1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

EFI vs Carbs

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Well, I think I was misunderstood on other post as not embracing the EFI technology. I like it but I live in a very rural area and the dealers don't like it and reliable service is not yet available to me. I have nothing against EFI and will eventually have one in fact I think the EPA will phase the carbs out as they are doing in outboard motors. The only thing at this point I don't like is that there is no safeguard in place if an owner tries to jump start or use a charger on the battery the computer module can be blown. They may have updated this. So here's you chance to voice your likes and dislikes about the two types of engines. What do you like or dislike? How long did the EFI take to pay for the cost difference? Etc. Etc.
  2. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,913

    I have a EFI Lazer & Walker .... the Lazer is a back up to the newer Dixie (which rocks even if it's as ugly as a Hummer ..... in the hot dirty year round work environment I live in .....it's a beast)

    Replaced the Lazer PCM twice in 4 years .....1st time from a jump ...a $.50 warning sticker would have been nice .... the 2nd time it just went bad .... plus had it's own share of PCM miss codes ... bad sensors

    Most of my mowers average 800-1200 hrs per year ... each ....we do lots of weekly & monthly maintenances ..... as well as the daily checks

    On the Walker .....after I had just got it 3 years ago ... had running issues .... turned out it was a O2 sensor .....which had them stumped until a guru came in from out of town .....pulled the engine to replace that .....down 30 days .... recently just replaced that 26hp EFI with a 20hp Carb engine (1/2 the price)

    NEVER .... will I EVER get another EFI type engine .... never ever

    Don't get me wrong .... great concept .... fuel savings & more enviroment friendly .... just the down time would have killed me with out back up mowers & dealer loaners
  3. tallimeca

    tallimeca LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,229

    Did you one better when you bought it. It came with an engine manual that tells you not to jump it without disconnecting the battery cables:waving:

    Our experience with EFI's in the shop has been this..........

    Replacement components are not inexpensive for customers.

    However, some of the diagnostics have come a long way. You plug it in, run it and it gives you a clue where to look. Not always black and white, but with experience, most of the time you know what to look for. Once in a while you get a code that pointed to a certain problem 100 times........all in the sudden, the problem is different.

    I think that once the EFI in small engine becomes more main stream, the technology will be advanced such that you won't have to worry about frying the computer when you jump start it.

    They definetely seem to run smoother, even when they load up on hours. I had a Walker in yesterday. Had 2200 hours on it, original motor. I have replaced countless motors in his walkers in previous years. 20 and 25 Kohler commands. I can't remember him getting more than 12-1400 hours out of them. Nothing has changed as far as his maintenence patterns and he's having really good luck with these EFI's. He has said however that they don't seem to be any more fuel efficient then the regular gas motors.

    I think a time is going to come really soon when anything running over a 20 hp, which is basically 90 percent of all commercial ztr's, and even a ton of home owner lawn tractors..........will all be running efi motors.
  4. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    Like the above poster mentions pretty soon we probably won't have a choice on the larger more expensive higher hp motors due to increasing EPA restrictions. It is happening with boat motors and motorcycles. Mowers are not far off. If given the choice I would take a carb. I just bought a new Z and opted carb. Mainly because of the repair cost and difficulty. I have messed with carbs for years. They are cheap, proven and easy to work on. IMO I would rather not add complexity and unnecessary components. Just more to break/fix.
  5. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    That is fine for all the manual reading types. I am one who does but I have to back his statement. Do you have the manual in the field when your machine needs a jump? Probably not. Do you require every single person that will opperate an EFI machine to read it? A warning lable right next to the battery would be a very cheap way of trying to prevent hassle and expence for the owner. They only cost the manufacturer pennies.

  6. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 863

    I've never experienced a cheap carb fix, so when you say cheap you meen compared to EFI? I just spent $180 to have a bad carb replaced in my old Troybuilt 33" Wide Cut.
  7. subs1000w

    subs1000w LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    if you had to take it into a shop about half that was labor and why was it replaced ive never had to replace a carb just clean and/or rebuild, cost is usually less than 20$ for a rebiuld kit

    i could have replaced the whole engine for less than that and i know i have the same mower with a 8.5hp briggs works great for where my 36 wont fit and has completely eliminates the need for a 21

    i agree that in a few years the efi machines should be alot more reliable the same thing happened with cars 30years ago my uncle still owns his 78 cadi seville with an efi350 the thing has 2 frigging fuel pumps one intank and one inline they dont do that any more for a reason COST technology is going to have to improve on these before they are worth using
  8. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    that has been my experince. Not much to a carb. Few springs, some seals, floats, jets and stuff. All pretty simple.
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Lets here some more opinions. Not enough to get a good feel as to the positive and negetive aspects of the EFI vs Carbs. Those large LCO's that buy 5 mowers at a time. What kind of engine is most popular with you.
  10. cajuncutter

    cajuncutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    I logged over 3100 hours on a 22 Kholer Command (with out the Donaldson air cleaner). I have been warned about the EFI by different mechanics. It does get expensive when the engine goes out of warranty. I just replaced that 22 with a 25 and it was delivered to my front door for $624. I don't think you will get that cheap with an EFI engine. I will stick with carbs. Kickers is the 22 still runs, figured I would go ahead and pull it so I could rebuild her this winter when I have time.

Share This Page