NotTaR of small Gasoline Engines and Rotary Lawn Mowers : A primer on priming                     
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A primer on priming

Many small engines have replaced the choke with a primer - a rubber bulb or button that is supposed to be pushed several times before attempting to start the engine. Under the right conditions, this is a very effective approach. However, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Where behavior seems to have changed, first confirm that environmental conditions are the same and the gasoline is fresh before blaming the engine on starting problems.

If the engine operates normally once started (assuming you can get it started by some other means like squirting some starting fluid into the cylinder), then dirt may have made its way into the priming mechanism. Disassembly and cleaning may be all that is needed. However, there really isn't much to it: Pressing the primer just pushes some air into the carburetor, which squirts some gas via the main carburetor jet to the intake pipe. There really isn't much that can wrong as long as the rubber primer bulb and connecting tubing (if the primer isn't on the carburetor itself) is in good condition.

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