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Original post by: grady ,

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DIAGNOSIS:  sometimes the needle in the carb can get stuck open..if its a gravity fed fuel system the carb, especially when engine not running, is letting gas drain through the crankcase breather tube which will add gas to your oil, overfilling it. Wich will pump the oil into your carb when you try to start it.

If you put up the mower with gas in tank and come back in a couple days and its empty its probly in your oil or leaked through the air filter.. check oil if its overfull and smells like gas and feels thin and or you may notice if you pulled on it long enough it may get hard to turn the motor over..thats an indication the oil has lost its ability to lubricate properly.

SOLUTIONS: Metal polish and elbow grease will solve a metal needle sticking. or a rebuild kit or new carb. Get a new or clean sparkplug and air filter.

Drain out all oil, add new oil at proper level.

Prime if carb is able to. should fire right up!

( most common small engine carbs are under $30  hard to beat a bolt on ready to go carb...i usually get 2-3 frustration free years out of the cheap carbs. Airfilter and plug might be another $10)

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