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6 Reasons Why Your Small Engine Won’t Start

by HIPA Jeremy 29 Oct 2022 0 Comments

Small engine won’t start? This blog provides information on how to troubleshoot a small engine and the most likely defective parts associated with this problem.


Here are the top six most portable causes.

1.Defective spark plug
Due to carbon buildup and a weakened electrode, the spark plug will degrade over time which can prevent the engine from starting. You should inspect the spark plug for damage or wear and you can also use an ignition tester to help determine if the spark plug is defective. Generally, we recommend replacing the spark plug once a year.

2.Restricted carburetor
The residue that results from old fuel being left in the tank can create a restriction in the carburetor. This is why you should always use fresh fuel when filling the tank and a fuel stabilizer to help maintain the quality of the fuel. You can try cleaning the carburetor with carburetor cleaner to eliminate the clog, if cleaning is not effective you can often purchase a carburetor repair kit to replace some of the components or install a new carburetor altogether.

Hipa Carburetor Kit

3.Defective ignition coil
The ignition coil sends voltage to the spark plug when the engine is running. A defective ignition coil may prevent the engine from starting. As with the spark plug you can use an ignition tester to test the coil to determine if the components have failed.

Hipa Ignition Coil

4.Malfunctioning recoil starter
The recoil stater engages the crankshaft to turn over the engine. A malfunctioning recoil starter may not engage the crankshaft correctly. When the rope is pulled, tabs extending from the pulley and cam should grab the bub of the engine causing it to turn; when the rope is released, the tab should retract as the rope rewinds onto the pulley. If the assembly appears damaged or does not function properly, you should replace it with a new one.

Hipa Recoil Starter

5.Broken flywheel key

The flywheel key is a small metal piece that fits into the crankshaft and engages with the flywheel. If the engine stops suddenly, the flywheel key may break in half to prevent damage to the engine. If this happens, you will need to replace the broken flywheel key with a new one before the engine can be restarted.

6.Faulty switch or switches
The start switch or safety switch could also be faulty. You can use a multimeter to test the switches for continuity in the on position and negative in the off position.

Please let us know if this works and if you have any suggestions or comments. Or you can join HIPA DIY COMMUNITY to feature your passion for repair projects, share your stories with the Hipa family and get help from Hipa.

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