Symptoms of Improper Air Gap on a Coil and Their Fixes

Lawn mowers are essential tools for maintaining a well-manicured lawn, and like any mechanical device, they rely on various components to function optimally.

One crucial component is the coil, which generates the necessary electrical spark to ignite the fuel in the engine. An improper air gap on the coil can significantly affect the mower’s performance. The first and the most basic thing you will notice is difficult starting the mower and no start overall.

After reading the article, you will be delved into the symptoms of an improper air gap on a coil for a lawn mower, helping you identify and address potential issues.

Why the Air Gap on a Coil is Important

Symptoms of Improper Air Gap on a Coil

Before discussing the symptoms of an improper air gap, it is essential to grasp the concept of an air gap itself.

The air gap refers to the space between the coil and the flywheel’s magnets in the mower’s engine. This gap allows for the generation of a magnetic field when the engine is running, leading to the production of an electrical spark that ignites the fuel mixture.

An improper air gap can disrupt this process and impede the mower’s operation.

5 Symptoms of an  Improper Air Gap on a Coil

In this section, the discussion on common symptoms of an improper gap on a coil will follow:

1. Difficult Starting or No Start

One of the most common symptoms of an improper air gap on a lawn mower coil is difficulty starting the engine or a complete failure to start. When the air gap is incorrect, it affects the coil’s ability to generate a strong spark, leading to inadequate ignition of the fuel.

As a result, the engine may struggle to start or fail to start altogether.

2. Uneven or Rough Running

An incorrect air gap can cause the coil to produce an inconsistent spark, leading to uneven combustion within the engine. This can result in rough running, characterized by engine sputtering, misfiring, or erratic operation.

The mower may experience power fluctuations and produce unusual vibrations during operation.

3. Decreased Power and Performance

A mower with an improper air gap may exhibit reduced power and performance. The inadequate spark generated by the coil hampers the combustion process, leading to decreased engine power.

This can result in the mower struggling to cut through grass effectively, experiencing slower blade rotation, or being unable to tackle thicker vegetation.

4. Increased Fuel Consumption

Another potential symptom of an improper air gap is increased fuel consumption. When the coil fails to produce a strong spark, the fuel may not burn efficiently, resulting in incomplete combustion.

As a consequence, the mower may consume more fuel than usual, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and frequent refueling requirements.

5. Overheating

An improper air gap can cause the coil to generate excess heat due to increased resistance in the electrical circuit. Over time, this heat buildup can lead to coil damage, reduced coil lifespan, and potential engine overheating.

If you notice your mower’s engine becoming excessively hot or emitting a burning smell, an improper air gap could be the culprit.

Related Post: What is the Gap Between Ignition Coil and Flywheel

Fixing an Improper Air Gap on a Coil

To achieve optimal performance, it is essential to maintain the correct gap between the ignition coil and flywheel. Here are some steps to ensure proper alignment:

  • Consult the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Consult your mower’s owner’s handbook or the manufacturer’s instructions for details. Normally, they provide a recommended gap measurement and any further alignment guidelines.
  • Safety First: To avoid accidental starts, make sure the mower is off and the spark plug wire is unplugged before making any changes.
  • Measure and Adjust: Measure the distance between the flywheel and coil using a feeler gauge. If the gap is too big or too tiny, make the necessary changes. The typical space required by mowers is between 0.020 and 0.040 inches (0.5 and 1.0 mm), but always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Ensure Uniform Gap: While adjusting the gap, make sure it remains consistent around the entire circumference of the flywheel. Uneven gaps can lead to performance issues.
  • Reassemble and Test: Once the gap is properly adjusted, reassemble the components, reconnect the spark plug wire, and test the mower to verify its performance. Observe for smooth operation and consistent power output.

It is important to regularly check for any safety recalls issued by the manufacturer and follow their instructions to address any potential issues.

Cost of adjusting the improper Air Gap on a Coil

Typically, it doesn’t cost much to adjust the ignition coil gap on your mower. The correction largely requires your time and effort to complete. Feeler gauges are necessary for measuring the gap and they are affordable and readily available at hardware stores or online retailers.

However, if you are uncomfortable or unsure about performing the adjustment yourself, you may choose to seek professional assistance. In particular situations, the price might change based on the service provider and your region. However, the price wouldn’t often exceed $40.

Although it’s worth noting that the adjustment process is generally straightforward and can be done by trimmer owners with basic mechanical skills.

Walk Behind Mower Transmission Problems – FAQs

What is an air gap on a mower coil?

The air gap refers to the distance or space between the coil and the flywheel’s magnets in a lawn mower’s engine. It allows for the generation of a magnetic field that produces an electrical spark, igniting the fuel mixture and starting the engine.

What happens if the air gap on the mower coil is improper?

An improper air gap can disrupt the generation of a strong spark, affecting the ignition process.

What is the ideal gap between ignition coil and flywheel?

The ideal gap measurement can vary depending on the mower model and manufacturer’s specifications. Usually, it is 0.5 to 1mm.

How often should I check the air gap on my mower coil?

The frequency of checking the air gap depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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