How to Troubleshoot a Mantis Tiller

Troubleshoot a problem with your Mantis tiller using a process of elimination. If you can’t get the tiller to start or run at a normal speed, grab your toolbox and determine possible causes of the problem. When the tiller breaks down while you’re operating it, take immediate action to get it up and running as soon as possible. Postponing tiller repair will accomplish nothing other than leaving your vegetable patch or flower beds unattended and unseeded.

Check for common problems when your tiller engine fails to start. Make sure that you have gasoline in the tank and have set the control switch in the “on” position.

Disconnect the spark plug wire on your Mantis tiller and remove the spark plug with a spark plug wrench; apply pressure slowly and turn the wrench gradually to the left. If the plug won’t turn, apply three to five drops of penetrating oil around the base of the plug; then try removing it again with the wrench. Check if carbon has clogged the point of the plug, rendering it unable to conduct a spark. If so, clean it with a shop rag dipped in fresh fuel. If the plug refuses to spark after cleaning, replace it with a new one.

Trace the spark plug wire and look for any cracks in the outside coating of the wire or frayed ends at contact points. The wire may need replacing if it’s defective.

Check for blockages that may occur in the gas tank, fuel line and fuel strainer. Drain the tiller's gas tank and remove any debris left in the tank. Remove the fuel line and check for a blockage. Ream out any foreign matter with a pipe cleaner. Fish out the fuel strainer from the Mantis gas tank and tap it on a hard surface to dislodge any sludge.

Refill the gas tank with fresh fuel . Dispose of all combustibles and move your Mantis tiller to an open area for a test-start.


A spark plug wrench and spark plug can be purchased at a garden centre. Fresh fuel is available at your nearest service station. Use a shop rag to wipe up gasoline or oil spills that develop while working on your Mantis tiller.


Prevent a fire; work on your tiller away from any open flame or sparks.

Things You'll Need

  • Spark plug wrench
  • Penetrating oil
  • Spark plug
  • Shop rag
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Fresh fuel
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Truell Bliss retired from the restaurant and hospitality industry after almost a lifetime of service. An officer in the American Culinary Federation, he earned his dietary manager certification and progressed into positions as chef instructor, chef manager, dining services operations manager and finally, director of food service.