Asked on Mar 16, 2013

Husqvarna Push Lawn Mower - Carb Issue - Leaking Gas??

Jim Ginas
by Jim Ginas
Bought a Husqvarna Push lawn mower last season thinking better quality and it will last. The KOHLER Engine on it started leaking gas like crazy and dealer says on the phone, without looking at it, that the carburator is no good. He says the ethanol gas apparently ruins these carburetors on the Husqvarna equipment. Means it is a KNOWN Issue! Does anyone know who or how I get this fixed at no cost to me? Husqvarna posts an Ethanol Test Challange and a short video, so they must KNOW there are issues. Does anyone know who or how I get this fixed at no cost to me? Recall for repair of a good carburator??? I would think Husqvarana would stand by their equipment being so expensive.
  37 answers
  • That fuel ruins all small engine carbs. I have the same issue with my power washer engine, my generator and a few other small lawn engine mowers that I have. You need to drain the fuel every year at end of season, including the small drain plug in the bottom of the fuel bowl on the carb. If not it will gel up, cause corrosion on the white metal used to make the carb and soften any rubber hoses and gaskets that remain in contact with the stuff. Bottom line, there is nothing you can do to stop this unless your using the engine every few weeks or so. It is the additives that are used in the fuel that cause all this stuff. In fact that is why some fuels sold in the mid-west with higher ethanol cannot be used in older cars or trucks it will destroy the fuel lines in them.
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Mar 16, 2013
    You can use a product such as Staybil to prolong the life of the carb, otherwise plan on rebuilding/replacing it at the end of every season.
  • Jim Jakes Jim Jakes on Mar 16, 2013
    Interesting and helpful, thanks.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 17, 2013
    How awful! But welcome to the world of "green" "organic", "environmentally friendly" etc. the ethanol gas is filling up our dumps because it is not as good as proclaimed...actually sugar going into the tanks! I hate my new washing machine and dishwasher. Easier to just wash the dishes and a rub board with a clothesline is beginning to look good!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 17, 2013
    trade it in for a pair of goats...LOL I would think that there would have been a big warning label in the owners manual about not used this type of fuel.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 17, 2013
    Morning KMS: Actually, they tell you to use it, with 89 octane. I do use 89 octane for thepush mower. Husqvarna actually has a ethanol challenge site and also a specific page to tell the user how to use the gas with ethanol. I think there must be so many issues, that they recognize and are trying to cover liability by providing this website. SEARS guy told me about the SEARS blowers that the gas mix they use are so problemmatic, that they recommend buying a SEARS specifc mix (at $4.00 quart!). I've written Hohler engines AND Husqvarana.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 17, 2013
    At Woodbridge, Four seasons, Jennatte.... thanks for the notes. I'll pay the $150 to get this $250 mower fixed, but complain relentlessly to Kuohler and Husqvarana till they both admit the issues and someone reimburses me!
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 17, 2013
    @Jim G have you reported this to CPSC? Sounds like a real safety issue to me. If they investigate and find an issue, they can force a recall and a fix to the issue. Takes time but perhaps it is time for this company to be accountable. Would also recommend you encourage others to report on what ever forums there are. Here is the online form to report.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 17, 2013
    Hello Gail. No, never heard of the CPSC. I'm looking at the link now. Thanks.
  • Sherrie Sherrie on Mar 17, 2013
    Contact the Manufacture. Not the dealer. Did they give you a warranty? All products with a engine have a code that you give to the manufacture service department that tells you what year and month they were made. If there is a problem with it, there will usually be several that came out of the same line which they have access to with the product information. We did warranty work for manufactories. And the serial numbers and the the model numbers and vin have the info you need to deal with them, if you have a receipt even better.
    • Hkl43159655 Hkl43159655 on Jun 25, 2019

      The real culprit is the government forcing this crappy fuel on us. I swear by Husqvarna equipment, its the fuel.

  • Spheramid Enterprises Spheramid Enterprises on Mar 17, 2013
    The worst gas is the E-15 and it has been known to cause issues for years. Normally the E10 or less is not so bad, but EITHER way, gas must be fresh, not left in the tank or gas cans ( alcohol absorbs h20 and h20 will wreck the carb, bec. it has alum. and steel, and they react in water) and also alcohol will degrade or attack fuel lines and gaskets. Free fix? I doubt it. Caveat emptor and all that. I'd bet your needles and float are stuck and the gas is overflowing out a vent on the carb.
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 17, 2013
    @Jim G The Canada Product Safety Act was enacted in the last couple of years and closely mimics the US Consumer Product Safety Act. It is correct you should contact the manufacturer and they are required to report to the CPSC, but it is a good idea to file with both at the same time - either cc them on you e-mail of complaint or file an online complaint. Companies that do not report are fined for not reporting safety complaints and there are companies who do get fines. In addition a product sold in both countries they share info and investigation with the other so that the same action can be taken in both countries. They grade the seriousness of a complaint and I would think that leaking gas will rank right up there as fire risk. Let us know what your results are - but do keep in mind it does take time to compile the information and work with the company.
  • I hate to say this but blaming the manufacturer isn't going to fly & I highly doubt anyone is really going to call it a safety issue - as @Spheramid Enterprises points out, the issue is with the ethanol & what it does to rubber & other gaskets (especially if the equipment sits for a while). The second part of the issue is that ethanol absorbs water moisture. The best way to avoid this is to find a gasoline station that sells "corn-free" gas. If you can't find one, you can try adding a special additive which will help with the moisture issue & help reduce the other issues. The final one is to make sure before you park any small engine (which includes boat engines) for more than two weeks, drain the tank and lines. As for the great ethanol lie - sorry the only thing supposedly environmentally friendly about it is one or two supposedly reduced emissions. Of course when you calculate that it takes essentially 4 gallons worth of gas to make 1 gallon of ethanol, 4 gallons of water (a lot more if it is an irrigated field), and you lose 3-5 MPG @10% it is worse than the status quo was. I know the boat engine manufacturers are dreading the new 15%, though some shops are gleefully rubbing their hands.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 17, 2013
    @ SLS: My issue is Husqvarna charges almost 2X the cost of a SEARS or TORO mower. If the quality of the product is it's marketing point, it should back it;s product to last more then 1 year.
  • Phil Bauman Phil Bauman on Mar 18, 2013
    I believe there are two ways to stop the carb from gumming up. One is to empty the gas tank, and run the chainsaw, or other husky or graden product,until it dies. The other way is to find a local ethanol free gas. Usually you can find one station that sells it, and it's usually Premium Unleaded.
  • Jeff C Jeff C on Mar 18, 2013
    Your best bet is going to be with the manufacturer, not with the dealer as mentioned above. Usually, most products have at least a 1 year manufacturers warranty from date of purchase. I would continuously call their help line until you can get forwarded to the people above the call center. This is an interesting discussion because I've been told my numerous people that the worst thing you can do with gas powered lawn equipment is to leave gas in the tank/system over Winter. At the end of the cutting season, I run all of my equipment until all of the gas is used up. I'll then try and start the equipment to try and get as much gas burned as possible. I don't find it practical to take apart the engine to drain fuel lines and such at the end of every cutting season. As a precaution to any gas that remains in the system, I pre-treat my 5 gallon gas jug with a product called Seafoam. It's a Sta-bil like product but for whatever reason, appears to work better than Sta-bil and there are many people I've talked to that swear by it. I've used this system for 2 years now and so far, I've not run into any issues with gasoline gumming up or the carb in both push mowers failing. I also use the lowest octane gas here in Ohio which I think is 89 or 91-92 depending on which gas station I go to. But most of my small engines use a gas oil mix which I use individual gas cans to take care of that.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Mar 18, 2013
    I hate to sound like a pessimist, but having live decades more than a lot of you, I have found that lately I do not buy by to "top of the line" or "name brand" because these days they do not mean that much. Too much junk coming from China!
  • Gail Salminen Gail Salminen on Mar 18, 2013
    @SLS Construction Solutions I think leaking gas is a safety issue other products have been recalled because of this. The important issue is following the manufacturers instructions. If they say only to use a specific gas in the product and it is ethanol they are required to address all foreseable safety problems. If the effect of ethanol on the parts is a problem then they should recommend regular changing of these parts. I believe last year the bullet blender system was recalled because the rubber gasket disintegrated and pieces were found in the food product and consumed by a consumer. There was no injury but there was potential. No brainer to replace them but the manufacturer did not provide the information in the manual but they do now.
  • Phil Bauman Phil Bauman on Mar 21, 2013
    Ethanol is bad, for everyone, except, those that get paid (subsidies) to make ethanol, and the political campaign contributions given in return for the subsidies. Ethanol, has been proven not to be good for the environment, not good for the vehicles, machinery, or equipment you put it in. <?xml:namespace prefix = o />
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 22, 2013
    so I fill the tank the day (before writing this question to Hometalk) and didn't notice immediately, but of course, then I could see the leak, just can't pinpoint it. I tilted the front wheels up and let the mower sit that way in the shed, till I could go back out. NO leak. I pull it out and figure I'll mow the HIGH grass that is starting to burn the gas off (along with the leaking gas, so I can bring it in to get evaluated (Kohler credit, called and said bring it in to be looked at. !! NO LEAK while mowing or after! Left the mower in the driveway anticipating the leak, then pushed it into my garage.... STILL NO LEAK! COULD it be the Air Filter cover being broke and not sitting correctly could be pushing or doing something??? I'm going to put the filter and cover back on and mow some more and see what THAT result is! If it leaks, then SOMETHING with the cover???
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 22, 2013
    I not super familiar with carburetors, but perhaps there was an overflow or "pool" type chamber. I vaguely remember my grandfather telling me something along those line with carbs. My truck is fuel injected so there is no carb.
  • Sounds as something has prevented the float from shutting off the fuel to the bowl. If rubber has got into the carb through the needle valve it may be causing it to stick. This can be caused also by the build up from old gas.
    • Robert Sharp Robert Sharp on Aug 19, 2016
      I removed and inspected the carb, I couldn't find any deposits or issues that would prevent sealing. I think it's the alcohol causing the seals to swell and fail to do their job?
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 22, 2013
    @KMS: could be, I don't know. I'll mow again tomorrow morning to see what happens and assuming there will be another leak, I plan to bring it over to our Land & Coates.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Mar 23, 2013
    @ Woody..... I mowed the other day to burn off the gas and figured the leaking gas, so I can bring it to the shop with no gas in it. No leak, go figure. I pulled it out today to see if I mow again, would I see a gas leak and when I started to roll the mower back, some leak! then I figure -OK, I'll mow and between that and the leak, the tank will be empty....... NOPE! I feakin mowed half the back yard, the one whole side yard, and the WHOLE FRONT yard and it NEVER ran out of gas! I'll definitely have to bring it in and have them find the leak for me. Maybe just let them do the riding mower maintenance and fix the push mower at the same time. (STIHL Blower started RIGHT up this season! thank goodness for SOMETHING working right!)
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 24, 2013
    I ran out of gas yesterday running my snow we woke to 9 degree...but no new snow. It is hard for me to imaging mowing in march...LOL
  • Phil Bauman Phil Bauman on Mar 24, 2013
    In reference to WoodBridge Environmental, I agree completely!!! Now guess what causes the sticking, ETHANOL
  • Susan Susan on Apr 09, 2013
    I have a Husqvarna mower with a Honda motor on it. Mine is 10+ yrs old. I used to use the ethanol based gas in up until carb problems started. Had carb cleaned and rebuilt and then found a gas station that had an ethanol free pump and it has been running like a charm the last three yrs. it is best mower I have ever had.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Apr 09, 2013
    ok, Ironically, I've mowed the lawn 3X since to burn out the gas and get it to the local dealer. the mower almost REFUSED to run out of gas! Finally, so cleaned it and running it over today! Kohl contacted me and states if it is a manufacturer defect, they will pay to get it fixed, no cost to me. We'll have to see what Land & Coates sees. Thanks!
  • Go to your local small airport and purchase 100ll gas. It will cost around $6 per gallon, but has nothing in it that will harm the fuel lines. It does contain lead however, but that in a small engine is actually a good thing as the lead in the fuel tends to lubricate the interior parts of the engine.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Apr 09, 2013
    Woodb: interesting...... we actually have a small AP near us!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Apr 10, 2013
    Ages ago when I had my 1967 MGB I would often swing by the airport to get some "good gas". The owners manual stated that 102 octane should be used, and in emergencies experimental 98 could be used. At that time gas stations only served up 92 as the high octane option. With a tank of the good stuff that little bugger could haul the mail.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on Apr 10, 2013
    KMS: I used to have a TR7 when I lived in Hawaii! Loved in. Changed out Dual Carbs and some minor, but for the most part, no issues at all! Sold it for what I bought it for when I left Hawaii! Loved that car!
  • John Reed John Reed on May 31, 2014
    My mower leaks gas into the cylinder so badly that you can't crank the engine. You have to pull the plug and blow the gas out. I try to run the tank dry before I quit mowing.
  • John, sounds as though the float in the carb is failing or there is dirt in it preventing the float from shutting down the fuel flow. Its a simple fix. once fuel is gone remove the large nut under the bowl and remove it. The float will be exposed. A small pin that the float hinges on can be easily removed using needle nose pliers. A small needle valve will come out when the float is removed. So do not lose it. One removed shake the float to see if there is any fuel in it. If you hear it sloshing around, you need to replace it. Check the needle valve also for gunk often found with older fuel deposits. A carburetor cleaner will remove this tarnish. Also flush up into the socket where the needle valve is located. It does not take much to prevent this from causing the valve to stick in the open position. Once clean put it all back together. Should work fine again. You may need set mower on side in order to do this without having issues with putting the float on and off as well as the needle valve.
  • Robert Sharp Robert Sharp on Aug 19, 2016
    I have the same problem. I can't buy gas without ethanol here in NC so I ended up putting a petcock valve between the tank and carb. When I am done mowing I turn the valve and let the mower run itself out of gas. Something in the carb bowl just won't seal with E85 and it ends up making a terrible mess when it's left to sit after mowing. Honestly I am not sure why the industry doesn't just make it E85 compliant since it's universal in the US.
  • Jim Ginas Jim Ginas on May 22, 2018

    Thank you.