Your mower is running sluggish or doesn’t run at all. You narrowed down your mower’s problem to a fuel supply issue. There aren’t too many items you need to check that can prevent your mower from getting fuel. I’ve put together this list so you can get your Gravely mower up and running again.
A Gravely lawn mower isn’t getting fuel when old fuel causes clogging in the fuel system, the fuel cap is plugged or the fuel pump has failed. Gummy deposits and buildup left behind by old fuel will keep fuel from passing through the fuel lines, fuel filter, or carburetor.
Follow all safety guidelines outlined in your Gravely owner’s manual while working on your fuel issues. Take caution when working near a hot engine.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
6 Reasons Your Gravely Lawn Mower Isn’t Getting Fuel
Bad or Old Gasoline
Gasoline becomes less effective and breaks down over time. This can begin to happen as quickly as 30 days after purchase. Most types of gasoline today include ethanol, a corn-based fuel added to gasoline to make it a more environmentally-friendly fuel.
Ethanol attracts moisture which will leave gummy deposits in the fuel system that can cause blockages in the fuel system. These blockages can restrict the flow of fuel keeping fuel from getting to the engine.
To minimize restrictions caused by old fuel, use unleaded gasoline with an ethanol content of 10 percent or less. It’s important to only buy the amount of fuel you can use within 30 days. If you have excess fuel, make sure you stabilize it with a fuel additive.
I use the fuel additive Sea Foam Motor Treatment to stabilize the fuel. It not only stabilizes fuel, but it also reduces moisture and cleans the fuel system to prevent clogs in the fuel passages. Using Sea Foam in my mower helps minimize fuel problems that can develop from running old fuel.
Repair: Remove old fuel from the fuel tank using a fuel siphon and place it in an approved fuel container for recycling. Refill your fuel tank with fresh fuel containing an additive to stabilize and clean your fuel system.
Plugged Fuel Filter
The fuel filter screens the fuel coming out of the fuel tank to prevent dirt from entering the fuel system. The dirt and sediment in the fuel can clog the fuel filter. This can prevent fuel from passing through the filter keeping your Gravely mower from getting fuel.
Repair: Replace a clogged fuel filter with a new filter. When installing, make sure the arrow on the side of the new fuel filter is pointed in the direction of the fuel flow.
The arrow should be pointed away from your fuel tank and toward the carburetor. Installing the filter incorrectly can result in a fuel flow problem.
Clogged Fuel Lines
The fuel lines carry fuel from one fuel component to the next. If one or more of the fuel line sections is clogged, your mower will not get the fuel it needs to run. Again, old fuel can leave behind a residue that can cause clogging.
To find a clog in a section of the hose, use your fuel shut-off valve located at the bottom of your fuel tank to start and stop fuel flow. You can also use fuel hose pinch-off pliers to crimp the line to stop fuel flow.
Identify a section of the fuel hose you want to check for a clog. Stop your fuel flow. Remove the end of the hose furthest from the fuel tank and place it in a container.
This container must be placed lower than the fuel tank because fuel cannot run uphill without the assistance of the fuel pump.
Start your fuel flow and watch the flow into the container. If you are not getting good fuel flow, shut off your fuel supply and remove the section of the fuel line from your Gravely mower.
Repair: To remove the clog, spray carburetor cleaner into the line. This is used to help loosen the clog. Follow with blowing compressed air into the line to remove the clog.
If you are unable to remove the clog in the line or you notice your fuel line is dry and cracked, you need to replace it with a new fuel line.
Bad Fuel Pump
Over time your fuel pump can fail. Fuel sitting in your fuel pump can degrade the components or it can wear from normal use. When it fails, the pump is no longer able to draw pressure to pump fuel. Your Gravely mower’s engine will not get the fuel required to start and run.
Before you begin testing your fuel pump, confirm you are getting fuel to the inlet port on the pump. You may have already confirmed this by checking fuel flow through your fuel lines.
If not, check to make sure fuel is able to flow through the line attached to your fuel pump’s inlet port before checking your fuel pump.
Repair: Replace a fuel pump that is unable to pump fuel to the carburetor. Test this by removing the fuel line from the carburetor and placing it in a container.
Start your engine and watch for a steady or pulsating flow of fuel from your fuel pump. If you don’t see this constant flow, your fuel pump is bad and must be replaced.
The Gravely mower’s carburetor is essential to making sure the engine receives the correct mixture of fuel and air to form combustion. When the carburetor is dirty and clogged, it may allow fuel to get to your engine.
Fuel can leave gummy substances and crusty deposits preventing your carburetor from functioning properly. Before you start tearing apart your carburetor to find the clog and clean it, take this quick step to determine whether the carburetor is a problem.
Remove the air filter from the housing and spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake. Start your engine. If it starts and runs for a bit and then shuts down, you need to clean your carburetor.
Repair: I recommend tackling the job of cleaning the carburetor yourself if you are a little mechanical and don’t mind working with small parts. If that’s you, follow my step-by-step directions in this guide to clean your carburetor.
If you are not this person and choose not to clean your carburetor, you can either replace it or have your local lawn mower repair shop clean it for you.
If you choose to replace it, have your engine model and spec number to ensure you receive the right part. This is not to be confused with the mower model and serial number.
Bad Fuel Cap
Your Gravely fuel cap is designed with a vent to allow air to pass through the cap. When the vent is plugged restricting airflow, the fuel tank will act like a vacuum and prevent fuel from flowing out of the tank.
Repair: Run your Gravely lawn mower for a while with and without the fuel cap in place. If the mower continues to run fine without the cap but shuts off after a while with the cap in place, chances are your fuel cap is plugged.
You can attempt to clean it to remove the clog. If this doesn’t work, buy a new Gravely fuel cap.
Still Experiencing Problems with Your Gravely Lawn Mower?
Own a lawn mower long enough, you’ll start running into problems with it starting, not continuing to run, smoking, leaking gas, giving a bad cut, vibrating, or another issue.
To help you save time and money, I have put together a guide to help you troubleshoot the next problem that develops on your Gravely mower.
You can find this guide at Common Gravely Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.
If you are unsure how to perform diagnostics and repairs on your Gravely lawn mower safely, it’s best to have a professional complete the repairs.
This will help you avoid personal injury or additional damage to the mower. Your local Gravely lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop will be able to help you solve your problem.