20 Hp Briggs And Stratton Engine Problems

20 Hp Briggs And Stratton Engine Problems: Solutions & Fixes

20 common problems with the 20 HP Briggs and Stratton engine are discussed briefly below. Briggs and Stratton engines are widely used in various outdoor power equipment, including lawn mowers, generators, and small vehicles.

Despite their reliability, these engines can encounter certain issues that may impact their performance.

Let’s dive into the solutions for a range of engine issues, helping you maintain the longevity and functionality of your Briggs and Stratton engine.

Common Issues And Solutions

The 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine commonly encounters various issues, but fret not as there are solutions available.

From carburetor problems to ignition coil malfunctions, these problems can be resolved with proper troubleshooting and maintenance techniques.

In this section, I will highlight three frequent issues that you might face when dealing with a Briggs and Stratton engine: Spark Plug Failure, Fuel System Problems, and Air Filter Blockage.

Let’s take a closer look at each issue and explore the solutions to keep your engine running smoothly.

Spark Plug Failure

A malfunctioning spark plug can greatly affect the performance of your Briggs and Stratton engine.

Here are some causes and solutions to address this issue:

  • Fouled Spark Plug: If you notice black soot or carbon deposits on the spark plug, it may be fouled. This can happen due to a rich fuel mixture or oil contamination. To resolve this issue, clean or replace the spark plug.
  • Incorrect Spark Plug Gap: A spark plug with an incorrect gap can lead to weak or no spark, resulting in engine misfires or difficulty starting. Check your engine’s manual for the specific spark plug gap and use a gap gauge to adjust it accordingly.
  • Worn-out Spark Plug: Over time, the electrode of a spark plug can wear down, leading to poor ignition and reduced engine performance. Replace the spark plug if it shows signs of wear or if it has exceeded its recommended lifespan.

Fuel System Problems

Issues with the fuel system can prevent your Briggs and Stratton engine from functioning optimally.

Here are some common fuel system problems and their solutions:

  • Contaminated Fuel: Dirty or old fuel can clog the fuel lines, filters, and carburetor, causing poor engine performance. Make sure to use clean, fresh fuel and replace it regularly.
  • Clogged Fuel Filters: A clogged fuel filter can restrict the flow of fuel to the engine and cause starting issues or engine stalling. Check and replace the fuel filter if it is dirty or clogged.
  • Carburetor Issues: If the engine runs rough or struggles to start, the carburetor may require cleaning or adjustment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean the carburetor properly or seek professional help if needed.

Air Filter Blockage

A blocked air filter can result in reduced engine power and inefficient fuel combustion.

Here’s how to address air filter blockage:

  • Dirty Air Filter: An air filter that is clogged with dirt, dust, or debris can limit airflow to the engine. Check the air filter regularly, and clean or replace it as necessary according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Improperly Installed Air Filter: Ensure that the air filter is properly installed and seated in its housing. A loose or incorrectly fitted air filter can allow unfiltered air into the engine, leading to potential damage.

Engine Starting Problems

Having trouble starting your 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine? Learn about common engine starting problems and find solutions to get your engine running smoothly. Take the stress out of starting your engine and get back to work faster.

Battery Issues

Starting problems with a 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine are often attributed to battery issues. These can arise due to a variety of reasons, such as a dead or weak battery, poor battery connections, or a faulty charging system.

Below are some key points to consider when troubleshooting battery-related starting problems:

  • Inspect the battery for signs of damage, corrosion, or leaks. Replace the battery if necessary.
  • Check the battery terminals and cables for secure connections. Clean off any corrosion or buildup.
  • Test the battery voltage with a multimeter. A reading below 12.6 volts indicates a weak or discharged battery.
  • Charge the battery using an appropriate charger if the voltage is low. Ensure it reaches a full charge before attempting to start the engine.
  • If the battery cannot hold a charge, it may need to be replaced.
  • Verify the functionality of the charging system components, such as the voltage regulator and alternator belt.

Ignition System Failure

Issues with the ignition system can also prevent a 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine from starting. The ignition system includes components such as spark plugs, ignition coils, and the ignition switch.

Here are some important points to consider when dealing with ignition system failure:

  • Check the spark plugs for signs of wear or fouling. Replace them if necessary.
  • Inspect the ignition coils for any visible damage or loose connections. Ensure they are securely attached.
  • Test the ignition coils with an ohmmeter to verify their functionality. Replace any faulty coils.
  • Examine the ignition switch for any signs of wear or malfunction. Replace it if needed.
  • Ensure the spark plug wires are properly connected to the spark plugs and ignition coils.
  • Check for proper grounding of the ignition system components.

Fuel Delivery Troubles

When experiencing engine starting problems, it is important to consider potential fuel delivery issues. A well-functioning fuel system is crucial for proper engine ignition and combustion.

Here are some notable points to address when dealing with fuel delivery troubles:

  • Verify that there is sufficient fuel in the tank. Refill if necessary.
  • Inspect the fuel lines and connections for leaks, cracks, or blockages. Repair or replace any damaged components.
  • Check the fuel filter for clogs or contamination. Replace it if needed.
  • Ensure the fuel shut-off valve is in the open position.
  • Examine the carburetor for any clogs or debris that may be obstructing fuel flow. Clean or rebuild the carburetor as necessary.
  • Test the fuel pump for proper operation. Replace it if it is malfunctioning.

Engine Performance Problems

The 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine may experience performance issues, impacting its overall functionality.

Such problems can include issues with fuel delivery, ignition, or mechanical components, affecting the engine’s power and efficiency. It’s crucial to address these problems promptly to ensure optimal engine performance.

Rough Running Engine

A rough running engine can be a frustrating problem for owners of 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engines.

Here are some factors that may contribute to this issue:

  • Dirty or clogged air filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, causing it to run roughly. Ensure that the air filter is clean and free from debris.
  • Contaminated fuel: Stale or contaminated fuel can cause the engine to run unevenly. Consider draining the fuel tank and refilling it with fresh, clean fuel.
  • Carburetor problems: A malfunctioning carburetor can disrupt the fuel mixture, leading to rough engine performance. Inspect the carburetor for any clogs or damage and clean or repair as necessary.
  • Spark plug issues: A faulty or worn-out spark plug can result in poor ignition and rough engine running. Check the spark plug for signs of wear or damage and replace if necessary.
  • Ignition system problems: If the ignition system is not functioning properly, it can affect the engine’s performance. Verify that the ignition coil, spark plug wires, and other ignition components are in good condition.
  • Engine timing: Incorrect engine timing can cause a rough running engine. It is essential to ensure that the engine’s timing is adjusted correctly according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Overheating Issues

Overheating is a common problem that can affect the performance of a 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine.

Here are some factors that may contribute to engine overheating:

  • Low engine oil level: Insufficient engine oil can lead to increased friction and heat buildup. Check the oil level regularly and top up if necessary.
  • Clogged cooling fins: Dirt, debris, or grass clippings can accumulate on the engine’s cooling fins, obstructing airflow and causing overheating. Clean the cooling fins regularly to prevent this issue.
  • Cooling system malfunction: A malfunctioning cooling system, such as a faulty water pump or radiator, can result in inadequate heat dissipation. Inspect the cooling system components and address any issues promptly.
  • Overloading the engine: Operating the engine beyond its recommended limits, such as running it at full throttle for extended periods or overloading it with heavy equipment, can cause overheating. Avoid overworking the engine to prevent overheating.
  • Improper ventilation: Inadequate ventilation around the engine can hinder airflow and contribute to overheating. Ensure that the engine is placed in a well-ventilated area during operation.

Excessive Vibration

Excessive vibration in a 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine can indicate underlying problems that require attention.

Consider the following factors when dealing with excessive vibration:

  • Engine mounting issues: Improper engine mounting can result in excessive vibration. Inspect the engine mounts and ensure they are secure and in good condition.
  • Loose or damaged components: Loose bolts, nuts, or other engine components can cause vibrations. Regularly check for any loose or damaged parts and tighten or replace them as necessary.
  • Imbalanced or damaged blades: If the engine is powering a lawnmower or other equipment with blades, imbalanced or damaged blades can cause vibration. Inspect the blades and replace or balance them as needed.
  • Flywheel problems: A damaged or unbalanced flywheel can lead to excessive engine vibration. Examine the flywheel for any signs of damage and have it repaired or replaced if necessary.
  • Worn out drive belt: A worn-out or improperly tensioned drive belt can cause vibrations in the engine. Verify the condition and tension of the drive belt and replace or adjust it if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Common Problems With A 20 Hp Briggs And Stratton Engine?

Some common problems with a 20 HP Briggs and Stratton engine include starting issues, oil leaks, and poor fuel efficiency. Other potential problems can include overheating, vibration, and loss of power. Regular maintenance and addressing issues promptly can help prevent major engine problems.

How Do I Troubleshoot A Briggs And Stratton Engine That Won't Start?

If your Briggs and Stratton engine won’t start, check the fuel level, spark plug, and air filter. Ensure there is fresh fuel, clean or replace the spark plug, and clean or replace the air filter if necessary. It’s also important to check for any clogged fuel lines or a faulty ignition switch.

What Causes A Briggs And Stratton Engine To Vibrate?

Vibrations in a Briggs and Stratton engine can be caused by various factors such as a loose blade, misaligned or damaged flywheel, or an imbalance in the rotating parts.

Inspect the engine for loose or damaged components, and if necessary, tighten or repair them to reduce vibrations and ensure smooth operation.


The 20 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine is a powerful and reliable piece of equipment commonly used.

However, it is not immune to certain problems that can arise over time. From issues with starting and running to problems with the fuel system, ignition, or cooling, these engines may encounter complications that require attention and troubleshooting.

Ultimately, by staying informed and proactive, users can maximize the performance and lifespan of their Briggs and Stratton 20 Hp engine, ensuring it continues to provide reliable power for their needs.

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