craftsman mower starts, then immediately dies

joanneljJune 21, 2008

I have a Craftsman 917.377842 with a Honda engine (GCV190A-S3A.) I used it a few weeks ago, and when it ran out of gas, I left it outside, since it was not supposed to rain, and I was going to finish mowing the next day. When I tried to mow the next day, the mower would start, and then immediately die.

I am not a mechanic, but I'm a relatively intelligent person, so I think I could fix it with some guidance. I would just take it to a repair shop, but they all have a 2 week wait! If I wait that long, my lawn will be ready for haying...

So, after reading and researching online, I've tried a few things, with no success.

It has fuel.

The fuel cap vent is clean.

I drained the gas from the bottom of the carb, in case there was water in it.

I know the next step is probably to remove the carb and clean it, but I'm not ready to try this without some guidance. I've looked online for a service manual. but couldn't find one.

Any help?



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Did you possibly turn the fuel shut off valve?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 3:04PM
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No, I didn't. But just to be sure, I've tried it in both directions(it's not labeled well.) But when it's off, the thing doesn't start at all, and when it's on, it always starts, and then immediately dies.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 10:07AM
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Hey Joanne,

I am having the same issue, just to check, did you figure it out yet?


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 1:57PM
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No luck yet. I guess I'll try some gas additive, although I don't know if that will help now that the thing isn't running. The shop I called today says it will be 3 weeks before I could get it fixed! That puts a real damper on my 4th of July party...

Let me know if you have any luck. Do you have the same model?


    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 2:31PM
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Did you try changing the spark plug?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 11:22AM
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The spark plug fixed it! Yay! I don't know why I didn't check that first thing. Everything I read indicated the carb, so I just skipped over that step. Thanks for reminding me. (Although I'm sure the carb cleaner I added to the gas didn't hurt, either.)


    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:46AM
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I have the same problem. Where do you put the carb cleaner?
Hubby did the same thing- ran mower out of gas. However, then he changed the spark plug and air filter and sprayed canned air. Now there is no spark. He thinks he's sprayed dirt into something. Any ideas on how to fix this problem?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 2:19PM
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