9 Fixes For When Your Lawn Mower Won’t Start. Craftsman riding mower engine
There are a number of reasons, mechanical and otherwise, why a mower won’t run. The good news is that fixing most all of the issues is easy enough for a DIYer to handle.
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Lawn care can be tedious, but once the grass starts growing in the spring, mowing becomes a fact of life in most neighborhoods. When you finally muster the strength to tackle that first cut of the season, there are few sounds as disheartening as that of a lawn mower engine that turns over but doesn’t start.
Before you drag the mower in for repairs or invest in costly replacement parts, first make sure that a clogged air filter, soiled spark plug, damaged safety cable, clogged mowing deck, or contaminated gas isn’t to blame. Work through the following steps, and you may be able to get your puttering grass guzzler up and running again in no time.
A lawn mower repair professional can help. Get free, no-commitment repair estimates from pros near you.
Change the lawn mower carburetor filter.
Your lawn mower’s air filter guards the carburetor and engine from debris like grass clippings and dirt. When the air filter becomes clogged or too dirty, it can prevent the engine from starting. To keep this from happening, replace paper filters—or clean or replace foam filters—after every 25 hours of engine use.
The process for removing the filter depends on whether you are operating a riding or walk-behind lawn mower. For a riding mower, turn off the engine and engage the parking brake; for a walk-behind mower, pull the spark plug wire from the plug. Then, lift the filter from its housing.
The only choice for paper filters is replacement. If you’re cleaning a foam filter, wash it in a solution of hot water and detergent to loosen grime. Allow it to dry completely, and then wipe fresh motor oil over the filter, replace it in its housing, and power up the mower—this time to the pleasant whirring of an engine in tip-top condition.
Check the spark plug.
Is your lawn mower still being stubborn? The culprit may be the spark plug, which is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel in the engine. If it’s loosened, disconnected, or coated in water or carbon residue, the spark plug may be the cause of your machine’s malfunction.
Locate the spark plug, often found on the front of the mower, and disconnect the spark plug wire, revealing the plug beneath. Use a socket wrench to unscrew the spark plug and remove it.
Check the electrode and insulator. If you see buildup, spray brake cleaner onto the plug, and let it soak for several minutes before wiping it with a clean cloth. Reinstall the spark plug, first by hand, and then with a socket wrench for a final tightening. If the problem persists, consider changing the spark plug.
Clear the mower deck of debris.
The mower’s deck prevents grass clippings from showering into the air like confetti, but it also creates a place for them to collect. Grass clippings can clog the mower deck, especially while mowing a wet lawn, preventing the blade from turning.
If the starter rope seems stuck or is difficult to pull, then it’s probably due to a clogged deck. With the mower safely turned off, tip it over onto its side and examine the underbelly. If there are large clumps of cut grass caught between the blade and deck, use a trowel to scrape these clippings free. When the deck is clean again, set the mower back on its feet and start it up.
Clear the vent in the lawn mower fuel cap.
The mower started just fine, you’ve made the first few passes, then all of a sudden the mower quits. You pull the cord a few times, but the engine just sputters and dies. What’s happening? It could have something to do with the fuel cap. Most mowers have a vented fuel cap. This vent is intended to release pressure, allowing fuel to flow from the tank to the carburetor. Without the vent, the gas fumes inside the tank begin to build up, creating a vacuum that eventually becomes so strong that it stops the flow of fuel.
To find out if this is the problem, remove the gas cap to break the vacuum, then reattach it. The mower should start right up. But if the lawn mower won’t stay running and cuts off again after 10 minutes or so, you’ll need to get a new gas cap.
Clean and refill the lawn mower fuel tank.
An obvious—and often overlooked—reason your mower may not be starting is that the tank is empty or contains gas that is either old or contaminated with excess moisture and dirt. If your gas is more than a month old, use an oil siphon pump to drain it from the tank.
(It’s important to be careful as spilled oil can cause smoking, but there are other reasons this might happen. Read more about what to do when your lawn mower is smoking.)
Add fuel stabilizer to the tank.
Fill the tank with fresh fuel and a fuel stabilizer to extend the life of the gas and prevent future buildup. A clogged fuel filter is another possible reason for a lawn mower not to start. When the filter is clogged, the engine can’t access the gas that makes the system go. If your mower has a fuel filter (not all do), check to make sure it’s functioning properly.
First, remove the fuel line at the carburetor. Gas should flow out. If it doesn’t, confirm that the fuel shutoff valve isn’t accidentally closed. Then remove the fuel line that’s ahead of the fuel filter inlet. If gas runs out freely, there’s a problem with the fuel filter. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on replacing the filter and reassembling the mower.
Inspect the safety release mechanism cable.
Your lawn mower’s reluctance to start may have nothing to do with the engine at all but rather with one of the mower’s safety features: the dead man’s control. This colorfully named safety bar must be held in place by the operator for the engine to start or run. When the bar is released, the engine stops. While this mechanism cuts down on the likelihood of horrific lawn mower accidents, it also can be the reason the mower won’t start.
The safety bar of a dead man’s control is attached to a metal cable that connects to the engine’s ignition coil, which is responsible for sending current to the spark plug. If your lawn mower’s engine won’t start, check to see if that cable is damaged or broken. If it is, you’ll need to replace it before the mower will start.
Fortunately, replacing a broken control cable is an easy job. You may, however, have to wait a few days to get the part. Jot down the serial number of your lawn mower, then head to the manufacturer’s website to order a new cable.
Check to see if the flywheel brake is fully engaged.
The flywheel helps to make the engine work smoothly through inertia. When it isn’t working properly, it will prevent the mower’s engine from working.
If it is fully engaged, it can make a mower’s pull cord hard to pull. Check the brake pad to see if it makes full contact with the flywheel and that there isn’t anything jamming the blade so the control lever can move freely.
If the flywheel brake’s key sheared, the mower may have run over something that got tangled in the blade. It is possible to replace a flywheel key, but it does require taking apart the mower.
Look out for signs that the mower needs professional repairs.
While repairing lawn mowers can be a DIY job, there are times when it can be best to ask a professional to help repair a lawn mower. If you’ve done all of the proper mower maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer, and gone through all of the possible ways to fix the mower from the steps above, then it may be best to call a pro. Here are a few signs that indicate when a pro’s help is a good idea.
- You see black smoke. The engine will benefit from a technician’s evaluation, as it could be cracked or something else might be worn out.
- Excessive oil or gas usage. If you’ve changed the spark plugs, and done all of the other maintenance tasks, and the mower is consuming more than its usual amount of oil or gas, consult a professional for an evaluation.
- The lawn mower is making a knocking sound. When a lawn mower starts making a knocking sound, something could be bent or out of alignment. It may be tough to figure this out on your own, so a pro could help.
- A vibrating or shaking lawn mower can be a sign of a problem beyond a DIY fix. Usually something is loose or not aligning properly.
How to Fix CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mower Problems
CRAFTSMAN-riding gasoline-powered lawnmowers are fantastic for cutting larger expanses of grass, such as those found in golf courses or parks. Being able to drive the mower is much more fun and requires far less physical exertion than pushing a mower up and down in the blazing sun.
CRAFTSMAN Riding Lawn Mowers offer many advantages but do occasionally develop problems:
Runs for a bit, then dies
Doesn’t steer correctly
Engine Won’t Start
We all know the disappointment when you’re all “dressed up” and ready to tackle the first lawn-cutting exercise of the season, only to find that your trusty CRAFTSMAN riding mower won’t start.
The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is, of course, fitted with a gas engine which means several problems could be causing the engine not to start. The below covers the common reasons why the engine doesn’t start.
Solution 1: Drain and Replace Old Gas
Check that the gas tank contains fuel, especially if the mower has been standing for an extended period. Gasoline degrades over time and evaporates.
Old gas should be drained from the system and replaced with new to eliminate this problem.
Solution 2: Replace the Fuel Filter
Following the gas line from the gas fuel tank to the carburetor will lead you to the fuel filter. The filter may be dirty, restricting or preventing fuel from reaching the carburetor so the mower won’t start.
If the fuel filter is visibly dirty inside, replace the fuel filter to ensure the gasoline can pass through the filter.
Solution 3: Ensure All Safety Cutoff Switches Are Engaged
CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have two safety switches that ensure the mover won’t start accidentally. One switch is under the driver’s seat, and the foot brake controls the other.
Their design is such that the driver must be seated on the seat, and the brake must be depressed to disengage the safety switches for the mower to start. Standing next to the mower while trying to start the engine will not work.
Solution 4:Charge the Battery
All CRAFTSMAN riding mowers have a battery located under the driver’s seat to turn and start the engine. When turning the ignition key and the engine turns very slowly but won’t start, the battery is most likely discharged.
Turning on the ignition and hearing a clicking sound without the engine turning is a sure sign that the battery is drained and needs to be charged.
In both scenarios, the battery requires charging, or if the problem persists, the battery may need replacement.
Solution 5: Clean or Replace the Solenoid
The carburetor fuel solenoid is attached to the base of the carburetor. The carburetor controls the fuel and air mixture required for the engine to run. The solenoid is an electrically operated fuel supply and shut-off valve. When the valve doesn’t work, it prevents fuel from entering the carburetor.
Diagnosing if the solenoid is faulty is quickly done by getting an ear down close to the solenoid. A click sound will be heard when the key is turned on and off as the solenoid retracts and releases. If no sound is heard, the solenoid is likely faulty and requires replacement, or the mower won’t work.
The solenoid will need to be removed by unscrewing it with a spanner of the right size and cleaned or replaced if the cleaning doesn’t work.
Solution 6: Replace the Filter
The air filter is next to the carburetor and filters the air fed into the carb. When the air filter is filthy, it may get clogged up by dust particles. The clogged-up filter will prevent air from reaching the carburetor and the engine from starting.
The solution is to replace the filter with a new one.
Solution 7: Replace the Spark Plug
The spark plug performs the critical task of igniting the fuel in the cylinder head while the engine is running. The spark plug is constantly exposed to burning gas and oil residue; therefore, the spark plug can quickly become dirty.
Removing the spark plug is a simple exercise using a spark plug spanner. A dirty spark plug can be cleaned using a wire brush but will eventually need to be replaced. Instead, replace the spark plug to be sure it’s working well.
Blades Won’t Engage
Your CRAFTSMAN riding mower is running, you’ve reached the area that needs mowing, but now the blades won’t engage. What could be wrong?
We’ve found five possible causes for the blades not engaging with CRAFTSMAN riding mowers. These problems may differ depending on if your mower has a manual lever clutch or an electronic PTO clutch.
Solution 1: Replace the Electric PTO Clutch
Faulty PTO clutch. When power is supplied to the clutch, the clutch engages and turns the mower’s blades via the drive belt. When the PTO clutch doesn’t engage, the internal mechanism has failed.
The PTO clutch is not a repairable part as it’s a sealed unit, so it needs to be replaced.
Solution 2: Remove and Test Take-off Switch
The second reason the blades won’t engage on the electrically operated unit is a faulty power take-off switch. This switch is located on the dashboard of the mower and is usually yellow. Pulling the switch engages the blades, while pressing the switch disengages the blades.
Removing the switch and testing it for continuity using a multi-meter is the best to determine if the switch won’t work. If faulty, the switch would need to be replaced as you can’t repair it.
Solution 3: Replace Drive Belt
Before we deal with the manual clutch mowers, one common item between the electric clutch and manual version mowers is the drive belt.
The drive belt is located underneath the mower and connects the crankshaft to the mower blades via the clutch assembly.
The drive belt is a high-quality V belt, similar to those used in model car engines. When this belt becomes excessively worn or is damaged or cut, it can no longer drive the mower’s blades, which won’t work.
The drive belt must be replaced when damaged or worn out.
Solution 4: Replace Lever Mechanism Unit
CRAFTSMAN riding mowers fitted with a manual clutch can suffer the following failures over time that prevent the mower’s blades from engaging.
The clutch engages and disengages the blades on the manually operated version. The clutch is operated by pulling down a lever on the right of the dashboard. A cable connects the lever mechanism to the clutch located under the mower.
The lever mechanism in the dashboard can fail over time, making it impossible to retract the cable connected to the clutch.
A failed lever mechanism will require the replacement of the unit.
Solution 5: Replace Broken Clutch Cable
Broken manual clutch cable or spring: The cable, as mentioned earlier, connects the lever mechanism, and the clutch, along with its tensioner spring, is wearing parts, so it can fail with excessive use and eventually won’t work.
A broken or severely worn clutch cable and its accompanying tensioner spring must be replaced should they fail.
Runs for a Bit, Then Dies, Won’t Work
The CRAFTSMAN riding mower is reliable and generally doesn’t cause problems. Occasionally, you may find that your mower starts up and then dies. When you crank it, it starts, only to turn off again.
Briggs and Stratton’s engines used in CRAFTSMAN mowers are four-stroke engines, so they use unmixed fuel (no two-stroke oil required). They generally run very clean and shouldn’t develop any carburetor blockages.
Fuel starvation is the most likely cause of the engine starting and then stopping shortly after.
Assuming the fuel tank is sufficiently filled and contains fresh fuel. The motor dies because the fuel entering the carburetor flows in slower than the outflow of fuel into the engine; effectively, the carburetor runs dry, which causes the problem.
The cause is a blocked fuel line or clogged fuel filter. 10% Ethanol fuel is tough on rubber fuel hose and causes the fuel line to degrade internally. This degradation blocks or severely reduces fuel flow from the tank to the engine.
Replacing the fuel line and filter will restore the fuel flow to the motor and prevent the engine from turning off when you least need the problem.
Won’t Cut Lawn Evenly
Cutting a large section of lawn only to realize that you’ve cut a series of steps into the lawn’s surface can be disappointing. How does this happen?
An uneven cut results from the mower deck (cutting blades) not being set to the correct height, or your mower may have a deflated tire causing the problem.
A mower-cutting deck rides on a series of linkages. They allow the deck to be adjusted up and down to adjust the cutting depth.
An underinflated or flat tire can play havoc with the angle of the cutting blades. If the blades are not level with the ground and cut deeper on one side of the mower, it will result in an uneven cut. So make sure all the tires are inflated to the correct pressure.
Cutting deck adjustment is made through two adjustment bolts. One adjusts the height seen from the left and right of the deck, and the other changes the front and rear deck height. It’s quick and easy! We’ve attached the below YouTube video, which details how the adjustments are performed.
Won’t Drive Forward
Like so many other mechanical devices, excessive use of a CRAFTSMAN riding mower will eventually take its toll. Occasionally something may go wrong, preventing it from driving. The gear lever is one of the items on a mower that sees a lot of use as it’s constantly shifted between drive, neutral, and reverse.
The linkage joining the gear selection lever and the actual gearbox may go out of alignment or get clogged up with dirt, preventing the gear levers from traveling the entire distance to engage or disengage a gear. Of course, the gearbox could be faulty, but this is unlikely as they’re robustly built.
Fixing A Craftsman Mower That Won’t Start
Following the gear level selector down below the right fender of the mower will reveal the linkages that would need adjustment when gear selection becomes difficult.
Given that the linkages vary from model to model, it may be necessary to enlist a professional. Alternatively, some trial-and-error adjustments may do the trick.
A build-up of dirt inside the linkages is a real problem. The underside of the mower is exposed to a lot of dust generated by the spinning blades.
Carefully removing the various parts of the gear selection linkage will reveal dirt that prevents the levers from shifting their entire length of travel, preventing the shifter from working. Removing the dirt will enable the gears to be selected and allow the mover to drive.
Doesn’t Steer Correctly
The CRAFTSMAN riding mower follows a traditional tractor design, having two driving wheels at the rear and two front wheels that provide steering by turning left and right. The driver operates a steering wheel precisely like you would when steering a vehicle.
Over time the steering mechanism of the CRAFTSMAN riding mower is prone to developing a problem with turning to the left but normally turns to the right. Fortunately, this is a pretty simple fix.
The CRAFTSMAN steering mechanism is pretty basic, consisting of a steering column housing a gear that connects to a gear plate. The gear plate connects the left and right front wheels via a metal rod or linkage. The gear plate rotates as you turn the steering, changing the wheels’ direction.
The steering column’s base gear plate is slotted to limit the wheel’s rotation to either side. Over time the slot located in the gear plate becomes clogged with dirt which is compressed into a solid mass inside the slot or cut out, causing left turns not to work.
The dirt build-up inside the slot limits the gear plate’s movement, limiting the wheels’ ability to turn. The plate design seems to create the problem when turning left only.
The gear plate needs to be removed to get the wheel turning again, which is more straightforward than it may sound. The dirt and grime build-up must be removed from the slot in the gear plate, and the area housing the plate must be cleaned. Once the dirt is removed, the steering mechanism will function.
Exhaust Billows Smoke
Even a great engine such as the ones used in the CRAFTSMAN riding mowers can develop a problem where white smoke starts billowing from the mower’s exhaust. The problem can become so bad that the engine won’t work.
Worn piston rings can cause the mower’s engine to billow smoke, but this tends to happen slowly over time. If a perfectly good running engine suddenly starts billowing smoke, the cause is likely a blown head gasket.
The head gasket seals the space between the cylinder head, which houses the valves, and the part of the engine housing the piston. When smoke starts billowing from the exhaust, it’s a sign that oil and even water are entering the combustion chamber, where the oil ignites and starts smoking.
Replacing the cylinder head is a task best left to a mechanic as additional damage, such as a cracked head, may have developed and would require identification and repair.
Vibrates a Lot When Mowing
Vibrations are common amongst riding mowers as they bump and grind their way. Excessive or new vibration is not good, meaning something has a problem.
Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.
Numerous problems can cause vibrations, but the most common is a blade or blades that have become unbalanced or, in older machines, a mandrel that’s gone faulty. The mandrel contains a shaft supported by bearings. The mandrel houses the blade on one end and a pulley around which the drive belt runs.
Solution 1: Replace Worn or Damaged Blade
CRAFTSMAN blades are made of high-quality hardened steel, which lasts a long time. Blades take the brunt of the force when cutting grass; although one tries to avoid it, they strike a rock occasionally. The impact can bend or even break a blade piece, which can cause vibration.
The solution is to replace the damaged blade with a new blade. A replacement will stop the blade from vibrating.
Solution 2: Replace Worn or Damaged Mandrel
A worn or damaged mandrel can cause the mower to vibrate. Although mandrels are a sturdy kit, they can eventually wear and fail, causing vibrations.
The mandrel needs to be replaced to fix this vibration, per the YouTube video below.
Lawn Mower Engine Surging – Check this easy fix first!
Lawnmower engine surging is a right pain in the Jacksie; it’s an engine that runs erratically and revs up and down by itself uncontrollably. In some cases, it may only happen under certain conditions, for example, only after the mower gets hot or only when the fuel level gets low.
So what causes the lawnmower engines to surge? The most common reason for a surging lawn mower engine is a blockage in the fuel supply, but there are other possibilities:
Often you’ll find playing around with the throttle helps or applying some choke. You are not on your own; this is a regular complaint. In this guide, we will cover the diagnosis, likely causes, and solutions.
Try the easy fix first – replacing/cleaning gapping the spark plug before attempting carburetor work. If your mower engine is a Honda or Kohler, the fix is simple. Honda and Kohler’s surging is commonly caused by a blocked idle jet see “Gas starvation” towards the end of the page.
If your surging mower is a Honda, check out the “Honda mower surging video.”
For many mowers, the fix is to replace the carburetor, and as carburetors are inexpensive, it just makes sense to swap it out and save a ton of messing around. You can check out the quality carburetors available and conveniently delivered to your door by Amazon.com.
Briggs Stratton Surging
Surging BS Classic 450, 500, or 550Some engine types are famous for surging; the Briggs Stratton 450, 500, and 550 series engines are fitted with a metal fuel tank and priming bulb-style carburetor. If you have one of these types of engines and it’s surging – You’re in the right place.
If you don’t have this type of carburetor, skip this section and jump to “Surging Test” below. These engines are fitted with a metal fuel tank and carburetor combination. The gasket sandwiched between the tank and carburetor distorts over time, allowing a vacuum leak.
The vacuum leak causes the surging; replacing the gaskets and cleaning the carburetor/tank will leave it like new, I promise. In this tutorial, we’ll remove the tank/carburetor unit, clean it and replace the gaskets. Just some basic tools are needed, but get yourself a can of carburetor cleaner; it makes the job a lot easier.
In the workshop, I use WD40 carb cleaner, and you can check out all the tools and parts I use here on the “Small engine repair tools” page.
Tools You’ll Need
Here’s a short list of tools you’ll find useful to complete the task of fixing your surging mower. These tools aren’t essential, but they do make the whole job a ton easier; you’ll need:
Fuel treatment – Every small engine owner should use gas treatment. Most people don’t know gas goes off, and gas left in small engines can cause real problems, as you already know.
Using a gas stabilizer will keep the gas in your mower and your gas can fresh for up to two years.
Carburetor gasket – If you’re fixing the BS Classic engine, then you’ll need this gasket set.
Complete carburetor – As an alternative to replacing your BS Classic carburetor gasket, replace the complete carburetor instead; it includes the replacement gasket.
Manifold – This will only be needed if you have confirmed it has failed. Note there are a few different types of manifold pipe, so be sure to check before ordering.
You can check out all these tools on this page “Carburetor Surging Repair Tools.”
This carburetor style is fitted to a few engines and is prone to gasket failure. The job of replacing is simple and will solve the surge. The process is as follows:
Remove the spark plug wire – prevents the mower from starting.
Remove – Remove and clean the air filter and filter housing – Clean it using soapy water, and when dry, smear some engine oil over the surface of the foam. This helps trap dirt.
Remove tank bolts – They hold the fuel tank to the engine.
With fuel tank bolts removed – pull the tank unit straight out gently and remove the governor control link.
Remove the black rubber elbow crankcase breather pipe. Remove the manifold seal and keeper ring. Sometimes they will come loose and get stuck on the manifold pipe.
Remove – Remove carb screws from the carburetor and set aside.
Using a can of carburetor cleaner – clean all the ports on the surface of the fuel tank.
Empty the tank and rinse it out with fresh gas.
Pull the Siphon from the carburetor; they can be stubborn. Remove both gaskets and use carburetor cleaner to clean the siphon metal filter and all ports of the carburetor. Check the primer bulb for damage; mice like to eat them.
Spray – Spray the carburetor with carb cleaner.
Remove – Remove old gaskets and discard them.
Careful of this spring; it lives under the gaskets, and it can drop off and be tricky to find, as I know only too well.
The gasket is a two-part kit; the rubber-type gasket faces the tank. (carb fitted here for demo only)
The Siphon pushes back into the carb with a click. If you don’t hear the click, it’s not right – try again.
Refit the carburetor to the tank. Don’t over-tighten the screws, as this will distort the gasket. Fit manifold seal and keeper. Smear a small amount of oil on the seal; it helps it seat.
Clean the intake manifold. The grey tube in this shot is manifold. Inspect it for any signs of damage; they are prone to cracking. This will also cause a surge.
To fully inspect the pipe, you need to remove the pull assembly.
I would only do this if there was obvious damage to the manifold or if I had replaced the carburetor gasket and the engine was still surging.
This manifold is cracked and will cause a surge.
Before refitting the tank, fit the keeper ring and O-ring seal. Lube the seal before refitting the gas tank.
Offer the carb/tank unit up to the manifold and attach the governor link and spring. Now push the unit firmly onto the manifold. Fit both bolts.
Refit the air filter and spark plug wire. Use only fresh gas; make sure your gas can is clean. Gas older than three months is stale.
If, after fitting the gaskets, you still have a surge – Replace the Manifold.
As you know, gas starvation causes an inconsistent flow of fuel which in turn causes erratic running. And you also know a vacuum leak will cause erratic running, but it is a much less common cause; however, some carburetors are prone to vacuum leaks.
As engine manufacturers strive to make their engines more efficient, they have also made the carburetors more likely to clog; this has become a common issue.
To quickly diagnose which problem you have, a clogged carb or vacuum leak, follow this simple test.
You will need a helper to hold the bail lever or improvise with duct tape. CAUTION careful where you place your fingers and toes; the engine will be running, so the blade will be spinning.
Your mower will have a Manual choke, Auto choke, or a Primer bulb. Identify which type your mower has; the test is slightly different for each.
If you have a manual choke – apply half choke with the engine running.
If the engine now runs without surging – Gas starvation is the likely fault. If it runs just the same – A vacuum leak is a more likely fault.
If you have an Auto choke – Remove the air filter cover and filter – place a clean rag over the intake while the engine is running.
If the engine now runs without surging – Gas starvation is the likely fault.
If the engine runs just the same – A vacuum leak is the more likely fault.
If you have a primer bulb – you can still do the test – while the engine’s running (need a helper); give it some extra gas by pressing the bulb.
If the engine now runs without surging – Gas starvation is the likely fault.
If it runs just the same – A vacuum leak is a more likely fault.
If the test revealed gas starvation, it also showed that your problem is likely a dirty fuel jet in the carburetor, or the gas may be stale or contaminated by water.
Idle Jet Surging – Honda and Kohler use a relatively easy-to-access idle jet that clogs up and causes surging. The Kohler is easier to access than the Honda. Briggs has fitted a plastic carburetor to a range of engines which also clog up and cause surging.
All of these carburetors can be repaired by cleaning. It’s all covered in the video library. It shows you step by step how to remove, clean, refit, and adjust your carb. It’s a detailed, engine-specific guide, easy to follow, and only regular tools are needed.
Fixing this is not difficult. Sometimes you can get lucky by just draining and cleaning the gas bowl, which only takes a few minutes. I have written a complete guide to Carburetor cleaning with pictures; it includes the gas bowl clean-out, which is worth trying first.
If cleaning doesn’t work out for you, go ahead and swap out the carburetor for a new one. Check out “New lawn mower carburetors page,” here, I’ve listed good quality replacement carburetors for all the most popular engines.
Carburetors aren’t so inexpensive; messing around with them doesn’t make sense.
You might find this page helpful, too – “Carburetor repair tools” I’ve listed some really useful tools that make the job easy. Some of these tools I’ll bet you already have some.
But do try cleaning the gas bowl before removing the carburetor.
Finding a Vacuum Leak
Air that enters the combustion chamber without passing through the carburetor is un-metered. This means the fuel-to-air ratio is unbalanced and, in turn, causes erratic engine performance.
When air sneaks in like this, it causes the engine to run lean (lacks gas). A lean engine runs hot, which isn’t good for an engine, especially an air-cooled one.
Vacuum leaks usually occur because of damaged gaskets. Gaskets are sealing materials fitted between the mating surfaces of engine components. Their function is to create an airtight seal.
They are commonly made from paper, felt, cork, Teflon, neoprene, metal, and rubber. The material type is dependent upon where the gasket is to be used.
Gaskets wear out and break down, and that causes surging.
Extreme Caution – You need to be careful, the engine will need to be running, and so the blade will be spinning when running this test.
A vacuum leak check is performed with the engine running and a can of carburetor cleaner; WD40 works, too, (is there anything WD can’t do?)
Spray the cleaner around all carburetor gaskets anywhere the carburetor meets the engine. The trick is to hear an instant change in engine note; that’s the sign of a vacuum leak.
This can be challenging; you must train your ear to notice the instant change in engine note (and not the surging).
Just do a small section at a time; this will allow you to pinpoint the failure area. Jumping the gun and replacing gaskets without finding the actual leak may work out for you or leave you with the same problem after the rebuild. You’re right in thinking carburetor gaskets usually cause the problem, but other components, such as manifold pipes, can crack or become loose, causing surging.
Fixing A Vacuum Leak
If a leak is detected, replace all carburetor gaskets, and as you have the carburetor removed, go ahead and clean it. Replacement gaskets are available online; you will require the make and model numbers from the engine.
All manufacturers will have a model number printed on a sticker placed on the body or on the engine. Have a poke around; you’ll find it. Most engine manufacturers will stamp the model numbers in an accessible area. Briggs Stratton stamp their numbers on the metal engine cover.
A new carburetor comes with new inlet gaskets; I like to fit original parts where I can; they fit and are guaranteed.
If, after replacing the carburetor gaskets, the engine still surges, you’ll need to go a little further and replace the manifold intake and gasket.
It’s not a big job, and they don’t give a lot of trouble, but they do crack as they get older. I wrote a step-by-step guide showing you everything you need to know – “Briggs Manifold Replacing.”
Honda lawn mower surging fix? To fix a surging Honda lawn mower engine, clean the carburetor, gas tank, and fuel filter. Use fresh regular gas or e10. What causes a lawnmower to run slowly? The most likely cause is a throttle linkage bent out of shape by bumping into the shrubbery or a throttle spring has detached itself.
Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.
I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.
What kind of oil should you use for a craftsman lawnmower?
Craftsman lawnmowers are one of the more popular lawnmower brands. There are both riding lawnmowers and push mowers from Craftsman. They are famous for their high cutting power. They owe much of this to their strong engines, further enhanced by the best motor oil. Using a suitable engine oil with the required specs and in the right amount is essential for any lawnmower. In the market, various oils are available for various working parameters. You must consider your environmental circumstances, workload, and engine type to decide on your situation’s most suitable oil. This article describes the details you must check when buying engine oil for your Craftsman lawnmower.
What kind of oil should you use for a craftsman lawnmower?
For craftsman lawnmowers, the most recommended oil grade is SAE 10W-30 with a capacity of around 18-20 Oz for climates where the temperature stays typically above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. SAE 5W-30 is preferred for colder climates as it improves cold starting due to its low viscosity. Synthetic-grade oils can be used when high-end performance is needed, targeting commercial use as it is more expensive.
To keep the engine in excellent condition, engine oil is crucial. Motor Oil is the lubricant that keeps the engine running and minimizes wear and tear. As time passes, small particles from the engine make the oil dirty and need to be replaced. Part of regular maintenance is to check the oil level and quality. Usually, it is advised to change the oil at least once per mowing season.
- 1 What kind of oil does your craftsman lawnmower use:
- 1.1 1. Check the oil tank
- 1.2 2. The company recommended engine oil
- 1.3 3. Dependence on the environmental circumstances
- 1.4 4. Different oils and environmental conditions
- 1.5 5. Some synthetic oil recommendations
- 1.6 Step 6. Other parts where motor oil is used for greasing
- 3.1 1. How does lawnmower engine oil work, and can it be used to grease other parts?
- 3.2 2. How often should I change my engine oil?
- 3.3 3. What will you suggest: conventional organic oil or synthetic ones?
- 5.1 Benefits of Regular Oil Changes
- 5.2 Types of Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil
- 5.3 Steps to Change Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil
- 5.3.1 – Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies
- 5.3.2 – Step 2: Prepare Your Lawn Mower
- 5.3.3 – Step 3: Drain the Old Oil
- 5.3.4 – Step 4: Refill with New Oil
- 6.1 Understanding Lawn Mower Oil Types
- 6.1.1 – Conventional Oil
- 6.1.2 – Synthetic Oil
- 6.1.3 – Synthetic Blend Oil
- 7.1 Understanding Motor Oil Viscosity
- 7.2 Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil Recommendations
- 7.3 Advantages of Using 10w30 in Craftsman Lawn Mower
- 7.4 Precautions When Using 10w30 Motor Oil
- 7.5 Conclusion
- 8.1 Understanding Two-Cycle and Four-Cycle Engines
- 8.1.1 – Two-Cycle (or Two-Stroke) Engines
- 8.1.2 – Four-Cycle (or Four-Stroke) Engines
- 8.2.1 – Reasons to Avoid Using 2-Cycle Oil in a Four-Cycle Engine
- 9.1 How Much Oil Does the Craftsman Lawn Mower Need?
- 9.2 Types of Oil Recommended for Craftsman Lawn Mowers
- 9.3 Changing the Oil in Your Craftsman Lawn Mower
- 9.4 Tips for Maintaining Your Craftsman Lawn Mower’s Oil Levels
- 10.1 Why Oil Is Important for Your Craftsman M110 Mower
- 10.2 The Recommended Oil Type for the Craftsman M110
- 10.3 How to Properly Change Oil in Your Craftsman M110
- 10.4 Tips and Reminders for Oil Maintenance
- 11.1 Why the Right Engine Oil Matters
- 11.2 Best Oil Types for Your Mower
- 11.2.1 – SAE 30
- 11.2.2 – SAE 10W-30
- 12.1 Understanding Oil Viscosity
- 12.2 Substituting 5W30 for SAE 30: Benefits and Drawbacks
- 12.2.1 – Improved Performance in Colder Conditions
- 12.2.2 – Enhanced Protection for Your Lawn Mower’s Engine
- 12.2.3 – Compatibility and Possible Drawbacks
- 13.1 Importance of Using the Right Engine Oil
- 13.2 SAE Viscosity Ratings for Craftsman T110
- 13.3 Synthetic or Conventional Oil for Craftsman T110?
- 13.4 Oil Change Recommendations for Craftsman T110
- 13.5 Conclusion
What kind of oil does your craftsman lawnmower use:
A Craftsman lawnmower is specific about its oil requirements. When you plan to replace the engine oil it is a good time to check the best type of oil for your situation. Use the following points to decide the best oil type for your situation.
1. Check the oil tank
You should first consult your user’s manual to find the oil type that is best for your Craftsman lawnmower. It will have some of the details. If you don’t have one, check your engine oil tank. Some models have some of the oil details noted on a small plate. This can give you some idea about the particular viscosity and working temperature range of the oil you should use. At the same time, you can check the tank’s condition and see if it needs some anti-rust treatment.
2. The company recommended engine oil
If you can not find the user manual for the company’s recommendation, the information can also be found online if you use the type and year of your Craftsman lawnmower. The exact amount and type of oil for your particular mower engine are important. Mostly, the oil type suggested for daily use is SAE 10W-30. For a craftsman lawnmower the capacity is around 18 to 20 Oz. If your mower is older, you should use a grade higher than recommended. But it is good to check with a professional for your specific situation.
3. Dependence on the environmental circumstances
The Craftsman 550 Series lawnmower manual specifies using detergent-type engine oil. The grades of viscosity normally depend on the air temperature. If you operate your mower mostly at a temperature above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, use SAE 30-weight oil. If you want to use the mower at a location where the temperature also gets below 32 degrees, use SAE 5W-30 multi-weight oil. Suppose your craftsman mower is used at a temperature between 32 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a 10W30 multi-viscosity oil.
The oil numbers represent the oil’s viscosity at different temperature ranges. Multi-weight oil can be used at warmer temperature ranges. But in that case, check the mower’s oil level more often than normal, as it often uses more oil. You can use the recommended oil type if you have a more recent Craftsman mower. You should use multi-grade thicker oil for older mower engines, as the engine has seen more wear and tear.
4. Different oils and environmental conditions
If the incorrect oil type is used in a lawnmower, worse case, it can damage the engine and lead to costly problems. Although car engines work by the same combustion principles, car oil should not be used in lawnmowers. Oils come in different viscosity levels, which describes the oil thickness. SAE 30 is a more viscous oil than SAE 20 oil. Check the Craftsman’s manual for the best engine’s oil viscosity level.
Colder engines require lower viscosity ratings for an optimum start. Hence, engine parts need less time wearing on each other without oil. Low-viscosity oils are thinner for that reason. While operating your mower in warmer temperatures, most high-viscosity oils benefit greatly because they can resist heat without burning out.
You can use similar-grade automobile oil when you need to add oil in an emergency but do not have the correct lawnmower oil. But generally, only use specific lawnmower oil as it has different additives targeting small engines like a lawnmower.
5. Some synthetic oil recommendations
Craftsman lawnmowers can use synthetic oils as well. It is suitable for modern craftsman mower engines. Synthetic oil can cost three times more than conventional engine oil. However, it lasts longer than conventional oil because it can withstand higher temperatures and does not burn up quickly.
Top 5 Ways To Fix A LAWN MOWER That WON’T START (Fix It In Minutes)
Synthetic oil in your mower can be left in the oil tank during storage because they are less prone to deposits and sediments, unlike conventional oils. One disadvantage of synthetic oil is that it does not lubricate new or rebuilt engine parts as well as conventional oil.
Synthetic SAE 5W-30 starts with low oil consumption and is typically used for all temperature ranges. Nowadays, synthetic oils for your Craftsman lawnmowers are highly suggested, as they can be used in cold and hot environments.
Step 6. Other parts where motor oil is used for greasing
The engine’s oil flows through several small parts of the engine. This helps to reduce friction and lower the temperature inside. It is mostly used in cylinders for lubrication and smoothens the working of shafts and valves.
When the oil gets crude over time, it can cause damage to the cylinders and worn-out the cylinder rings and the oil filter. The engine parts like cylinder walls, piston rings, lifters, and camshaft utilize this oil reservoir to work correctly.
The following video is about an oil change on a craftsman lawnmower. It also includes the engine specifications and recommended oil details.
Additional Craftsman tips:
To increase the lifetime of your craftsman lawnmower and ensure that the machine will start without problems, you can use the following suggestions:
- Change the oil after 30-40 hours: Replace engine oil at the end or start of each mowing season.
- Never use a non-detergent engine oil: A non-detergent engine oil can reduce the engine’s service life and hinder the machine’s functionality.
Frequently asked questions:
How does lawnmower engine oil work, and can it be used to grease other parts?
The motor oil serves the purpose of reducing friction and wear and tear on moving parts. It helps in cleaning the engine of sludge and sediments. It also helps to neutralize the acids that originate from fuel and the oxidation of the lubricants.
It improves the sealing of piston o-rings and cools the engine by carrying heat away from moving parts. So if you are using the right type of oil recommended by your operator’s manual, you can grease the other moving parts of the engine with it, like piston rings, and oil the filter.
How often should I change my engine oil?
It depends on the type of lawnmower you are using. The average recommended time for the three major lawnmower types is:
- Push Mowers: Changing your oil after 25 hours of usage is recommended.
- Walk-Behind Lawnmower: Its oil capacity is around 15 to 18 Oz (0.47 to 0.56 quarts). You have to replace the motor oil every 50 hours or yearly.
- Riding Lawnmower: It holds 48 to 64 Oz (1.5 quarts to 2 quarts) and changes oil every 100 hours or annually.
What will you suggest: conventional organic oil or synthetic ones?
It depends much on your mower’s condition and your requirement. Synthetic oil suits your modern lawnmower engines and can handle a wide temperature range. It is more expensive than conventional organic engine oil and generally lasts longer.
On the other hand, conventional oils are cheaper and readily available. They can be used for new and rebuilt engines. They also have better lubrication functionality.
Changing your engine oil can enhance the lifespan and durability of your Craftsman lawnmower. It is suggested to check the motor oil regularly. Old and dirty oil will increase your engine’s wear and tear and eventually can cause damage to the engine. Changing the oil in a lawnmower is not a complicated job. But make sure you use the correct kind of engine oil. The best type will depend on your mower’s age, condition, and climate where you are located. This blog gave guidelines for choosing the most suitable oil type for your craftsman lawnmower.
Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil Guide
Proper maintenance of your Craftsman lawn mower is essential to ensure that it functions efficiently and lasts for a long time. One major component of this maintenance routine is the regular use and replacement of your lawn mower oil.
Benefits of Regular Oil Changes
Craftsman lawn mower oil is vital in keeping your lawn mower’s engine running at its best. Some of its key benefits include:
- Lubrication: Oil provides a protective barrier between engine parts, reducing friction and wear.
- Cooling: Lawnmower engines generate heat during operation, and oil acts as a coolant, helping to dissipate the heat and keep your engine from overheating.
- Cleaning: Oil helps to remove dirt and debris from your engine, which can cause damage over time.
- Corrosion Protection: Oil provides a thin film on engine components, protecting them from rust and corrosion.
Regularly changing your lawn mower oil ensures that your engine continues to perform efficiently and effectively, reducing the likelihood of costly repairs or premature engine failure.
Types of Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil
There are two main types of lawn mower oil: conventional and synthetic. Both types suit your Craftsman lawn mower, but each has advantages.
- Conventional Oil: This oil is made from refined crude oil and provides good engine protection under normal operating conditions. It is generally less expensive than synthetic oil but may require more frequent changes.
- Synthetic Oil: This oil is made from chemically modified petroleum compounds and performs well in extreme temperatures and conditions. Synthetic oil offers improved cold-start protection, better heat tolerance, and longer-lasting protection against wear.
For a comprehensive guide on selecting the right oil for your lawn mower, refer to Briggs and Stratton’s oil finder.
Steps to Change Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil
I recommend changing your lawn mower oil every 50 hours or at least once per season. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you change your Craftsman lawn mower oil.
– Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies
Before starting the oil change process, collect the following items:
- A suitable container to catch the old oil
- A funnel to help pour the new oil into the engine
- A clean cloth for wiping any spills
- Fresh Craftsman lawn mower oil
– Step 2: Prepare Your Lawn Mower
- Ensure that your lawn mower is on a level surface.
- Turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.
- Allow the engine to cool down completely.
- Remove the grass clippings and debris accumulated on the mower deck.
– Step 3: Drain the Old Oil
- Locate the oil drain plug under the lawn mower deck. Consult your owner’s manual if you are having trouble finding it.
- Position your oil catch container underneath the drain plug.
- Remove the drain plug using a wrench, and let the oil drain into the container completely.
- Wipe the area around the drain plug with a clean cloth and reattach the plug securely.
– Step 4: Refill with New Oil
- Locate the oil fill port on top of your engine. It will typically have a dipstick attached.
- Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean using a clean cloth.
- Slowly funnel the recommended amount of fresh Craftsman lawn mower oil into the fill port.
- Check the oil level by inserting the dipstick into the fill port. Ensure that it falls between the “Full” and “Add” marks on the dipstick.
- If necessary, add more oil until the correct level is achieved.
- Reinsert the dipstick securely and reconnect the spark plug wire.
Regular oil changes are crucial to maintaining your Craftsman lawn mower’s performance and longevity. Selecting the right type of oil and following the proper steps to change it will keep your mower running efficiently and save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs.
By following the guidelines and recommendations in this article, you can ensure that your Craftsman lawn mower remains a reliable and powerful tool in your yard care routine.
Appropriate Oil Types for Craftsman Lawn Mowers
Selecting the appropriate oil for your Craftsman lawn mower ensures optimal performance and a prolonged lifespan.
Understanding Lawn Mower Oil Types
Several engine oil types are suitable for lawnmowers, including conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blends. To determine which is best for your Craftsman lawn mower, consider the following options:
– Conventional Oil
Conventional oil is the most widely used and readily available type of engine oil. It is suitable for smaller lawnmowers and other outdoor power equipment engines. Conventional 30-weight oil (SAE 30) is recommended for most Craftsman lawn mowers. This type of oil is ideal for warmer temperatures and provides excellent lubrication properties.
– Synthetic Oil
Synthetic oil is a man-made oil that offers superior performance, protection, and longevity compared to conventional oil. It has better resistance to thermal breakdown, oxidation, and sludge formation, making it suitable for more demanding applications.
A synthetic 5W-30 oil is recommended for Craftsman lawn mowers equipped with large or high-performance engines.
– Synthetic Blend Oil
Synthetic blend oil combines the advantages of conventional and synthetic oils, providing a balance between performance and affordability.
This type of oil is ideal for lawn mowers that experience moderate to severe operating conditions, such as frequent use or prolonged periods of high temperatures. A synthetic blend 10W-30 oil is an excellent choice for Craftsman lawn mowers used in such conditions.
Craftsman lawn mowers typically come with an owner’s manual containing the recommended oil type, viscosity, and maintenance intervals. Consult your owner’s manual before selecting and using oil for your lawn mower.
Most Craftsman lawn mowers require oil that meets the American Petroleum Institute (API) service classifications of SJ, SL, SM, or higher. For more information on API classifications, visit the API website.
Considering Climate Conditions
Ambient temperature plays a significant role in determining which oil to use for your Craftsman lawn mower. Each oil type has a corresponding viscosity, which refers to its thickness or resistance to flow. Higher viscosity oils, such as SAE 30, are suitable for warmer climates, while lower viscosity oils, such as 5W-30, provide better cold-start protection in colder climates.
Consult your owner’s manual for specific recommendations based on your geographic location and expected operating conditions.
Checking and Changing Your Lawn Mower Oil
Regularly checking and changing your Craftsman lawn mower’s oil is essential for its proper function and longevity. Follow these steps to ensure optimal oil maintenance:
- Check the oil level: Before each use, use the dipstick or oil fill cap on your lawn mower. The oil level should fall between the minimum and maximum marks. If it’s low, add oil, being careful not to overfill.
- Change the oil: As a general guideline, change your lawn mower oil every 50 hours or at the beginning of each mowing season. Using your owner’s manual, locate the oil drain plug and carefully drain the old oil into a container. Make sure to dispose of it appropriately, following local regulations.
- Refill with fresh oil: Refill your lawn mower engine with fresh, API-approved oil of the recommended type and viscosity. Use a funnel to prevent spillage, and fill the engine to the correct level as indicated by the dipstick or fill cap.
- Monitor for leaks: After changing the oil, run your lawn mower for several minutes, then check for any leaks around the oil fill cap, drain plug, or elsewhere.
Selecting the right oil for your Craftsman lawn mower is essential for maintaining optimal performance and prolonging its service life. Always consult your owner’s manual for manufacturer recommendations, but don’t hesitate to choose synthetic or synthetic blend oils for higher performance and extended drain intervals.
Regularly check and change your lawn mower’s oil to ensure it runs smoothly throughout each mowing season.
Is 10W30 Oil Suitable for Craftsman Lawn Mowers?
Choosing the right oil for your lawn mower is essential for its performance, longevity, and efficiency. One common question people ask is, “Can I use 10w30 in Craftsman lawn mower?” The answer depends on several factors, including the specific model, the expected operating temperature, and manufacturer recommendations.
Understanding Motor Oil Viscosity
Motor oil viscosity refers to the thickness or resistant flow of the oil. Using a numerical system, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) classifies motor oils according to their viscosity. In the case of 10w30 motor oil, the “10w” refers to the oil’s viscosity in lower temperatures, while the “30” represents its viscosity in higher temperatures.
The “w” stands for “winter,” indicating the oil’s performance in cold conditions.
Using the appropriate viscosity motor oil for your lawn mower is vital, as it ensures the smooth operation of the engine and its components, ultimately leading to longer engine life.
Craftsman Lawn Mower Oil Recommendations
It is crucial to first consult the owner’s manual for your specific Craftsman lawn mower model when determining which oil to use. The manufacturer provides recommendations based on the mower’s engine type, horsepower, and expected operating conditions.
Most Craftsman lawn mowers are designed to use SAE 30 oil for optimal performance. However, some manufacturers recommend using synthetic oil or multi-grade oil, such as 10w30, in certain lawn mower models.
When operating your Craftsman lawn mower under certain temperature conditions, using 10w30 motor oil may be recommended. Generally, you should consider using 10w30 motor oil if you expect temperatures to range between 32 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (0 to 40 degrees Celsius).
For those using a Craftsman lawn mower in colder climates or during winter, it is important to consult the owner’s manual for specific recommendations on what type of motor oil to use in freezing temperatures. In some cases, using 5w30 or synthetic oil may be advised.
Advantages of Using 10w30 in Craftsman Lawn Mower
There are several benefits to using 10w30 motor oil in your Craftsman lawn mower:
- Protection in varying temperatures: The multi-grade nature of 10w30 motor oil provides better protection in a broader range of temperatures, making it suitable for cold and warm climates, as previously mentioned.
- Enhanced engine performance: 10w30 motor oil, especially synthetic oil, offers superior lubrication properties, reducing friction between engine components and resulting in smoother engine operation.
- Improved fuel efficiency: The reduced friction that comes with using 10w30 motor oil can lead to better fuel efficiency, as the engine performs more efficiently, consuming less fuel.
- Longer engine life: With improved engine performance and reduced component wear, using 10w30 motor oil can contribute to a longer lifespan for your Craftsman lawn mower’s engine.
Precautions When Using 10w30 Motor Oil
While 10w30 motor oil may provide some advantages, it is important to be aware of certain precautions when considering its use in your Craftsman lawn mower:
- Always consult your owner’s manual: Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended oil grade for your specific Craftsman lawn mower model. Deviating from the manufacturer’s recommendations can result in poor performance or even engine damage.
- Be aware of potential warranty issues: Some manufacturers may recommend using only SAE 30 oil or a specific oil grade in their lawn mowers. Ignoring these recommendations and using 10w30 motor oil might void your mower’s warranty.
- Don’t mix different oil grades: Mixing different oil grades, such as SAE 30 and 10w30, can result in unpredictable performance and reduced lubrication. If you wish to switch oil types, thoroughly drain the existing oil before adding the new oil.
- Regularly check and change your oil: Even if you are using high-quality 10w30 motor oil, it is essential to regularly check your lawn mower’s oil levels and change the oil as needed. This practice ensures the continued efficiency and longevity of your mower’s engine.
In summary, using 10w30 motor oil in your Craftsman lawn mower can provide several engine protection, performance, and fuel efficiency benefits. However, it is crucial to consult your owner’s manual and follow manufacturer recommendations for your specific model.
In addition, take precautions, such as not mixing oil grades and regularly checking and changing your oil, to maintain optimum engine performance and longevity.
For more in-depth information on oil selection and maintenance for small engines, consult resources from reputable organizations, such as the Briggs Stratton website, which offers extensive guidance on the topic.
Using 2-Cycle Oil in Craftsman Lawn Mowers: Is It Safe?
Craftsman lawnmowers are known for their durability, efficiency, and quality performance. To properly maintain your lawn mower, it is essential to use the right type of oil to keep the engine running smoothly. One commonly asked question by Craftsman lawn mower owners is whether they can use 2-cycle oil in their mowers.
Understanding Two-Cycle and Four-Cycle Engines
Before delving into whether 2-cycle oil can be used in a Craftsman lawn mower, it is important to understand the differences between two-cycle and four-cycle engines.
– Two-Cycle (or Two-Stroke) Engines
Two-cycle or two-stroke engines are found in smaller power tools and equipment such as chainsaws, leaf blowers, and lawn mowers. In a two-cycle engine, the lubrication for the engine’s internal components is provided by mixing the oil directly into the fuel.
As the fuel is burned during combustion, the oil lubricates, seals, and cools the engine’s moving parts. This type of engine is characterized by its simplicity and lightweight design.
– Four-Cycle (or Four-Stroke) Engines
On the other hand, four-cycle engines, also called four-stroke engines, are found in most lawn mowers, including Craftsman models. Lubrication is provided separately from the fuel in this engine type through a sump containing oil.
A four-cycle engine has a more complex design than a two-cycle one because it uses separate chambers and passageways for fuel intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust, giving it higher efficiency and cleaner emission.
Can I Use 2 Cycle Oil on Craftsman Lawn Mower?
The short answer is no, you should not use 2-cycle oil in a Craftsman lawn mower or any other lawn mower that uses a four-cycle engine.
– Reasons to Avoid Using 2-Cycle Oil in a Four-Cycle Engine
There are several reasons for this recommendation, which include:
- Incompatibility: Two-cycle oil is formulated differently than four-cycle oil, which is meant to be mixed with fuel and burned during combustion. Because of these differences in formulation, 2-cycle oil will not provide adequate lubrication and protection for a four-cycle engine’s internal components.
- Increased Wear: Using 2-cycle oil in a Craftsman lawn mower with a four-cycle engine can lead to increased wear on the engine’s internal components since it may not provide the proper level of lubrication, potentially resulting in a decreased engine lifespan.
- Decreased Performance: Using 2-cycle oil in a four-cycle engine can hinder its overall performance, as it may not burn completely, leading to a buildup of deposits on the engine’s internal components.
- Potentially Voiding Warranty: Craftsman lawn mowers come with a warranty, and using 2-cycle oil in their four-cycle engines could potentially void that warranty in case of any engine-related issues resulting from using the wrong oil type.
Proper Lawn Mower Maintenance: Choosing the Right Oil for Your Craftsman Lawn Mower
To keep your Craftsman lawn mower working efficiently and to ensure its longevity, it is essential to use the recommended oil type for your specific lawn mower. Craftsman lawn mowers with four-cycle engines typically require SAE 30 or 10W-30 oil for optimal performance under varying temperature conditions.
However, it is crucial to consult your lawn mower’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s specific oil recommendations.
In addition to using the right oil type, it is also advisable to follow these lawn mower maintenance tips:
- Check Oil Level Regularly: Before each use, ensure the oil level is maintained within the recommended range by checking the dipstick. Running a lawn mower with low or no engine oil can result in severe engine damage.
- Change the Oil Regularly: Changing the engine oil according to the manufacturer’s guidelines in the owner’s manual is essential for maintaining the engine’s health and efficiency. Typically, changing the oil after every 25 to 50 hours of operation or at the beginning of each mowing season is suggested.
- Keep the Air Filter Clean: A clean air filter ensures that your lawn mower’s engine takes in clean air, preventing dust and debris from entering and causing damage. It is recommended to clean or replace the air filter at least once per mowing season.
Using 2-cycle oil in a Craftsman lawn mower with a four-cycle engine is not recommended, as it can lead to decreased engine performance, increased wear, and even voiding the mower’s warranty.
To properly maintain a Craftsman lawn mower, it is crucial to use the recommended oil type specified in the owner’s manual and adhere to a regular maintenance schedule.
Following these guidelines will ensure your lawn mower functions efficiently and lasts for years. For more information and maintenance tips, visit the official Craftsman website or customer support page.
Determining Oil Capacity for Craftsman Lawn Mowers
Taking care of your Craftsman lawn mower is essential to ensure it stays in optimal condition and delivers the best results while mowing your lawn. One of the critical components of lawn mower maintenance is understanding the oil requirements and managing the oil levels in your mower.
How Much Oil Does the Craftsman Lawn Mower Need?
The oil capacity of your Craftsman lawn mower depends on various factors, such as the model of the mower and the engine size. Most Craftsman lawn mowers generally require approximately 20 to 24 ounces of oil.
However, referring to your owner’s manual for the exact oil capacity is critical, as some models may require more or less oil.
For instance, Craftsman’s popular 7.25 HP engine typically holds about 20 ounces of oil, while the more powerful 8.75 HP engine requires approximately 22 ounces. In addition, different models may have different oil capacities based on their engine configurations.
Therefore, always consult your manual to ensure you have the correct information specific to your mower.
You can also check the manufacturer’s website and search for your lawn mower model to find the most accurate information on oil capacity.
Types of Oil Recommended for Craftsman Lawn Mowers
The type of oil you use in your Craftsman lawn mower is crucial, as using the wrong one can lead to engine damage and reduced performance over time. Most Craftsman lawn mowers require SAE 30 oil, specifically formulated for air-cooled engines like lawn mowers.
However, for areas subjected to temperatures below 40 F during the mowing season, a multigrade oil, like SAE 10W-30, is recommended, as it helps improve cold-starting and wear protection in the engine. It is essential to consult your owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for the best-suited oil for your specific model.
Changing the Oil in Your Craftsman Lawn Mower
Oil changes are vital for keeping your lawn mower running smoothly and extending its life, as they help to remove dirt, debris, and contaminants that can cause harm to the engine.
Many experts recommend changing the oil in your lawn mower after every 25-50 hours of use or at least once per mowing season, depending on your usage habits.
Here is a step-by-step guide to changing the oil in your Craftsman lawn mower:
- Gather the necessary tools and materials, such as a drain pan, gloves, rags, a funnel, and fresh oil.
- Warm up the engine by running the mower for a few minutes, which helps to thin the oil and makes it easier to drain.
- Turn off the mower and disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starts.
- Place the drain pan under the mower’s oil drain plug, or if your mower doesn’t have a drain plug, tilt the mower to the opposite side of the dipstick.
- Remove the drain plug or carefully and slowly pour the oil out of the mower’s dipstick hole while tilting the mower.
- Let the oil drain completely and then replace the drain plug or return the mower upright.
- Refill the mower with fresh oil using a funnel and your chosen oil type, being careful not to exceed the recommended oil capacity.
- Safely dispose of the used oil by transferring it to a sealable container and taking it to a local recycling center or oil disposal facility.
Tips for Maintaining Your Craftsman Lawn Mower’s Oil Levels
Proper maintenance of your lawn mower’s oil helps to keep the engine running smoothly and efficiently. Here are some tips for maintaining the oil levels in your Craftsman mower:
- Frequently check the oil level in your mower using the dipstick, ideally before each use, to ensure the oil level is within the recommended range.
- Regularly inspect the mower for leaks or damage to the engine components that could be causing oil loss.
- Avoid overfilling your mower, as excess oil can lead to leaks or impaired performance.
- Use high-quality oil designed for lawn mower engines, as lower-grade oils may not provide adequate protection and lubrication for your mower’s engine.
In conclusion, understanding the oil needs of your Craftsman lawn mower and maintaining proper oil levels can significantly impact the mower’s performance and longevity.
By following the guidelines and recommendations in this article, you can ensure your lawn mower stays in optimal condition and continues to provide reliable service for years.