Let us just face it, some box-store tools are just not worth repairing. The cost to repair them would be more than the value of the tool. But what about your more expensive equipment? Most of the time just changing a few parts may solve the issue.  This article will not be simplifying the mechanics of a combustion engine. It is a beginner guide to help you troubleshoot common small engine problems.


No Fuel circulation

  • No fuel – Yes! we have all forgot to fill the fuel tank.  An engine needs gas the same way we need food.
  • Gummed up carburetor – Carburetors become gummed up from time to time. Therefore, restricting gas circulation. This can be a result of mixing gas too rich or leaving gas in your equipment for an extended period.  You can fix this by replacing carburetor or using a carb cleaning solution to clean the parts.
  • Carburetor need adjustment – You may need to adjust the carburetor on any equipment that will not idle or stay running. Adjusting a carburetor takes a bit of practice. Most carburetor have a high and low screw that needs adjustment during regular maintenance. In addition, Four Stoke versions of small engine often need valves adjustments.
  • Bad or detached fuel line– fuel line like every other part on a small engine is essential for fuel distribution. These lines may become detached or rotted over time.  In both cases gas will be visible on the out surface of the equipment.
  • Clogged or detached fuel filter– Fuel filters are located within the gas tank and screen out any sediments that may have ended up in the fuel. If these filters become dirty, then fuel circulation will stop. A common symptom of this is an engine that runs normally but shuts down after pressing the throttle trigger.
  • Primer bulb is damaged- The primer bulb pumps fuel from the gas tank into the carburetor. Priming the engine is one of the first sequences needed in order to start a traditional small engine. Most damaged primer bulbs will show visible signs.

No Air circulation

repairing small engine with problems

  • Dirty air filter Manufacturers recommend that you inspect and if needed clean or replace fuel filters after extended use sage. Dirty filters restrict airflow and, in many cases, will cause your engine to bog out under acceleration
  • Spark arrestor blockage– Carbon buildup on the arrestor can block or restrict air circulation. As a result, causing your engine to bog out under acceleration. Arrestors are located on the muffler and are removable on most equipment. Cleaning them with a wire brush or burning off carbon build up should be enough.
  • A dirty or bad spark plug- Without a spark, it is impossible for a small engine to operate. The spark plug ignites the fuel within the combustion chamber. Hence, pushing the piston in an up and downward motion.  As part of your routine maintenance manufacturers recommend that you inspect and if needed clean or replace spark plugs after extended use sage.

Many starting problems can be repaired by just cleaning, or replacing parts. If you hate tinkering with oily and dirty parts then paying a repair shop may be your best bet.