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A lawn mower made by the American Company Toro

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Motor stalls when it gets higher grass to cut

Motor stalls when cutting load increases and sometimes dies entirely. It can be restarted easily but is basically useless for mowing a lawn with more than an inch to be cut. Acts like it can no longer increase gas to engine when rpm decreases due to cutting load.

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Grass should be cut about every 5 to 7 days depending on the amount of rainfall. For the healthiest lawn it is best to cut at the highest or next to the highest length. You may have two problems. One, you are not cutting it often enough or two, you have the mower setting too low and it is choking the motor and therefore causing it to shut down. You will have less problem with weeds if you cut it at the highest length because the sunlight will not penetrate the grass as easily to germinate the weed seeds present in your lawn.


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@seafrog First check what @danfixesem suggested; The underside of mowers needs to be cleaned regularly. Both to make sure it's running right (no obstructions), and to prevent "rotting" of the mower deck.

The loss of power is also most often caused by incorrect air / fuel mixture. Seeing as it's a Toro, I'm assuming you're in the US, and I know that the US (and a lot of other countries) have problems with fuel from the pump, when used in small engine equipment. (This is because there's so many additives, especially Ethanol.) Many users have to clean their carburetors the start of every season (or get someone to do it for them), if the mower hasn't been stored correctly. Cleaning the carb on a mower isn't a very difficult job, but it can be tricky as the carbs have some incredibly tiny passages. The best results require an ultrasonic cleaner, and even they can't get it done sometimes.

I'd start with the following:

  • Change the air filter (it should be changed once pr. season. It's crucial for not obstructing airflow) - This is #1
  • Change the spark plug (this has nothing to do with the loss of power, but should also be done every season)
  • Change the oil on the mower (again, not related, but should be done once every 25 hours of use or once a season, whichever comes first). Most mowers require SAE30 oil, but some use 10W-30 or 10W-40

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The mower is perfectly clean. The fuel, spark plug, and air filter are fine. The motor is failing to automatically increase fuel flow to the carb when rpm falls due to increased cutting load. I finally figured out how to get the motor shroud off as there is a hidden clip so I will take a look at how the fuel flow is controlled by motor rpm. Was looking for a more sophisticated answer. Thanks.


@seafrog The more technical answer:

The engine speed (RPMs, and thus air / fuel mixture) is controlled by the governor on your engine. The governor is an internal (inside the engine block) mechanism that is connected to the throttle through the block, to the throttle via a governor arm and linkage.

When it encounters more resistance, the governor senses (mechanically) that the engine speed is dropping, and then it changes the mixture using the linkage.

You could have a problem with the linkage (that's the easy part to fix) or it could be internal, which would require disassembly and splitting of the engine block.

NOTE: Doing changes to the governor linkage CAN cause serious damage to the engine, if you don't know what you're doing. Most lawnmower engines idle around 33-3600 RPM, but that's just a general guideline. You would need to refer to the manual of that specific engine!

Adjusting the RPMs is done by using a tachometer, and altering the governor linkage while monitoring the RPMs on the tachometer.


This answer was helpful. Thanks. Found the linkage and it is not functioning properly. Have yet to determine if fixable without major surgery. Thinking about a throttle cable, just like in the old days.


Fiddled with the linkage to the carb. It was a bit bound up. Mower now runs more powerfully than ever before and I bought it new. Put the shroud back on and now cutting two foot high grass. Have side door all the way open to facilitate discharge.


@seafrog Great to hear it's running and cutting again :-)

BE ADVISED; As I mentioned in the comment above, you need to tune the RPMs of the engine!!! This is very important as running the engine at too high RPMs will cause the engine to "blow up". If the engine is meant to handle 3600 RPMs, but you're running it a 4000+ RPMs then lifespan will be short!


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Push slower through the thicker taller grass,

Move the deck up to its highest setting & cut once every two weeks.

I may be wrong but I have heard that grass grows faster the shorter its cut.

The blade may need sharpened or replaced.

Hope this helps

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Have you cleaned your mower? If the space around the blade is clogged up it can hamper performance.

Try cutting half the width of the mowers blade.

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Bernard Corrigan sarà eternamente grato.
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