Since moving from apartment style living to a home with a lawn, yard work has become an integral part of my monthly to-do list. I’ve got a good size lawn surrounding my home that usually needs a cut every other week. My lawnmower is a Sears walk-behind Briggs and Stratton push mower that I’ve had for about 3 years now. My gas trimmer is also from Sears and features a 32cc 2 stroke engine. Even with regular maintenance and recommended care tips as outlined in the manuals, both the mower and trimmer after about 2 years of faithful service began faltering. The mower was no longer running at full power and eventually the engine safety cable broke. The gas trimmer would start then quit. Pumping the trigger continuously was the only way for me to keep the engine running. I’m no engine expert, but was able to at least do the minimum troubleshooting on both the mower and the trimmer.
Check fuel lines for blockages
Replace spark plugs
Check air filters
Dismantle, clean out carburetor
Fresh gas and new oil
Even after checking and implementing these steps, the fuel line running from the trimmer gas tank to the primer bulb deteriorated and then the primer bulb cracked. On the mower, the fuel completely stopped flowing through the carburetor. Eventually I had to consider the following three options:
Professional servicing at a cost that would most likely surpass the original cost of the equipment
Replace both items with new ones which would make sense considering the potential cost of repair
Fix it myself
Feeling there was more to gain than lose, I decided to try and fix the problems myself. However, I still had the following concerns:
Where I would get the parts and at what cost?
Would it be worth my time?
Could I actually do it myself?
I had checked my local Sears store for parts but was informed that I would have to contact a special department for the parts I needed. I opted instead to check on eBay. As it turns out eBay is a great resource for small engine parts. I found every part I was considering replacing. For less than $ 25 I was able to pick up a replacement carburetor and engine safety cable for the lawnmower plus a new primer bulb for the trimmer. I also picked up replacement fuel lines and a gas cap O ring for the trimmer from ACE Hardware since it was slightly cheaper than what I could find on eBay. With the replacement parts in hand, and some great tips from do-it-yourself websites, I was able to successfully service the mower and trimmer. My lawn mower sounds fresh out of the box and the trimmer is finally purring normally again.
Toni C enjoys writing articles on a variety of topics.
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