Mower keeps cutting out

loobug1August 2, 2010

Hi. This is our first time owning a gas powered mower and up until now it has seemed fine (used about 3 times). Today we are trying to start it and it has white smoke everytime it starts and it runs for only a couple of seconds and then it cuts out. My son says the white smoke has been present each time he and my husband have started it before but that it has run perfectly other than that. We have the right oil in it, we have checked that there is no grass jamming up the blade and as the grass is fairly long (almost 2 weeks) i have had my son put it on it's highest cutting height, but i'm sure this is not the issue as it still cuts out standing still on the patch of grass that is already short. Can anyone help? Thanks so much.

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I'm assuming the mower is new.

The gas should be fresh, i.e. purchased in the last 30 days. If not replace the gas. Are you trying to start the mower with the blades over uncut grass? If so, move it to concrete or an area where the grass doesn't touch the blades. If none of those are issues, the vent hole in the gas cap might be plugged.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:36AM
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jtyrie(Z7+ DFW)

Does it have a manual choke? If you leave the choke on, it could exhibit what you describe. Also, if the butterfly valve that actually does the "choking" is sticking closed, whether it is an automatic or manual choke, it could cause this. Remove the air filter. You should be able to look inside your carb. If there is a solid piece of metal closing off the throat of the carb, your choke is on. That metal should turn and open up the throat of the carb when the choke goes off. If it doesn't, that is your problem.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 2:59PM
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Also check the Oil Dipstick Level if it appears unusually high smell it , does it smell like gasoline ? Your needle valve may have stuck causing flooding into the crankcase. If no gas smell but have high oil level , then the oil is being sucked into the breather , causing the white or bluish white smoke on startup . Check it out and let us know .

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 9:12PM
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A mower that is that new must still be under warranty. There is where you want to go for repair.

Otherwise, when you ask for help on an engine, the model number of the engine is usually a prerequisite to getting a good diagnosis.

Walt Conner

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 9:52PM
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The air filter is contaminated by oil either by tipping improperly or overfilling with oil. Remove the filter and reset the oil level as needed. Clean the area around the filter and replace it. The smoke should clear in a few minutes of running.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 1:17AM
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cutting out and gets very hot too. Mower is not new, but starts great and runs great when runs. What is happening? I am going to check gas cap and will check filter, and what else should i check/do?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 12:15AM
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earthworm(6 Pennsylvania)

Same with an automobile....
At the "cut-out" event, remove the spark plug.
Is it wet or dry ?
If dry, why ?
No fuel, so back track to the fuel delivery system, including the gasoline itself.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 9:44AM
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Hi I made a dvd to cover the exact problems you are having. If your interested you will find it here.
Hope this helps.
P.s The DVD is also available at under the title Briggs and stratton repair manual dvd video.
Its a very simple to follow dvd and should help you sort this small problem out.
Kind regards

Here is a link that might be useful: Repairing Lawnmowers For Profit

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 3:20PM
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