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Lawn Mower has Blue Smoke Coming From Exhaust

The infamous blue smoke coming from the exhaust is a sign of burning oil. You can also verify this by removing the spark plug. You will see a shiny black or gooey appearance on the electrode side.

Now you may have simply overfilled the engine with oil so that is the first place to start. Remove the dipstick, wipe it off and then re-insert. Pull it out and then check the level. On Asian brand engines, you do not need to screw the dipstick into the case, simply dip it in and put it back out.

If the oil level is fine, then something internal may be causing the problem. You could have a blown head gasket, a bad breather valve, your piston rings are worn or the oil seal for your intake valve is bad.

These are items that would be best diagnosed by a lawn mower engine mechanic as they have the proper tools and information to do these tests. You can find a lawn mower shop near you by visiting our Locations page. Let them know the symptoms of your lawn mower engine problems and give them as much information as you can to assist with the proper diagnosis.

What Kind of Gas Should I Put in My Lawn Mower?

Your lawn mower is usually has a 4-cycle engine on it. Some older models had a 2-cycle engine but there are not many of those left so we won’t worry about them.

A 4-cycle engine is designed to work on unleaded gasoline. There are normally 3 or 4 different octane levels of gasoline available. 85, 87, 90 and 93 are very common throughout the country. A lot of people are under the misconception that if they buy 93 octane, their engine will run better when actually the opposite will occur. A higher octane fuel is designed for a higher compression engine. Most lawn mower engines are on the lower scale of compression.

Find the lowest octane rating such as 85 and that will work fine. You could also use non-ethanol fuel to help prevent your carburetor from experiencing problems. Ethanol has been a terrible additive for gasoline engines and especially carburetor engines. Ethanol is alcohol and it attracts moisture and this adds water to your fuel. Water is never good to have in fuel.

Do not put E-85 in your lawn mower gas tank or any other alternative fuels. They will destroy your engine over time. So if you just stick with regular old pump gas, your lawn mower will run like it should.

My Lawn Mower Dies and Will Not Restart

This is a fairly common problem and it seems to get worse when it gets hot outside. After a while the lawn mower will restart and then you can mow for a while and then the same thing happens over again.

The most likely culprit here is that the ignition system is heating up and then breaking down inside. When it breaks down, it will cause the ignition coil to stop producing spark and thus the engine dies.

When your engine does die, test for spark by installing an inline spark tester and then cranking the engine. If you do not see any spark, you can assume that your ignition system is at fault. Further testing will need to be performed to narrow down the issue. You will need to know if it is the engine or the machine kill system. You can isolate this by disconnecting the kill system and then checking for spark.

If you need technical assistance with your lawn mower that dies, visit our Locations page to find a shop near you. Professional lawn mower repair companies are available to help.

My Lawn Mower Leaks Oil Out of the Exhaust

If your lawn mower suddenly developed a problem with oil leaking out of the exhaust, it could be a simple fix or a more complex one.

The simple fix could be that you simply overfilled it with oil. Check the oil level and see if that is the case. If the oil level is too full, drain some oil and check it again.

If the oil level is fine, then a component has failed in the engine. A series of tests will need to be completed to determine what the problem is. Many people do not have the tools to accomplish these invasive tests so it would be recommended that a lawn mower engine repair specialist perform them.

You can check our Locations page to see if there is a lawn mower shop near you.

If your lawn mower leaks oil out of the exhaust, it would be recommended that you do not use it until the problem has been corrected. Raw gasoline could be leaking out of the exhaust as well and it could potentially catch fire. This fire could total your lawn mower and catch other things on fire as well.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Drive Wheels Grinding Noise

Many of today’s self-propelled lawn mowers have plastic drive wheels and some have plastic drive gears as well.

Plastic does not make the best drive wheel system especially if the drive gear is metal and the driven wheel is plastic.

Carefully clean the wheels and gears with a pressure washer so you will be able to inspect them.

If you are hearing a grinding sound, you will have to remove the lawn mowers drive wheels and find out what the problem is. Look for gears that are worn down on the tops or sides of the gear teeth. If you are finding this condition, you will have to change the drive gear or the wheel or sometimes both if they are in bad condition.

Replace the parts that are bad and that should resolve your drive issue. If it does not, contact a lawn mower repair shop from our Locations page and have them inspect, diagnose and troubleshoot the cause of the problem.

Self-propelled lawn mowers are subject to a lot of dirt and debris that gets into the drive system and proper maintenance will keep your lawn mower running for years to come.

My Lawn Mower Deck Belt Won’t Engage

There are 2 types of engagement methods on a riding lawn mower. One is a manual lever and the other is a PTO or Power Take Off.

Depending on which one you have, they are completely different methods to engage your lawn mower blades.

The manual lever uses mechanical action to move a cable that is connected to a lever on the deck. This cable can break, bind or freeze up if it becomes rusted. The lever on the deck can also become stuck and not allow the deck belt to move to its taught position.

The PTO is an electrically activated device. You pull the knob and it provides power to the PTO assembly that is located at the bottom of the crankshaft. All of the safety devices must be in their proper positions for it to operate. For example, the operator must be seated, the mower must be in neutral or a forward gear. When the conditions are correct, the PTO engages a large magnet and then the belt will begin to spin the deck belt.

If either of these two systems are not working properly, contact a lawn mower repair technician in your area on our Locations page.

My Lawn Mower Won’t Pull up a Hill

A lawn mower drive problem can put a damper on cutting and maintaining your grass. Hills are where you quickly find out that your mower will no longer pull and you may notice a slowing down or slipping wheels.

If you have a drive problem, it can be in the transmission or the belts and the linkages. Most likely it is a worn drive belt if the mower has a good amount of hours on it. If it is a newer mower, a stick or other debris may have become lodged in the linkage or the transmission.

Remove your deck and inspect the drive belts, pulleys and transmission for obvious signs of wear or things missing such as springs and linkages that may have come undone. Look at the belts and if they are sitting deep in the pulley grooves, then they are worn out and your pulleys may be worn as well.

If there is a way to access the transmission fluid, check the levels of it to be sure that it has the proper amount. Check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

If you need help with your lawn mower not pulling up a hill, visit our Locations page for a shop near you.

Riding Lawn Mower Not Charging Battery

Some lawn mowers have a charging indicator built into the dash or an “Amp Meter” as they call it. This is a meter that is connected in line with the engines charging system and will give you a visual clue as to what is happening with it.

On the amp meter, you want to see it reading in the 13.7 to 14.7 volt range to ensure that battery is property charged. A fully charged batter will have somewhere around 12.7 volts and could be higher depending on the condition of the battery.

If you do not have an amp meter, a simple volt meter test can be performed. With the engine running at full RPM and nothing running on the mower, place the positive lead on the positive terminal and the negative lead on the negative battery terminal and it should read be in the 13.7 to 14.7 volt range. If it is not or if it is reading higher, your alternator or the associated wiring is faulty and will need replaced or repaired.

You also should perform a test of your battery to see if it is still good and that the acid levels are correctly filled. A lawn mower batter today will only last about 3 years before it needs replacement.

If you need help troubleshooting why your lawn mower battery will not charge, visit our Locations page for a professional near you.

Gas is Leaking From The Air Filter on my Lawn Mower

When your lawn mower sits for a while, this can happen and fuel will either spill all over the floor or will end up inside the engine crankcase.

As the fuel in the carburetor begins to degrade and breakdown over time, it can cause the seal of the needle and seat to lose its seal. When this happens, fuel from the tank will seep through the carburetor and overflow the float bowl.

The fuel then will flow out the throat of the carburetor and through the air filter and then you will see it dripping from the air box cover.

In cases like this, the carburetor will need to be cleaned, the oil changed and the air filter as well. You may also have to remove all the fuel from the fuel tank and replace with fresh fuel.

If you need help with this problem, our Locations pages has lawn mower repair companies that can clean the carburetor, change the oil and air filter and get your lawn mower working as it should once again.

Leaking fuel can cause a fire and should not be operated until the source of the problem has been corrected.

My Lawn Mower Won’t go into Gear

Riding lawn mowers can sometimes be tricky to get into gear or out of gear. These machines are made on a high speed production line and are not always exactly perfect.

Sometimes the shifting rods will become slightly bound up and a gentle rocking back and forth will get the mower into gear. You can also check to see that grass is not interfering with the shift linkages. Rocks and caked on dirt can also cause the shift linkage to bind.

Clean out the area with a leaf blower or compressed air and then lubricate the shifting rods with dry silicone or similar lubricants that don’t attract dirt and debris.

If this does not fix the problem, then something internally may be the problem or you may not have enough fluid in the transmission. Check the fluid level and add more if necessary.

If the problem is internally in the transmission or gear case, it would be best to have a professional resolve that for you. You can find a lawn mower transmission repair shop on our Locations page.