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Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 15196
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I am having a difficult time starting -- the gas has been in

Customer Question

I am having a difficult time starting -- the gas has been in the unit for 6 months , however I added some additive to preserve the gas -- it started once , I turned it off and tried to start it again -- will not start --- oil is fine
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Is there anything else the Small Engine Technician should be aware of?
Customer: where is the spark plug located ? I removed the the side cover to check the filter and it was falling apart and wet
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Small Engine Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

Make and model? application?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Colemen Powermate 6750 pm0606750/pmc0606750
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.

lets get you a generator guy! I will opt out. Sorry.

Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.

The first thing you need to do is to check and see if you are getting any spark to the plug.

To check for spark, remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug.

Remove the spark plug from the cylinder.

Attach the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Using insulated tools so you do not get shocked, hold the base of the plug to the bare metal of the engine.

Crank the engine and observe the plug for spark. There should be a bright blue spark jumping the gap of the spark plug.

Is there spark present?

If not, we need to look at the ignition system.

If not, pour about a teaspoon of gas directly into the cylinder, and put the plug back in.

Will it start for a couple seconds like that?

If so, your carburetor has gone bad.

As gas gets old, it turns to varnish and clogs up the passagewaysinside the carburetor, not allowing enough gas to get to the engine.

Today’s gasoline formulation goes bad in as little as 30 days.

This condition is cumulative. Every time gas sits, the varnishbuilds up just a little more, like coats of paint, until eventually gas can notflow. It will not happen overnight, but the symptoms can show up allof a sudden, even while simply stopping to refill with gas.

The use of fuel additives, such as Sta-Bil or Sea Foam will notstop this process from happening. They will greatly slow it down, but the gaswill still go bad.

This can also happen even on a brand new engine or brand new carb.When the carb is built, it is run at the factory to tune it.

After tuning, they do not always get properly cleaned, or may nothave enough/any preservative injected. Believe it or not, this is actuallyfairly common.

When this happens, either the engine simply will not start, or itwill not run without the choke on (this reduces the amount of air gettingpulled into the engine, changing the fuel/air mixture), or it will run butsurges.

Another issue that varnish in the carb can cause is that thevarnish may not allow the float needle to seal properly against the seat,causing the flow of gas to not shut off when the bowl is full. The result willbe gas overflowing the carb and running into the cylinder, and possibly out theair intake. If the gas gets into the cylinder, it will seep past the rings anddown into the crankcase. This will be evidenced by your oil level beingover-full and/or the oil smelling like gas.

If this is the case, you will need to change the oil and filter,if it has a filter.

Varnish can also cause the float needle to stick shut, and notallow any gas to flow from the carb bowl into the engine.

The only 2 solutions are to either replace the carburetor or giveit a good, thorough cleaning.

When removing the carb, make sure to take a good picture, or makea good drawing of where all springs and linkages are attached. This will makereassembly much easier.

Most people believe that cleaning a carb involves removing thebowl and wiping it out, then spraying some carb cleaner through it.

This is simply insufficient. It takes months or years for thisaccumulation to build up – it just can not be removed in minutes.

To properly clean the carb, you must remove it, disassemble it(making sure to remove all non-metal parts), and soak it in a commercialsolvent for several hours. Soaking it overnight is even better.

Then clean all solvent off with a spray type carb cleaner, makingsure to get lots of cleaner into every hole and passage there is. Pay specialattention to the tiny holes in the bore of the carb, under the throttle platefor the carbs that have these holes. Use lots of cleaner. And make sure to wearsafety goggles to avoid getting the over spray into your eyes. There will beover spray.

Dry the carb with low pressure compressed air.

When reassembling the carb, make sure to use a carb kit, when oneis available for your carb.

Occasionally, even a good cleaning is not going to be sufficient,and you may end up having to replace the carb anyhow. Be prepared for this.

If for some odd reason this does not help, please let meknow so I can assist you further.


Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.

Did this find the problem?