8 Most Common Kohler Engine Problems: How Do You Fix Them?

Kohler Power Equipment is one of the most trusted names that produce high-performance and reliable engines for a wide range of lawn and garden care tools.

However, there are some common Kohler engine problems that users need to be aware of, such as:

  • Kohler engine does not crank or crank but does not start the machine,
  • Kohler’s engine runs rough, stalls, & won’t accelerate,
  • Engine backfires or dies soon after starting,
  • Oil leaks or overheating and others.

This article will focus on the most common problems that can occur with most Kohler engines at some point and how to fix them.

Kohler Engine Problems

8 Kohler Engine Problems: How to Fix Them?

Learn more about each common issue that may arise while using Kohler engine models and if that happens, find out how to fix them easily but surely.

1. Engine Won’t or Fails to Crank: 

This mostly arises with Kohler Aegis® Engines, where one may notice that the engine does not crank while trying to start the machine.

There can be several key reasons behind such failure:

  • Any problem involved with the battery,
  • loose or faulty engine drive belt,
  • Bad starter or
  • Error with internal wiring connection.


Check and clean the internal battery or fix the wire connections. Replace the battery, cables, and terminals if necessary.

If the battery appears to be good, test the charging system and service it if needed.

Inspect the starter cords on your machine and tighten or replace it if necessary. If the starter has failed, replace it.

Examine the drive belt and adjust or replace it as needed.

Check for a flooded engine and any problems with fuses or safety switches, and service them as needed.

Related Post: 5 Common Kohler 27 hp Engine Problems: What You Need to Know

2. May Crank but Won’t Start:

Kohler Aegis Engine users may experience that when the engine finally cranks after several tries, but the machine will not start.

This can arise due to multiple reasons, such as:

  • Contaminated/incorrect fuel type or insufficient level of fuel,
  • Incorrect fuel valve positioning or a faulty spark plug,
  • If the choke or throttle is in the wrong position,
  • If there are any wiring issues like loose or broken connection due to misconfigured or worn wiring harness.


First, put a sufficient amount of the correct type of fuel in the tank. Inspect all the wiring harnesses and re-configure or replace them if needed.

Check fuel valve positioning and if needed adjust the valve correctly.

Next, check the throttle and choke position and, if necessary, adjust as follows:

  • Unhook the spark plug lead(s) and unhook the battery wires to turn off the engine.
  • Locate the engine’s throttle and choke controls.
  • Loosen the control cable clamp and adjust the cable as needed.
  • Slid the cable forward until the choke butterfly is completely closed.
  • Then adjust the throttle cable so that it just pushes the choke lever to the closed position.
  • Test to check that the throttle and choke controls work properly.

3. Engine May Run Rough, Stall & Won’t Accelerate:

Another common problem with Kohler Aegis and Command®Pro engines is when the engine begins to run rough or fails to accelerate due to:

  • No or lack of fuel,
  • Defective spark plug,
  • If you did not fully warm up your engine before starting,
  • Maybe the idling setting is either too lean or too low,
  • Maybe the electric clutch setting has an issue.

The engine may randomly start to stall due to a dirty or clogged carburetor caused by stale or bad fuel in the tank.


Check the fuel tank and drain the old contaminated fuel out if needed. Fill the tank with fresh fuel to the proper level.

Check the spark plug and clean adjust the gap or change it if necessary.

Make sure to set the electric clutch setting correctly.

If the carburetor is dirty or blocked, clean the carb assembly thoroughly

4. Engine May Stop In Between Operations or Dies Soon After Starting: 

Kohler 7000 series, Courage®, Command Pro, and other model users may notice that their engine sometimes stops in between operations or dies soon after they were able to start the machine.

Such failures can cause due to:

  • Corroded or dead battery,
  • Fouled spark plugs,
  • Dirty carb,
  • Faulty bowl gasket, or
  • Any faulty issue in the ignition system.


Inspect the internal battery for build-up corrosion and clean or replace it if necessary. Service the spark plug as required.

If the carb looks dirty, then prep and clean your carburetor.

Also, check the bowl gasket and if it’s bad, replace it.

If the engine is still having a hard time, test the ignition system and service it accordingly.

5. Full Throttle Engine May Backfire:

Users may also experience sudden backfires when they turn the Kohler engine at full throttle. This problem is especially common with Aegis® series models.

Mostly, too rich or lean fuel mixture or contaminated fuel in the fuel tank causes this problem.


Make sure you have enough fresh fuel in the tank. Inspect the carburetor and clean it if needed.

Reset the throttle and choke control. Look for blown fuses & signs of fluid leaks.

Replace the fuse and find the leak areas to seal them with filler.

6. Overheating Issues:

Engine overheating is one of the most common problems with any Kohler engine model, whether from the Command, Courage, or 7000 series.

This mostly occurs due to locked vapor in the carburetor, dirty air filters, a malfunctioning cooling system, and insufficient oil or lubrication.


If your engine overheats, follow the steps below to fix it:

  • Check the oil level and add or replace it as needed.
  • Examine, clean, or replace the air filter.
  • Connect a spark plug checker to the carburetor line. Then turn the flywheel, and if you see no spark, change the cooler or condenser to release the vapor.
  • Examine and replace the coil if it appears to be damaged.
  • Check the solenoid and replace the solenoid plug if necessary.

7. Leaks from the Carburetor Gasket: 

Users of the Kohler Courage series should be prepared to have a sudden leak from the carburetor gasket as their engine ages.

A dry or missing carburetor float bowl gasket can initiate such leaks.


First, determine whether the leak began at the bottom of the carburetor; if so, replace the carburetor bowl gasket.

If the leak has not yet ceased, you may need to repair or replace the complete carburetor.

But that task will need proper mechanical expertise. So, the best course of action is to seek the advice of a skilled mechanic.

8. Oil leaking & Smoking All over: 

This is another common issue with Kohler Courage engines, where the engine may start excess oil leaking and users will also notice smoking all over the place.


If it is typical oil leaks from the carb assembly or the fuel tank, you can simply fix them with some welding or sealing.

If still leaking, there are two ways to fix it.

Related Post: 5 Most Common Kohler 24 hp Engine Problems: How to Fix Them?

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

When should the oil in a Kohler engine be changed? 

After every three hundred hours of use.

How can I tell which Kohler model I have? 

The engine model number is either molded into the tank or stamped inside the tank with (black/blue) ink.

Is it safe to use 100% synthetic oil in a Kohler engine?

Yes. But if it is a new or rebuild engine, use standard motor oil for the first 50 hours of operation.

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