2/29/2012

The Lawnmower That Wouldn't Start





Yesterday, I had to mow my lawn. I had been putting it off for over a month. Grass was almost up to my waist. So, I had no choice but to get the lawnmower out. Now, this lawnmower had not been started for almost two years. The past two years I had someone mow my lawn for me. But, they started going up on their prices so much until I decided I was going to do it myself.

So, I pulled out the old lawnmower, took the gas cap off and noticed I still had gas in the tank. I knew I was going to have problems after that startling discovery. So, I drained all the gas and oil in the mower, put new gas and oil in the mower. Cleaned off the air filter and spark plug. Thinking this would take care of any potential problems, I pulled back on the cord. Nothing. I tried and tried for almost an hour trying to get that mower started. It was clear it wasn't getting gas. So, I took out all the hoses, cleared them of any junk leading to the carburetor. Put the hoses back in and, once again, the mower refused to start up. I was flabbergasted. I had done everything I knew to do. The mower still refused to start.

Not knowing where to turn, I called an old friend who I knew had experience with small engine repair. I told him that it had been stored up with gas in the tank for almost two years. After being properly admonished about that, he told me he knew how I could start up the lawnmower. He told me even if I have filled up the gas tank, I needed to drain it again of all gas. I was very reluctant to do that. Anyway, after draining the gas tank, he said to get a paper towel, place it over the gas tank opening and BLOW into the gas tank at least five times as hard as you can. I thought he had lost his mind. He told me he would accept my apology after the lawnmower starts up (provided I do everything he said).

Thinking my friend had lost what few marbles he had left in his head, I sat down and thought about what he said. The more I thought about it, the crazier it sounded. It was so crazy, I decided it just might work. So, I emptied the precious gas out of my gas tank, took a paper towel and placed it over the gas tank and blew into the gas tank as hard as I could five times. My friend told me if you are not seeing stars by the third time you have blown into the mower's gas tank, you aren't blowing hard enough. I felt like a complete idiot. I just knew it wasn't going to work. So, after seeing stars on my third attempt and two more half-hearted attempts, I put fresh gas into the gas tank. I pulled back on the starting cord and it started up on the first pull! I never ever would have believed it if I had not seen it for myself. I guess you learn something new every day.

Yes, I called my friend and apologized. And I had to listen to "I told you so" and his gloating for about 30 minutes. But, it was well worth it. Like I said, I never would have believed it if someone else had told me this trick about a lawnmower that wouldn't start. I almost didn't listen to my friend. But, it worked and that's all that matters. Not to mention the money I saved by not buying a new lawnmower.

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