Repair guides and support for a wide range of small engines.

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I have a Cub Cadet RZTS - It's 3 years old...engine is stalling out.

The engine idles fine, but when you goto move forward it dies out, but you an choke it and it will fire back up… it also does this when the pto is engaged. The previous season I replaced the air filter, fuel filter, oil/filter. This season i replaced the oil/filter.. the engine has less than 130 hours on it in the 3 years i have owned it. I dont know more than basic things. Anyone have any diagnostic tips? what to try? or what could be causing the issue. It had caught me at a bad time, being financially in a tight spot, Or I would take it to a dealer and just pay whatever. (Thanks in advance)

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Hey ford.tobey.

The carburetor might be varnished – usually caused by leaving fuel in the system for too long. The metering needle, jets, etc., may become clogged or glazed with the old fuel, which tends to become sticky (like varnish) and sneakily alters the prescribed air:fuel mixture. This is one way you can have a lean mix, as “cgulyash” indicated in his comments earlier. The fix for this is cleaning of the carburetor, or rebuilding it.

Whether or not you can do this on your own depends on your basic mechanical aptitude and your ability to follow the instructions to do the job. Some basic tools, spray carb cleaner, and an assortment of fine wires (compressed air helps, too), and all you need is the step by step instructions easily (normally) found on line. Good luck!!


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Most carbureted engines need a little extra gas when the throttle opens and there is a load. That’s why car carbs all have accelerator pumps. This is aggravated by a lean mixture at idle. Lean mixtures are due to all kinds of things: dirty air filter, dirty fuel filter, carb out of adjustment, air getting sucked in because the carb is loose on it’s mounting or the gaskets are old, hard, torn, etc. If you are lucky, a half turn or so counterclockwise on the carb adjustment screw might do it. Make sure it’s not the idle adjustment screw, which will lower the idle. Actually turning up the idle a bit will also help.


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