Push mower died

Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
I have a 6 1/2 year old Craftsman 22" push mower with a B&S 190cc engine. Right in the middle of mowing a couple of weeks ago it just stopped. We thought it was out of gas so I refilled it. It has not cranked since. Just prior to the previous mowing I had changed the oil, put in a brand new air filter, and a new spark plug. The gas was fresh. Cleaned the carb and the fuel lines and still nothing. I went to purchase a new mower and have the mechanic take a quick look at my old one. He said it had no compression(This is a mower that has never failed to crank on 1st pull in over 6 years). Before the previous mowing, I asked the guy to clean up the mower when he finished. I walked outside to see him spraying down the entire mower with a water hose, engine and all. I told him to stop and after trying to dry the mower, we cranked it back up. It cranked fine. It then cranked fine the day it died until halfway thru mowing the yard. My question is, could any water have gotten in the motor and caused the loss of compression? If not, what are the most likely causes of compression loss in a mower like this? I hate to admit it, but I'm not mechanically inclined enough or knowledgeable enough to tear into the engine, which is what the mechanic said would be necessary to diagnose the problem. Sorry for the lengthy post and thanks in advance for any help or info.
 
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1,086
Location
Gulf Coast
I've always washed my mowers off with water and I'm not careful about it at all. Never had any problems with it...Honda or B&S. I'm no mower expert however.
 
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25,823
Location
Upstate NY
If there is no compression it should be significantly easier to pull the rope handle than it use to be. Is that the case? A compression gauge is not a lot of $$. Does the model start with a 917.xxxx or 247.xxxx. 917=Husqvarna. 247=MTD.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: robshelton
No compression? Sounds like a stuck valve to me.
I just wonder what would cause a valve to stick in a mower that had been running fine for over 30 minutes with fresh oil, gas, and new air filter. My yard guy was mowing a flat area with nothing but grass on it at the time. He didn't hit any limbs, rocks, or other obstacles when mowing.
 
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25,823
Location
Upstate NY
Buy an Airens, Toro, JD, Husqvarna, Simplicity. IMHO Craftsman has innovative but gimmicky features but is light on heavy duty construction. And I worked for Sears and sold them.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: Donald
If there is no compression it should be significantly easier to pull the rope handle than it use to be. Is that the case? A compression gauge is not a lot of $$. Does the model start with a 917.xxxx or 247.xxxx. 917=Husqvarna. 247=MTD.
Yes, the rope pulls a little easier, though it has never been hard to pull at all. The mower is a 917.xxxx model.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: Donald
Buy an Airens, Toro, JD, Husqvarna, Simplicity. IMHO Craftsman has innovative but gimmicky features but is light on heavy duty construction. And I worked for Sears and sold them.
The day I took it to the mechanic I purchased a Husqvarna 7021p with the Honda GVC160 engine from his dealership. I really like it. I can't complain too much about this Craftsman because it was a $240 mower I got on sale for $180 over 6 years ago, so I guess I got mu money's worth out of it.
 
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7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
check flywheel key first. Then spark (from ignition). Lastly: check fuel (carb). I don't take all small engine shop tech's advice, for almost all of them in my area are dishonest to begin with (and will lie through their teeth casually). Q.
 
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1,519
Location
FL
Make sure to check the flywheel key. My mower suddenly would not start one day. It sheared the key in half without hitting a thing. Left me confused for a few days.
 
Last edited:
Messages
7,136
Location
MIchigan
Originally Posted By: Quest
check flywheel key first. Then spark (from ignition). Lastly: check fuel (carb). I don't take all small engine shop tech's advice, for almost all of them in my area are dishonest to begin with (and will lie through their teeth casually). Q.
Exactly what I was thinking...after all he talked him into buying a new mower. Could be just some dirt that got sucked into the carb causing it to die. Try putting some Berrymans in the gas and letting it sit. Or maybe the spark plug or coil needs replacing. Check for spark for sure.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: Quest
check flywheel key first. Then spark (from ignition). Lastly: check fuel (carb). I don't take all small engine shop tech's advice, for almost all of them in my area are dishonest to begin with (and will lie through their teeth casually). Q.
This particular mechanic is a friend of mine, and though I don't think he'd lie to me, he does tend to immediately blame every mower problem on the use of regular E10 gas, which is all I ever used in that mower.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: Donald
Try a shot of starter fluid. As a diagnostic. It will momentarily start if there is spark and compression.
Already done that. It didn't start, but would make a few slight "popping" noises before it would go back to nothing at all.
 

parkertown

Thread starter
Messages
52
Location
Mobile, AL
Originally Posted By: Warstud
Originally Posted By: Quest
check flywheel key first. Then spark (from ignition). Lastly: check fuel (carb). I don't take all small engine shop tech's advice, for almost all of them in my area are dishonest to begin with (and will lie through their teeth casually). Q.
Exactly what I was thinking...after all he talked him into buying a new mower. Could be just some dirt that got sucked into the carb causing it to die. Try putting some Berrymans in the gas and letting it sit. Or maybe the spark plug or coil needs replacing. Check for spark for sure.
He didn't talk me into buying the new one. I called him to tell him I was buying a new one regardless of whether the old one could be fixed or not (I wouldn't mind having a spare/loaner). He is a Husqvarna and SKAG dealer who normally won't even look at a Craftsman mower because the Sears in the area is his only real competition (other than Wal-Mart). He offered to look at my old one if I brought it in, but I knew he didn't want to work on it.
 
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2,547
Location
IL
As far as push mowers go, I think a HONDA HRX or a MTD Yard Machine is the best you can get, anything else it is better to go the cheapest route.
 
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