I received a phone call from a friend of mine today who stated his neighbor had a used Sears Craftsman Platinum Self Propelled Push Mower he wanted to sell to him for $50.
My friend wanted to know if he should buy it?
After digging into the story with my friend it turns out his neighbor had bought the mower brand new last year, used it all year long without any issues and then stored it in his garage for the winter.
When mowing season came around this year he pulled it out and believe it or not it wouldn’t start.
So the neighbor hopped in his car, drove to Sears and bought a new push mower.
Now he’s wanting to sell a $500 self propelled mower that doesn’t run to my friend for $50.
My guess is the neighbor stored the mower over the winter with ethanol fuel in his mowers fuel tank.
Since it’s not leaking gas I assume the fuel probably clogged up the fuel system. Here is the advice I gave to my friend.
$50 is a hell of deal for a one year old mower, buy it.
Then do the following:
- Take it home and drain all of the old fuel from the mower. Losen the nut on the bottom of the carburetor and let the fuel in the carburetor drain out.
- Go to the local gas station and purchase some high grade fuel. The highest grade they have. Don’t be cheap here.
- Add a fuel additive to the gas such as the Briggs and Stratton 100031 Fuel Additive.
- Check the spark plug for fouling. If the previous owner was using ethanol fuel in the mower the spark plug could be severely corroded or clogged up.
- Clean or replace the spark plug as needed.
- Check the spark plug gap.
- Check the air filter. My guess is the air filter is also clogged. Clean or replace the air filter as needed.
- Try and start the mower.
- It’ll take a little bit of effort to work the new fuel into the system and burn off the old. So pull, pull, pull.
- If it still won’t start give it a little shot of starting fluid. Not too much, just a quick shot.
If after all these steps it still won’t start bring it in to our shop.
If the above doesn’t work the seals in the carburetor are probably too far gone from the ethanol and it’ll need a carburetor kit.
A carburetor kit installed would run him around $100.
So for less than $150 and a little time he’ll have a one year old mower that runs like a dream.
I just hope this winter he remembers to drain all the fuel from the mower before storing it.
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– Jack Hayes