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Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 2150
Experience:  I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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Russ, I have a mid 90's Craftsman Lawn tractorwith the

Customer Question

Hi Russ, I have a mid 90's Craftsman Lawn tractor###-##-####with the Kohler 15.5 HP CV15S engine. I have maintained it myself and never had a problem. Recently, the tractor has been starting fine and then cutting out after 5 to 10 minutes of mowing.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to get you the answer you need to your question.
Do your engine shut off completely, or just run rough? Do you have some carburetor cleaner in a can? If so, spray a small burst directly into your carburetor, immediately after your engine shut off. Let's see if your engine will start back up, or if you will still have to wait five minutes.
When your spark plug fouls out, is it covered in oil, or is it covered in black soot? We can continue from here. Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It runs like a champ fo 5 minutes, then starts backfiring and dies. I wait 5 minutes, and it restarts and runs like a champ for the next hour till the lawn is done. If it was the carb, wouldn't it run rough all the time?When I try to force a restart without waiting the 5 minutes, the plug does get dark - not sure - but I guess I would say it is sooty as opposed to oily.
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

Are you familiar with checking for spark to your spark plug? We need to determine if you are getting a spark, as you are waiting the necessary five minutes for your engine to restart.

Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

Do you have to replace your spark plug each time, or only clean it?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not sure how to check for spark to the plug.I do not need to do anything to the plug if I simply wait the 5 minutes. I only need to clean it or change it if I do not wait the 5 minutes and I keep trying to crank it, while getting the backfiring.I first thought it might be the carb, but if that were the case wouldn't it be harder to start and run rough?Like I said, it starts easily and runs like a champ - it's just this freaky backfiring that occurs 5 to 10 minutes after starting.
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

Does your engine smoke during the times when it is running like a champ? Have you checked your air filter?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No smoking. Air filter is clean
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for this information. Based upon what we have covered thus far, I believe your carburetor is at fault, and will need to be cleaned.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I have my doubts, just because it runs so well the rest of the time. Can you point me to a video or instruction on cleaning the carb? I have never done that before b
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.
I am away from my computer. I am replying to you via my mobile phone. I will be back at my computer around 4:00 pm central time. I will post some information relating to carburetors at that time. Thanks!