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Old 05-11-2019, 04:27 PM   #1
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Mower suddenly running rough


I had an Airens lawn mower for 18 years and had not a single problem with it. Bought a new one a few years ago and starting on its 3rd season. Today it started up great and about 5 minutes into mowing the engine started running rough, idle is up and down and up and down.....

Usually this points to the carb needing cleaning doesn't it, but would that cause it to instantly start running rough? Any ideas on this?

Photo in attachment. Inline photos no longer work here it appears.

Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


Sounds like some crud came loose and made its way to the jet or some port somewhere.
As you say, first thing to do is pull the carb, disassemble and blast with carb cleaner.
Also check that fuel if flowing through the filter and lines.
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Old 05-11-2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


Another thing to check is the choke. Does it have trouble starting when hot? On many mower engines today, there is a butterfly choke plate in the carburetor area, and a metal clock-type actuator on the other side of the engine at the exhaust, with a piece of coat-hanger sized wire linking the two. I have had my mower start running rough, and after a bit of examination, noticed the link rod was missing --- choke always on.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


There are no problems when starting it, hot or cold.

I persisted and ran the thing, used the throttle a couple times to rev it higher, and strangely enough it suddenly started running fine again and did through the rest of the lawn.

So does it sound like something got into the fuel system and worked its way out?
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


Maybe inspect/replace the fuel line? Fuel filter won't do any good if the downstream hose is disintegrating.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


On a Briggs I would replace the diaphragm. Yours looks like a gravity carb. Probably cost $15 for a new carb or $30 for a kit. That should not be a hard choice.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


Are any of these things mentioned (bad hose, bad carb) something you would expect to happen on a mower only in its 3rd season?

The last Ariens mower had a Centura engine, but this one has a Kawasaki.

I use only ethanol free gas in the mower.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: Mower suddenly running rough


I have a Kawasaki engine in my 30+ year old JD tractor and they are pretty solid (back then anyway). There are too many factors to say it is a problem with a new engine. Fresh gas? Clean container? Debris in retailer's tank? Etc. etc.
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