My lawn mower engine will not start. After many tries I got it to start twice and it died after a few seconds. The fuel line is clear and full of gas. The primer bulb is brand new. When I push the primer bulb all I hear is air getting sucked in (I recall the sound of liquid in the past). I suspect that the silver bulb between the primer and the fuel line may be the issue. What is that part called and could it cause this problem?

Model: Craftsman 917.370561

enter image description here

  • Have you checked your spark plug? How old is it? The only thing that shortens the life of these machines is DIRT. Have you cleaned the gas filter? Air filter? Take it to a shop that deals with these engines. Watch what they do, these guys love to teach. Use gas WITH NO added ethanol. You'll have to look for these gas station.
    – stormy
    Mar 27, 2015 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


Looks like it should be the carburetor bowl (where fuel is metered in by a float valve to be available to get sucked into the carburetor jets - either of which can get clogged if you did't drain the fuel before storage or run a fuel stabilizer before storage - and sometimes even if you did.)

  • 1
    Cleaning the carb fixed the problem! I followed this video: youtube.com/watch?v=ultzCF9Wj4I Mar 29, 2015 at 15:00
  • Good for you! 2 stroke engines are the BEST way to learn about the simple processes of gas and air and combustion! Tearing an engine apart is BRILLIANT.
    – stormy
    Aug 26, 2018 at 23:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.