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Rick, Small Engine Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Outdoor Power Equipment technical trainer since 1990, covering eight states.
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I used a diesel can for petrol and now my lawn mower wont

Customer Question

I used a diesel can for petrol and now my lawn mower won't start
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.
Try replacing the spark plug. Any diesel can foul the spark plug
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It was just very residual diesel would this still foul up a spark plug
.Will it be possible to clean up the spark plug with Emery paper or petrol

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.
You could pull it out and see how it looks. Just a little diesel can foul it, but a good cleaning might make it usable.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I gave it a good clean with Emery Paper, the Mower will fire but dies after 3-4 seconds it's almost as if it is fuel starved.

It has one of those 'priming' pumps which I assume pressurises petrol into the cylinder normally 3 pumps are enough to prime the engine on cold start, now it takes 20 Plus primes to get petrol through enough to start. Any further thoughts

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.
Can you remove the float bowl on the carburetor and clean it? It may be full of water or debris. Also check the fuel line from tank to carb. Is there a fuel filter? Is it clean?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: I still need help.
I managed to get the Mower started and it will run for 3-4 seconds but then it stops. I have cleaned the brass 'injector' in petrol and checked the float which all seem ok but it will not continue to run. Any further ideas?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.

Do you have the engine model number? I need to know what kind of carburetor it has. Here is a Briggs carburetor, the center bolt that holds the bowl and the stud up through the center of the carburetor make the main jet. One of these is plugged and not letting fuel into the cylinder. Or the float and needle valve are not letting fuel into the bowl.-----

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Centre bolt and stud have been thoroughly cleaned not sure about the float and the needle valve will check it tomorrow when it is daylight here in the UK

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.
OK, the needle controls the fuel into the bowl , by the float action. Let me know what you find. It has to be the carburetor or the fuel supply to it!
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 3 years ago.