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Part 2: Black Smoke from my Lawn Mower

The silver lining in tonight's clouds is almost visible but the
never-ending saga of my MTD Yard Machine lawn mower continues. My
brother responded to my original post here
http://www.chromiloamin.com/2012/05/black-smoke-coming-out-of-my-lawn-mower.html
saying that I basically need to do standard maintenance on the mower,
like replace the motor oil on it, check the filter, etc. #DOH #FAIL.

I removed the spark plug and air filter, then checked that the oil
dipstick showed empty, and finally headed out to purchase the
following:

1) Motomaster 4-cycle SAE 30 small engine motor oil;
2) Champion RJ19LM small motor spark plug; and
3) Briggs & Stratton 272235S air filter.

These 3 parts and accessories purchased from CanadianTire set me back
$22 including taxes. Fast-forward a few hours later, I finished
maintenance on my mower, and was ready to start her up. It started
fine with no black smoke so I was fairly happy at that point. I was
able to trim through a few patch of grass when suddenly BAM...

... the wire cable to the gas push bar snapped renderring the mower
non-startable. I'll now have to find a way to re-connect the cut cable
and soon because dandelions are starting to sprout in my yard. I
wonder if I should just call it off on this clunker and buy a new one?
:(

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