A Smoking Lawn Mower, What Does it Mean?

Why your lawnmower emits smoke when operating? Learn more about this common lawn mower problem and its remedy.

Different Types of Lawn Mower Smoke and their Meaning

The color of the smoke is a huge indicator of what is happening on the machine. For instance, some lawn mowers produce black smoke, whereas others emit white smoke. Thus, the first thing you need to do is familiarize the type of smoke and its meaning.

#1 Black Smoke 

Black exhaust smoke coming from the lawnmower indicates a problem in the machine’s carburetor and fuel system. These parts regulate the mower’s ratio of gasoline and air mixture. If these parts do not function well, it results in a higher percentage of gasoline over the air, causing black smoke.

If the lawnmower is creating black smoke, check first the air filter. Chances are the air filters are clogged preventing the air to reach the carburetor. Generally, cleaning is the best solution for clogged air filters. But for worse cases, it is best to remove the old set and replace it with new air filters.

#2 Blue Smoke 

If your lawnmower creates blue smoke, worry not! The truth is, it is not that serious.

Blue smoke indicates overfilling crankcase or spilling oil. It can also mean you used the wrong oil grade for the machine or tilted the mower causing the oil to spill.

If you used the wrong oil grade, replace it with the right one. You can consult the equipment’s manual to find out the correct oil grade. If the case is due to spilled oil, let the mower run for roughly 15 minutes. The runtime will burn the excess or spilled oil.

#3 White Smoke

White smoke on lawnmowers could mean either good or bad. Commonly, an overfilled oil reservoir causes the machine to create heavy white smoke. Like blue smoke, allowing the engine to run for 15 minutes can help burn the extra oil. The white smoke will eventually fade.

However, there are instances that white smoke could mean an air leak in the crankcase or the cylinder and rings. Also, a broken head gasket causes the mower to produce white smoke. For such cases, it is best to ask for professional help if you do not know about repairing serious lawn mower problems.

How to Prevent Lawn Mower from Smoking

Proper maintenance prevents smoking lawnmower. Make sure to clean the air filters annually and replace if it is too old. Also, drain the gasoline seasonally or before keeping the machine in storage. Following these simple maintenance steps helps preserve the machine’s lifespan and performance. Likewise, it allows you to save trips from mechanics and avoid expensive repairs and replacements.