Started up mower this season after sitting all winter with fuel in the tank. Engine will start up for a few seconds very robustly and then sputter out. It was running last season, not perfectly but no interruptions.

Replaced spark plug, took apart gas tank, fuel lines, carb, air filter. Used carb cleaner where appropriate. Everything seems to be clear and working properly. The only thing we weren't able to take apart was where the fuel line meets the carb at this little plastic joint that's shaped like an L. We did spray carb cleaner in there though.

Anyway we did all that, still won't run and in fact it wouldn't even start up unless we poured fuel directly into the carb, even with the gas cap off it ran a little longer but still died.

Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


Your carb is plugged, most likely by ethanol gas in the float bowl/tank. You either need to completely rebuild your carb or get a new one. If you take the carb apart and run it through an ultrasonic cleaner, you can probably save it. If you can't get a rebuild kit for it, you might be able to save the old gaskets, but you'd have to be very careful.

When storing any gas operated engine for winter (or long periods), empty the gas tank and then run the engine until it quits. This will completely dry out the carb and you won't have an issue next year when you go to run it. You can also use fuel stabilizer in the tank, which will help, but you still need to run the engine dry (wouldn't necessarily need to empty the tank with it in the fuel).

  • By rebuild you mean take apart and clean out? May 11, 2023 at 22:19
  • @NickCherry - Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Just by squirting carb cleaner in it isn't going to get everything out of the small passage ways which allow gas to flow. Something is clogged and only allowing a minimal amount of fuel through, which allows you to start it, but not to run it. May 11, 2023 at 22:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .