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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - SmallEngines.ca FAQ's
How does the self-starter engine work?
Essentially, there is a large spring recoil starter system that maintains a wound spring ready to start the engine whenever you need it. This pre-wound spring eliminates the need for batteries or cords normally found with electric starters. This spring maintains enough tension to rotate the engine approximately 3 times faster and 7 times longer than pulling the rope by hand. This assures a start almost every time the spring is released.
When the mower is first taken out from the carton, the spring will need to be wound. This is because we do not ship them pre-wound. To wind the spring, simply pull the starter rope as you normally would with any pull start engine. This will essentially wind the spring and ready the unit for future starting. Then each time that you shut off the engine, the engine will re-wind that spring so it is ready for the next start.
This pre-wound spring will remain wound indefinitely until you either: a)start the engine or b) manually discharge the coil tension for repairs or maintenance. After service, the operator would need to rewind the spring, using the starter rope as if the unit were brand new.