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Briggs & Stratton / Bad service

1 United States Review updated:

I have a Briggs and Stratton home generator. The system failed during Hurricane Gustav. I could not reach anyone at the company to help me work through possible solutions. I sent an email as was suggested on the website. Five days later, I still had no reply. When I contacted the company by telephone, I was put through to someone who could help. I reached his voicemail and received a message that his mailbox was full and could not accept any more messages. I called back, and was put through to the head legal counsel to the president. She had a technician call me back. By then, 5 days after the generator failed, I finally talked to s human who could offer some possible causes for the failure. In the end, my local service company was finally able to reach me and check the generator. By then, the utility company had restored our power.

I found this company to be less than available and less than helpful when they would be most needed. I could not recommend a Briggs and Stratton home generator.

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  • Jo
      3rd of Dec, 2008

    I feel your pain.
    If you read there so-called warranty it is set up all in there favor. The warranty rep I spoke to was the most arrogant person I ever dealt with on issues like yours. I though Chevrolet was bad!

    A valve got clogged on there fuel regulator in the first 16 months and they refused to pay the $210 bill that took 20 minutes to fix and they acknowledged there is an ongoing problem. I just don't know how it is my problem. Also, the control board burnt out twice already. These things are JUNK.

    +2 Votes
  • Ke
      6th of Oct, 2009

    Yes, their customer service is TERRIBLE across the board. I have had an awful experience with them ever since buying my lawn mower from Lowe's in May, which broke on the fifth use. Never again! If you are buying a lawn mower - then this is certainly a "buyer beware" message!

    +1 Votes
  • Am
      19th of Apr, 2010

    We bought a Craftsman lawn mower with a briggs and stratton 17.5 horse motor that blew up 20days after our 2 year warranty was up!!! This engine failure was due to a loose connecting rod... breaking the connecting rod and ruining the crank shaft. Briggs would do nothing and sears said the same thing! This is proof they do not stand behind their motors.

    +1 Votes
  • Es
      12th of May, 2010

    I agree. After 3.5 mows my new Toro 22" with B&S engine blew up. Now they will not stand behind their warranty as they claim no oil was in the engine but that is false. B&S customer service is slow and unresponsive. They simply do not care so think twice before you look at a mower with a B&S engine that has a "2-year" warranty. It's not worth the paper it's printed on.

    +1 Votes
  • Jo
      13th of May, 2010


    +1 Votes
  • Db
      10th of Oct, 2010

    My turn...
    Today my 3 year old MTD with 17.5hp Briggs & Stratton (mfg date is Dec 2006) siezed with a loud bang while mowing a very small lawn. The reason for a riding mower on a small lawn is/was bad knees at time of purchase. It takes me about 15 minutes to drive the mower once a week, or an hour per month, for six months (very generous guess) of the past three seasons. So we have a siezed engine with less than 20 hours on it. A factory replacement engine will cost over $800.

    That means in ADDITION to the initial purchase price, I will have payed over $40 per hour to use the thing!!!

    Low oil? Hardly. It has had three oil changes since new. The first was after a few hours running to replace the run in oil. That was drained at the end of the first season with a few more hourson it. Last fall was oil change number three at the end of the second season. That 30w oil is still in it with less than six hours running time.

    It pains me to lift the hood this afternoon and see a brand new appearing engine that is now just another piece of junk.

    Warranty? What a joke! Two calendar years...period.

    Briggs and Stratton...are you paying attention?????
    MTD...are YOU paying attention????

    I wonder how many thousands of these junk engines sieze that are never mentioned via frustration outlets such as this one?

    Don, Ballston Spa, NY

    0 Votes
  • Re
      4th of Mar, 2011

    i bought a new mtd 20hp riding mower and mowed my lawn 15 times. it takes an hour to mow. the engine rod broke destroying the engine .the briggs rep checked the engine and said it was lack of oil. i always check the oil before mowing the engine was full of oil.they will not replace the engine.a lawnmower mechanic 40yrs experince said the rod cap bolt came loose and caused the problem., briggs will not even comment on this even though the bolt is still in the casing showing that it had backed out half an inch. consumers are at the mercy of a company who never makes a mistake. i am trying to find an attorney to handle this case and try to call attention to these kinds of poor company attitude.there is know consideration for the consumer.

    0 Votes
  • Pt
      23rd of Mar, 2011

    I bought (last summer, 2010) a push mower with B&S engine after 4 uses it failed to start, went to their warranty repair shop, was told it was due to bad gas, replaced some carburater parts and charge me 85 $ saying warranty will not cover it. I wrote to B&S, received a phone called was told they don't cover it that and that they were aware of the problem, but won't cover it. I never will buy anything with a B & S anything, a company that won't stand behind their product, won't find me behind theirs.

    0 Votes
  • 3w
      2nd of Jun, 2011

    I have a craftsman dys4500 with a Briggs and Stratton 22hp intek engine. I toped off the oil before mowing my 2 acres it blew just as I was finishing. Upon inspection I see the plastic quick change oil plug had vibrated open. I have mowed 4-5 times since changing the oil. It's clearly a manufacturing defect as the new craftsman does not have my plastic quick change oil plug on any of them. Speaking to Sears and Briggs was frustrating to say the least. Being a amputee vet on disability I don't know what I'll do now.

    -1 Votes
  • Mq
      30th of Oct, 2011

    If you would like to start a class action law suiit contact me, my mo. old exploded in my faxce no reason that briggs could explain except it had to be my fault with out explanation burned my hands very bad face and destroyed the lawanmower, just the beginning e-mail me at [protected]@bellsouth ripoff brigs

    0 Votes
  • To
      3rd of Jun, 2012

    Bought a Sears Briggs & Stratton push lawnmower 2 years ago for .3 acres. It died on the 3rd use. Returned it. Got another. Even the shipping clerk was chuckling "if it broke the first time, why get another?" It lasted until yesterday. Sears needs to go under. it is a lousy organization top to bottom.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      13th of Jun, 2012

    Bought a Husqvarna riding mower a year and a half ago. Blew a connecting rod. The dealer told B&S that it was serviced regularly by them. B&S told the dealer it had to have been starved for oil and they would not cover it. The mower went into the dealer's shop full of oil and came out of the dealer's shop full of oil. Exactly when was it starved for oil. Still waiting for final resolution.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
      15th of Apr, 2013

    Simple solution, avoid buying B&S-equipped machinery.
    Our home generator is approaching the end of its warranty and I have been hassling with them since January.

    My first comment to them occurred during a strong wind and light rain period in June of 2012 and the unit, which is stationary and intended to be installed outside, got wet inside and wouldn't start with the automatic start system.
    The following morning, I wiped down the inside of the unit and after multiple tries, finally got it running.
    It ran fine for ~150 hours (power was off 8 days) and then started to miss consistently.

    Emails went unanswered so started calling.
    3 1/2 months later, I now have names from a hand-full of their customer service people, most of whom tried to help but the dealers in WV are few and useless.
    Some do not call back, others say they don't have anyone who works outside, one admitted he was an electrician and was wqilling to come to stare at the engine if I would pay him for the 2-3 hour travel time.

    I have had Briggs & Stratton engines in a variety of gear over the years that did acceptable service for an acceptable length of time but this 7kw home generator has permanently put me off the brand.
    Hate to write it but today's B&S is just 'BS."

    Even Chinese-built engines are today superior to those from a formerly trusted American company.

    Does anyone remember that phrase "Japanese junk?"
    Heard it lately?
    They made a national hero of W. Edward Deming because he taught them all about quality, something too many US companies have abandoned.

    0 Votes
  • Mn
      23rd of Jun, 2013

    I have recently picked up a lawn mower from a salvage yard. It is a 20" "WEED EATER" brand and the reason I grabbed it is that it is in perfect, like-new condition.
    My friend owns the salvage yard and said I could take it and check it out. I have been working on small gas engines for 35 years.
    The first thing I did before I loaded it up was reached under and tried to turn the blade. I either expected it to be locked up (seized), or spin very freely with perhaps an occasional clunk (broken rod). The latter was the case.
    Now, Keep in mind that I have nothing to gain or lose from posting the following experiences. I have always had a reasonable respect for B & S engines and being a small engine mechanic, I have always been able to either catch a problem before it got too bad, or repair/resolve it in a not too costly manner.
    So I disassembled the engine and did not find any signs of seizure. What I did find was one rod bolt that was laying loose in the sump and one bolt that was still loosely screwed through a broken rod cap into the broken piece of rod.
    It appears obvious to me that these bolts had become loose and worked their way out of the rod for a period of time until the rod became loose enough aroung the crank journal to cause the rod to break. Both bolts were slightly bent and one showed significant wear where it had been rubbing and wobbling in the threads until it wore the threads enough to work its way out.
    I am in the process of cleaning up the parts. I will replace the rod, clean up some nicks on the crank, replace the sump gasket, clean and reassemble the engine and plan to use it for a considerable time. I am confident that I will get some good service from this mower once I reassemble it.
    This model engine does not have a rod bolt keeper like older engines used to have. I do not know what happened to cause this problem but I am assuming that perhaps the bolts were not torqued correctly. My own personal comfort would be knowing that the bolts cannot mechanically back out do to a "bolt keeper" so I intend to provide such prior to reassembly.
    To conclude, it is a shame that someone bought this mower and only got a very small amount of usage out of it prior to its defective failure.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
      18th of Feb, 2014

    my mother was medically ill with stage 4 cancer and was still working until they told her she could not return to work until she was better... and fired her. which in casse she lost all insurance and benefits... and she also lost her life. id like to request the dept of labor to investigate further.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      27th of Feb, 2014

    My Neighbour has recently had his ride on fail with a Brigs & stratton 19.5 hp Intek avs engine. By the look of the hole through the side of the block its thrown a rod. The journal I can see looks shiny and smooth suspect either loose bolts or inferior con rod failure (Chinese junk). The more I read about how common these failures are makes me believe that people should look at buying an engine made in Japan eg Honda or Kawsaki or what ever but not BS.
    This engine is 3 years old and serviced.
    Mick J

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      30th of Apr, 2014

    After reading all the problem's that people have with the Briggs & Stratton 17.5 hp overhead valve engine's it looks like the engine is a great dud I was told to go and fit some other brand of engine to my mower the joke was on me for buying it . Mal Peden

    0 Votes
  • C0
      6th of May, 2014

    I am having the same issue with the connecting rod caps/bolts coming loose. I opened up my engine over the weekend to find the rod cap on one of the pistons lying in the bottom of the engine.The other rod was still connected to the crank and seems to be in perfect working order. If I was an investigator I would wonder why the cap was not on the connecting rod or at least why the rod was not still connected to the crank even if it broke the rod itself. It appears that the rod bolts eventually worked themselves loose and caused this issue. My Sears
    GT 5000 riding mower can with the 24hp els motor. It was used only when my lease house was vacant so it had very low hours on the mower. The tech at Briggs and Stratton is writing this off as my fault without even investigating/examining the motor itself. Not a very good practice for a company as well known as Briggs and Stratton. Go with Honda or kohler if you want something that will last for years.

    0 Votes
  • Sc
      2nd of Aug, 2014

    Briggs and Stratton 17.5 horse is a disgrace to their once good name. ###ed people as engineers. Go back to the drawing board and use your designs from thirty years ago.

    0 Votes
  • Ri
      11th of Sep, 2014

    I have a craftsman 19.5 hp single briggs about 100 hrs wouldnt run repl head gsket then head was leaking thru int vlve put a new head on it (140) same thing backfires thru carb, new flywheel key I am done with it am looking for a non ohv engine 12hp or so the older ones seem so much better this new briggs is junk my main mower is a cub cadet and hS A KOHLER TWIN WITH 600 HRS STILL GOING STRONG

    0 Votes

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