I have a Craftsman 917.370410 self-propellied lawn mower. My question may seem similar to My push lawn mower will start when primed, then it dies unless I tip it backwards, however it may be slightly different.

When I start my lawn mower it will quickly die within 1 second now as long as it stays flat on the ground. This interval seems shorter with each start. If I tilt it back towards me, then the lawn mower will stay running for longer, however even then not at full power, it just delays the inevitable of it shutting off.

I have cleaned the air filter, replaced the spark plug and tried my best to clean the carburetor with the spray, however none of that seemed to make a difference either for the better or for the worse.

Are there any more easy fixes that I can try? One note is that while I was able to get the cover to the carburetor off with a socket wrench, the air filter base will not budge to more fully expose the carburetor because it has 3 bolts which look exactly like the same bolt for the carburetor cover, but they won't budge with my socket wrench.

  • 3
    Have you checked the oil level? Many small engines have a low-oil shut off. I got a free mower one time bc the owner said it was unreliable. Turned out it was just a low oil level. Jul 14, 2020 at 0:31
  • 2
    The gas pickup in the tank may be flopping around and coming out of the fuel. sucking air. When you tip it yiu are submerging it
    – Kris
    Jul 14, 2020 at 0:48
  • Tell us about the history of this mower. Have you been using it all summer and it just now started to do this abruptly? Or are you trotting this one out of mothballs or recently acquired it off Craigslist? Did you recently put “old fuel you had lying around” in it? Jul 14, 2020 at 16:23
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica I have been using it all Spring and all Summer, cutting my lawn at least once a week. I have both a front lawn and a back lawn, the back lawn a little bit larger and takes me as much as 45 minutes in one go. This was out of the blue. Now, I think someone was borrowing my mower just before the problem happened, so maybe they did something in the course of mowing the lawn that wasn't so good, but I can't verify this. Perhaps it is just coincidental that is was after someone borrowed my motor. But, it has been plenty active and work well for me before.
    – demongolem
    Jul 14, 2020 at 17:06
  • @GeorgeAnderson - If anything the oil level would be on the high side. For sure, it is not too low.
    – demongolem
    Jul 14, 2020 at 17:08


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