My engine will not start or will not stay running. What can I do to fix this?

Many of the below symptoms can be remedied by the end user.  For those that require service by an authorized engine dealer, a link to their service center locators is located at the bottom of this FAQ.

For instances where the recoil rope will pull:

     Fuel Related Problems:

  • No (or low) fuel in the tank
  • Fuel valve in the OFF position
  • Fuel inlet screen/filter plugged. Clean or replace as needed (not equipped on all engines)
  • Old or contaminated fuel. Drain fuel and refill with fresh in all instances.  If it doesn't remedy then an engine service center will need to clean and/or repair:
         Wrong Blend for Season. (winter vs summer blend, different evaporation point from different fuel mix can contribute to vapor lock) 
         Stale Fuel (Fuel breaks down in 30 days, contributes to hard to start and stalling from varnish residue in the carburetor)
         Water in Fuel (Alcohol blends can contribute to this)
  • Vent cap plugged (Vent in gas tank cap plugged not allowing fuel to drain from tank)
  • Oil in air filter (From unit being on its side - also check spark plug and fuel line)
  • Low RPM pull (Pull on rope needs to generate enough RPM to fire the ignition system)
  • Not enough pulls to pump fuel up to carburetor
  • Incorrect choke settings (Choke should be closed when starting cold, Open or maybe partially closed when starting warm)

     Ignition Related Problems:

  • Switch in the off position
  • Switch or wiring faulty. Will have to be repaired by an authorized service center for that brand of engine
  • Low on engine oil.  Check the oil level and fill to appropriate capacity (oil sensor not available on all models)
  • Spark plug wire loose/off. 
  • Spark plug cracked/loose.  Tighten or replace as necessary 
  • Spark plug fouled (Caused from old or contaminated fuel, or oil in combustion chamber from unit being on its side).  Inspect spark plug, if the head of the plug is black or has buildup, then replace as necessary.
  • Spark plug gap incorrect.  The correct gap is 30 thousandths

For Instances Where The Recoil Rope Will Not Pull (or very hard to pull):

  • For Pressure Washers, make sure any water pressure is relieved from the pump head by squeezing the gun trigger.

 The below symptoms will require a service center for repair:

  • Pump or Genhead binding
  • Pump/Genhead to engine bind
  • Oil locked
  • Damaged recoil
  • Foreign object in recoil assembly
  • Engine previously ran low on oil and now locked up

Click here to locate an authorized service center for the entire machine.  Note: not all are authorized to work on the engine, but this link will display which engines they do work on if applicable.

Click here to locate an authorized service center for the engine only.


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