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Craftsman Lawnmower (only 1 year old) Not Completely Smooth - Video Enclosed

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  • Apr 21st, 2017 11:27 am
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Apr 1, 2001
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Craftsman Lawnmower (only 1 year old) Not Completely Smooth - Video Enclosed

I bought the Craftsman lawnmower with Briggs & Stratton engine that was advertised here on RFD last year. It's now about 1 year old.

In 2016, I put in Shell 91-octane gasoline, and started using it at the beginning of spring 2016, and it seemed to be fine. Towards the end of 2016, it started not running smoothly (power not as strong as before, and you can hear the engine running at a non-constant speed). I attributed this to the fact that the gas had been in the lawnmower for a few months (one tank of gas lasted me all season), and didn't think anything of it.

At the end of fall 2016, I burned off all the gasoline in the tank, and put the mower away for storage through the winter.

I just brought the mower back out for its first use in 2017 today. I put in fresh Esso 91-octane gasoline. It took about 10 pulls to start. After starting, it was not running smoothly (sounded like it was about to die off -- i.e. engine speed slowing down, then it would fire, and the engine would continue on again). Eventually, after letting it continue to "try" to run for a few minutes, it started running in a constant manner.

However, it still doesn't seem to be running perfectly smooth. I've attached the video here. I hear a bit of speed variation in the engine even though it's supposed to be running at a constant speed. As well, I'm hearing some slight popping sounds on a continuous basis.

Video of the lawnmower running here:

https://youtu.be/DiouzdFBr6E

What's the reason for this? If it's a mower issue, would something like this typically be covered under warranty?
34 replies
Deal Guru
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Dec 12, 2009
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Did you use fuel stabilizer? Probably some residue in the carburetor affecting the fuel flow. A bit of use is clearing up the issue. I prefer to store my lawn mower with a full tank of gas, with fuel stabilizer. My craftsman is well aged.
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Jul 30, 2007
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My friend has the same one (as It appears to be). Hers has a problem with the spark plugs and wire connector since she bought, maybe you can look into this as well.
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booblehead wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 8:27 am
My friend has the same one (as It appears to be). Hers has a problem with the spark plugs and wire connector since she bought, maybe you can look into this as well.
Did she end up bringing it in for warranty service? Did they fix it?
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will888 wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 7:53 am
Did you use fuel stabilizer? Probably some residue in the carburetor affecting the fuel flow. A bit of use is clearing up the issue. I prefer to store my lawn mower with a full tank of gas, with fuel stabilizer. My craftsman is well aged.
I did not use fuel stabilizer, but I did burn off all the gas by keeping it running until it stopped on its own, before putting it away last winter.

Yesterday? I did use it for about 20 minutes despite the uneven engine activity. How long would you expect it to take to clear up?
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Sep 16, 2004
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Probably does need a tune up. Clean or change spark plug and point of contact, oil change and new gas.
I see the logic of using up all the gas before storing.
Who knows though, maybe leaving some gas in with the stabilizer is better than a dry tank as exemplified in will888's case.
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Mar 19, 2013
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Arrow wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 11:13 am
I did not use fuel stabilizer, but I did burn off all the gas by keeping it running until it stopped on its own, before putting it away last winter.

Yesterday? I did use it for about 20 minutes despite the uneven engine activity. How long would you expect it to take to clear up?
Listened to your video, doesn't sound that bad. I would continue to use it, it may improve. As for running out the gas for winter storage, that is what I have done for 33 years with all my gas powered lawn/garden equipment, never had a problem.
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Her neighbor fixed it by replacing the spark plug and wire connector (even though it was under warranty) ... easier that way

Arrow wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 11:11 am
Did she end up bringing it in for warranty service? Did they fix it?
Last edited by booblehead on Apr 15th, 2017 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jan 25, 2007
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Paris
Is your blade unbalanced in any way? Did you sharpen it unevenly? Or did you hit a rock and it's now lopsided?
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
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Emptying the gas for the winter is fine, but you need to do more than just let it run till its dry. After it stalls, I guarantee there is still gas in the carburetor which still needs to be drained. The gas in the carburetor is what causes the issue.

I have always drained mine completely before storing and it has always started first pull in the spring. This time I decided to just use stabilizer like everyone suggests and give it a try (definitely easier). The verdict is still out since I haven't pulled the mower out yet this year...
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Jerico wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 6:31 pm
Is your blade unbalanced in any way? Did you sharpen it unevenly? Or did you hit a rock and it's now lopsided?
No, I'm pretty sure the blade isn't unbalanced, and that I haven't hit anything (e.g. a rock) with it.
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cheapmeister wrote:
Apr 15th, 2017 6:55 pm
Maybe the carb is gummed up and needs cleaning. Try running it without the air filter and see if that makes a difference.
So just remove the air filter altogether, turn it on, and see how it runs?
Jr. Member
Nov 16, 2011
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HAMILTON
Go buy some "Sea Foam " gas/engine treatment and follow directions for putting in gas. Add a bit more than recommended. Let sit for a bit then go out and cut your grass for a while to give it a good use.
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