Your Craftsman Mower Bogs Down & Loses Power (SOLVED)

You are the expert on your engine and can tell it is losing power. Whenever there is a dip in performance, the root cause must be isolated and addressed before the issue escalates.

Putting off an engine repair might lead to hefty costs.

If the engine on your Craftsman lawn mower doesn’t get enough air and fuel, or if it becomes too hot, the power will decrease.

Causes include insufficient oil in the engine, blocked air vents, clogged filters, a filthy carburetor, and fuel system restrictions.

While the engine of a Craftsman mower is working too hard, as might happen with a clogged deck or when traveling too quickly for the circumstances, the power delivery system may begin to fail. Read on for further information.

What may be draining the power from your Craftsman lawn mower?

  • Congested air filter
  • Wasted gasoline
  • Filter for the gasoline supply has become clogged
  • Caused by clogged gasoline lines
  • Bad spark plug and dirty carburetor
  • Engine oil level too low
  • There’s too much oil in the engine
  • Congestion of the airways
  • Contaminated radiator fins
  • When traveling on the ground, speed is too high
  • Mowing soggy or overgrown grass
  • Mower deck that has been improperly plugged
  • Using worn-out lawn mower blades
Craftsman Mower

When troubleshooting, repairing, or using a piece of equipment, be sure to first read and follow any safety recommendations found in the handbook. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to conduct the repair safely due to a lack of experience, training, or health, it’s best to call in an expert.

Here Are 14 Causes Your Craftsman Lawnmower Is Losing Power

Craftsman Mower Loses Power Due to a Clogged Air Filter

A clogged air filter may be the culprit if your Craftsman mower is losing power and running slowly. Mowing might clog the air filter since it’s a dusty operation that causes the mower to kick up grass clippings and dirt.

Regular replacement or cleaning of the air filter is required to keep airflow unimpeded. If you don’t do this, the air filter might clog, preventing your engine from obtaining the air it needs to operate at peak efficiency.

At least once a year, you should get a new air filter and put it in your home. Then, throughout the mowing season, clean it on a regular basis. When mowing in extremely dusty circumstances, you may need to clean or replace your filter more regularly.

Fixing the Air Filter in a Craftsman Lawnmower
Follow these steps to clean a conventional paper air filter. Instructions for maintaining various filter types are provided.

  • Take off the housing cover of the air filter. Clips, knobs, or wing nuts are common methods of attachment.
  • Remove the air filter with caution to prevent dust from entering the system.
  • Take a dry, clean rag to the air filter and wipe off any remaining grime.
  • You can get the most dust out of your air filter by tapping it against a hard surface.
  • Raise the filter to the light. One can safely reuse a filter if one can see light through the paper. If you can’t clean the filter or if it’s ruined or oiled, you should get a new one.
  • Replace the old filter with the new one and replace the lid.

A Craftsman Mower’s Power decreases with Old Fuel

If you’ve been using old gas in your Craftsman mower, you may have noticed that it’s not performing as well. This is because after 30 days, gas loses its quality and should be replaced.

Gummy deposits may form in the fuel system as a result of the ethanol and moisture being sucked into the fuel supply. If the engine doesn’t have enough gasoline, performance suffers.

If you discover stale gas in your Craftsman lawn mower, just empty the tank and refuel with new gasoline. Mowers by Craftsman that run on gas must have unleaded gasoline with an octane level of 87 or above and no more than 10% ethanol.

Modern Craftsman mowers have a 4-cycle engine that runs on regular gasoline, although you may still find some older models in use.

Two-stroke motors can only run on a combination of gasoline and oil. Here you may learn more about which gasoline is suitable for your Craftsman mower.

The gasoline can be stabilized, the moisture can be removed, and the fuel system may be cleaned by using a fuel additive such as Sea Foam Motor Treatment.

When you have more gas than you can use in a month, adding some Sea Foam is a good idea. The gasoline system and engine are two of the most vulnerable parts of any vehicle, which is why I prefer to add Sea Foam to every tank.

This article will explain why I enjoy using Sea Foam and how you can too!

Craftsman Lawnmower Loses Power Due to Clogged Fuel Filter

To prevent dirt and debris from entering the fuel system, a fuel filter strains the gasoline as it exits the fuel tank. If you don’t replace your gasoline filter periodically, it will get clogged up and your vehicle won’t be able to get any gas.

Every year, as part of your regular Craftsman mower maintenance, you should swap out the fuel filter. This filter is a low-cost component that, if it fails to strain dirt effectively, can lead to problems with the fuel supply and serious engine damage.

If your mower doesn’t have a fuel shut-off valve, you can use fuel pinch-off pliers to stop the flow of gasoline while you change the filter. To replace the filter in the gasoline lines, just remove the old one.

Seek out the directional arrow on the filter’s side. The filter’s arrow should point in the direction of the fuel’s flow while being fitted. Carburetor and not gasoline tank should be the target of the arrow’s orientation.

Craftsman Lawnmower Loses Power Due to Blocked Fuel Line

The gasoline lines might become clogged due to the sticky deposits caused by using old gas.

Stop the gasoline flow, cut off a little piece of the fuel hose, and examine the end of the hose in a container to see whether there is a blockage in your Craftsman mower. Turn on the gas to make sure the gasoline line is working properly.

If you discover a blockage in the fuel line of your Craftsman mower, you should shut off the gasoline supply and disconnect the affected piece of the line. Clean the line by spraying carburetor cleaner.

The purpose of this is to break up the ice. Use a blast of compressed air to push the clog through the line.

If the obstruction cannot be removed or if the gasoline line is dry and fractured, a new fuel line of the same length and diameter should be installed.

Craftsman Lawnmower Loses Horsepower Due to a Dirty Carburetor

The carburetor on your lawnmower is crucial to its operation. It controls the ratio of fuel to air in the cylinder, ensuring efficient combustion.

Old gasoline’s byproducts can accumulate in the carburetor and render it unable to provide the engine with fuel. A lack of power in your Craftsman mower may be the result of a clogged carburetor.

If gasoline is not reaching the cylinder, the carburetor may need to be cleaned. Remove the air filter and spray carburetor cleaner into the air intake before you start dismantling the carburetor.

Check the engine’s functionality by starting it. If your vehicle starts but immediately dies, you may need to clean the carburetor. To learn how to properly maintain your Craftsman carburetor, read the article.

Ineffective Craftsman Lawnmower Due to Faulty Spark Plug

The spark from a spark plug that has been fouled may be weak or nonexistent, which can lead to a reduction in power. Look at the tip of your spark plug to see if it has any carbon, dirt, or oil accumulation.

If you inspect the mower and notice a filthy or broken spark plug, you should swap it out for a new one.

You might also try cleaning it with a wire brush and reusing it if the dirt isn’t too entrenched or the color isn’t too dark.

Power Loss in a Craftsman Lawnmower Due to Low Engine Oil

You will notice a decrease in power when the engine oil level in the crankcase of your Craftsman mower is low. If you didn’t put enough oil into the crankcase at your previous oil change, you may be running low.

It might also be the result of using the incorrect oil viscosity or an oil leak in the engine.

A lawn mower with low oil levels is dangerous to use. If you do and it’s not noticed right away, you might end up spending a lot of money fixing the engine or possibly having to replace it.

It is essential to use engine oil to lubricate the moving elements inside of an engine. Due to the increased friction between the moving parts, high temperatures are generated when lubrication is absent.

Overheating can lead to smoke from burnt oil and melted components in your Craftsman lawn mower.

If you want to be on the safe side, check the engine oil level in your Craftsman mower before each usage. I know it’s an extra chore on top of everything else you have to do, but if you do it regularly, you can prevent oil leaks and engine issues from getting worse.

Taking out the dipstick and wiping it with a dry cloth will tell you how much oil is in the engine. Put the dipstick back in its position and take it out. Verify that there is sufficient oil. You should fill the oil up to the full mark on the dipstick.

If not, fill it up with new engine oil. Don’t cram too much in there, or else you’ll have even more issues.

Having a professional small engine mechanic analyze your engine if you continue to have issues after filling it to the full level is recommended.

It’s possible that a lack of engine oil led to internal damage that new oil wouldn’t be able to cure.

Craftsman Mower Loses Power Due to Excessive Engine Oil

Your engine will start smoking if you load the crankcase to the top with oil. When there is an excess of oil in the engine, pressure rises and oil can be forced into the cylinder through the valves.

When the oil in the cylinder burns, it produces a bluish-white smoke.

Because your engine won’t be getting the clean air it requires, your vehicle may have performance troubles if this dense cloud of smoke gets caught in your air filter. You should clean or replace your spark plugs and air filter as needed.

If you keep your Craftsman mower running with too much oil, the seals will wear down, the engine will hydrolock, and the piston rod will be twisted.

Take Out Some of The Oil

To drain the oil from the engine, just loosen the drain plug and then immediately tighten it again. In addition, a turkey baster or oil evacuator can be used to drain oil from the oil filter or the oil fill area.

Craftsman Mower Power Loss Due to Dirty Engine Cooling System

The engine employs airflow for cooling purposes. Both the engine block and the cylinder head receive cooling air from the ventilation system.

If grass clippings and mud become stuck in the cooling fins, airflow around the engine will be reduced, so keep them clean. If the cooling fins are damaged, replace them.

Cleaning the engine shroud and air intake regions is as important as keeping the cooling fins clear of dirt to prevent the engine from overheating and losing power.

A Craftsman Mower Loses Power Due to Blocked Air Passages

To avoid the engine overheating and losing power, proper cooling is essential. Get rid of the grass clippings, dirt, and other material that may have accumulated around your engine to ensure proper airflow.

Clear off the clutter from under your engine shroud. Assure that the heat shield is properly fastened.

Craftsman Mower Loses Power Due to Fast Ground Speed

Your Craftsman mower may be losing power because you’re in a hurry to get the job done and move on to other enjoyable activities for the day.

When mowing tall, wet, or thick grass, going at a rapid speed might put extra strain on your mower.

To save wear and tear on your Craftsman mower, adjust the pace of operation based on the terrain you’re cutting. You should take it easy when you mow uphill.

Craftsman Mower Power Loses When Cutting Tall or Wet Grass

Try not to mow the lawn when it’s wet out. The engine has to work harder through wet grass.

It’s more likely to bunch up and get stuck on the underside of the mower deck. Mow your lawn while the grass is dry for the greatest results.

Cutting your lawn on a regular basis will help keep it at a reasonable length. There is a risk that your mower could jam if you let the grass grow too long.

Even if you strive to maintain your lawn short at all times, there will inevitably be periods when it grows uncontrollably.

For the greatest results when cutting tall grass, mow it twice or even three times. First, raise the cutting height on the mower deck to its highest setting, and then decrease it for subsequent cuts.

Craftsman Mower Loses Power Due to Plugged Mower Deck

Overworking the engine and experiencing a loss of power may be avoided by keeping the space under the mower deck clean and clear of debris. Ideally, while the Craftsman mower blades are spinning under the mower deck, they will have plenty of room to move about.

When the mower deck is full, the engine has to work harder to move the blades through the debris, which might cause it to overheat. Regularly scraping the mower deck will keep it clean and free of debris.

You’ll be doing your Craftsman mower’s engine a favor by doing this, and you’ll also get a better cut.

Craftsman Mower Power Loss Is Associated with Dull Mower Blades

Clogged mower decks are made worse by dull mower blades. When worn blades are added to a deck that is already losing power due to plugging, the engine must work harder to turn the blades.

If the blades are dull or worn, you should sharpen or replace them. You may learn more about blade inspection and sharpening here.

Do You Still Need Help with Your Craftsman Lawnmower?

Possessing a mower that never breaks down would be ideal. Yet, they do not exist. If you keep a lawn mower for a long enough period of time, eventually something will break.

Start-up, combustion, demise, vibration, and slicing issues are the most typical.

I’ve compiled this helpful checklist of potential problems and their solutions for your Craftsman. This tutorial may be found at Common Craftsman Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.

If you own a Craftsman lawn mower and are unaware of how to safely perform diagnostics and repairs on it, you should probably hire a professional.

You’ll save yourself from harm and the mower from further destruction by doing this. Fixing your lawnmower is a job for your neighborhood Craftsman dealer or a specialized repair facility.

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