What's Causing Your Lawnmower's Engine To Run Roughly?

The small engines found in most lawnmowers aren't typically known for running as quietly or smoothly as those found in cars. However, most homeowners become familiar enough with their yard equipment to recognize changes in their behavior. Like a car engine, a change in your lawnmower's idling or running characteristics is always a sign of trouble brewing beneath the surface.  

Of course, it's important to identify what's wrong with your lawnmower's engine as soon as possible. While not every rough idle is a sign of a critical issue, this behavior can make mowing your lawn challenging. Even worse, you may be causing more expensive damage by continuing to run your mower. Although there are many reasons for a rough-running lawnmower, these are three of the most common.

1. Maintenance Issues

Any small gasoline engine will typically require more intensive maintenance than a larger car engine. These engines face harsher conditions, and they don't include many of the high-tech systems that control and manage combustion in larger engines. As a result, deferred maintenance can quickly cause noticeable problems with the engines found in most lawnmowers.

If you notice your lawnmower running poorly, there are three primary maintenance items you'll want to check:

  • Fuel filter
  • Air filter
  • Oil level

Clogged filters are one of the primary culprits for a lawnmower running poorly, but under or overfilled oil can also be a problem. Always check these issues before moving on to more detailed troubleshooting.

2. Carburetor Problems

Unless you have a very old vehicle, you're unlikely to pop the hood on your car and find a carburetor. However, many lawnmowers still use these cheap and simple devices to control the air/fuel mixture in the engine. Carburetor problems are common on small engines because issues with the air or fuel supply (such as contamination) can damage them or cause clogs.

You might want to learn how to clean your engine's carburetor if you're relatively handy. This maintenance task can help to restore your lawnmower's performance, but it won't always work. If a simple cleaning doesn't do the trick, you may need a professional to determine if the carburetor requires repair or replacement.

3. Internal Engine Issues

Of course, any engine can suffer internal issues, such as worn bearings or damaged seals. These problems are much more expensive to fix, and they're not a job for a typical do-it-yourselfer. If you've run through the typical maintenance checklist and can't find a reason for your lawnmower's unruly behavior, it's time to bring it to an experienced small engine repair shop.

Contact small engine repair services to learn more. 

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Not a Quick Fix Sometimes in life, you need a quick fix. But employing a quick fix is not typically the best option for your home. When it comes to home repairs, you don't want it done quickly. You want it done right. Of course, this also applies to most car repairs and to various other restoration services. But what does "done right" really mean? This is something you can expect to learn as you read the blog posts on this website. We'll dive deep into all sorts of restoration and repair services so that as you read, you can learn the details of each service.