Troubleshooting Why Your Engine Has No Power Even After It’s Warm



Troubleshooting Why Your Engine Lacks or Has No Power Even After It’s Warm Main Image

Here’s a list of things to think about (and check) when your engine is lacking the power that it once had. There are a few possible causes to missing power from an engine and here are a few things to ponder:

  • Your engine may have old gas in the tank. Fuel in the last couple of years now has up to 10% ethanol. This ethanol attracts moisture (water) and debris which reduces fuel quality and may cause the engine to run rough (or not at all). Draining your fuel tank and carburetor is a good place to start.
  • The spark plug in your engine might be fouled, corroded or damaged.
  • Check the oil using your engine’s dipstick. If your oil is old, dirty or thick, this may cause the engine to run slowly and not be properly lubricated. Not only is this not ideal for your engine run quality, but this may also damage internal engine components.
  • Adjust the carburetor’s choke lever — it may be closed or partially closed. The choke should only be used when cold-starting an engine and will hinder engine performance if left closed or partially closed.
  • The engine’s carburetor may need to be cleaned, rebuilt or replaced. Depending on the cost of the carburetor, it may be cheaper to purchase a new carburetor than to purchase a rebuild kit and take the time to rebuild it.
  • The engine’s ignition timing may be off. Please see your service manual or local small engine repair shop for troubleshooting.
  • Check your engine air filter — it may be dirty enough to clog proper air intake for the engine. Always remember to clean your air filter at regular intervals and replace your air filter when it becomes too dirty.
  • Many types of outdoor power equipment have suggested lubrication locations on the engine and the unit itself. Please consult your equipment’s service manual for grease locations.
  • Improper sealing of the valves of the engine.
  • The engine’s piston rings may not be sealing correctly.
  • The cylinder head may be loose or the head gasket might be blown or damaged. Usually this happens when the engine overheats or is run low on oil.
  • On a two-cycle (2-cycle or 2-stroke) engine, check to make sure that the exhaust ports are not blocked.


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