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Engine was running fine, and then lost power. Will only run…

Customer Question
Engine was running fine...

Engine was running fine, and then lost power. Will only run now on choke. Changed fuel filter and cleaned air filter. Same issue. Now what do I check?

Mechanic's Assistant: Can you guesstimate how old the engine is? And has it done anything like this in the past?

Engine is probably 4-5 yrs old, and this is the first time.

Mechanic's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

Yes

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else we should know to help you best?

This is for a zero turn mower - 2 cylinders

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Small Engine
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/17/2017
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago
Donald
Donald, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 2,435
Experience: I have 25+ years of experience repairing 2 & 4 cycle engines
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Hello. Thank you for choosing Just Answer. My name is***** will be happy to assist you.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

Will your engine continue to run as long as your choke is closed?

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

Thanks for your response. Have you checked the fuel shut off solenoid on your carburetor?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'm not sure what that is?
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

It is screwed into the bottom of your carburetor. It has wires attached to it. Your fuel shut off solenoid should click each time you cycle your ignition switch on and off. It has a spring loaded plunger that must retract, when your ignition switch is on, to allow fuel to flow within your carburetor. Sometimes this part will fail either before, or after it reaches full operating temperature.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is it possible to test this part with a meter?
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

It is best to listen for a click as you turn your key on and off. You can use a meter to check to see if you are getting 12 volts to your solenoid.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
When I remove the connection, I can feel the click of the engagement. When I manually activate the choke, I can start the engine in any throttle position. As soon as I adjust the choke off, the engine dies. In doing this, I don't feel any click on the solenoid. When I first removed the connection from the solenoid, and tried to start the engine (which I knew wouldn't start), I wanted to confirm that the valve was not stuck in a position. Upon reconnecting the solenoid, the engine performed as normal, meaning the choke bogged the engine down, or ran rough, and once I throttled back, it settle out fine. This lasted for 30 seconds, and then returned to the problem I have been having.
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

This indicates that your solenoid could be intermittently failing.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

The solenoid could be failing after it heats up.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

If you can find a plug with the same thread pattern as the thread pattern on your fuel solenoid, to screw into your carburetor, you can screw it into your carburetor to temporarily bypass your solenoid.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

If your engine continues to run properly after thirty seconds, this will also confirm that your solenoid is at fault.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I guess I don't understand about replacing the solenoid with a bolt. The normal running position is in or closed? Otherwise it extends to cut the flow of fuel off?
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
By inserting a bolt, it allows fuel to flow it's normal path, and not out the hole of the solenoid also?
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

When your engine is running, your plunger is in the retracted position to allow fuel to flow through your carburetor.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

When your ignition switch is off, your plunger moves in the opposite direction to shut off your fuel flow.

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

Do you have an old carburetor that has a fuel solenoid?

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Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

If so, you can clip the plunger off and use the old solenoid as a plug.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I'll see what I can replace it with. thanks.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
One last question, has does this solenoid position change dependent upon the choke position. Does it know throttle position?
Technician: Donald, Small Engine Technician replied 8 months ago

It does not relate to throttle position at all. Actually it's purpose is to prevent your engine from backfiring after you shut it off. Your solenoid only opens and closes to shut your fuel flow off.

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