4 Common Kawasaki Governor Problems and Their Solutions

A governor is a crucial part of a mower as it regulates the engine’s speed while maximizing its performance. Kawasaki is among the manufacturers using a governor for their mowers. 

So, what are the common Kawasaki governor problems? Since the governor controls the engine’s speed, over-revving is the first and most common problem. Also, a faulty governor will cause the mower’s RPMs to be too high even when the engine is idling and unloaded.

It’s best to change a faulty governor immediately after you detect a problem since it plays a major role in a mower’s performance. Read on to learn more about issues and their solutions.

Common Problems With Kawasaki Governor and Solutions Table

The following table summarises the common problems with the Kawasaki governor and their solutions. They include:

Over-revving (surging)Adjust the governor,Install new springs
High RPMs IdleSet the governor’s spring to the correct position
Delayed reactionsSet the throttle plate
Poor PerformanceSet the throttle arm

Kawasaki Governor Problems and Solutions in Detail

The following section covers the points in the table in detail.

1. Over-Revving (surging)

One of the common issues with Kawasaki’s engine governor is over-revving. The users have explained the problem happens after 15 or 20 minutes of operation. The engine rpm would fall too low, almost stalling, then resume on normal RPMs.

The common reason is a misadjusted governor or overstretched springs. However, the carburetor may be responsible if adjusted too rich or lean, as its adjustments affect the RPM.  


One of the solutions is adjusting the governor, which you can do by following the user manual. If you don’t own one, you can follow the steps in the next subheading.

You may have to change the spring with a new one if overstretched. To replace the spring follow the steps below.

  • Open the screws on the plate on the governor
  • Release the spring from the control arm and then from the plate
  • Connect the new spring to the control arm and the plate
  • Screw the plate back to position

Be sure to replace it with the spring used and install it in the same position. A new spring for a Kawasaki governor can cost between $9 and $20 to buy.

2. High RPM Idle

High idle rpm in the mowers is also sometimes related to Governor problems. The mower may idle as high as 4500 rpm with no load, which may cause engine issues like overheating.

Possible causes include a misadjusted governor or a spring in an incorrect position. However, like most rpm-related problems, the carburetor may be responsible.


Ensure that you rotate the governor shaft counterclockwise to the maximum during installation. Also, check the governor’s spring and ensure it’s in the correct position as specified in the user manual.

Sometimes people confuse the position of governor spring with that of choke return spring. The spring should be just beside the governor’s arm. If the diagnosis is done by a professional it may cost up to $100.

3. Delayed Reactions

The user with this issue said that sometimes the governor would only work when the arm moved manually.

One of the reasons is the throttle plate or the governor arm malfunctioning. Also, debris or a sticking linkage between the throttle butterfly and the governor might be the cause. Wear in the shaft bearings may also be responsible.


Make sure the arm is free of debris, to do this diagnosis, follow the steps below

  • Unscrew the plate to access the arm
  • Observe the arm for any damages and debris
  • If there is a presence of debris, clean and apply lubrication to all friction points.

A throttle plate costs between $5 and $20, depending on the type of mower.  

4. Poor Performance

The governor help control the amount of fuel and air to the engine. Therefore when throttle performance gets worse, the governor is often the cause. When the governor develops issues, it can’t regulate the throttle when much or less fuel is needed.

Most times the governor’s arm has a problem and can’t open or close as expected. The arm closes the carburetor to close the throttle and reduce RPM. The governor spring always pulls the arm to open the throttle.


The solution includes replacing the governor’s arm. To replace the arm, follow the steps below.

  • Prepare the new governor arm and lubricate it
  • Unscrew the plate where the governor spring connects to
  • Disconnect the governor spring.
  • Unscrew the governor arm bolt
  • Detach the rod to the carburetor
  • Remove the governor arm
  • Install the new arm
  • Screw everything back on

A governor arm can cost between $30 and $55 to buy and install. You may also need to use an RPM Gauge (Tachometer) in the installation to read the RPMs.

How to Adjust Kawasaki Governor

Most governor problems are related to the misadjusted governor, and to solve them, you must adjust them. You can adjust a Kawasaki by following these steps.

Step 1: Confirmation – Ensure that the link spring on the throttle link rod is in position and it pulls the governor’s arm.

Step 2: Loosening – loosen the clamp nut on the governor’s arm enough that the governor shaft is easy to move

Step 3: Adjust – Turn the top part of the governor’s arm anticlockwise, which opens the carburetor throttle valve fully. Hold it in that position and turn the governor shaft anticlockwise to the end.

Step 4: Tightening – Using a torque wrench, tighten the clamp nut to 7.8 N-m (69 in-lb.)

Final Words

Most governor problems are easy to fix by following the user guide or manual. However, diagnosing these problems is sometimes time taking and may require basic knowledge of the parts. Luckily, there are a variety of tutorials that can help you diagnose them.

However, in case you’re uncomfortable with diagnosing and fixing the issues, hire a professional. Within a few days, a mechanic should be able to tell the cause of your problem and provide a solution.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top