Kawasaki Hard to start?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by petekief, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    i have a 25 horse Kawi on a Lesco 60. a freind of mine has a 25 on a hustler and a 17 on a DR brush thing - his 17 doesn't like to start and my 25 is hard to start if it sits and/or the weather's cold - he had trouble starting his Hustler Saturday after transporting it for service - it was pretty cold here Saturday morning so it cooled off going from his semi heated shop to the dealers - is anyone else having trouble starting theirs? - i just talked with a guy who services Kawis and there was no indication this was a common problem but i'm thinking it might be -

    bottom line: do you have a kawisaki engine and is it hard to start sometimes?
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    I knew those Kaw's were no good. Here's the proof. ha.
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    doesn't matter what brand of engine you have, when it drops below freezing there all hard to start. Check your battery and make sure it has full charge, check your oil, summer oil is alot thicker than winter. I run 50wt in summer but would never do that in winter. As far as Kawi engines go they are one of the most reliable out there.
  4. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    what are you using for oil? If it's say...SAE30 it will be too thick to start when it's cold. I run 10w-30 mobil1.

    Also are you disengaging the hydro pumps when you try to start? This is also called a "cold start" option on some mowers.

    let us know if this helps...
  5. Total.Lawn.Care

    Total.Lawn.Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    I have a 12.5 HP on an Exmark Walk Behind that I have a hard time starting now. A few monhts ago it was not much of an issue. Now, I have to remove the Air Filter Housing and pull forever to get the thing to start. Once started (and warm) no more problems as long as it stays warm, but that first start is a night mare.

    I am thinking that my carb needs to be cleaned and adjusted and probably a new spark plug. Anyone have any further advice on this issue.
  6. GravelyGuy

    GravelyGuy LawnSite Silver Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 2,517

    My 15HP Kawi is hard to start when it's really cold. You have to turn the key for second and then wait like 10 times. The starter just stops turning the engine after and second or two. It's really not that big of a deal though. Other than that my Kawi is great.
  7. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    the guy i talked to at the Kawisaki service place said they have a safety feature built in that requires the oil pressure to be so high before they will start and that the problem may be due to cold thick oil - other then that if you choke it and the carb is adjusted correctly it should start - so you guys are all on the right track - i have 10w 30 in there now though - it did sit for what was probably 3 weeks this last time - and once i got it going saturday it ran fine and restarted when i needed to just fine - it also started right up last night which was 3 days sitting - i don't use fuel treatment until this time of year but i think i will start with that earlier next season - any one use like 5W 40 - this is a new product to me
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    One thing I've noticed is the spark plug gap likes to sometimes change (widen) over time.
    I'm not sure why it does this, but pulling it, inspecting it and checking the gap can save you some headache.
    Replace if needed, and you may notice other strange things... I've done the above and noticed the plug wasn't even finger tight, weird stuff like that is bad news.

    Beyond that, a quick burst of dollar-store starting fluid always works wonders :)

    Just make sure it's a tiny amount, really a short burst, and one time only.
    Because it strips oil from the cylinder walls, so it's hard on the engine.

    If that doesn't fire, then something is usually wrong in the spark delivery system.

    I always carry 1-2 of these with me, it may not always save you, but when it does, it pays for itself the first time :laugh:
    While you're there, a can of fix-a-flat might not hurt.
  9. bobcat175

    bobcat175 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 377

    What about the hydros? Engaged or disengaged? This makes a big difference.
  10. petekief

    petekief LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    i'm not sure what you mean - my controls have to be out to the sides in the neutral position and the parking brake must be set to engage the safety switches or the starter won't turn over at all so i guess my hydros are "disengaged" if thats what you're talking about - do you guys always close the gas line valves when you park your stuff - the book says to but i never have - i have after this use - this never happens when it is in regular use and i did have to use starter fluid saturday - my buddy wants to know if what it get hurts when you just crank it and crank it??? he doesn't like the starter fluid idea at all

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