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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 13581
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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Have a SGT 5400 Lawn Tractor with a Kohler engine. Stall

Customer Question

Have a SGT 5400 Lawn Tractor with a Kohler engine. Stall like it is running out of gas. Changed fuel filter, made sure flow is free from tank and after what appears to be a fuel pump.
JA: Can you guesstimate how old the engine is? And has it done anything like this in the past?
Customer: 12-15 years. Never before.
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: I can
JA: The expert is ready to answer your small engine question. Is there anything else you want him to know?
Customer: No
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

Hi, my name is***** will be assisting you.

Can you give me a little more detail about your stalling issue? Does it stall immediately after starting? How long will the engine run prior to stalling? Do you have a fuel solenoid on the bottom of the carburetor?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It may run for minutes. Once it stalls, it will typically start again for a few seconds before stalling again. Seems to run longer after it has set for 10-15 minutes. It look like a solenoid at the bottom of the carburetor (single wire?). It will initially run perfectly and then gradually sputter like running out of gas for few minutes then stop. Choke does not alter the issue.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Typing is better for me.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

So once it stalls out can you tell me if there is still fuel in the carburetor bowl or not?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not sure. What is the best way to check for this?
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

As soon as it stalls, clamp the fuel line off going to the carburetor and remove the bolt in the bottom of the carburetor bowl or remove the fuel solenoid. If fuel runs out then we know that you still have fuel there and will need to look at the carburetor jetting otherwise we would focus on the fuel pump and possibly fuel tank vent system.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Will test that tomorrow and send you the results. Thanks
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

Just let me know what you find and we can continue our troubleshooting process.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Bowl was full of fuel.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
John:What is my next step?
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

My next step would be to check the fuel solenoid and make certain that it is functioning properly. Make certain that it has a constant steady voltage going to it when the ignition key is turned on and make certain that it is opening all the way when voltage is applied. If the solenoid is loosing voltage periodically or not opening all the way up it would cause a fuel starvation problem.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
IT appears to have 12 volts when idle and 13-14 when running. How do I test the solenoid to see if it is opening up all the way?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Figured out how to test the solenoid. Works perfectly.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Put back together and now runs fine when brake pedal is pushed in but stalls when brake pedal is released. Will keep running if push brake pedal back in. Runs with blades engaged and brake pedal pushed down.
Expert:  JohnF2015 replied 9 months ago.

With the information that you have provided I would suspect a bad brake safety switch. Since you can run the machine with the blades engaged it tells me that the seat switch should be okay. I suspect a bad contact in the brake switch.