Small engine repair course.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AB Lawn Care, Aug 9, 2000.

  1. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    I have been thinking about this before but today I really gave it some thought!I have been thinking about getting one of those small engine repair courses.

    Why you ask????

    Well here are the reasons.1 it would save alot of money in the long term.2 no more dealer week long waits.3 you could start a small engine business down the road.4 the list goes on!

    What REALLY got me thinking about this was when just a few days ago the sthil dealer in town did 3 repairs on my sthil br400 blower carboator charged $126 and it still would not run!!!!:(I took it to my favorite dealer witch is 1/2 hour away and he took the carb apart and showed me that they did about 4 wrong things when they rebuilt the carb!!!!Not only did they screw up the carb they gave me a real attitude when I complained about their work.He kept blaming me of haveing bad gas in it(old).I go through a tank a day in that blower and I allways have fresh gas.When the other dealer finishes the repair I will be having a little talk with the dealer in town:)

    Sorry for blabing on and on but that dealer really ticked me off.Like I said that's why I would like to get a small engine course.

    Does any one know of any mail order courses that are any good?If so I would be very interested!!!!The great thing about getting a small engine repair course is that I allready own a RBG blade grinder and could repair push mowers tune them up and sharpen the blades.

    Anyone know of any courses??????
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    Adam,I know a small engine course would help,but it will just scratch the surface of all the things that could possibly go wrong with your stuff,let alone how to properly diagnose and repair them.I think its a good idea,but nothing replaces real world experience when it comes to that stuff.Another hurdle is getting parts quickly and economically,you have to go thru the same dealer that cant fix the blower,and they have someone who doesnt know anything about your blower ordering parts,then hey order wrong parts and your down another week,I go thru this all the time and it gets old quickly.Im not trying to discourage you,but if you want to learn,take the course,then get a PT job as a helper and doing repairs in the off season for a few years,then youll have a grip on how to do all of your own.Good luck
  3. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    John you are 100% right!I know that a course is not going to make me the best small engine repair person but it will give me the basics.If I did start a small engine repair business down the road I would have to start small and work up.I'm glad you brough this up thanks for the post!
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,492

    This is really kind aof weird that this came up tonight, because just a little earlier someone had mentioned something about welding. Connection? My suggestion was to check into the community education department of your local school district(s) they Always offer courses such as these for cheap too! -sometimes even free. Give it a shot! I don't know WHERE I'd be without the knowledge because I won't let a dealer TOUCH any of my equipment unless it's warranty work. I've been taken for that same ride. Good Luck! Runner
  5. JJ Lawn

    JJ Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    The Small Engine course is a good idea, not sure about the mail order ones but you might check out your local college to see if they offer the course. One of the disavantages of the mail order course is that you only work on one engine, and anyone can make a 2hp Briggs run. :)

    When I got layed off from the phone company one of the benefits was that I qualified for the JTPA program. I took the small engine class at a local college, and JTPA paid for it all, and they even bought me a set of tools. The school was 3 nights a week for 18 months.

    Was well worth it. And gave me something to fall back on if the mowing business did not pan out. That was 5 yrs ago, and there is no telling how much money I saved on repairs, and what I learned on preventive maintanence was priceless.


  6. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I sent away for the info on Small Engine Repair from Harcourt Learning Direct, and might take their class on that next Fall. I opted, for now, to take their Landscape Professional home-study course to fill in my information gaps and prepare for Certification.

    If you go to you can have them send you free information on any of their courses and decide for yourself whether their course is what you are looking for.

    If you do take the course, let me know. Good luck!

  7. Brad

    Brad LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    Greetings, all. Thought I'd reply to the question on the small engine repair course. I just finished the Harcourt class about a month ago, and thought it was fairly good for the price. You do not get an engine with them, and the touch on several brands of 4 stroke as well as the 2 stroke. They also hit on the equipment aspect of this business, such as riders, walk-behind, hydro, push, blowers, etc....

    If you send for the info, and the procrastinate long enough, the mail fairy will bring you a nice coupon worth $200.00 to apply towards their course. That helps. And you do get some tools and a tool box as well. I got a set of metric and SAE wrenches, toolbox, 4 inch crescent wrench (small, but you'll use it more than you use a big one!), Briggs carb, socket set, Tecumseh service manual, Briggs service manual, etc.... If anyone is interested, e-mail me and I will mail or e-mail you a copy of the course outline. It took me just under a year, and I didn't push at all. I could have gotten thru it in approx 4-6 months if I was disciplined at studying.

    I admit that I did read and study everything, but didn't go crazy trying to memorize all the facts and figures, and I find that I really did "learn" from the course. I find that I do fall back on the knowledge I learned from the program.

    If anyone has any questions or want more info, drop a note.

    Take care.

  8. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    You will learn much easier with an actual real live engine disemboweled in front of you. Take the class at the local high school or community college this fall, it will be the best $50, 10 evenings you had.
  9. fdew

    fdew LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I think a evening course is a good idea. Here is a way to augment it with some fun. There are antique engine shows all over the country. These old engines have every thing exposed. You can see the valves, cam shaft. Push rods. Crank shaft. Con rod, and even the back of the piston all while the engine is running. The owners pride them selves in making them run very slow so you can actually figure out how they work by watching them run. For $3 or so you can spend the day, have a lot of fun and learn a lot. Also these shows are populated by people who know a lot about engines and enjoy sharing it. If you want to see some of this stuff here is a start.

    If you are in the area there is a good show in Canandaigua NY. This weekend and the biggest show in this country is in Portland IN. Next weekend. To find these engines on the web search for stationary engine.

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