You depend on your Briggs & Stratton motor to keep your lawnmower operating throughout the warm months. But when the engine won't start, it seriously gets in the way of what you need to do. As you search for the cause of your engine stall, it can be easy to go down the wrong path, believing common myths that will get you no closer to getting your mower operational again. It's important to separate misconception from fact so that you can get to the root of the problem quickly.
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In order for an engine to start, a spark is necessary. The rotation of the flywheel brings this spark at the precise moment the magnets in the flywheel pass the coil. This spark ignites the air-fuel mixture in the engine's combustion chamber, giving it the power it needs to propel a mower.
Conventional thinking is that when there's rust on the flywheel, it gets in the way of the spark. All you have to do is clean the flywheel, and you'll be up and running. Experts have debunked that theory, though, saying that rust has no impact whatsoever on a magnetic field. Instead, the issue is likely something slightly more complicated, such as a faulty magnet, or a spark plug you need to replace.
Remedying Rust Issues
If, however, you have significant rust buildup on your Briggs Flywheel, it's important to pinpoint the cause. Is your mower exposed to excessive moisture in storage? A lawnmower engine gets a lot of debris and grass clippings. Although inspecting and cleaning the internal parts after each use can help, chances are you don't take the time to do that. For that reason, you may find that over time you find debris buildup on the flywheel.
Whether the rust is inhibiting a spark or not, it's always wise to maintain your parts. You can clean off any rust using warm water and a soft-bristled brush. Scrape any dirt away using a putty knife or bristle brush, being careful not to scratch or damage any of the surface area. For extremely stubborn buildup, you can use a light solvent on the bristle brush.
A Briggs flywheel is an important part of a mower's engine, but it can experience difficulties over time. Although rust buildup would be an easy enough fix, unfortunately it's usually something more complicated. Cleaning rust off a flywheel can help keep it at peak performance, but it won't prevent a major malfunction, since rust can't inhibit the work of the engine.
Stephanie Faris is a novelist and freelance writer whose work has appeared on the websites of Pacific Standard, the New York Post, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of eight children’s novels, including the Piper Morgan series.