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Donald
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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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: 2 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

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

Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years ago.
approximately
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago.
It may be unrelated but I have to charge the battery after every four or five uses.
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago.

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

Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

These are only troubleshooting questions ...

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
manual.
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years ago.
normal
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago.

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

Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

Do you have access to another battery?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Donald replied 2 years 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 2 years ago.

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

Expert:  Donald replied 2 years ago.

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