10 Best Lawn Mower Engine In 2021 | Review and Buyer’s Guide
Briggs & Stratton 49T877-0004-G1
- Cooling fin inspection panels
- Guaranteed balanced lubrication
- Long lasting engine
Briggs & Stratton 25 HP 724cc
- 25 HP 724cc Commercial Engine
- 1 x 3-5/32 inch keyed crankshaft
- 5-stage cyclonic air filter system
Kohler KT715-3047 7000 Series
- 20 HP 725cc 7000 Series V-Twin Engine
- 1 x 3-5/32 inch keyed crankshaft
- Riding mower, z-turn replacement engine
Lawnmowers are very useful pieces of machinery that help us tidy up our residences. Lawnmowers are investments that most people can’t just rush into. You’d need to do your fair share of study and research to make sure that you get the most value out of your money should you decide on a product.
Now, what makes this even more challenging is that there are a lot of good as well as not so good ones to choose from. This is the same thing for when you decide to buy a new engine for your lawnmower.
We went ahead and reviewed some of the best lawn mower engines out in the market. Go ahead and check them out and see if you’d find what you’ve been looking for amongst the engines we’ve picked.
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Features to Consider when Buying a Lawn Mower Engine:
Here are important features that your new engine should possess for efficient and cost-effective grass cutting.
Determine the starting system that you’d need. You have two systems that you can choose from and we’re talking about the Recoil or rewind starting system as well as the Electronic starting system.
The recoil or rewind starting system works by pulling a rope. The strong tug on it spins the flywheel to generate voltage needed for the ignition. The Electronic starting system, on the other hand, relies on a starter and battery power.
It needs these two components to ignite a combustion process to start the engine. You’d be glad to know that some electronic starting systems have a recoil backup system in case the former fails.
Go with OHV or Overhead valves engines. These engines have its valves installed in its cylinder head, in a way that they face the piston to offer greater efficiency. Having a more symmetrical combustion chamber results in more efficient burning for the air/fuel mixture.
Spark Plugs and Pistons
This a no-brainer, you’re going to need to find the right spark plug for your lawnmower engine’s model. It’s easy, you just need the old spark plug that you need to replace and match it. It’s no secret how important a spark plug is to your ignition system so you must get the right one for the engine.
It’s the same thing for the piston for your small engine. You just need to make sure you get the right size.
Gear ratio is a factor for your engine’s speed and application. On small engines, it is usual for the crankshaft to go for 3600 revolutions per minute. And from that, you see how this aspect will affect your lawn mower engine greatly.
A V-twin design means that it has a couple of OHV cylinders that operate in its combustion chamber. This system significantly reduces any vibration. Take note that knowing your crankshaft size is every important when you are replacing your engine.
To ensure a proper fit and optimum performance, be sure to match the size of the new engine to the old one.
Utilizes gears as well as flyweight inside its crankcase to detect changes in the load and sense speed to adjust the throttle to compensate.
This one utilizes an air vane to sense speed. The air vane then utilizes air pressure to register change around its spinning flywheel. We have to admit though that this system is not as reliable as the mechanical governor.
Go for cast iron cylinder sleeves. The piston as well as some other components need to withstand the wear and tear to provide consistent and improved oil consumption that extends the life of your engine.
Cast iron cylinder sleeves are durable and are ideal for professional and commercial applications.
10 Best Lawn Mower Engine
Briggs & Stratton 49T877-0004-G1
First up on our best lawn mower engine review is the commercial-grade Briggs & Stratton 49T877-0004-G1. This is one high-end lawn mower engine that’s worth your investment.
The Briggs & Stratton engine code of 49T877-0004-G1 is one of the strong and tough functional engines you can consider for your riding mower. It is the right choice for OEM as it is designed for heavy-duty applications. It is an epitome of strength, power, and it offers great performance, which makes it a great option for riding tractors and zero-turn mowers.
The engine is of O.H.V style with cast iron cylinder sleeves, which offers cooler operation that is needed to prolong the lifespan of the engine. The design of the engine integrates a cyclonic air filter that gives maximum protection from debris. The air filter is 2.5 times stronger with a longer service span than some standards panel-style air cleaners.
With a proper lubrication system in place, you can be assured your engine will last longer. You have nothing to worry about regarding the adequate lubrication of your engine as it comes with full pressure lubrication with a spin-on oil filter, which helps to assure you of even controlled lubrication for extended engine lifespan.
This particular Briggs & Stratton lawnmower engine has a patented 5-step debris management system that makes it ultra-durable even under the heaviest debris conditions.
Not only that, but the cyclonic air filter system also provides additional and the ultimate debris protection and this lasts longer than any panel-style air cleaning system.
It’s got an increased cylinder block construction for much-needed endurance and strength and with cooling fin inspection panels. And the spin-on oil filter comes with a full pressure lubrication process that assures managed lubrication to extend engine component life.
- One of the most durable lawn mower engine on our list
- Debris protection system is off the charts
- Guaranteed balanced lubrication
- Long-lasting engine
- Prone to premature oil leaks
This lawnmower engine is built to last. It is super reliable and durable and you may have to spend a bit of extra cash but trust us, it’s going to be well worth it.
Briggs & Stratton 25 HP 724cc Commercial Turf Engine
We’re going to tell you right now that most of our engines on the list are from Briggs & Stratton. And there’s no wonder that Briggs & Stratton is one of the biggest and most reliable brands out there. This time we bring you the Briggs & Stratton 25 HP 724cc Commercial Turf Engine.
The Briggs & Stratton 25 HP 724cc is a perfect engine model that is ideal for zero-turn mowers and tractors. It is a perfect replacement for a riding mower that has the same specifications and ratings. It is powerful and works optimally, thereby delivering the best performance needed to get your device in the best condition.
The engine has a 5-stage cyclonic air filter system that is balanced, has low vibration, and contributes to the smoothness of the lawnmower or tractor operation. One of the importance or benefits of choosing the engine is that it doesn’t consume fuel; it helps the lawnmower or tractor to work smoothly and very cool, and it also helps to reduce emissions.
Also, the 25 HP 724cc Commercial Turf Engine has full pressure lubrication, which ensures that the oil cleaner is free from debris, which has the capacity to cause any damages to the internal engine parts. Also, the cast iron cylinder sleeve plays a great role in ensuring that the oil is properly controlled and the engine life is prolonged.
Guaranteed to have high power and quality. This commercial-grade engine runs in 724cc and has a vertical shaft. This engine is practically designed for those mowers that need to take on high-debris applications.
It’s a perfect replacement for zero-turn engines specifically for riding lawnmowers. It’s still got the 5-step cyclonic system for ultimate air-filtration. The engine is also quite easy to install and fits perfectly in a lot of compartments.
- No hassle replacement installation
- Great debris management system as well
- Superb air-filtration system
- Heavy-duty engine suitable for riding lawn mower
- Can be a bit pricey
An outstanding engine even for its price. This one is a workhorse and won’t let you down. You’ll get a lot of mileage with this engine for sure. It’s one of the best on our list.
Kohler KT715-3047 7000 Series
Looking for a replacement engine for your zero turn and riding mowers? Then look no further, introducing the Kohler KT715-3047 7000 Series.
Choosing Kohler KT715-3047 from the 7000 series is never the wrong choice for you if you are looking for an engine that can handle both smooth and rough operations. The engine boasts 20 HP 725cc V-Twin styles. It is ideal for riding lawn mowers and residential zero-turn mowers.
The engine comes with a great filtration system that helps to ensure the engine lasts longer. It has oil, fuel, and air filters that serve as extra protection and ensure that no debris gets to the engine that could damage it. The engine is built to last longer once all safety and maintenance measures are considered and observed.
Also, the engine has smart choke technology, which means you do not have to choke the engine whenever you are about to use your machine. It has easy to start an operational system, the speed is consistent, and it works optimally even when used to tackle tough mowing tasks.
We know how reliable and robust Kohler products are and most especially their engines. We’re pretty sure you’ll get good value out of your investment with this one too.
This comes with a Kohler 20 horsepower 725cc from the 7000 series of the brand’s V-Twin engine. It’s got a 1 x 3-5/32 inches keyed crankshaft infused with a PRO performance filtration system that increases the oil, fuel, and air filter capacity for much-needed protection of the engine.
This system should keep all components of your engine well-lubricated.
- East start even in low to freezing temperatures
- Long service life
- Consistent engine speed throughout the operation
- Robust and very durable engine
- Has some fitting issues with some mowers
Very affordable yet high-quality engine. You’ll get the most value out of your money should you invest with this one. Top 5 on our list for sure.
Briggs & Stratton 44S877-0002-G1
The next entry on our best lawn mower engine review is another professional-grade engine, the Briggs & Stratton 44S877-0002-G1.
The Briggs & Stratton 44S877-0002-G1 is one of the engines with good reviews and customer recommendations from both online stores and local stores. The engine has all it takes to ensure you get your lawn mower or tractor in the right condition. It is made with high-quality materials, making it strong and durable to handle tough and rough conditions.
Also, the engine has chrome-plated exhaust valves integrated into its design, which plays a major role in reducing valve wear, thereby improving the engine’s performance and prolonging the lifespan. With the mechanical compression release, it is effortless for anyone to ignite the engine and get it to work without hassles.
The 724cc Briggs & Stratton twin cylinder engine offers great performance with a power rating of 24 horsepower. Also, it has high capacity air, oil, and fuel filters that play a major role in ensuring all that gets to the engine can’t cause any damages to it. It is a system in place that protects the engine and therefore makes the maintenance easy to do.
This engine is infused with a mechanical compression release that’s meant for easy and reliable starting. It’s got chrome-plated exhaust valves that will reduce valve wear, leading to longer service life and more mileage.
It’s also got premium quality air, oil, and fuel filters that will provide engine protection and longer maintenance intervals. It’s also got a quality finished crankpin bearing and an advanced debris management system.
- High-quality debris management
- Built to last
- Premium filters
- Durable valves.
- Ready start system is a bit faulty
A superb professional-grade engine this is. We may say that this is a top 5 on our list easily. Great features and long service life guaranteed.
Briggs and Stratton 44S977-0033-G1
Repower your lawn mower the right way with the Briggs and Stratton 44S977-0033-G1, another professional series 24HP engine from this top brand.
The Briggs and Stratton 44S977-0033-G1 also meets all requirements to be considered one of the best engines you can consider as the perfect replacement for your lawnmower or tractor. The engine boasts of 24Hp, and it has an electric start with the help of the 16-amp alternator.
The engine is strong to handle anything its subjected to. It is a powerful engine that has lots of features to ensure your engine works optimally. The filters play a major role in filtering the oil and fuel that get into the engine and ensure that the good ones are only served to the engine.
The engine has a float feed carburetor, which helps for a reliable starting and a perfect operation needed to carry out whatever task you have perfectly. The engine is straightforward to maintain. The design and the structure ensure you have nothing to worry about, even if you subject the engine to the toughest condition.
The main feature of this powerful engine is a 16 amp alternator for the electronic starting system. It’s got an overhead valve system, a Dura-Bore cast-iron cylinder sleeve, and a float feed carburetor, which is essential for starting as well as the entire time of its operation.
These are all the features that you should be looking for when purchasing a new engine. This product is designed to be easy to use as well as efficient. And if you think you can get behind that, then this is for you.
- Very efficient air/fuel mixture
- Very economic oil consumption
- Easy to start and operate
- Has more than enough power for commercial applications
- One of the rather lesser-known models from the brand
Definitely an underdog but don’t sleep on it. It’s powerful and efficient, you couldn’t ask for more.
Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0006-G1
Next on our best lawn mower engine list is the Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0006-G1.
The Briggs & Stratton 31R907-0006-G1 with a 500cc 17.5 Gross HP Engine is a strong and powerful engine that can be considered for your tractor and lawnmower. The engine has a 12-volt electric start, and it has an exhaust manifold with a muffler included, but it has no fuel tank. It is very strong and durable to handle tough conditions.
The engine has a 9-amp DC alternator for charging the battery. Also, the cast iron cylinder sleeve and the dual-element air filter make the engine last longer. The filter works to ensures that no debris gets onto the engine. The system thus influences the lifespan of the engine and makes it last longer.
Also, the float carburetor’s design ensures it has a consistent flow of fuel, making it very easy to start. Furthermore, the engine has a patented linear balancing system, making it boast of nothing but a perfect working performance. It doesn’t give too much heat; it has its dynamic way of regulating itself and ensures it doesn’t overheat to the point of getting damaged.
This one is infused with a cast-iron sleeve plus a dual-element air filter, which aims to extend the engine’s life. It also is built with a float carburetor for utmost consistency as well as for easy starting.
The brand has installed in it a patented linear balancing system to provide much smoother performance. It is CARB compliant and has a 9 amp electronic starting system with a rewind or recoil backup in case that fails.
- Easy to start and operate
- Good quality carburetor
- Long service life
- Stable and consistent power throughout
- Poor wiring situation
Pretty decent middle of the pack engine if you’d ask us. It’s the type that’s not going to blow you away with features but still a great value for your money.
Kawasaki FJ180V-BM09 Engine
Looking for one of the best lawn mower engines that can keep your mind at rest? The Kawasaki FJ180V-BM09 Engine is one of those that meet the requirement for engines that can work optimally for tractors and lawnmowers. It will be a great replacement for your engine if it meets the specification of the engine you are about to replace it with.
The engine is effortless to install on your machine once you get all the right settings in place. It comes with a gas tank and can be used as a perfect replacement for your lawn mower engine or that of your tractor. It works optimally, and the features play a major role in ensuring it remains in good condition for a longer period.
Everything about the engine works for your good as it has a working system that ensures it operates optimally without overheating, it has a filter that helps to keep debris away, and it is very easy to install and maintain.
This is a decent commercial-grade replacement engine. It won’t cost you much too as it is priced at under $400. It comes with a gas tank, shaft keyed and has a displacement of 179 cc or 10.9 cu. in.
It’s got 1 bore x 2.6 stroke x 2.1 inches cylinder. Its compression ratio is 8:5:1 and has an oil capacity of 0.6 litres with an oil filter. It also has a Kai air filter, 7/16 inches 20 blade bolt, and a PTO size of 63/64 inches x 3-5/32 inches.
- Great quality for the price
- Good all-around features
- Good filtration system
- Fits a lot of lawnmower models
- Medium quality engine compared to the rest on the list
Very good medium capacity and quality lawn mower engine that you can get at a bargain price.
Briggs & Stratton 19L232-0036-F1
Power through those grass-cutting chores with the Briggs & Stratton 19L232-0036-F1.
Here is another Briggs and Stratton engine you can consider, and it is known with the engine code Briggs & Stratton 19L232-0036-F1. It is very easy to install and maintain. It comes with an easy-to-operate system, and it has to itself all features that make it last longer than others in the market.
It is perfect for riding mowers, and with the high-quality materials used in its construction, you can tell it can successfully handle any task thrown at it. With over three years of warranty, buyers are protected to return the engine if any defect occurs within the warranty period, and it can be traced to the manufacturer defect.
Powered by a 305cc 10 gross horsepower vanguard engine you are guaranteed to have enough power to do heavy-duty chores. This is a high-mounted canister-type air cleaner engine and will have 22% more of the filter area than any other.
The transport guard fuel and ignition shutoff system will protect the engine from any instance of oil and fuel dilation when in transport. It’s got a commercial-grade carburetor and a metal fuel tank.
- Stable and secure fuel and ignition system
- Low emissions
- Very durable build
- Starts very well and reliably
- Can be a bit pricey
Absolutely, the best of the best lawn mower engine on our list. This is number 1 in all aspects for us. Durability, power, functionality, are all off the charts plus it is eco-friendly too.
Briggs & Stratton 130G32-0022-F1
Next up is the reliable Briggs & Stratton 130G32-0022-F1.
With the easy-to-operate system, the Briggs & Stratton 130G32-0022-F1 is one of the riding mower engines you should never look down on. It is strong, powerful, and that can be justified as it is made with top-quality materials that can handle anything.
The engine has an overhead valve design, which shows that it can handle both cooler and tough operations without any defect or any reduction to its lifespan. It is smooth to use. Also, it has Dura bore cast iron cylinder sleeve, which contributes to extending the lifespan of the engine.
A cast-iron Dura-Bore cylinder sleeve is installed in this engine aimed for extended service life. The Magnetron electronic ignition is maintenance-free and is dependable for quick starts.
It’s got a PTO ball bearing and an Overhead valve design or OHV that aims for cooler operation plus the sought-after long valve life.
- Cool operation
- Consistent power throughout
- Easy start system
- Good price point
- Not as durable as the rest of the engines from the brand on our list.
Not your high-end engine but definitely better than most in its price category. Give it a try!
Briggs and Stratton 31R976-0016-G1
Next up is the tough Briggs and Stratton 31R976-0016-G1.
With a 9-amp battery-less alternator and some other features that come with the engine, you have got the best to use as a replacement for your riding mower. The engine is super solid and can handle both tough and smooth mowing. It is perfect for both commercial and personal use.
It has exhaust included in the design. Also, the engine is gas-powered with an overhead valve design style, which makes it last longer. It has a cool operational system. It has full pressure lubrication with an oil filter that ensures only the good oil gets to the engine and not anyone with debris to prolong the engine’s lifespan.
Like our previous entry, this engine is also built with a cast-iron Dura-bore cylinder sleeve that gives it the endurance it needs for longer operations and mileage. It includes an exhaust and is still built with an Overhead valve design or OHV specifically for cooler operation plus longer valve life.
It’s got full pressure lubrication with an oil filter, 9 amp battery-sans alternator, and gas-powered.
- Consistent and stable operation
- Great filtration system
- Efficient air/fuel mixture
- Starts flawlessly
- It has no significant setback.
A good middle-ranked lawn mower engine on our list. It’s not going to wow you compared to the rest we labeled as our top 5 but it’s definitely going to be a good engine for you.
How to Select an Engine Grade
Yes, you’d save a significant amount of money should you decide to just change the busted engine on your lawnmower as compared to buying a whole brand new unit. But when you decide to do so, you’d need to make sure that the new engine is compatible with your types of lawn mowers.
Selecting the right engine grade is key to go about this the right way.
The first piece of advice that we can give you in this phase of the replacement process is as much as possible is to replace your old engine with an engine of the same brand. This way, the chances of compatibility and getting it right is high as brands offer specific engine grades in different categories.
Let’s talk about the brand Briggs & Stratton, for example. It’s just appropriate because about half of our best lawn mower engine review is of the Briggs & Stratton brand.
- General consumer engine – Standard engines that are aluminum cylinder bore and side valves engine.
- Industrial Plus, IICO engines are industrial/commercial engines that are cast-iron cylinder sleeve and side valve engines. They are medium-level engines for industrial and commercial applications, also suitable for rental use.
- Vanguard OHV – Overhead valve engines are expected for maximum performance. They are cast-iron cylinder sleeve machines that are suitable for continuous and heavy-duty applications.
What to Look for When Buying an Engine
Here are some important factors to watch out for when shopping for a new lawnmower engine.
What you need to check on the compatibly of the old and new engine that you plan to install and get it 100% right is the horsepower and the drive shaft information. We are talking about the engine’s length, diameter, and type of shaft. You can also find your lawn mower’s model number, which is located on the information plate. Make sure to compare the overall engine size too. This could also mean the size of the engine compartment.
With model changes, the design to accommodate engine changes too. This is when the manufacturer decides to reposition gas tanks. While rare, make sure to keep this in mind.
Make sure to match the horsepower of the engines. In rare cases that you don’t know what horsepower you need, don’t worry; most of the time, engines within a power range are built with the same bolt patterns that will make mounting possible. A good example would be engines with 3 to 5 horsepower as they have the same bolt pattern.
Performance and Longevity
So you now have a few compatible engines in mind as well with the horsepower that you need. Next is to check on additional features to ensure that the engine would be a well-oiled machine when operating.
You need an engine that would match the applications that you intend to use it for. A standard engine would work great for residential use, while I/C (Industrial and Commercial) engines, especially those with cast-iron cylinder sleeves, would be ideal for prolonged usage.
Also, be sure that the engine you’d choose is easy to set up and maintain. Remember that you’d sometimes need to pick it apart for maintenance. These factors contribute to an engine’s longevity.
Make sure to check the crankshaft orientation as well as size for proper fit. Each brand will have its crankshaft measuring template for your reference. Take note, that there are horizontal and vertical crankshaft engines.
Honda: Lawn Mower Engine Cranshaft
Horizontal Engine Shaft
The horizontal engine’s drive shaft is located on a side and is quite common for use in water pumps, tillers, generators, and other general-purpose machinery.
Vertical Engine Shaft
Vertical engine shafts are ideal for the cutting blades on your walk-behind as well as riding lawnmowers. It usually protrudes from the bottom.
Again, investing in a lawnmower or maybe only the engine ain’t no minor decision to make. So be sure you have a product warranty of at least maybe a couple of years to protect your investment. Make sure you can get it serviced should it break down on your prematurely.
Pick a brand that’s popular, serviceable by a lot of dealers, and at the same time reliable.
Bottom line is that it is important to maintain the engine’s starter type, horsepower, position, fuel line routing, fuel tank location, muffler location, muffler accessories (spark arrestor, deflector, etc.), and exhaust direction for safe operation. Also, be sure to reinstall all shields, guards, and other safety devices in place. And be sure to replace missing or worn-out parts accordingly.
How can I find out the age of my engine?
The engine code number contains the exact date of manufacture. This provides an easy way to figure out the age of your small engine. Here we provided Engine Age determining process regarding” Briggs & Stratton engines
Engine Age After 1965
Note: Briggs & Stratton engines
This is following an example of explaining the date for the code number “98031656:
- The first two digits (98) denotes the year of manufacture. In this case, it is 1998.
- The next two digits (03) are the month of the year, which is March.
- The following two digits (16) are the day of the month. In this case the 16th.
- The final two digits designate the plant and assembly line.
If my engine was built before 1965
Sadly, the process of finding the production date for older engines is not the same as the tracking system with code numbers was not implemented until 1965.
The following link provides a source for the old antique Briggs and Stratton engines-B&S Antique Engine Dating Chart
Lawn Mower Engine Brands
Briggs & Stratton:
Briggs & Stratton engines are one of the most widely used brands for push-behind and riding lawn mower. This brand is very popular across the industry. This is an experienced brand especially when it comes to manufacturing small engines.
They have a lot of models to accommodate your needs and we’re sure if you browse their catalogue further that you’ll find the perfect engine for your lawnmower amongst their products.
Honda is one of the biggest brands in the world when it comes to automobiles and machinery. It’s no wonder why they are also one of the top brands for lawn mower engines.
Honda engines are typically installed on riding mowers. Honda’s small engines are one of the most reliable and efficient across the industry. What’s best about it, is that Honda engines are serviced by almost all lawn mower dealers.
Which is a major advantage for you don’t have to worry much if your engine breaks down on you. We would even go out on a limb and say that Honda engines are some of the best across all brands.
Tecumseh engines have also become quite popular. These lawn mower engines, on the other hand, are typically installed in push-behind lawnmowers. They also available in all sizes and are also relatively widely supported by dealers.
Not as popular as the first two on our list but still a pretty decent community for this brand.
Kohler is also one giant in this industry. They manufacture some of the most robust and reliable lawn mower engines that we know of. Especially their old and trusted Command and Courage engines that are known to be built into lawnmowers.
They have a lot more models that you can choose from so they are definitely worth your time checking out.
Things to Consider when Buying a Replacement Engine
Some tips on how to examine your replacement engine closely before deciding on a purchase especially for used or secondhand ones.
The Service History
You can never be too sure with the engine that you’re about to buy. In a perfect world, the seller will disclose everything there is to know about the engine but we aren’t living in one. Get a trusted mechanic preferably someone neutral who will examine the wear and tear of an engine. The simple way is that take your lawn mower engine number and provide to your chosen mower dealer and ask them to collect the same features engine. if the number matches to your expected engine, then all the features of the engine should be matched up, you can certainly replace the engine. Some damages may not be obvious especially to the untrained eyes so it’s important to get an expert’s opinion on an engine’s service history.
You need to be sure about any repairs done on the engine not only to assess its current condition but also for future maintenance, repairs, and for your peace of mind.
Rebuilt Engines or Salvaged Engines:
Rebuilt Engine Kit
There are times that the engine you’d get (and probably for a cheap price) would be salvaged or rebuilt. Salvaged when it was taken from another lawnmower that was scrapped for some reason, maybe it was too old, and the engine is still relatively fine. If it was rebuilt, then inquire for information regarding who did it and trace reputation as necessary.
Burnt Oil Smell Under the Hood
When the engine smells like burnt oil, then most likely there’s leaking involved. The acrid smell is caused by oil leaking onto hot components on your engine, and this is a major sign of overheating, which tells you that the engine may not be in the best condition, so you better think twice about buying it.
Visible Oil Leaks
In conjunction with our previous point, it pays to spot oil leaks too yourself. The smell may fade, so visible spots are your best bet for assessing an engine. Check for any visible puddles of greasy dark liquid underneath the engine. If it’s yellow or dark brown, then you may have an oil leak.
Does the Engine have a Timing Belt?
Engine Timing Belt
Take note if the lawnmower engine has a timing belt. Determine how old it is and how worn it is too. Timing belts are known to last a long time with some lasting for over 13 years with about 700 hours of usage.
Be sure to check up on its current condition and mileage.
How a Lawn Mower Engine Works
Understanding how a lawnmower engine works is key to how we can go about maintaining and utilizing it up to its full potential. Here is an overview.
Your lawn mowers would typically have a revolving blade which is responsible for cutting the grass evenly. This is how lawn mower engines are designed and different types of applications would have a subtle difference in its mechanism to then cut grass effectively.
Rotary mowers employ a blade that revolves in a vertical axis while cylinder or reel mowers employ a whirling blade horizontally. Your rotary push-behind lawn mowers usually come with a 2 or 4-stroke internal combustion engine. One way energy is generated through internal combustion. Combustion refers to a chemical change that happens inside a chamber.
On the other hand, rotary walk-behind mowers are powered by gasoline, and their engines are usually in the range of 2 to 7 horsepower. Riding mowers, on the other hand, would naturally need more horsepower because they are generally larger. They run at 13 to 30 horsepower.
Riding mowers provide the option to have the engine in the front or the back to choose. Usually, rear engines should provide more visibility, but front engines typically provide the most power.
The key here to always maintain your lawnmower engine; we’ll discuss more about how to do so in a later section.
Basic Lawn Mower Engine Maintenance
Good lawn mower maintenance is essential. No matter what the brand, secondhand or new, we need to know how to take good care of our lawnmower engine to get the most out of its service life.
Check Spark plugs
Spark plugs are very important components in any engine. Without it, there wouldn’t be anything to ignite the air and fuel mixture to start it all. So, it is only necessary that you check and make sure to maintain the spark plugs.
After locating the spark plug, you can check them with a spark tester tool; you may ground the tester by placing it on the motor’s metal housing.
Then wrap a rope around your motor’s flywheel; this will be important for the spinning needed later on. Next is to turn on the lawn mower’s ignition switch and pull the rope for spinning.
Then watch the tester or the spark plug and observe if there’s any spark between the electrodes. If there is, then your ignition coil is in good condition; if not, a replacement may follow.
Next, turn off your ignition switch, remove the tester, and set the spark plug wire against the motor. Rewind your rope on the flywheel once more than turn on the ignition motor. Again, if a spark is present, then your spark plug is in good condition; otherwise, replace it.
Check Fuel Levels
The first thing you got to do is to look for your fuel valve at the base of your fuel tank and turn it off. The next thing you got to do is to remove the fuel line from its tank and inspect for any signs of clogging. You may clean the fuel line when needed, reattach it, and then turn on the valve again. Make sure to only use fuel that is recommended by your engine or lawn mower’s manufacturer.
Change the Oil and Filter
The next thing you have to do is regularly change your lawn mower’s oil and filter. Disregarding to do so would spell trouble and would damage your engine leading to its eventual premature deterioration. It should be a simple and straightforward process of draining, changing the oil filter, and refilling the engine oil.
Servicing the Carburetor
Lawnmower Carburetors are one of the most important components of a lawnmower engine. So be sure to make it a habit to clean or service it. When you do so, make sure to be in a well-ventilated place.
Here are the basic steps on how to go about it.
Remove the outer casing and then the air filter.
Unbolt your carburetor and take it off of the fuel line
Unbolt its bowl and also clean the nut
Next is to replace the needle
Then spray the carburetor with a cleaning fluid and, at the same time, clean the insides of the holes.
Next is to replace the main gasket before you reassemble everything
This should be simple and straightforward and should be a part of your routine when you do maintenance for your lawnmower engine.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to clean a lawnmower engine?
Caution: Make sure to remove the spark plug before starting any cleaning session to prevent any accidents.
The first things you got to clean are the cooling fins and engine screen, you may use a bristle brush for this to efficiently do so. Then you have to check for some debris surrounding your governor linkages, flywheel cutting screen, as well as your brake assembly. You may reconnect your spark plug as well as your blower housing when done.
It is also advisable to clean in a well-ventilated area and use an engine degreaser to clean it. You may then proceed to clean your oil filter, empty the fuel, clean the undercarriage for rust prevention, sharpen the blades, clean and inspect the belt, replace the spark plug when necessary, and lastly, change the oil.
These are the steps needed to tune up your lawn mower effectively.
What is the best lawn mower engine?
As we’ve mentioned, Briggs & Stratton engines are very well appreciated across the industry. They are very popular and offer a lot of models that you can choose from. Honda is well-known to be a very reliable and high-quality lawn mower engine manufacturer.
It’s a toss-up between these two, and the best lawn mower engine would be the engine that would perfectly fit your lawnmower.
How to increase the lifespan of the engine?
How you’d take care of your car engine is typically how you’d want to go about taking care of your lawnmower engine too. You’ve read our section about maintenance, so if you put those steps into practice, you are on your way to taking care of your lawnmower engine better.
Another thing that we could recommend to possibly lengthen your engine’s lifespan is to minimize short lawnmower trips. The frequent heating and cooling of your engine in these short sessions might damage it little by little.
Also, keep up with the oil change and always clean and install new filters, trust us, this would go a long way for you.
Did you enjoy our mini-crash course about lawn mower engines? Well, we sure had a blast preparing it for you!
Remember, it is important to discern the things that you’d need for your next lawn mower engine properly. So keep our tips, tricks, and advice in mind at all times.
Engines come in all shapes, sizes, functionality, and capacity so be sure to find what best fits your lawnmower. This will ensure that you get to have a reliable, powerful, and cost-effective investment. You’ll never go wrong with our recommendations, these are some of the best lawn mower engines in the market indeed!
So as always, choose wisely, and stay safe!
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