 months ago.

I do hope all goes well for you.