Briggs & Stratton

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Do NOT buy Briggs & Stratton or Troybilt
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Short version: I assembled my mower following the instructions listed in the owner's manual. The engine died on the fifth use. It is broken beyond repair. Neither Troybilt nor Briggs & Stratton will honor their warranty. So I essentially bought a piece of trash from Lowe's.

Long version: we have 3-issues at play and both Troybilt and B&S are ignoring their responsibility for all 3.

First, the directions in the instruction manual are terrible. On the phone with Briggs & Stratton reps, and their "Authorized Warranty Service Center reps" I am being told that I should have put more oil in the engine than indicated ANYWHERE in the instruction manual. It is almost comical. On the phone they tell me, "you should have put the whole canister of oil in the mower prior to using it." And yet, when I ask them, "then why don't the instructions say that?", they say, "well, we don't know how much oil is shipped with the product, so we can't put it in the manual."

So because of a disconnect between B&S and Troybilt, they can't clearly state in the instruction manual:


No, actually, they could state that whether the mower was shipped with 1oz of oil or 100 oz,...right? But instead the manual tells you to place engine level, clean oil fill area of any debris, remove the dipstick and wipe with a clean cloth, insert and tighten the dipstick, remove the dipstick and check the oil level (it should be at the top of the full indicator on the dipstick), if low add oil slowly into the engine oil fill. DO NOT OVERFILL. After adding oil wait one minute and recheck the oil level. Replace and tighten the dipstick.

So again, at no point do they actually tell you HOW MUCH OIL to put into the mower.

2nd issue. The manual then says, "Make sure you add oil to the instructions in this manual. If you start the engine WITHOUT OIL, it will be damaged beyond repair and will not be covered under warranty." Again, I put oil in the engine (about 12oz initially and I refilled it twice to a reading of full on the dipstick ...being mindful not to OVERFILL) and yet, I am being denied warranty service. If the manual properly said, "IF YOU START THE ENGINE WITHOUT FIRST ADDING 18oz OF OIL,...." I would have PUT IN 18oz of OIL. And I would not be typing this email today. I'd be mowing my lawn.

3rd issue. There are grass clippings on my mower from the 4 times I used it successfully. If the mower was shipped without oil in it, clearly I put oil in it to get it to work!! Also, should the mower have become "damaged beyond repair" when operating at 3/4 the level I now know was required? No. This is a bad product. Don't buy it.

As it currently stands, Troybilt refuses to help or even put any pressure on Briggs & Stratton to honor their warranty. Briggs & Stratton tells their Authorized Warranty Service Center that they will not honor the warranty BUT, if I want to send the mower to their corporate offices AT MY EXPENSE, they'll look at it again. No thanks, I've spent enough already. Until they change their mind, I have no choice but to try helping other prospective buyers from making the same mistake in working with these two organizations.
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Junk Briggs & Stratton Engines
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P.O. BOX 702 MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN -- What's wrong with this company Briggs & Stratton and there faulty engines what ever happen to Quality Craftsmanship for example. I had recently Bought 2 years ago a Agco lawn tractor with a Briggs & Stratton 16 HP Vanguard V twin OHV engine in it and the motor was new 2007 Model # 303777 Type 1032-E.

The engine was maintained regular and filter changed Yesterday I had changed the oil again and filter after the storage from the winter and the mower ran fine for about 15 minutes and then there was a loud Knock and then a loud bang and the engine died. So I looked at the engine and oil was coming out of the top of the engine and I had pulled the plugs and checked for compression and the right Head was dead.

This kind of figures and I should have known better than to buy it because I had purchased a John Deere riding mower with the same type of engine but a 20 HP prior to this one and the problem that occurred on that was the seat for the exhaust lifter had popped out of the cheap cast aluminum head and screwed everything up.

Today I had spent 48 minutes on hold with Briggs & Stratton. But to no avail I had given them the motor information such as Model # 303777 and the type 1032-E1 and the code # 00040511. And there is no recorded of it this motor was new when it was installed on the AGCO 1616h mower and the only info they did have was for a snapper made in 1999 and this one has a 2006 family tag # YBSXS.4802VC for California emissions tag. So they are off on that.

So I guess the warranty will not be honored what so ever and I would not recommend any kind of lawn equipment or any type of Briggs & Stratton gas engines they are undependable pieces of junk comprised from Japanese & Chinese and other imported crap.

Its simple Buy USA made machines Not the John Deere with B&S engines I had a John Deere 140 from the earlier 70s that had a Kohler cast Iron engine that was a work horse never died ran all day without problems & I wish I had kept it but it was not enough for 5 acres

I had wasted for the 2 mowers with the B&S engines close to $3,200.00 So if your reading this and plan on buying a Mower with a Briggs & Stratton cast Aluminum engine be weary because you'll be posting here also and I can say I told you so. I'll post some picture's here later of them in their current state after being Shot with 12 gauge slugs that about all their good for now Buy USA or German motors

Austin From Kansas
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User Replies:
Justin on 07/01/2012:
Sounds like a crock but here's my 2 cents. All of the vanguard engines I've used and seen on a variety of different power equipment has out performed Kawasakis hondas kohlers and a few others. Is it everything and everyone else or is it you seeing that this isn't the first time. Some people have bad luck and that sucks but listen to yourself and by the sound of it looks like you don't even put oil in them because they are engineered to go for thousands of hours trouble free and still keep on running and running don't listen to this drama queen he's clearly off his rocker
Az Scooter on 11/16/2012:
I have a fleet of Briggs motors. Many of them purchased in the past year. None of them have more than 500 hours, and out of the 16 I have bought, 8 of them have blown heads, oil seals, or had other major repair work. I have been fortunate to find a dealer that will go to bat to get them fixed, but really, I cannot afford the downtime, and the risk of my customers dissatisfaction by a total failure on Briggs part. At this point, I am planning a complete retrofit of Kohler's
Stanley on 12/27/2012:
I also have 18hp vanguards that have been giving my co. nothing but problems.Warped heads,oil leaks etc. Bought 1 new Kohler 19 efi and plan on phasing all of our Briggs out.Pretty bad when you can't trust Briggs.I have been in business for 25 years and as far as I am concerned Briggs has hit an all time low in consumer confidence.
KevinTX on 06/18/2014:
I had a B and S engine in my past Craftsman Mower (hand me down tractor). One day while mowing, I smelled something burning, I pulled into the garage and let it rest. Later went out and tried to start it, no luck, it had locked up. Rep at Sears had me test spin it with no luck. Luckily the original purchaser, my dad, bought an extended warranty and Sears replaced the motor under warranty (don't get my started on how long that took and how many mismatched engines were shipped to me)... but here's the kicker, they didn't replace the engine with the SAME engine, they sent me a different B and S engine... so apparently, B and S quit making that certain engine, apparently they knew it was a problem engine! I won't buy anything with a B and S engine anymore, actually, I never did.. let me restate, my father won't buy another B and S engine :) My current mower has a Kawasaki! :)
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Nikki Carb Problems
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I own a genrac 6500 generator with a Briggs 10 horspower engine. The engine and generator are fine, but the nikki carburator is to finicky. every time we have bad weather for-casted that may cause a power outage I have to dissemble the carb an clean it in order to get the engine to run. I am sick and tired of this process. I have tried using stabil in the gas , extra filters in line, and running the carb dry to no avail. Last year I had a new carb put on the engine at a cost of nearly $100. dollars and still have the same troubles. My conclusion is these carbs have to be run often to keep them clear.

I have atiller with a warbro carb which gets run no more often than the generator that has never given me any trouble. Just showes which is in my opinion is the better carb .
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trmn8r on 12/15/2010:
How often do you run it? We had an engine generator that was WWII surplus, darned thing was 5' x 3' x 3' high. Dad ran it every 2 months. I think I'd do the same, even with modern technology.
hal on 06/05/2012:
ethanol is causing problems for engines,carb.problems especially!unless you can find a station that has no ethanol in gas you will continus to have problems if you don't run engine regularly!thank your frderral gov.for this!outboard motors and small engines are having jet plugging trouble because of ethanol!!
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