Small Engine Ignition Problem

Category: Small Engine Repair

briggs and stratton

  After this engine sat for awhile it wouldn’t restart. This is a 2 horsepower briggs and stratton engine. This engine is on a rototiller, but the problem would be the same with any other engine. The first thing to do is to decide if the problem is fuel or spark related. These are the first problems to check for. First check the obvious thing like adding fresh gas to the tank. Generally if the problem is fuel related the engine will at least sputter. Another way to test this is to remove the spark plug and squirt a small amount of gas in the cylinder, replace plug. If the engine starts but doesn’t stay running you have a carb or fuel issue. If it still does nothing you should remove the spark plug and lay it on the cylinder head. Then you probably have no spark and have an ignition problem.

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Cooling Fan troubleshooting

Category: Auto Tuning

Cooling fans are easy to troubleshoot. Some automobiles use two smaller fans or one larger fan. The twin electric fan set up will use one fan for cooling the engine. The other fan will be used for cooling the air conditioning and radiator but only works with the ac on. Never continue to run the vehicle up in the red temp zone or you can cause severe damage to the engine. First do you have a temperature gauge in the dash? Is it working correctly? Lift the hood and verify visually that the fan is not working. Does the car cool down once you drive up the highway at 40+ mph? If not, you may have a thermostat sticking or low coolant. The thermostat can cause the engine to stay hot. This can also be the problem if the gauge stays low and the car never heats up. If the temp gauge is reading low yet the two radiator hoses are warm, the temp sensor may not be working. There may also be two temp sensors or senders, one that controls the gauge and one to switch the fan on. If the temperature is getting high and the fan still won’t come on you may have a fan problem.

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Small Engine Troubleshooting

Category: Small Engine Repair


Small engines are very touchy with their tuning. EPA regulations have made small engines run much leaner than they have had to in the past. This will make the engines run cleaner and be more fuel efficient, but generally don’t run as well. Also if the carburetor has any build up in it the engine will be too lean and will surge. To compound the problem most new carburetors are non adjustable due to EPA regulations. Most small engine carbs have a high speed and low speed circuit to control the fuel. When you hear an lawn related engine surging it is almost always lean. If the engine is older, the carb screws on it’s side may be adjustable. You need to locate the main circuit or high speed screw that usually has the letter H along side it. This screw is a fuel control screw that will have a spring under it. As you turn the screw out it delivers more fuel to the engine. Don’t turn the screw more than 1/8 of a turn at a time then wait a few minutes before changing again. The engine should smooth out and the setting should stay there.

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