Push mower starts then dies

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May 25, 2005
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My roughly 10-year-old Yard Machines push mower has ran flawlessly until this week. Out of nowhere it started up really rough, and sputtering. I changed the fuel lines, and fuel filter. Now it will start up then immediately quit. I've looked around at possible fixes. I did notice that where the air filter attaches in front of the throttle the gasket looks torn. Everything seems tight. All help appreciated.
 
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Jun 19, 2020
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When you say runs rough like it’s missing? Any clue if it’s fuel or spark related? Have you pulled the spark plug? You might want to change it. Is there any chance you have bad gas? Odd for it to happen this quickly in mowing season.

just my $0.02
 
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Mar 23, 2003
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Hopewell, Virginia, USA
The cable from the safety lever on the handle to the throttle might be the problem. That's the lever you hold to keep it running that cuts off the engine when you let go.

I had the same problems as you. The mower would run for a minute, then cut off. Other times it wouldn't start. By accident I discovered when I pulled on the cable while holding the lever, the mower would start as it should and keep running.

The cable had stretched over time. Replacing it completely fixed the starting and running problems. The new cable is noticeably tighter.

These cables are usually cheap and replacing them is easy. Look for a part number on the plastic cable sheath. You should be able to match the number online.
 
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Briggs motor? Throw a carb at it.

I bet it'll stay running if you wire the deadman shut then run around and keep pumping the primer for "fuel injection."
 
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I had a mower where the tiny vent in the fuel cap got plugged up and wouldn't allow air into the tank. Fuel won't flow out if air can't get in to replace it. It would run with the fuel cap loose.
 

97prizm

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So it fires right up, then cuts out like I released the kill lever. I was finding online that a damaged gasket could Also be part of the problem.
 
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What kind of carb? Is it a diaphram tyle built into the tank or a float style standard carb? Fresh fuel to start and then clean carb or check diaphram if that type of carb
 

97prizm

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It's a float style that is separate. A fuel line goes from the tank, with a fuel line that goes to the carburetor. I spliced a fuel filter into it years ago. I originally thought that was clogged. Now with new fuel lines, and a new fuel filter it's still acting up. Really frustrating. This seems to be common with mowers around the 10 year age mark.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
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My roughly 10-year-old Yard Machines push mower has ran flawlessly until this week. Out of nowhere it started up really rough, and sputtering. I changed the fuel lines, and fuel filter. Now it will start up then immediately quit. I've looked around at possible fixes. I did notice that where the air filter attaches in front of the throttle the gasket looks torn. Everything seems tight. All help appreciated.
The carb is often dirty and could benefit from cleaning, but IMO that gasket should be replaced before spending a lot of time on other stuff.
 
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