How to Start a Hard-Starting Briggs & Stratton 11 Horse


A hard-starting 11-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine can be very frustrating. Whether the Briggs & Stratton engine is on a generator, tiller or mower, you will need to diagnose what is causing the engine to start hard so you can get is working again. Briggs & Stratton engines have a few key components that make the engine run; they include the air filter, gas and spark plug.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Bucket
  • Carb cleaner spray
  • Wrench set
  • Air filter
  • Spark plug
  • Socket set
  • Torque wrench
  • Locate the fuel hose running between the gas tank and the carburetor. Squeeze the clamp holding the hose to the carburetor and slide it off. Pull the hose off and direct it into the bucket to let any old gas drain out.

  • Spray carb cleaner into the side carburetor hole for several seconds. Re-clamp the hose to the side of the carburetor.

  • Loosen and remove the single bolt holding the fuel bowl to the base of the carburetor with the proper sized wrench--usually a 3/8-inch wrench. Dump out the old gas in the fuel bowl. Spray carb cleaner into the bowl and onto the float and valves above the bowl. Tighten the bowl back into place.

  • Pull the spark plug cap off the spark plug on the front of the Briggs & Stratton engine. Fit the proper sized socket on the spark plug and unscrew it. Screw the new spark plug in just finger-tight. Place the socket on the torque wrench. Tighten the new spark plug down at 15 pound-feet. Put the spark plug cap back on the top of the new spark plug.

  • Unscrew the wing nut holding the air filter cover over the air filter on the top of the engine with the pliers. Pull the cover off and pull out the air filter. Set the new air filter in place. Tighten the cover back over the new air filter.

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  • Photo Credit le passage de la tondeuse image by Jean-Michel POUGET from
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