5 common Kawasaki Governor Problems (+ Solutions)

When the Kawasaki governor malfunctions, it can lead to a frustrating experience with erratic engine behavior.

This blog post dives deep into the world of Kawasaki governor problems, equipping you with the knowledge to diagnose and potentially fix common issues. We’ll explore the governor’s function, delve into typical problems, and provide troubleshooting steps to get your engine running smoothly again.

This guide will delve into common issues, their causes, and practical solutions.

What is a Kawasaki Governor?

A governor in a Kawasaki engine regulates the engine speed by controlling the throttle. It ensures the engine runs smoothly under varying loads by maintaining a constant speed.

When the governor malfunctions, it can lead to erratic engine performance, which can be frustrating and potentially damaging to the engine.

Kawasaki Governor Problems

1. Engine Surging

One of the most common issues is engine surging, where the engine speed fluctuates erratically. This can be caused by several factors, including a maladjusted governor, clogged fuel filters, or air intake issues.

2. Engine Running Too Fast

When the governor fails, the engine might run at excessively high speeds, which can cause significant damage. This issue often stems from a broken or misaligned governor spring or a stuck throttle.

3. Engine Stalling

If the governor is not functioning correctly, it can cause the engine to stall, especially under load. This can be due to a misadjusted governor, a dirty carburetor, or faulty linkages.

4. Poor Engine Performance

Overall poor engine performance, such as difficulty starting or loss of power, can also be attributed to governor problems. This might be due to wear and tear on the governor components or incorrect settings.

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Diagnosing Kawasaki Governor Problems

1. Visual Inspection

Begin with a thorough visual inspection of the governor system. Check for visible signs of damage, wear, or misalignment in the springs, linkages, and throttle components.

2. Check Governor Settings

Ensure that the governor settings are correct. Refer to the engine’s manual for the specific adjustment procedures for your Kawasaki model. Improper settings can lead to a range of performance issues.

3. Test Engine Performance

Run the engine and observe its performance. Note any irregularities in speed, surging, stalling, or other symptoms. This can provide clues to the underlying issue.

4. Fuel System Inspection

Check the fuel system, including the fuel filter and carburetor. Clogged filters or dirty carburetors can affect the governor’s ability to regulate engine speed properly.

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How to Fix Kawasaki Governor Problems

1. Adjusting the Governor

  • Locate the Governor Arm: Find the governor’s arm on the side of the engine.
  • Loosen the Clamp Nut: Loosen the clamp nut on the governor arm to allow adjustment.
  • Adjust the Governor Lever: Rotate the governor lever to its full clockwise position while holding the throttle linkage in the wide-open position.
  • Tighten the Clamp Nut: Once adjusted, tighten the clamp nut securely.

2. Cleaning the Carburetor

  • Remove the Carburetor: Disconnect the fuel line and linkage, then remove the carburetor.
  • Disassemble the Carburetor: Take apart the carburetor carefully.
  • Clean All Parts: Use carburetor cleaner to clean all parts thoroughly, removing any debris or buildup.
  • Reassemble and Reinstall: Reassemble the carburetor and reinstall it on the engine.

3. Replacing Governor Springs

  • Identify the Springs: Locate the governor springs and check for any signs of damage or wear.
  • Remove the Old Springs: Carefully remove the old springs.
  • Install New Springs: Install new governor springs, ensuring they are correctly placed and tensioned.

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4. Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to preventing governor problems. This includes routine inspection and cleaning of the governor system, checking fuel filters, and ensuring proper carburetor function.

Tips for Preventing Kawasaki Governor Problems

Regular Inspection

Perform regular inspections of the governor system, fuel lines, and carburetor. Early detection of wear or damage can prevent more significant issues.

Use Quality Fuel

Using high-quality fuel can reduce the likelihood of deposits forming in the carburetor and fuel system, which can affect governor performance.

Follow Maintenance Schedule

Adhere to the maintenance schedule provided by Kawasaki. Regular oil changes, air filter replacements, and other scheduled maintenance tasks are essential for optimal engine performance.

Proper Storage

Store your equipment properly when not in use. Drain the fuel if the engine will be stored for an extended period to prevent gum deposits in the carburetor and fuel system.

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When to Seek Professional Help

While some governor issues can be tackled with basic mechanical knowledge and the help of a service manual, attempting repairs beyond your skillset can lead to further complications.

Here are some situations where seeking professional help is recommended:

  • Internal Governor Issues: Disassembling and repairing the governor’s internal components require specialized knowledge and tools. Leave this task to a qualified mechanic.
  • Extensive Linkage Damage: Severely bent or damaged governor linkages might require replacement, which is best handled by a professional.
  • Lack of Confidence: If you’re unsure about any step in the troubleshooting or repair process, don’t hesitate to consult a qualified small


What causes a Kawasaki engine to surge?

Engine surging can be caused by a maladjusted governor, clogged fuel filters, a dirty carburetor, or air intake issues. Regular maintenance and proper adjustment of the governor can prevent surging.

How do I know if my governor is bad?

Symptoms of a bad governor include engine surging, running too fast, stalling, or overall poor performance. A visual inspection and performance test can help diagnose the issue.

Can a faulty governor damage my engine?

Yes, a faulty governor can cause the engine to run at excessively high speeds, leading to significant damage. It’s essential to address governor issues promptly to avoid further damage.

How often should I inspect my governor system?

It’s recommended to inspect the governor system during regular maintenance intervals, as specified in your engine’s manual. More frequent inspections may be necessary if you notice performance issues.

Can I adjust the governor myself?

Yes, with the proper tools and reference to your engine’s manual, you can adjust the governor yourself. Ensure you follow the adjustment procedures carefully to avoid further issues.

Why is my Kawasaki engine stalling under load?

Engine stalling under load can be due to a misadjusted governor, a dirty carburetor, or faulty linkages. Inspect and clean the carburetor, and ensure the governor is correctly adjusted.

Final Words

Understanding and resolving Kawasaki governor problems can significantly enhance your engine’s performance and longevity. Regular maintenance, proper adjustments, and timely repairs are crucial in preventing and addressing these issues. By following the advice outlined in this guide, you can keep your Kawasaki engine running smoothly and efficiently.

George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.