Briggs & Stratton Engine: It Has Spark, but Won't Start

Updated February 21, 2017

A Briggs & Stratton engine relies on a few key components to start and run. These include air, gas and ignition. If your Briggs & Stratton engine has a spark but won't run, then it is most likely a problem with the gas or air intake in the engine. The spark on the spark plug ignites the gas in the piston, but if the air filter is clogged or the gas can't flow, then the engine won't start.

Unscrew the air filter cover from the side of the Briggs & Stratton engine with the screwdriver. Remove the old air filter and replace it with a new clean one and tighten the air filter cover back onto the side of the engine.

Locate the carburettor mounted on the side of the engine. The fuel hose from the gas tank leads to the side of the carburettor. Unscrew the clamp, holding the hose onto the side of the carburettor with the screwdriver.

Pull the hose off and allow all the old gas to poor into a bucket.

Point the carburettor cleaner spray can into the side hole of the carburettor and spray it for 10 to 20 seconds. This will allow enough carb cleaner fluid to dissolve any debris or gummy gas in the carburettor and allow gas to be injected into the piston.

Reattach the fuel hose to the carburettor and tighten the clamp with the screwdriver.

Fill the gas tank with fresh gas.

Pull the spark plug cap off of the spark plug and push it back on to ensure that it is on the spark plug tightly. Start your engine.


Use caution when working with gasoline and cleaners as they are flammable and can be harmful if ingested or come in contact with your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Air filter
  • Bucket
  • Carburettor cleaner spray
  • Gas
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About the Author

Mark O'Brien started his professional writing career in 2000 at the "Newman Grove Reporter" newspaper. He was an English tutor while in school and earned an Associate of Arts in English from Northeast Community College. O'Brien indulges his mechanical side by fixing mowers part-time.