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Frequently Asked Questions

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Engine Fouls the Spark Plug and Runs Rich

My engine fouls the spark plug and appears to be running rich. What is the problem?

Typically, this condition is caused by a clogged air filter. Many types of air cleaners are utilized in Briggs & Stratton engines. Most contain a foam or pleated-paper element. Dual-element air cleaners contain a pleated-paper element with a foam pre-cleaner, offering two layers of protection. Discard the paper element when you can no longer remove dirt from the pleats by tapping the element on a hard, dry surface. You may be able to wash and reuse foam elements with hot water and liquid dish detergent that contains a grease-cutting agent.

Single-element air cleaners should be serviced every 25 hours. The cartridge should be cleaned every 100 hours (more often in dusty conditions).

For engines with the carburetor mounted directly to the fuel tank, a faulty carburetor diaphragm (located between the carburetor and fuel tank) will result in poor performance and may require replacing. Your Illustrated Parts List will provide replacement component information for your model engine.

If you wish to perform the work yourself, a good source for engine specifications and technical servicing information would be a Briggs & Stratton Repair Manual (Lookup Manual by Engine Model PDF.) The correct Repair Manual for your model engine is often listed in your engine's Illustrated Parts List.

Repair Manuals are available for purchase through our websites Learning Resources section or locally from a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer.

Your best source of information regarding any engine concern would be a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer. Your Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer has all the information relating to Briggs & Stratton warranty information, replacement engines, short blocks, parts, pricing, service/repair, specifications, etc.

For your convenience, we offer three easy ways to locate your nearest Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealers:

  • Use our website's Service Dealer Locator.

  • Visit and enter "Lawn Mowers" or "Engines-Gasoline" in the Category search field and your Postal Code in the Location search field.

  • Call the Briggs & Stratton Automated Hotline at (800) 444-7774. This hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week and features voice recognition technology to assist you in finding the Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealers in your area. Automated maintenance tips, product information, and FAQs are also offered through voice activated menus.

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