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Old 08-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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mower won't start


The neighbor with the arm cast came over to see what was going on. He gave the float bowl a thwack and said sometimes that fixes it. He said to try and start the mower. Since all the gas had run out previously I refilled it.

Dumb of me for filling it all the way again, instead of just enough to start it. No it didn't start and began leaking gas again like before. But, it only leaked gas for a short while then stopped.

He agreed Marine gas would be better but he said it's expensive. I think I'm willing to pay for it rather than go thru this again next year.

He's coming back tomorrow with a friend who can fix it.

I'm going to end up owing so many people favors. I always repay favors by baking a scrumptious dessert.


Last edited by Startingover; 08-29-2013 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:11 PM   #17
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Gave up and just took my mower to a shop today. The guy said once the air filter is soaked with gas it's ruined. I gave one last attempt to start it today hoping it had magically healed itself during the night. No.

After a couple of clonks on the carb float it doesn't leak gas as badly, but still leaks. Curious to see his diagnoses. He said good thing I didn't take the float valve cap off as I'd void the warranty. He talked about shipping the motor back. Glad the grass has slowed down. I already had to pay $30 for a half a** mowing by some kid. (who didn't mow the curb strip and didn't trim the back). Today had to pay $25 just to take the mower into the shop. I'm really skeptical about what my total bill will be from this repair shop.

PS the neighbor came back alright, and stood right next to the mower with his eyes adverted. He didn't mention it, so I wasn't about to beg for help so didn't mention it either.
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
The float is just stuck in the carburetor.
It's a simple DIY repair with a few simple hand tools.
Remove and disassemble it.
Shot some carburetor cleaner into all the ports.
And put it back together.
All the pieces are made so they can only go one way when assembling.
Why not sharpen the blade yourself and save a few bucks?
If you added an additive that counter acts the effects of ethanol fuel or use non ethanol fuel you may avoid having to go through this again.
Ethanol eats up and things made of plastic or rubber and gums up the insides of the carburetor.
Joe, I think he needs to take it to a shop, as he asked if he needed a special tool to remove the spark plug, and if he would get shocked if he touched the plug. No Offense meant, but engines are obviously not his "thing" Just saying.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:36 AM   #19
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1.5 weeks my one y.o. mower has been in the shop. I was getting nervous about what it would cost.

Yes, to all the advice here, you were right. There was dirt in the carb needle. I guess that's the same as the float valve which I couldn't get to, when I tried to fix it myself. Now I wish I'd tried harder.

Aprx.$12 for parts, $1 for gas, $4 for environmental fees (what are those?), $60 for labor and tax comes to over $80, but I put a $25 deposit down so my bill will be $58.

This is the shop owner who was snotty to me the first time I was there and now he calls me 'sweetheart'. (??)

He said "someone has been in trying to work on the carburetor. I told him it was me. I wonder how he knew? Unless I didn't get the top cover on tight.

jagans, 'him' is a her :-)


PS The only other mower I've purchased was a Briggs and Stratton, long ago, which I used for 10 yrs without half the trouble I've had with this Toro in just one year. No more Toro mowers for me. edit: even so I calculated the cost of mowing has only been $28 per month. Not bad!

What I have trouble with is that when my grass gets really high, like during vacation, this mower doesn't do well, it shakes and rattles. If it last another 2 yrs, I'm getting a riding mower.

P.S.S. my Toro has a Chinese Kohler engine.

Last edited by Startingover; 10-03-2013 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:16 PM   #20
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"Yes, to all the advice here, you were right. There was dirt in the carb needle. I guess that's the same as the float valve which I couldn't get to, when I tried to fix it myself. Now I wish I'd tried harder."


Keep the area around the fill point of the gas tank clean, might be a good idea to see if there's anything in the bottom of your gas can that could plug up the carb,if so give it a good rinse.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:48 PM   #21
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Add Seafoam gas treatment to your fuel. Ethanol is hell on carbureted engines. If your grass is deep, raise the deck. I have an old toro with a B&S engine, starts every time. I did not know that Briggs made mowers, Im pretty sure your mower had a Briggs engine. My toro raises hell if the grass builds up under the deck too. I pressure wash the underneath AFTER I drain the oil. If you tip these engines too far, oil can get up in the top end and carb.

I would recommend that you use full synthetic oil in your engine and Seafoam in your fuel. Hopefully your You should have no more problems. I like Briggs engines myself, never had one that did not run well.

PS I hope the "Sweetheart" installed an inline fuel filter for you in case there is crud in the tank.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:47 AM   #22
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jagans,

I have Seafoam. (bought on advice here) How much would I add? Maybe a tablespoon?

I didn't know there was a problem tipping the mower too far. I tip it all the time, maybe 3 times while mowing the front yard........to clean the built up grass out. I tip it, (on the oil side) until it rests on it's side.

The grass is only thick in front. Not much problem with the back or large side yard. It's really slowed down growing.

I don't know what all the repair shop did. The mower runs and I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could.

canarywood, ok, I'll check that.

I'm more energetic in the morning and like mowing then. But, I've been trying to wait until 4 pm when the grass is really dry. That helps lessen the build up underneath.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:00 AM   #23
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jagans,

I have Seafoam. (bought on advice here) How much would I add? Maybe a tablespoon?

I didn't know there was a problem tipping the mower too far. I tip it all the time, maybe 3 times while mowing the front yard........to clean the built up grass out. I tip it, (on the oil side) until it rests on it's side.

The grass is only thick in front. Not much problem with the back or large side yard. It's really slowed down growing.

I don't know what all the repair shop did. The mower runs and I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could.

canarywood, ok, I'll check that.

I'm more energetic in the morning and like mowing then. But, I've been trying to wait until 4 pm when the grass is really dry. That helps lessen the build up underneath.
You cant mow grass when its wet, so thats probably whats causing the sludge to build up underneath. If your mower is a recycler type that does not eject the grass out the side, they really get gummed up fast if you cut wet grass. Maybe you have a guard on the discharge side you can remove? By the way, if you go under the deck a lot by tipping you might want to pull out the spark plug to relieve the engines compression so you dont hack off a couple of fingers in the process. Not sure what size spark plug you have, but you can buy a three socket set at Walmart that has 5/8. 3/4, and 13/16 (The size that all plugs were up until about 1970. Its anybodys guess why they changed that one) you will need a 3/8 drive ratchet too, so might just as well pick up a small set. They sell Stanley tools which are passable.
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:57 PM   #24
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jagans,

that's good to know. Eventually I'll have to replace the spark plug and didn't know how. Thank you. I really hate paying someone for things that are simple, just because I didn't know how to do them. Besides the inconvenience of making arrangements to borrow my daughter's SUV.

Yes, my mower recycles. I figured that had something to do with it as I've never had these problems before. Maybe I will try taking the side guard off.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:20 PM   #25
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If you take the side cover off the mower, be sure to put the deflector chute on. Would be very dangerous to operate without it.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #26
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Yeah, when I was young, all that existed were reel mowers, but they often did not cut those pesky dandelions, so someone came out with the rotary lawnmower which is basically all you see today except on golf courses.

Rotary mowers can be dangerous, especially when the operator is an idiot. You know the guy that will mow a hill in flip flops, fall down and end up with his arm or a foot under the deck with the motor running.

Of course that was not his fault, so of course he hired a good lawyer to get him a windfall settlement.

You can thank that guy for all the guards that you now need, the handle that you have to hold against significant spring pressure and the motor that stops every time you let that lever go. You can also thank him for the half dozen warnings on extension cords, your irritating seat belt warning bell even though you are going 100 feet down to the corner, and running out of hot water in the shower.

I guess there were a lot fewer idiots back when I was a kid, a lot more people that took responsibility for their actions, a lot less lawyers, or all three.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:41 PM   #27
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I bought a push self propelled mower from sears 3 year ago. Has the honda Gcv 160 engiine. No problems. Besides its a little cold blooded if its fall out and doing leaves with bagger. I have to let it warm up.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:58 AM   #28
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a girlfriend who is an environmentalist bought a reel push mower cause she just has a tiny bit of grass. She said people stop on the sidewalk to watch or to ask her about it.

Home Depot sold Honda riding mowers last yr, but I see they're selling a different brand now.

My lawn and house look so good when it's mowed, but there's so much work to do that I often let grass get longer than I should. I won't let that happen anymore since it may have contributed to the recent problems.

My lot is 11,500 and my house 1,430, so I figured I only have .25 acre to mow and it doesn't sound like much, but it feels like a lot. The front is easy. I've spent the last yr since buying this house planting shrubs and flowers, smack in the middle, so the side and back have a lot of obstacles to mow around and it's time consuming.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:56 AM   #29
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If you want a carefree well-engineered mower ... get a Honda. My last one went 13 years with no maintenance other than oil changes and blade sharpening, and filter changes.

I traded that one in on my current Honda. It's gone 6 years with only the same maintenance, except maybe I changed the plug once out of guilt.

You pay more upfront, yep...but it sure has been worth it
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:41 PM   #30
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Well, my Simplicity Broadmoore tractor is 17 years old. It has a twin cylinder, 16 HP Briggs and Stratton engine, and it is still going strong. I replaced the spark plugs once, but I do change the oil and filters regularly, grease the fittings, and clean and paint the underside of the deck with traffic paint once a year. An old timer told me a long time ago that its the deck that goes first, so I keep up with that. So far So good.

I have never owned a B&S engine that owed me a thing. I guess if you have 500 or more dollars to spend on a Honda Mower, have at it, but if it was me, and I needed a hand mower, Id buy a Snapper.

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