Common problems found on Kohler Courage single cylinders



I can list many problems with these engines ……..Val covers that leak /Starters that wont engage because there built piss poor. Oh and the worst is the fact after about a year or two you can expect a carb kit[with needle and seat]to be placed because gasoline will have found its way into the crank case[oil sump]. The suppliers or dealers know this to so keep this in mind on your next purchase . Also be very weary about the type of mower you purchase [Cub Cadets have a lot of trans problems]Troy built as well .

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34 thoughts on “Common problems found on Kohler Courage single cylinders

  1. Glad I watched this . I just bought a 25 hp twin Kohler courageous Husqvarna mower. Sounds like they don't have as many problems

  2. I just want to add that I have run a courage 16hp single cyl without issues for 7 years now. Only doing routine maintenance (+ the cam cover seal) and lawning a 4500m2 lawn with heavy slopes with the jonsered lt2115. But I have removed the cam cover and sealed it to avoid the oil leakage, it was just to remove the cover, clean it and add some kind of tube gasket together with the fitted gasket. The mower is 2nd hand, from 2005.

  3. kevin my starter's plunger does not extend so the starter gear is not engaging the engine flywheel. just get a whining sound although the starter is spinning? any fix to your knowledge or is it new starter time? thanks

  4. Had one of these come into my shop because the owner had destroyed the carburetor bowl. He was a cheap ass so I bought an aftermarket carb for it. I put the carb on it and it ran fine for maybe 2 minutes and the internal governor broke. OK, took it apart and replaced the governor. It ran great for a few minutes and blew a head gasket. Son of a bitch! I couldn’t believe it. Customer was pissed and thought I was making crap up just to run his bill up. So I replaced the head gasket and it ran fine. After that I no longer work on single cylinder Kohler Courage engines. I’ll do repairs to the rest of the mower but I won’t touch the engine. I also tell the customer if anything happens to the engine while the mower is at my shop I’m not responsible.

  5. Our company paid the 30 dollar lead from home advisor to remove a lawn tractor a lady wanted gone well to make the story short I get there it’s a dam Troy built Bronco other than the thing being slightly dirty I turned the key it fired right up moved on its own absolutely nothing wrong with the unit it was the kohler courage 17 horsepower engine with the bagger system on it, I’m going to do an oil change and replace oil filter and sharpen and balance blades I’m not certified for small engine repair but I do know to work on them very extensively probably fixed cleaned or replaced carbs from bowl carbs to diaphragm carbs in my life time any how think I’m going to clean the Troy built bronco make it look nice and shines and in all honesty I’d bet the tractor doesn’t have 30 hours of run time on it I figure they sell for around 1,400 to 1,800 with bagger system going to ask 850 for it

  6. My 2006 1042 after a yr the engine had a knock & oil leaking from cracked block, the dealer said its a problem so they replaced engine @ a cost of 250$ for labor, not happy with the whole Cub cadet junk, kholer 19hp

  7. Here's a hint, don't leave your mower out in the rain, keep an eye on the seals and gaskets, and for the barb, get a Walboro, or use clean ethanol free gas, Kohler courage is a fine motor IF you do the regular maintenance, What kind of cub do you have with a piss poor frame? I have two one has a Courage one has a 18 hp Briggs IC the Kohler is the spare simply because the Briggs equipped one has all its beauty trim

  8. Well, I guess mine was over looked in the problem dept. My Husqvarna was purchased in 2009 with the 21 hp 610 Kohler Commander and with 710 hrs on the clock, 0 problems. Regular maintenance every season and its stored outside with a tarp.

  9. With you calling the afterfire solenoid a "afterfar settaloyd", and all, I'm not really sure that you're the right person to be posting a product review of, well, anything.

  10. I have a 2007 Kohler Courage single cylinder engine on my Craftsman rider and it Stihl is running strong. I must of got the one that wasn't a lemon. However I did buy the valve cover kit that comes with the extra piece metal to go on the bottom to stop the leak.

  11. Kevin,
    I was given a 2006 Toro LX420 with this same engine in it. The guy said it might have puked a head gasket. It was leaking fuel today when I picked it up as well. After seeing your video I am not sure I want to bother trying to fix this engine at all. Is there a good replacement engine I can source? Also, if you were going to buy a good used lawn tractor, what brand, year etc would you be looking for, say around the $500 mark.
    Thanks a lot
    Kevin H.

  12. So he lets it sit in the rain ? and complains that things go wrong ?I'll bet he even uses ethanol gas in it… I have the 1045 hydro, and it does nothing but work !

  13. Wrong, until today, I've never have had no problem with this engine, bought it new in 2006, still running today june 2019, 13 years of mowing a 2 acre yard, last month put my 1st drive belt o. It. Toro timecutter z5000

  14. Is there a different carburetor to put on this mower? I dont mind if I have to fabricate something to make it work.

  15. There is nothing wrong with the Kohler courage line as long as you stay away from the single cylinder models , the vtwins are essentially detuned command motors with a few slightly lesser stought parts on them compared to the command motors. If you take care of an engine and know how to properly do so honestly even the biggest piece of shit can become a very reliable unit as long as you know how to care for it as well as fix general problems if you have mechanical skills. Ive got a 22hp courage vtwim with well over 800 hours on it , Ive heard of people blowimg theirs up after just 300-400 hours and I have no idea what they are doing to them but this sounds like a lack of proper care issue more than a true equipment failure. How could I have 800 hours on mine and it doesn't leak or burn even a drop of oil all season and has never let me down except for head gasket failure that was my own fault because I ran it without the fan shroud and engine cover for half a summer over heating the piss outta it every week that I mowed with it, so that I can't blame on the manufacturer , but Even if it were say a manufacturer fault id still say that I almost consider head gasket replacement on machines like this to be almost considered expected maintenance that just needs to be done over time. Another thing is , honestly what do you really expect when you buy a cub cadet or any other MTD made machine that rates in the home owner class as far as expected use and quality and strength in design are considered. Those cud cadets are only like $1400 bucks at tractor supply what do you expect for that price. Go spend $3500 on a good tractor or a decent smaller zero turn and you'll end up with a considerably better piece of equipment that has much better components on it for the most part. You get what you pay for. I'd personally never even buy a lawn tractor to begin with because nearly all of them are pieces of shit. You don't see the same issues and failures with zero turns as you do with lawn tractors, like I said you get what you pay for. And honestly dude your gonna knock an engine because it has a few bolts come loose and developes valve cover leaks ? Are you kidding me ? Are you afraid to chip a nail or something, shit like that I don't even bat an eye on , I just address it and move on , neither is really any big deal at all if you have half a brain and can work on these things , but if you don't even know what way to turn a bolt to loosen or tighten it then I'd say yeah maybe that loose bolt did cause a problem on your machine but itd be your own fault you let a failure occur as a result because your too big a freaken moron to know how to use a wratchet and work on or maintain one of the easiest types of gas driven machines in existence. I understand if you don't know how to do a timing belt on a quad cam 24 valve Honda vtec 6cylimder motor or do a headgasket job or replace valve stem seals on a modern day automobile , but if your a dude and you can't even take care of a tractor your a fucking worthless idiot who deserves to have their equipment break down in my eyes honestly because your not a man your a bitch with a dick.

  16. Not saying the OP is wrong, as I am certain several Courage engines do suffer similar issues, but being the internet age, what actual percentage are we talking about…? like a a few hundred or a few thousand out of a couple hundred thousand or what? I asked 2 friends that do small engine repair, and they agreed this engine has issues, but also said, that almost all engines have issues. So is it unusually bad or just the norm now?

  17. Hi I hope you can give me sone advice and help? We I have one of these in the garden centre unfortunately. It has had no problems apart from a new deck(Husqvarna shell) but the engine starts runs for just over a second then dies. I've cleaned the tank, replaced the fuel lines and clamps and fuel filter. The pump works ok and so does the fuel solinod on the carb. We even just got the carb sonic cleaned before making the jump to and expensive replacement (Walbro 2) I'm concerned about the compression reading. I'm getting between 80 and 90 psi! The service manual says it should be 160 psi. Please do you have any ideas. Could the piston rings be shot? Oh I adjusted the valve clearance. IN 0.005 OUT 0.007 It's the SV580 model with the fuel pump on the air filter housing. If I have low throttle is goes for a tiny fraction longer. It fires every single time.

  18. Kevin….excellent tips and comments:-) I run all 2000 series cubs and the hour meters are 1350 on my Onan 14, 695 on my Kohler command 16, 1175 on my Kohler command "V" twin 18, and 1109 on my Kohler 18 hp boxer! Zero problems and they were all bought used and abused, but regular oil changes, using Lucas and MMO in gas and oil, religiously cleaned them to run like new. Using these hard in a ranch setting to mow pasgures has shown their metal, so I like the older technology.

  19. They are overated and are poorly ingeneered. The 36hp V-twin had engine seized up in 7 minutes on 3 different engine. Coil toasted and the EFI hydrolic lifter cannot go under Sae 20w50 or synth cause they are ticking.

  20. Take the solenoid off the damn thing and put an inline fuel shutoff valve in the fuel line and get a short bolt from the hardware store to put in the bottom of the carburetor bowl in place of the solenoid problem solved permanently.

  21. Maybe you can give me some advice. I have a cub cadet xt1 with a 18hp kohler courage that I bought in early 2017. Engine has 36 hours on it and is always in my shed. The pinion gear was sticking on the starter so I lubed it up and it works fine now. I run the machine out of fuel every fall to avoid carburetor problems. The first start of 2018 the engine would surge/loop from idle to 3/4 throttle but normal at full throttle. This year it’s still surging but at full throttle it has a very light stumble to it, not very noticeable but I have been a professional automotive technician for almost 20 years so I pick up on things like that, to me it’s running a bit rich. I took the carb off just to see if there was some crap in it but it is super clean like the day it was built. I used propane and carb cleaner to check for an air leak and there are no air leaks. I know the spark plug was find but I changed it anyway champion rc12yc. Again I put the machine away fall of 2017 running great, first start of 2018 it was surging/looping. I know it’s still under warranty but I’d rather just fix it rather than have to load it up on my trailer and drive 30 minutes. Any input would be appropriated. Thanks

  22. have an old cub cadet( IH old early 1970's) ran great this past winter plowing snow. put the deck on to mow and it runs great for about 40 min then loses power and back fires. any solutions?

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