White Smoke from Lawn Mower? Solve It


White Smoke from Lawn Mower.

Anyone would agree that watching a white smoke vapor out of your mower is alarming. It will send you into instant panic mode. A cliché saying goes, there is only smoke where there is a fire, but is this true for white smoke from a lawnmower?

In this post, I will thoroughly examine the various reasons why your mower may be giving off white smoke. Knowing these reasons will help you isolate the problematic component on your mower and, after that, implement a worthy solution. I will also suggest resolutions that have worked for me.

The reason lawn mower creates white smoke

White smoke emission from a mower calls for immediate attention from its owner. It is a clear and sure sign that something is amiss and needs fixing. The reasons for white smoke vary from a simple oil leak to more complex engine technicalities. These are six reasons why a lawnmower will produce white smoke.

Oil on the lawn mower Engine

Oil on the engine

This is a common yet minor reason why your mower may be producing white smoke. Mower engines are meant to function with fuel, not oil. This means that the moment oil drops on the engine, it’s bad news for the mower. Below are three reasons why oil may end up on the lawn mower engine.

Oil leaks onto the engine

Oil is essential for your mower to function correctly; however, it only servers its purpose well when poured into its cylinder. When oil leaks, it mixes up with fuel, and the mixture burns to produce smoke visible and white. Oil may start to leak as the mower ages because parts like the oil container start wearing.

While carrying out a regular mower maintenance routine, professional personnel can quickly identify this reason for a cloud of white smoke. You can also identify this cause for white smoke by carefully examining your mower. A leaking oil cylinder requires immediate action to halt the leakage, as it will not stop until the cylinder is fixed.

Oil overflows onto the engine

Oil replacement is a critical step in your regular oil maintenance routine that you cannot overlook. Oil works to lubricate essential parts of the mower to help keep them moving. Replacing your oil is an easy task that requires no particular expertise. However, it is crucial to do it with precision.

When oil overfills, it flows onto the mower engine; it mixes with fuel and burns to produce white smoke. Contrary to popular belief, too much oil will do no good for your mower; it can be a cause for white smoke. It is, therefore, essential to put the just right quantity of oil. Read the lawn mower manual for instruction about the right quantity of oil appropriate to use in your mower.

Oil spills onto the engine

A spill is a common yet unintentional mistake that may occur while pouring your oil. It is also a common cause of white smoke emission from your lawnmower. Therefore, if the smoke starts after changing or topping your lawn mower oil, then this is likely to be the reason.

Therefore, it is pivotal to take caution when pouring your oil. Do not spill any oil onto the engine during an oil change routine. If you spill oil on it, the engine will start burning the oil when you switch it on. This will cause your mower to give off a white smoke emission. This is one of the minor reasons for white smoke. It is easy to fix.

Use of the wrong engine oil grade

Using the wrong engine oil grade is a huge mistake that will cause your lawnmower to smoke white. Every engine uses a specific engine oil grade that you cannot substitute with another. If you are not aware of the right oil grade to use, consult your user manual. So, as tempting as it could be to grab the nearest oil and pour it into your mower, this may not turn out well. Make sure that you always use the correct oil grade for your engine.

Carburetor problems

 Check Lawn Mower Carburetor

The carburetor works as an internal combustion engine on a mower, and it causes white smoke when it malfunctions. The white smoke results as the engine play a key role in mixing air and fuel at a precise ratio. Carburetor associated problems are significant. Often the cause may be blocked air filters. These prevent air from flowing freely into the carburetor, thus causing problems.

Clogged air filters affect the carburetor’s ability to regulate the air and fuel mixture ratio. This will cause white smoke from your mower. Sometimes simply adjusting the carburetor will help stop the white smoke. However, if the mower produces a cloud of white smoke and odor, more severe damage has occurred to the carburetor. When this the case, there is a need to replace it.

Slanting your mower

Whether you are screwing your blades, cleaning your mower, or tilting it for other reasons, slanting your mower is almost inevitable. Sometimes you may mow the lawn on the ground sloping 15 degrees and above. This will tilt the mower enough to cause a white smoke emission.

Whatever the reason may be, slanting your mower will cause white smoke from your mower. When your mower tilts or slants, it causes the oil to spill into the fuel cylinder. Now when you switch on the mower, the mixture burns, giving off white smoke.

Air leak

Another reason why your mower might give off white smoke is an air leak in the crankshaft. The crankshaft, which is the case that protects the rotating parts of the mower’s engine, maybe leaking out air. This will cause white smoke to emit from your mower. An air leak will also affect the air available for the mower to use. With only a limited air supply, the carburetor can only use so little air for its fuel and air mixture.

Faulty head gasket

White smoke is also a sign of a faulty head gasket, which is a more serious cause for white smoke. A head gasket is a metal component of the mower used to cap the cylinder. A head gasket’s primary function is to seal the cylinder. This helps prevent oil from escaping into the combustion chamber when the engine starts.

However, with a broken head gasket, oil sucks out into the combustion chamber, it burns and produces white smoke. Another sign that confirms the white smoke is a result of a faulty head gasket is the wheezing sound from your mower.

How to fix white smoke emissions

No matter how eager you are to give your lawn a clean-cut, never use a smoking mower. Doing so may elevate simple repairable damage to the permanent destruction of your mower. Instead, seek to employ any of the following fixes for white smoke from your mower.

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Take your mower to specialist personnel

Sometimes you may fail to identify the reason why your mower is giving off white smoke. This might be because of the complexity of the problem or only the lack of expertise skills. Since it is impossible to solve the white smoke problem without identifying its cause, why not employ an expert eye.

Hiring lawnmower personnel services will guarantee skill use, making it easier to isolate the problem source. As experts are well-versed in addressing the root cause of such problems, they can help fix a white smoke problem. They will give you advice on how best to fix the white smoke problem and avoid it.

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Contact your manufacturer

Usually, garden tools such as mowers come with a warranty. When this is the case, you need not worry. A warranty assures you that the mower manufacturer will see to it that they fix the problem. Other mower manufacturers offer a warranty to replace your mower at their expense.

If your mower gets faulty and starts giving off a cloud of white smoke, do not hesitate to contact its manufacturers. They have a mandate to take action according to the terms and conditions of your warranty. This is an instant fix to your white smoke problem.

However, note that usually warranties only work if the white smoke problem is the manufacturers’ fault. This means that if the white smoke problem results from carelessness or poor maintenance habits, a warranty may be invalid.

Identify and fix the problem yourself

In some cases, the reason your mower is emitting white smoke is minor and calls for a simple fix it yourself solution. Such problems include oil white smoke due to overflowing onto your engine or tilting your mower. After all, all that you need to do is identify the cause, and you are ready to fix it. Take a very closer look at how you can fix some of these problems causing white smoke.

Lawn Mower troubleshooting

Cause: Oil spilled engine

Solution: Allow your mower to rest

Regardless of the lawn mower type, you are using, oil on the engine will cause white smoke. A quick and very easy fix would be to switch your mower off and allow it to rest for a while. This will give the smoke time to clear and provide the engine enough time to rest. After a while, switch your mower back on and continue use.

Cause: Oil overflow

Solution: Refer to mower manual

Often lawn mower owners, especially the experienced ones, are reluctant to read the mower manual. Therefore, they miss essential pointers, such as the maximum quantity of oil the mower must carry, leaving greater risk for an overflow.

In order to fix the problem of white smoke caused by an overflow of oil, you need to empty the oil. After doing so, revisit your manual for information on the right quantity of oil to use. Then measure the correct quantity of oil to use and carefully pour it into the mower.

Cause: Faulty head gasket

Solution: Replace the head gasket

As mentioned earlier in this article, a head gasket plays a vital role in a mower’s functionality. However, when a head gasket is damaged, it is irreparable. This means that there is a need to replace a faulty head gasket with one that functions well.

Replacing your head gasket is not too difficult but requires skill. Therefore, if you feel you have inadequate skill and know-how, you may choose to employ a professional’s services.

Cause: Carburetor problem

Solution: Adjust carburetor screws

A carburetor problem is a complex reason for a white smoke emission from your mower but fixing it is sweat-free. White smoke caused by this problem is fixed by simply adjusting a few screws.

However, it is essential to know the right screws to adjust to solve the problem. In order to identify these screws, you are required to visit your lawn mower manual. The guide will take you through a systematic process of how to adjust the screws properly.

When fixing a white smoke problem related to a carburetor problem, you must remember to sniff for an odor first. If you can identify a gas odor, then this signifies that the problem emanates from a bigger deal. Then you will need to replace your carburetor.

Final verdict

A white smoke emission is simply your mower’s language of telling you that something is wrong. It means that somehow, there is a disruption in the functionality of your mower. In order to prevent further damage, switch off your mower immediately and detect the reason for the white smoke. Now you know where to look, you will have no trouble finding the problem source.

To help prevent disrupting another beautiful mowing day, regularly check for faults on your mower that may cause a cloud of white smoke. You can always save yourself a few pennies by fixing the white smoke problem yourself and hiring an expert for complex complications. Understanding your mower will now help you take much better care of it.

Kazi Taslim

Kazi Taslim


Poweredgrip ensures an expert team of writers, to provide you with excellent informational and unbiased content. We are dedicated to giving you much smoother and best up to date information. We share the incomparable tricks, tips that give you awareness and confidence for making your buying decision. We are a very enthusiastic, dedicated and hard worker. Kazi Taslim is the Author and Editor of our experienced writing team.

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