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A possible quick fix for a surging or stalling small engine


If your lawnmower, snowblower, tractor or other small engine is surging, here is a quick fix that might work.

I was plowing my driveway and the tractor was acting up. After about 150′ , it would surge and stall. If I waited a couple of minutes, it would start back up and stall again after another 150′.

I use the tractor to mulch the leaves every fall on my 2 1/2 acres. Depending on the weather, that can result in a lot of dust. I found that if I removed the fuel cap, it wouldn’t stall. Well, you can’t drive around with no fuel cap. Right?

There is a VERY tiny vent hole in the cap that lets air into the tank as you use gas. (Newer tractors might have a different setup). All I needed to do was take the cap off and carefully clear it with some starting fluid and compressed air. When I put it back on the tank, the tractor ran perfectly. You can see the hole in question in the center of the cap below.

Fix a stalling small engine by cleaning the vent hole in the gas cap.

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