“Poulan” Push Mower

Experienced gardeners share their insights in answering this question :
Full tank of gas?I have had this issue on several units (lawnmower and weed wackers) that are more than 5 years old. Most common problem in order most to least: Flexible fuel line is rotted somewhere (replace all of it), the primer bulb is rotted ($10 or less), the diaphragm in the carburetor is old/stiff/separated (rebuild kits or new carb). If you rebuild, pay particular attention to the diaphragm position on old one and you will need to prime the carb heavily. Winter weather can cause varnish and so you will need to blast all orifices with carb cleaner thouroughly no matter on any rebuild.Sometimes you can get a whole carb with primer bulb and it makes sense and $$ to just swap it all out. Ensure you change the fuel lines no matter what. Check eBay – I got a new name-brand carb kit for $5.00.If you need to spend more than $50 in parts or service or both and the unit is more than 7 years old, consider a new purchase – don’t waste your time as I did once.

How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

An airlock is one of the common causes why your mower won`t start after running out of fuel. An Airlock occurs when air replaces fuel in the fuel lines. As you refill your fuel tank, you could push the air towards your mower`s carburetor, which keeps the new fuel from reaching the engine.
If the motor starts initially but then won`t stay running, that means it`s getting a good initial injection of gas from the primer bulb, but then the carburetor starves off the oxygen it needs to keep combusting. When your carburetor is clogged, the cause is likely to be evaporated gas that has gummed up the pores.
A faulty or dirty spark plug could be the reason your lawn mower won`t stay running. It might produce the initial spark, but the spark won`t be enough to keep the engine running if the plug is clogged with dirt and oil. Spark plugs are usually located on the front of a push lawn mower and connected to a black cable.
The usual fix is to release the air by opening the carburetor bowl drain, but just before we do that we`ll try to release the airlock by tapping on the gas bowl. Tap – Try tapping on the bowl with the gas cap removed before moving on to opening the gas bowl drain bolt.
Stale fuel can cause all sorts of problems, including preventing your lawn mower from starting and affecting its performance, and is one of the major contributors to mower breakdowns.
A dirty carburetor is the most common cause of a lawn mower that starts and then dies. Other possible causes include: Stale/Dirty Gas. Faulty Choke.
Over-priming can happen when the primer bulb is pushed too many times. This can result in the engines of your lawnmower becoming flooded by fuel. The fuel can spread into the combustion chamber, where it can gather and pool. Under this condition, the spark plug can get too wet and will not ignite.
Your Mower Won`t Start:

Other possible causes include: Loose, Dirty or Disconnected Spark Plug in Your Lawn Mower: Check it out, clean off debris, re-connect and tighten. Dirty Air Filter: Clean or replace. Fuel Not Reaching the Engine: Tap the side of the carburetor to help the flow of gas.

A dirty carburetor is one of the most common causes for a lawn mower not being able to start after sitting unused for months or years at a time.
Use Carburetor Cleaner

Fortunately, you can generally do this without even taking the carburetor out of the engine. Start by purchasing some commercial lawnmower carburetor cleanerOpens a new window, which comes in a simple spray can and will make it easy to clean the inside and outside of the carb.

Your lawn mower runs for 30 minutes then dies if you are having issues such as a bad spark plug, air problems, a malfunctioning carburetor, or a faulty gas cap. You may even encounter the issue that your lawn mower runs for 5 minutes then dies.
If petrol is coming out of your primer bulb, this means that it is backing up in your carburettor and flowing out of the primer tube. The float-valve in your carburettor has most likely got stuck and just needs to be adjusted.
If there are two bolts, the off-center one is a drain, which you can use to get rid of any fuel without removing the bowl; place a container beneath the carburetor and remove the bolt. Any fuel present should trickle out.

Discover Relevant Questions and Answers for Your Specific Issue

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Lawn mower will start and run for 5 seconds and shut down
ANSWER : Will it stay running with your choke on? if so then clean your carb. if not then look for a blockage from tank to carb. ie fuel shut off, deteriorated fuel line. plugged filter etc

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Carb problems wont stay running unless i unplug and plug in the anti diesel switch the plug on the fuel bowl
ANSWER : Check and see if all your carb jets or clean sound like some dirt got into one

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Wont continue to run after prime and start
ANSWER : Often the last ounce of gas in the tank has some crud in it. Get a can of carbeurator cleaner spray. Remove the air filter and squirt three short bursts of the cleaner spray into the air port and then start it. Keep giving it short bursts of carb. cleaner until it runs smoothly again.

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I have had a poulan pro 550 series push mower for almost 1 year at the end of the season last year the mower would start briefly and then stop. i have cleaned out the air filter and that did not help.the mower started, i made one revolution around the yard 3/4th of the way the mower quit. I then primed the mower it started then quit and now it will not start at all. Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do. Thanks
ANSWER : There is a little spring that works the carburetor arm. If that popped off then the mower will not run.

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I have a Poulan push mower that after mowing in a ditch started making a loud noise and running rough. It almost sounded as if metal was hitting metal. The mower was vibrating more than normal. I checked under the mower and nothing is hitting. After a few times of stopping the mower engine because it sound as if it is going to die down the mower will not start now. The shaft does not appear bent and the blade appears ok. The mower has oil, a good spark plug and a clean air filter. It was running fine until that moment. I did not see anything that I hit but it is possible I hit something in the ditch like a pine cone or branch. What could the problem be and how would I go about fixing it?
ANSWER : If you are sure the oil level is correct then it sounds like it’s about to die, unfortunately. A pine cone shouldn’t cause any damage, but a large branch may do so. Was it smoking before you shut it down? The vibration could be caused from a bent blade. It could also be caused from a part breaking in the motor. I wish I could have given you better news!

Good Luck,


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Lawn mower wont stay running only five mintues at a time it like it gets hot fast and then turns off
ANSWER : Check the Float bowl assembly.

Below the carburetor, there is a rounded metal object about 3 inches in diameter. Find the hex nut at the center-bottom of the bowl and unscrew it.

Pull the bowl off, being careful not to twist the float which hangs from the carb. Clean it out well, check the gasket for good seal and replace.

Then check the priming bulb, that round flexible thing you press on to prime, and make sure it is not torn.

Lastly, Try running the mower without the air cleaner for awhile. If it runs good that way, you need a new air cleaner element.

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Lawn mower cranck but wont start…
ANSWER : Since you already checked for spark and air I would drain all the fuel out of it and check that fuel for water. Over time some lawn mowers end up with contaminated fuel. You can see the water sitting on the bottom of the fuel if you let it stand for a bit in a small plastic bowl.

Be sure to empty and dry out you fuel can as well. Especially if the mower stopped running right after a refuel. Which is a good sign your gas can is contaminated too.

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Lawn mower motor runs good, the drive wheels run good but the blade won’t stay enguaged. Thanks
ANSWER : Check your cable that controls the blade engagement.

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