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Why does the engine pull cord yank my arm back when I try to start my engine? (Kickback)

Why does the engine pull cord yank my arm back when I try to start my engine? (Kickback)

Typically, engine kickback is caused by improper ignition (spark) timing. Timing problems can be caused by striking an object (i.e. lawnmower blade hitting a hard object) while the engine is running, resulting in a sheared flywheel key and/or bent crankshaft. Timing problems are also the cause of hard start or no start concerns and is the cause of serious performance problems.

Your best option may be to have the engine examined by a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer. Your local dealer can determine if the crankshaft has become bent, and if so, if it can be replaced. In some cases a short block is necessary.

Click to Visit the Repair Manual Section!

If you wish to perform repairs yourself, a good source for engine specifications and technical servicing information would be a Briggs & Stratton Repair Manual. The correct Repair Manual for your model engine is often listed in your engine's Illustrated Parts List.

Repair Manuals are available for purchase locally from a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer.

NOTE: Please read and abide by any applicable Safety Information (PDF) before performing any engine work. This information is not meant to take the place of work performed by a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer. Terms and Conditions apply to all of our information provided on this website. Always be sure to read and understand your engine Operator's Manual.

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Please complete the form below to contact us with your question. Provide as much information as possible. We make every effort to personally answer all questions within 3 BUSINESS days. If you are in need of an immediate answer please review our frequently asked questions or contact a local service dealer.

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  • Enter any equipment model numbers you may have


  • Look for STAMPED B&S ENGINE NUMBERS


    STAMPED - YYMMDDxx Identifies Manufacture date


  • 5HP=5, 18-1/2=18.5, 25=25.00


    Series (3 digits) or Torque (ft. lbs)


  • Quantum, Intek, Classic, Sprint, etc.


    Manufacturer of the Tractor, Generator, Lawn mower, etc.


  • What kind of product is the engine coupled to?


    Where was the equipment purchased?


  • When product was purchased. Format: mm/dd/yyyy.

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  • Zip + 4 xxxxx-xxxx Canada use xxx xxx format




  • format: xxx-xxx-xxxx  




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