NotTaR of small Gasoline Engines and Rotary Lawn Mowers : About squeals and other animal noises   
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About squeals and other animal noises

While some may describe the engine of an antique automobile as 'purring', this will not likely apply to most gasoline powered lawn mowers. It would seem that noise reduction is just not a high priority design issue with lawn mower engineers or marketing types. However, even if not exactly quiet, the sound made by a healthy mower should not be similar to that of a pig being tortured.

A combination of the above are also possible. For example, a loose flywheel could result in it scraping against the magneto yielding a sound like a cat being squeezed to death (or that of a first year violin student) but possibly only at high revs :-).

Of course, a badly worn engine can also result in piston and rod slap and other mechanical noises as internal parts with excessive clearances whack one another. A complete engine overhaul may be in order or just tolerate it and plan for a new mower when the final day arrives (or your neighbors take up a collection).

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