Small engine repair

Yesterday was a busy (but productive) day of yard work and house cleaning to prepare for guests who are arriving tonight. As is often the case when things need to be done on a time schedule, nothing wanted to work right. My lawn mower would not start at all. My leaf mulcher ran well for a while then suddenly wouldn’t re-start. My vacuum cleaner was bellowing smoke. Sigh.

The vacuum cleaner I managed to repair by taking it partially apart, finding the problem, and fixing it. It turned out to be easier to fix that I anticipated once I determined what the problem was.

The lawn mower I simply chose to do without after some preliminary attempts a trouble shooting were not productive. After all, I really just wanted it to mulch and bag the leaves on the lawn, and I could do that using the leaf mulcher instead (albeit with much more effort). My lawn doesn’t look nearly as nice as it would have using the mower, but it’s presentable.

The leaf mulcher was a bigger problem. It had been working fine for several hours when it suddenly wouldn’t start again after I had turned it of to empty the bag. This was a real problem since the lawn mower had already been eliminated as an option.

I added more gas. It still didn’t start.

I double-checked the choke. It still didn’t start.

I decided maybe it was as tired as I was and just needed a break. So I came instead to get a drink and check my email. I went back out and it still wouldn’t start.

I tried every permutation I could come up with for the settings of the two choke controls. I pulled and pulled and pulled the rope until my back ached, and I had a blister on my hand. It still wouldn’t start.

I didn’t have time to take this one apart. So I decided to try an act of desperation. I got down on the ground next to it and pretended to be studying the engine (for the neighbors’ benefit), but I actually spent a few moments giving the engine Reiki.

It started on the first pull. And it continued to start right up the rest of the afternoon.

I had heard of people using Reiki on cars before, but I must admit that I was a bit skeptical. I’m not anymore. I’m definitely adding Reiki to my toolbox for small engine repair from now own. Maybe that lawn mower will be back up and running before I know it …