Craftsman Riding Mower Carburetor Problems

Craftsman Riding Mower Carburetor Problems

The Craftsman riding mower offers a tremendous opportunity to maintaining lawns on larger properties. Cutting and maintaining grass with this small tractor when operating it from a seated position is both comfortable and fairly easy. The maintenance part of the Craftsman Riding mower can be somewhat expensive and demanding. Thus, possessing the ‘know how’ pertaining to what to do becomes handy. Just like most machines the Craftsman Riding mower has its ‘heart’ or central part which is the carburetor. This helps the engine run. The function of the carburetor is to adequately mix fuel and air for the engine cylinder so that combustion takes place. However, when the carburetor is clogged or dirty then the Craftsman Riding lawn mower will likely develop problems. These problems together with solutions are discussed below.

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The Craftsman Riding Mower Won’t Start

One of the indicators that the carburetor is faulty and needs attention is that the Craftsman Riding mower won’t just start. This happens when your engine turns over or cranks but won’t start the engine. This might mean that the carburetor is dirty. The carburetor gets clogged when there is too much dirt in it. The dirt might be a result of bad fuel which will cause a gummy residue to settle in the carburetor. This will hinder the smooth operation of the carburetor thus affecting the whole performance of the engine. What it means is that the required mixture of air and fuel won’t be realised and thus won’t pass through to the engine. This will be responsible for the small turn over you experience with your Craftsman Riding lawn mower but not an actual start.

To correct this you will need to clean the carburetor of the lawn mower so that the dirt that will be clogging it will be removed. In the event that the carburetor’s dirt condition has been caused by old fuel which results in gummy residue then you will need to empty the fuel off the Craftsman Riding mower’s fuel tank. Clean the carburetor and replace the old fuel with fresh one before starting it again.

The Craftsman Riding Mower Is Flooded

Another problem of the carburetor of the Craftsman Riding mower comes when it is flooded. This condition is created when debris or dirt exists in the fuel container. This in turn blocks the needle valve. Because it will be blocked, the needle valve won’t close resulting in fuel overflowing into the carburetor. The effect of this will be that the fuel will flow out of the bowl vent thus throwing off balance the ratio needed between the fuel and air. Due to this, the spark plug will get wet and this affects the power system of the mower.

When the spark plug is ignited the carburetor takes action by mixing air and fuel correctly thus forcing the engine piston of the Craftsman Riding mower downward so that the crankshaft rotates. If because of flooding the spark plug does not ignite this means the engine won’t start. To solve this problem make sure that the carburetor is clean and free of any clogging.

The Craftsman Riding Mower Is Smoking

Another problem that can be experienced with a riding mower like the Craftsman one is that of smoking. Usually this will be associated with the malfunction of the carburetor. If the engine runs rich with fuel it means that too much of it will be supplied to the carburetor. This is the opposite of when an engine is running lean on fuel. The smoke of the Craftsman Riding mower comes because there will be excess fuel and not enough air thus causing black smoke to be emitted from the muffler or the exhaust. You will have to inspect the carburetor and make sure that all its parts are functioning properly. Also, assess to see if the carburetor is clean as it should be. If not, clean it with a carburetor cleaner. If any of its parts is not good enough anymore then replacement will be inevitable.

The Craftsman Riding Mower Stalls

The stalling of an engine of the mower can be due to several reasons. One of them is that the engine might be supplied with inadequate fuel. Usually a 15:1 ratio of air to fuel or slightly less is required for the Craftsman Riding mower to operate. Now, when there is too much air as opposed to fuel this will cause the engine to stall. At times it might also be responsible for causing some kind of sneezing or production of a popping sound in the intake of fuel. When this happens know that it is most likely that there isn’t enough intake of fuel in the carburetor. Once again you will need to inspect the carburetor for any damaged parts or dirt that will be responsible for this stalling and fix the problem accordingly.

The Craftsman Riding Mower Runs Rough And Consumes More Fuel

When your Craftsman Riding mower is running rough and consumes more fuel than ordinary, the problem might be with the carburetor. This might point to the fact that it is clogged and will need some attention. The noticeable increase in consumption of fuel comes as a result of incorrect mixture ratios of air and fuel in the carburetor. Therefore, it will be paramount to check the normal operation of the carburetor in case some adjustments have to be made with regards the correct intakes of air and fuel. Running rough of the engine is also a sign that the carburetor might be clogged and would need cleaning.


While it is true that the carburetor might not always be the one to blame for all the problems, it stands out that most of the times it is the culprit. You will do well to maintain regular cleaning schedules of the carburetor for consistent and efficient operations. Quickly pick up the signs associated with a malfunctional carburetor that have been highlighted above and stay ahead of trouble. For the regular cleaning of the carburetor you will need to purchase a commercial carburetor cleaner and for the removal and replacement of it you will need a socket wrench, a screwdriver and a needle-nose pliers. All these are both affordable and fairly easy to get in most lawn mower dealer shops.