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Small Engine Stops After a Few Seconds

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Small engine stops after a few seconds are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Small engine stops after a few seconds

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Cause 1Carburetor

The carburetor might be clogged. A clogged carburetor is most commonly caused by leaving fuel in the engine for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel may evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and cause the engine to stall. If the carburetor is clogged, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. If cleaning the carburetor isn’t effective, rebuild or replace the entire carburetor.

Parts
Cause 2Carburetor Repair Kit

The carburetor might be clogged. A clogged carburetor is most commonly caused by leaving fuel in the lawn mower for a long period of time. Over time, some of the ingredients in the fuel may evaporate, leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog up the carburetor and prevent the engine from starting. If the carburetor is clogged, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. If cleaning the carburetor isn’t effective, rebuild or replace the entire carburetor.

Parts
Cause 3Fuel Cap

As fuel is consumed, the pressure in the gas tank rises. To relieve this pressure, the gas cap uses a small vent to allow air to enter the gas tank. If the gas cap vent is clogged, air won’t be able to enter the gas tank, and the pressure in the tank will begin to rise. When the pressure in the gas tank exceeds the pressure in the engine, the engine will stall. To determine if the gas cap vent is clogged, try slightly loosening the gas cap and then starting the engine. If the loosening the gas cap allows the engine to stay running, this indicates that the gas cap vent is clogged. If the gas cap vent is clogged, replace the gas cap.

Parts