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Troubleshooting Small Engines - The Basics
 
Troubleshooting is nothing more than a systematic process used to test and evaluate the systems and components of an engine in comparison to an expected result. For our purposes, there are two key points to keep under consideration:

When the test results are positive or as expected, you can eliminate the area being tested as cause for concern and move on to the next suspected area.

When the test results are negative or not as expected, you can focus your efforts on the system or components being tested until you find the actual cause of the problem.

Don't overlook the possibility that there will be more than one problem to be found with a given engine. You may locate and correct one problem, only to find yet another or even several more. Believe me, it happens all too often!

Although our focus is primarily on the engine itself, you may find yourself in a situation where the equipment is at fault, causing symptoms that are generally associated with an engine-related problem. Throughout the guide I've tried to address those types of problems where they usually apply, while pointing you towards a general course of action.

Here finally, are some tips that I've learned over the course of many years, (
usually the hard way!) that should help you through the most difficult troubleshooting situations...
 

Tips for successful troubleshooting:
   
  Keep it simple! Always check the easier things first, working towards the more complex!
   
  Never assume that a system or component is working properly. Verify it!
   
  Check only one area at a time and don't move on to something else until you've eliminated the system or component as the cause for your problem.
   
  If you become frustrated, take a breather and walk away from the problem for a while. Don't allow your emotion to control your logic.
   
  When in doubt, always refer to the proper repair instruction manuals for information and guidance.
   
   

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