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Old 11-16-2018, 10:32 AM   #1
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white smoke from lawnmower


Hi-


I was mowing some heavily weeded areas of the yard this morning and I ran over a trash bag hidden in the grass. The mower stopped immediately. I turned it over but saw no obstruction. It shot the bag out completely I guess. I was able to turn the blade and so I righted the mower and gave the handle a pull but it did not start and a bunch of white smoke came out from the pipe in the front (muffler?). I did not try to start it again.



Do you think that the mower will start if I let it cool down? I don't want it to catch on fire! Is there anything else I need to look at?


Thanks...
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:36 AM   #2
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Some oil might have got in the cylinder, if it doesn't start you may need to clean the spark plug.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:40 AM   #3
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Thanks for the fast reply. Is removing the spark plug an easy thing or will I need a special tool? I guess I'll give it a little more time to cool off and give it another go and see what happens.
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Old 11-16-2018, 10:45 AM   #4
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


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Originally Posted by penelope.p View Post
Thanks for the fast reply. Is removing the spark plug an easy thing or will I need a special tool? I guess I'll give it a little more time to cool off and give it another go and see what happens.
You would need a socket wrench or a cheap spark plug wrench, but I would just try starting it. If it pulls with no resistance, that would mean something broke inside.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:17 AM   #5
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


try to start it - if it starts and runs, the oil will burn out in a few minutes.
then continue on to your tasks.
if it doesn't start at all - then remove the spark plug and clean it.
(or replace it if it is several years old).
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:38 AM   #6
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Thanks To Nealtw and Johnny_inFL for the replies! I did manage to get it to start on the second pull. The whole mower seemed to vibrate a lot more than usual and a bunch of white smoke came out for about 10 seconds, then it seemed to clear up but after a few more seconds more white smoke began to come out in increasing amounts. So I turned it off. Even after it was off, some smoke still wafted out of the pipe.



I'll wait and try it again and see if the smoke still comes out. I've had that happen before, usually after I haven't used the mower in a while, but not this much smoke and it always stops after a couple of seconds.
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:40 PM   #7
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


if you have too much oil in the case, it will also do that
when the machine is tilted too far.
and -- if it pops really loud with smoke, that is an indication
that some gas also got into the cylinder causing a malfunction.
the shake rattle and roll is common when that happens.
I have learned not to tilt the machine with the gas tank on top.
tilt it so the gas is at the lowest part of the tilt.
the standard procedure when turning a mower upside down
for any kind of maintenance is to drain all the oil and gas first.
this will "help" eliminate future issues such as this.
and possibly save your machine from damage beyond repair.

are you talking about a riding machine or a walk behind ????

.

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Last edited by Johnny_inFL; 11-16-2018 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 11-16-2018, 12:41 PM   #8
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


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Originally Posted by penelope.p View Post
Thanks To Nealtw and Johnny_inFL for the replies! I did manage to get it to start on the second pull. The whole mower seemed to vibrate a lot more than usual and a bunch of white smoke came out for about 10 seconds, then it seemed to clear up but after a few more seconds more white smoke began to come out in increasing amounts. So I turned it off. Even after it was off, some smoke still wafted out of the pipe.



I'll wait and try it again and see if the smoke still comes out. I've had that happen before, usually after I haven't used the mower in a while, but not this much smoke and it always stops after a couple of seconds.
When you turned it over some oil snuck into the rings on the piston and it will just take a little running for that to work it's way out and burn off.


There is a soft metal keyway on the flywheel. It is meant to fail when you hit an immovable object with the blade. If it sheers right off the motor will not run. But if it just cut it a bit it can throw the motor out of time and can cause the motor to run rough. You may want to have that changed.
This video shows what I am talking about so you ask for that to be changed. It is not something that they change normally.
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Old 11-16-2018, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Two comments, as Johnny mentioned there is a risk when tipping a mower to look underneath that oil from the pan below will get into places it shouldn't. Carburetor up is what I have always followed.
And, never turn the mower blade by hand without removing the ignition wire from the spark plug. Even then be careful.

Bud
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:06 PM   #10
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Thanks for the replies everybody!


Johnny_inFL: There wasn't any popping. I tilted the mower (it's a walk behind) all the way on it's side but not upside down. The gas tank was at the bottom when I tilted it. I didn't know that it made a difference but I guess I got that right by accident.


Bud9051: Well, in that case I do know that the carburator was down. But then if I tilt so that the carb is always up, then the gas tank will be at the top. Confused...


I don't know how to remove the ignition wire, but I do always disconnect the battery before, and I didn't touch the blade with my hand but with a broom handle. Messing with the blade of the mower makes me very nervous. Does disconnecting the battery do the same thing as removing the ignition wire?


Nealtw: I did start the mower one more time and this time I did not notice any vibration.


I was happy to see that there was no white smoke either, but after about 10 seconds I began to see the smoke again and it began to build up like before. It made me nervous so I turned it off.



So do you guys think that if I start it up I should just run it and see if the smoke goes away? How long should I keep running a smoking mower before I give up?
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Last edited by penelope.p; 11-16-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:15 PM   #11
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Quote:
Originally Posted by penelope.p View Post
Thanks for the replies everybody!


Johnny_inFL: There wasn't any popping. I tilted the mower (it's a walk behind) all the way on it's side but not upside down. The gas tank was at the bottom when I tilted it. I didn't know that it made a difference but I guess I got that right by accident.


Bud9051: Well, in that case I do know that the carburator was down. But then if I tilt so that the carb is always up, then the gas tank will be at the top. Confused...


I don't know how to remove the ignition wire, but I do always disconnect the battery before, and I didn't touch the blade with my hand but with a broom handle. Messing with the blade of the mower makes me very nervous. Does disconnecting the battery do the same thing as removing the ignition wire?


Nealtw: I did start the mower one more time and this time I did not notice any vibration.


I was happy to see that there was no white smoke either, but after about 10 seconds I began to see the smoke again and it began to build up like before. It made me nervous so I turned it off.



So do you guys think that if I start it up I should just run it and see if the smoke goes away? How long should I keep running a smoking mower before I give up?
https://www.lawnmowerfixed.com/white...rom-lawn-mower
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Old 11-16-2018, 05:11 PM   #12
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Thanks Nealtw! That link is a great resource and after reading it over I ran the mower and the smoke cleared after about a minute. I really do appreciate your help and everybody else's also!
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Old 11-17-2018, 08:28 AM   #13
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Re: white smoke from lawnmower


Quote:
Penelope: I turned it over but saw no obstruction. . . . .
after thinking it over some more, I strongly suggest you change
the oil now . . . just in case any gas drained into the oil case.
diluted oil with gas could potentially damage the engine beyond
economical repair.

it only takes a half hour and $5 bucks for a quart of new oil.
well worth the insurance vs unnecessary expensive repairs.

.

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