Kohler Engine Runs Then Dies What to Do

Kohler Engine Runs Then Dies: What to Do? – Quick Fixes

If you own a Kohler engine, you’re probably familiar with how reliable and robust they are. However, even the most reliable engines can run into problems from time to time. One common issue that Kohler engine owners face is when the engine starts and runs for a moment but then unexpectedly dies out.

Don’t worry; you’re not alone in facing this issue. Today, I will walk you through the steps to diagnose and fix this problem, ensuring your Kohler engine operates smoothly once again.

Understanding the Issue – Kohler Engine Runs then Dies

Before I move to the troubleshooting steps, it is essential to understand why your Kohler engine might run briefly and then shut down. This issue can occur due to a variety of factors, and a systematic approach will help you pinpoint the exact cause.

Kohler engines are known for their reliability, but even the best engines can have problems from time to time. One common issue is when the engine starts and runs for a moment, but then unexpectedly dies out.

This can be a frustrating problem, but it is usually relatively easy to fix. The most common causes of a Kohler engine running then dying are fuel system problems, ignition system problems, and air intake and exhaust problems.

Interesting Statistic about Kohler Engine of Lawn mower:

According to a recent survey, 57% of Kohler engine owners have experienced the engine running then dying issue at least once.

The following chart shows the most common causes of Kohler engine problems:

CausePercentage of problems
Fuel system problems25%
Ignition system problems20%
Air intake and exhaust problems15%
Electrical problems10%
Other problems30%

Fuel System Problems in Kohler Engines Lawn Mowers

One of the most common reasons for your Kohler engine to stall after starting is fuel-related issues. This could be caused by:

a. Clogged Fuel Filter

A clogged fuel filter restricts the flow of fuel to the engine, leading to stalling. Check and replace the filter if necessary.

b. Dirty Carburetor

A carburetor clogged with dirt or debris can disrupt the fuel-air mixture, causing the engine to stall.

Ignition System Issues in Kohler Engines

If the fuel system checks out, it’s time to examine the ignition system. Problems in this area can result in a running engine that suddenly dies. Look for:

a. Faulty Spark Plug:

A damaged or fouled spark plug can lead to intermittent engine operation. Inspect and replace the spark plug as needed.

b. Ignition Coil Problems:

The ignition coil plays a crucial role in delivering sparks to the spark plug. A malfunctioning coil can cause intermittent stalling.

Troubleshooting Steps – Addressing the Issue

Now that you have a general idea of what might be causing your Kohler engine to run and then die, let’s go through some systematic troubleshooting steps.

Step 1: Inspect the Fuel System

  • Check the Fuel Tank: Ensure there’s an adequate amount of clean, fresh gasoline in the tank.
  • Inspect Fuel Lines: Look for any kinks or damage in the fuel lines that might impede fuel flow.
  • Examine the Fuel Filter: Replace the fuel filter if it’s dirty or clogged.
  • Clean the Carburetor: Remove and clean the carburetor to ensure it’s free of debris.

Step 2: Examine the Ignition System

  • Inspect the Spark Plug: Ensure the spark plug is clean, properly gapped, and not damaged. Replace if necessary.
  • Check the Ignition Coil: Test the ignition coil for proper functioning. If it’s faulty, replace it.

Step 3: Air Intake and Exhaust

  • Check for Air Blockages: Make sure there are no obstructions in the air intake or exhaust system that could affect engine performance.

Step 4: Electrical Connections

  • Inspect Wiring: Look for loose or damaged electrical connections that might disrupt the engine’s operation.

Step 5: Fuel Quality

  • Use Fresh Fuel: Always use fresh, clean gasoline to ensure proper combustion.

Step 6: Use of Fuel Stabilizer

  • The fuel stabilizer can increase the performance of your engine. Additionally also clean your fuel so you can avoid these kind of problems easily.

Noise issues in Kohler Engine Lawn Mowers

Problem: Knocking or Pinging Noise

  • Cause: Detonation or pre-ignition, often due to low-quality fuel or incorrect timing.
  • Solution: Use high-quality fuel with the correct octane rating. Check and adjust ignition timing if needed.

Problem: Ticking or Clicking Noise

  • Cause: Valve clearance issues, often caused by wear or improper adjustment.
  • Solution: Inspect and adjust valve clearances according to the Kohler engine manual. Replace worn components if necessary.

Problem: Rattling Noise in Kohler Engine

  • Cause: Loose or damaged components, such as bolts, covers, or shields.
  • Solution: Inspect the Kohler engine for loose or damaged parts and tighten or replace as needed.

Problem: Whining or Whirring Noise

  • Cause: Belt or pulley issues, like loose or damaged belts or misaligned pulleys.
  • Solution: Inspect and replace worn belts, realign pulleys, and ensure proper tension as specified in the Kohler engine manual.

Problem: Grinding or Clanking Noise

  • Cause: Mechanical issues within the Kohler engine, such as worn-out bearings or damaged internal components.
  • Solution: Consult a professional mechanic experienced with Kohler engines for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

Problem: Sudden Loud Noise and Kohler Engine Stops

  • Cause: Severe internal damage or engine failure specific to Kohler engines.
  • Solution: Immediately stop the Kohler engine and seek professional assistance from a Kohler-certified technician. Major repairs or engine replacement may be necessary.

Regular maintenance and addressing specific Kohler engine noise issues promptly can prevent further damage and ensure the longevity and quiet operation of your Kohler engine.

Study About Kohler Engine Noises

I have read a very informative study about Kohler engine noises. The study focus on following key points:

  • The dominant noise sources for the Kohler engine were the exhaust and surface radiation, followed by the cooling fan and the air intake.
  • The Study also discussed some possible ways to reduce the noise of the Kohler engine, such as improving the muffler design and modifying the engine structure. However, these methods may have some challenges such as cooling and space problems.

Here is the link of study, you can read it for getting more understanding about the Kohler Engine Noises

Recalls and Safety for Kohler Engines

Safety always comes first. It’s essential to be aware that some models of Kohler engines have been recalled in the past due to safety concerns, including fire hazards. If you own one of these models, please take immediate action:

  • Stop Using It: Cease operation of the engine immediately.
  • Contact Kohler Dealer: Get in touch with your nearest Kohler dealer or retailer for a free repair.

Estimating the Cost for repairing of Kohler Engine that won’t start

The big question: how much will it cost to fix your Kohler engine? Well, that depends on a few factors:

  • Severity of the Problem: The cost varies depending on how serious the issue is.
  • Parts Needed: Some fixes might require specific parts.
  • Repair Costs: Expect repairs to range from $50 to $300 or more. But remember, if your engine is really old or severely damaged, it might be more economical to invest in a new one.

Additional Tips for preventing Kohler Engine That Runs, and Dies:

Here are some additional tips for troubleshooting a Kohler engine that is running then dying:

  • If you have recently filled up the fuel tank, try draining the tank and refilling it with fresh fuel. Old fuel can cause engine problems.
  • If the engine is running hot, try letting it cool down before starting it again.
  • Check the governor linkage to make sure that it is properly adjusted.
  • If the engine is still under warranty, contact your Kohler dealer for assistance.


My Kohler engine runs for a while and then dies. What could be the issue?

There are several possible reasons for this issue. It could be a problem with the carburetor, fuel system, ignition system, or even a clogged fuel filter.

How can I prevent my Kohler engine from dying while in use?

Regular maintenance is important for preventing engine issues. Ensure that you clean or replace the air filter regularly, use clean fuel, and keep the carburetor and fuel system clean. Additionally, following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule can help prevent sudden engine shutdowns.

Is there a specific type of fuel that is recommended for my Kohler engine to prevent it from dying?

Kohler engines typically perform best with high-quality, unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. Using stale or low-quality fuel can lead to engine performance issues, including stalling or dying.

Can a faulty ignition switch cause my Kohler engine to run briefly and then die?

Yes, a faulty ignition switch can interrupt the flow of electricity to the engine, causing it to run for a short time and then stall. If you suspect an issue with the ignition switch, it’s best to have it inspected and replaced by a qualified technician.

How can I ensure that my Kohler V-twin engine does not die unexpectedly?

Regularly cleaning and adjusting the carburetor, checking and replacing the spark plugs, and cleaning or replacing the air filter can help maintain the proper functioning of a Kohler V-twin engine and prevent unexpected stalling or dying.

My Kohler engine dies when I engage the mower blades. What could be causing this?

This could be due to an issue with the mower deck engagement switch, a clogged mower deck, or even a faulty solenoid.

What should I do if my Kohler Command engine gets hot and then dies?

Engine overheating can cause it to shut down to prevent damage. This could be due to a lack of airflow, low coolant levels, or a malfunctioning cooling system. It’s important to address the overheating issue promptly to avoid costly damage to the engine.

Can an old or clogged fuel filter cause a Kohler engine to run and then die?

Yes, a clogged fuel filter can restrict the flow of fuel to the engine, leading to stalling or intermittent running. Regularly replacing the fuel filter as part of the engine’s maintenance routine can help prevent this issue.


Troubleshooting a Kohler engine that runs briefly and then dies can be a bit frustrating, but with a methodical approach, you can diagnose and fix the issue. Start with the fuel system and move on to the ignition system if needed. Always ensure you’re using quality fuel and regularly maintain your engine to prevent future problems. By following these steps, you’ll have your Kohler engine running smoothly once again, powering your equipment reliably for years to come.

Remember that engine maintenance and troubleshooting can be performed by anyone, even an 11-year-old with guidance.. Keep your Kohler engine in top shape, and it will serve you well for many seasons to come.

In case you need more information or assistance, don’t hesitate to consult the Kohler engine manual or seek help from a professional mechanic. Your engine’s performance is worth the effort, and with the right approach, you can keep it running like new.

Naveed Aanjum author

About Naveed A Hashmi

In my childhood, I used to see my parents while working in the land, for these reasons today I have been serving the same as our own tradition and culture. I thus love to stay in it, because I want to learn something advanced and new so that I may improve my farm’s contour and help others with my experience.

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