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One of the biggest issues we see is ethanol problems

Don’t use ethanol gasoline unless you want problems.  Ethanol issues are NOT covered under warranty by anyone!   Gas stations are moving toward E85(85% ethanol).  These stations blend the fuel at the pump.  Supposed you drive up after a person has filled their flex vehicle with E85.  You grab your 1 gal can out of your car and punch reg gasoline.  How much E85 did you get out of the hose before you got gasoline?????  Ethanol issues are not covered by warranty. Many manufacturers are suggesting using these canned fuels that are only gasoline to be sure.  Costly- maybe depends on how much you use but maybe not if it saves expensive repairs.   We now stock canned 4 cycle fuel as well as 2 cycle fuel.  See our ethanol page  Always pump 1 gal into your car before filling a container with gas  and when you finish mowing take what is in your gas can and put in your car and fill up with fresh before mowing next time.

E15 Gasoline Unlawful and Unsafe to Use in Outdoor Power Equipment

For Parts We have to have the model no, spec or type no, and sometimes the serial no. on the machine to look up parts---engine no. for engine parts(Model, Type & Code for B&S, Model, spec, & Serial no for Kohler or Tecumseh), equipment no. for equipment parts(Model No & Serial no for MTD; Model no, SKU no, & cowling no and 9 digit no under the seat for Husqvarna, model no for Sears, Murray), length of starter housing for electric starter and brand of Carburetor for carb parts. All manufacturers have gone to electronic parts look-ups and they all start with the model no. If you are not sure you have the correct no’s for us to look up parts call us first. And sometimes we have to have both engine and equipment- mufflers for instance can be an engine part or an equipment part, the crankshaft pulley is an equipment part not an engine part.


A special tip for your warranty service involving your receipt.When you buy something make a couple copies of your receipt and put in your book with the original.  That way if you need warranty service you will have a copy and not have to take the original.  A copy of the receipt is needed for all warranty work any more.  We cannot even consider it without it.

Read your warranty statement from the manufacturer.  Most are limited- they only cover certain things and has to be a defect in manufacturing or workmanship. It does not cover water in gas, ethanol issues, bent blades, bent crankshaft, worn belts, tune ups, vibration effects such as cracked deck, loose bolts, or backing over machine with car or blown electrical parts from jumping the mower.  Most companies do not cover normal wear items or if they do it’s only 30 days.  The manufacturer has the final say in whether they will cover any product by a warranty repair.   We must have a receipt when the machine was purchased to even consider warranty. But if you think it could be contact us.  We’ll be happy to look at it and discuss it with the manufacturer. Fuel issues from using ethanol gasoline are not covered.

Ordering on line and installing it yourself and it doesn’t fix the problem you may not get warranty if that item does not work.  Some manufacturers give a warranty on a part IF installed by an authorized dealer. Otherwise there is no warranty.  And now if you work on it first before letting a dealer check the warranty situation it VOIDS the warranty.


Big issues when it comes to warranty- manufacturers will not approve warranty that they think is caused by vibration. Vibration is usually caused by bad belt or bad blades and that is mainentience. And vibrations can do lots of $$$ in damages if not stopped when it starts.  And it’s on you to fix regardless of age. Read your warranty!

Tips on mower belts

 Understanding mower belts. You can’t just get any belt to fit.  Mower belts come in strange sizes- in length(fractions of an inch), in width, in v shape, covered, raw edge, Kevlar, special ribbed, and also where the cording is placed(can be in the top or middle of the belt but you don’t know till you cut the belt open to see and that makes a big difference in performance).  A belt a tenth too short can put extra pressure on the bearing surfaces and cause premature bearing failure and can even cause engine failure if the short belt hooks to an engine pulley.  A belt too long can slip and cause poor performance from the machine. A belt without proper cording will heat and blow out sooner. Call us with your mower model no’s and we can be sure you get the correct belt.  Also a worn belt will tell you what the problem is many times if you know how to read it.  We can help you diagnose your belt problems.

Foreign engines on  mowers

Be aware that there are some manufacturers that are using foreign made engine and some have very little parts and what are available are sometimes expensive.  Know what you are buying. Unfortunately some of our major manufacturers are bringing in these engines.  Most made for engine manufacturers are supported pretty well.  It’s the ones on equipment sold by small equipment manufactures that are sometimes not as well supported.  Know what you are buying and  where to find parts and service for them.  We have run into a couple issues of failed engines due to dirt intake.  Best thing is to get your engine serviced first year and before the warranty runs out. 

Hard starting on overhead valve engings.

If it seems your starter is getting weak on an OHV engine get the valves adjusted.  You will damage the starter if you don’t.  And if you replace the starter and don’t adjust the valves you will burn out another starter.  Most American made engines suggest getting valves checked yearly.  Some Chinese engines say after the first 25 hrs then yearly.   Worst case scenario will be a new engine on you- issues from not getting your valves adjusted is maintainance.

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Valve was gouged into top of piston

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Valve head after removing from piston shows valve stem broken off.

This engine above did not ever have valves adjusted.  Dropped the valve on top of piston and broke off valve stem.  Valve head was lodged into top of piston and valve stem was not ever found.  However there was a hole on the side of the head big enough for the valve stem to be pushed(shot) out after breaking off. It was about 5 yr old.  Nothing left but replace the engine-- cost over $1000.  Cost of valve adj $65-75.

Buying on line part

I get people in here all the time wanting to know if I have a part for their mower before they order on line.  Most of the time I’m cheaper and often have the part in stock. I inadvertently got transferred to a manuf from my distributor to place a part order.  My cost above list + freight and it was for warranty.  Finally got warranty to pay but it was a hassle.  So beware- on line even from the Manufacturer may not be cheaper than ordering from your local dealer. Had a guy in looking for a belt the other day- said he decided to see if we might have one before he ordered on line.  Our belt- and we had it in stock- no waiting- was $31 + tax- the one on line was $40 plus shipping.  Doesn’t always happen but we stock parts for machines that are out there- if we get repeat calls for an item we put it in stock.  Also beware- I have seen on line where the original part no is given but it’s an aftermarket part that is shipped.  Some aftermarket are pretty good - some are not.  If the aftermarket causes failure it’s on you.

Had a guy bring in a saw.  His saw dealer could not get the part he needed but told him to order a certain part on line.  He ordered the part then brought the saw to us to fix.  The part he ordered was not the correct part.  We fixed his saw by repairing the original carb correctly.  What he did with the incorrect carb I do not know. 

Our policy- if it’s special ordered we do not do a refund. If it’s a belt we stock we do an exchange only provided the belt is ok.  If we look up the part and we ordered the wrong part we take it back and get you the the right part. If you look it up and it’s wrong or does not fix the problem it’s yours. Also if you tell me you want a gizmoche and that is what I order but you really need a whatchmacallit it’s still yours.  You choose to be the mechanic so we assume you know what you are doing and have done your troubleshooting correctly and know the name of the part you need. If it’s electrical there is no refund or exchange. All requests for exchange or refund must be accompanied with the original receipt- restocking fee applies.

Do use a stabilizer to prevent ethanol problems. We recommend Star-Tron or B& S stabilizer.  Or better yet store your mower with a quart of canned fuel.  Lasts a year, won’t clog up the carb.  Drain the fuel.  Run till it quits.  Add a can of fuel and run for a few min.  Will start when you get ready in the spring.  

Change your air filter regularly and do not wash a paper filter or blow it out.  Replace it.

Use original equipment belts.  Fit alls do not fit mowers- they are too long, too short or not the right width, not the right V or not the right cording.  Short belts put stress on the bearings and they fail sooner, longer belts result in a poor cut.  See our tips about belts.

Electrical is getting more intricate.   Don’t jump the mower off you car with the car running. Electrical is going to be more of an expense if you try to do it your self and don’t know what you are doing.  You can blow expensive parts and make it more time consuming for the technician to track down all the problems.



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