Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
Hi, my name is***** will be assisting you.
Holding your finger over one of the intake ports makes me think that the unit is just not getting enough fuel to keep it running on its own. You are basically force choking the engine to keep it running when you hold your finger over it like that. It takes a lot of rust to cause any running issues and since you can make it run by holding your finger over an intake port I seriously doubt that his solution is the answer for you.
I believe that you will find it to be a fuel issue rather than a rust issue.
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