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Lawnmower will start but won't stay running. How do I fix it?

My lawnmower was running for 10 min or so, and then stopped, as if it was out of gas. I had just filled it up with gas before starting. I checked again - still full. When I try to start it up again, it runs for about 3 seconds, and then stops.

I cleaned the air filter, checked the fuel line, opened engine cover, everything looks good.

Any suggetions or ideas on troubleshooting?

Moderated by Katelyn Strauss 32 months ago
Asked on Jul 26, 2009Improve / edit this question

2 Answers

Jennifer Buchanan   L3: Expert   23 answers   +5 votes
This answer has -1 votes  by

Try a new spark plug.

Posted on Jul 27, 2009
Jerry Walch   L6: Pro   246 answers   +113 votes
This answer has -2 votes  by

The spark plug is most likely not your problem. From the way you describe the problem it sounds like a carburetor problem to me. I'm assuming that you used the choke and primer button every time you attempted to restart the lawnmower. Assuming that, it sounds to me that it remains running until the primer charge of fuel runs out and then the engine quits. If that is the case there's a problem with the carburetor because its not pulling enough fuel from the fuel tank and feeding it to the cylinder. There's a fuel filter inside the fuel tank which could be partially blocked. The jets inside the carburetor could be partially obstructed. There could be an air leak between the carburetor and the engine, or a number of other causes but the first thing that I would check is the fuel filter/screen inside the tank but you will have to remove the tank to do that. If it ran for ten minutes and then quit, it sounds as if it may have sucked some dirt from the fuel tank up against/in the fuel filter/screen. If that isn't the problem and unless you have experience working on gasoline engines, it's time to call a friend who has or it's time to take the lawnmower to a mechanic.

Posted on Jul 28, 2009

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