Lawn mower keeps dying

eggplantoMay 4, 2009

I've got a self-propelled Yard-Man mower that will only run for a short period of time before it dies. When I first start using it, it runs for about 2 minutes then it dies. I have to wait about 5 minutes before trying to restart it, or it won't restart. After about 1-2 hours of using the mower, it will only run about 1 minute before it dies. Any idea what could be causing this problem? Thanks

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Vent hole in gas cap plugged, water, crap in the carb float bowl.

Probably fuel starvation, but could be not enough valve clearance.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 6:14PM
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i curious to know how you ever get to mow for 1-2 hours with it dying every 2 minutes, progressively worsening to just 1 minute of run time, while having to wait 5 minutes before it re-starting.

quick math says that, at 2 minutes run time to 5 minutes down time, you actually have a running mower appx. 16 minutes out of every hour.

are you serious?

now your mower - is this the first time running it this season? how did it do last season? did you store it properly? does it die like it's running out of gas or like someone turned a key-off? have you tried running it without the gas cap (diagnostically)?

here's the deal. you have 5 minutes of down time where it apparently doesn't start. this is your diagnostic window. 95% chance it's spark or fuel. 5% chance it's mechanical. if your plug has spark during this down time, then it's fuel related. get you some spray carb cleaner and mist it in the carb during the no start period and see if that gets you going. if it does, there you are. pull the carb off and clean it internally if thats the case.

* a note on checking spark - a spark checker is awesome for this. cheap tool, one end has a tip like a spark plug. you put that in the plug wire. the other has a spring-loaded clip that you attach to your spark plug or any available ground. the spark gap is also adjustable.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:26AM
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Yes, I only get about 16 minutes of run time an hour so it took me over 2 hours to cut the front lawn the other day. Not fun. It was doing the same thing last year, but not quite as bad. I'm not sure about "storing it properly"- so the answer is probably "no". I ran out all of the gas and left it in the garage for 5 months.

Thanks for all of the tips above- I'll work on the mower this weekend.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 4:21PM
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I would have to go with the fuel cap vent plugged. Funny I was just explaining to a family down the street with 5+ mowers that are experiencing the same issues. Some may have other problems but for the most part the cap would fix at least 3.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:55PM
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