How to Troubleshoot a Mantis Cultivator

Updated February 21, 2017

Mantis has been making mini rototillers/cultivators for over 30 years. These small tillers weight about 9.07 Kilogram and are much easier to use than large tillers. The Mantis tillers can till through even the toughest of soils including clay. The Mantis tiller is a reliable machine that can be used over many seasons. Over time repairs and troubleshooting may be required. Mantis troubleshooting requires diagnosing the problem and cleaning, fixing or replacing worn or damaged parts.

Reset the engine to the worm gear housing if the tines do not turn when the throttle is depressed. Over time a gap between the engine and worm gear housing can develop. Use a wrench to loosen the flange, make sure that the engine sits down all the way onto the gear housing and tighten the flange with the wrench.

Verify that the tiller is set to the "I" position when trying to start it. Check to make sure there is gas in the gas tank if the Mantis will not start.

Drain the tiller of fuel. Difficulty starting the tiller may be a result of water in the gasoline, old gasoline or an incorrect oil mixture. Do not refill until step 4 is complete.

Clean or replace the fuel filter or fuel lines on the Mantis. The fuel filter is located inside the fuel tank and should be replaced at least once a year. Fuel lines should be cleaned out to make sure they are clear of any obstructions. Refill tiller with fuel. Make sure the mixture is correct for your Mantis tiller.

Clean or replace the spark plug if the Mantis will not start. The lead ignition wire leading to the spark plug may also need to be checked and replaced if damaged.

Clean or replace the air filter. The air filter is located on the side of the tiller behind the gas cap. Remove the filter by depressing the tabs and lifting off the cover. The filter can be cleaned using soapy warm water and allowed to dry completely. Dip the filter element into clean engine oil and remove excess oil. Replace filter back into housing.

Adjust the carburettor on the Mantis if the tiller does not transition from idle to high speed smoothly. Remove the air filter cover to expose two screws: one red, which is the high speed adjustment, and one white, which is low speed adjustment. Start the tiller and let it run until it reaches normal running temperature. Turn off and adjust the red screw counter-clockwise to "Stop." Turn the white screw counter-clockwise half way to "Stop." Restart the engine and check to see if this adjustment helps the tiller transfer smoothly between idle and high speed. If the tiller still has issues, readjust the white screw another 1/8 turn toward "Stop" and retest tiller.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrenches
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Engine oil
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About the Author

Michael Carpenter has been writing blogs since 2007. He is a mortgage specialist with over 12 years of experience as well as an expert in financing, credit, budgeting and real estate. Michael holds licenses in both real estate and life and health insurance.