Help! My Lawn Mower Smokes White & Dies | Here Is How To Fix It Fast. White smoke from mower

Help! My Lawn Mower Smokes White Dies | Here Is How To Fix It Fast!

When it comes to maintaining the health and beauty of your lawn, having the appropriate gardening tools at your disposal can make a significant difference. One of such tools is the lawn mower. Lawn mowers deliver professional results when it comes to cutting your grass. In addition, they make it possible for you to cut the grass in a short time, which ensures that you will have more time for other tasks and projects. If your lawn mower white smoke then dies, read this article!

However, just like any machine, lawn mowers sometimes can also malfunction. For instance, it is common for lawn mowers to blow out white smoke before they suddenly stop working. And, when it occurs during the peak mowing season, it can be quite frustrating.

However, do not worry! It might just mean that there was an oil spill on the engine, which is an easy problem to fix. Having said that, in some cases, your lawn mower might also blow out black or blue smoke, indicating different issues.

So, if your lawn mower is blowing smoke and suddenly shutting down, keep reading! We will discuss the causes of white smoke in lawn mowers what you can do to fix it.

White Smoke Is Not Always A Serious Issue!

The emission of a small amount of white smoke from a lawnmower is a common occurrence. However, white smoke from a lawn mower is not always a serious issue. In most cases, this indicates that the gas feed jet has become blocked.

If you have been using a lawn mower for a few years, there is a big chance that you might have encountered this situation at least once. White smoke from your mower may look like a serious problem, but the solution is simple in most cases.

There are a lot of different things that could be causing your lawn mower to blow out white smoke and shut down. Once you completely understand all of these factors, it will be much easier for you to take the necessary measures.

Following are some reasons why a lawn mower will typically emit white smoke:

  • Cylinder and/or rings are worn
  • Damaged piston rings or cylinder
  • Engine overfilled it with oil
  • The engine that has completely worn out
  • Moisture build-up in the tank
  • Mower tipped over incorrectly
  • The breather tube is obstructed
  • There is an air leak in the crankcase
  • Using oil grades that are not suitable

Fortunately, in most cases, figuring out and resolving issues of this nature does not require a specialist’s assistance. For further information, check the manual that came with your lawn mower. If you don’t have the manual itself, you can typically find it and download it from the manufacturer’s website by searching the name and model number of your mower plus the word “manual.”

Troubleshooting A Lawn Mower For White Smoke

Before we move on towards discussing the causes of white smoke in lawn mowers, let’s just quickly go over a quick troubleshooting guide. It will help you pinpoint the exact reason behind a malfunctioning lawn mower and save you a lot of time.

  • Check the air filter first, and change it if it’s unclean.
  • Check the oil level next. Then, if necessary, fill with the right grade of oil.
  • Mowing at steep angles for an extended time can also result in smoke due to oil leaks. So, make sure caps are fully tightened.
  • To burn out any oil that could have gotten into the engine, start the mower and let it run for 10 to 15 minutes.

Now, let’s move on to have a more in-depth conversation about each of the issues. I will also describe the steps and measures that need to be taken in order to solve such problems and avoid them from occurring in the future.

Moisture Build-Up in the Tank

When it comes to the lawn mower, it is not a good sign that there is water in either the fuel line or the fuel tank. It always has the potential to cause engine problems. When the water has invaded the cylinder, it won’t be easy to light the cylinder. Additionally, it prevents the fuel from being ignited in the correct manner. In most cases, an excessive amount of condensation is the source of the water.

You can place the responsibility for this on the environmental factors. But, there are also times when a wobbly gas cap could cause it. You must empty the tank and fill it with new, untainted fuel to get rid of the water. And, it goes without saying that you must remember to get rid of the gas and oil you removed from the tank earlier in the process.

Engine Overfilled It With Oil

Even though you may believe that excess oil will simply be burned off, excessive oil can cause serious damage to the engine of your lawn mower. This is because the vast majority of engines use splash lubrication systems. Therefore, if you use an excessive amount of oil, the level of the oil will end up being higher than the splash paddle.

When this occurs, you will have issues such as white smoke. Putting in an excessive amount of oil is one of the most common reasons for white smoke, so when changing the oil in your mower, make sure that you only put in the required amount. It’s a waste of resources and won’t do your machine any good.

The solution is to let the engine cruise at a low speed while you drain the excess oil and wait for the smoke to clear. This could take up to five minutes of your time. Read the owner’s manual of your mower on a semi-regular basis to refresh how much engine oil you need to put in your lawn mower. In most circumstances, the engine oil requirement for your lawnmower should not exceed 20 ounces.

However, make sure that you use the exact quantity. After the engine has been lubricated with oil, use a dipstick to find out the level of oil in the engine and ensure that it is within the recommended range. If there is any indication of an overfill, remove any excess oil.

Lawn Mower Tipped Over

Is the angle at which your lawn mower is tipped greater than 15 degrees when you mow your lawn? Maybe it is possible that you stored it in that manner or that you accidentally tipped it over. However, the vast majority of people get themselves into this situation when they are cleaning under the deck or even when they are emptying the chute.

With any lawn mower, you should avoid mowing on any surface with a slope of more than 15 degrees unless the mower is specifically designed to cut on steep heels. In addition, if performing maintenance on the mower requires you to tip it over, you should do so with the carburetor, and air filter positioned so that they are facing upwards.

Nevertheless, when people accidentally topple their mower, the oil moves from the crankcase to the cylinder, and your lawnmower begins to smoke as soon as you start cutting again. In certain instances, the oil will leak as well. The easiest way to fix this issue is to let the engine keep running until all of the oil that has made its way into the cylinder has been burnt. It is also important that you consult the user manual of your mower.

It will tell you exactly how to overturn the mower for cleaning and repairs and whether it is possible to use a particular mower on a steep area.

Head Gasket Failure

pxhere Head gasket failure leads to a malfunctioning engine which causes the production of white smoke.

It is much less likely that the head gasket will fail, but if it does, it will produce a lot of smoke. In contrast to the problems discussed previously, this one requires slightly more effort. A head gasket is made of metal and graphite.

In an engine, it is installed in the space between the cylinder head and cylinder block. It is responsible for preventing leaks in the combustion chamber. If the head gasket fails, you may experience other symptoms, such as an odd noise, oil leaks, increased pressure within the crankcase, and smoke.

Head gasket failure leads to a malfunctioning engine seal, and some pressure will inevitably be lost from the cylinder. In addition, even a very small hole in the head gasket can allow the oil to seep into the cylinder that separates the combustion chamber and the engine. The solution is to get a new head gasket installed.

However, if you discover that you have worn piston rings or rings that have failed, you will most likely need a new engine. A brand-new engine is almost always the more affordable option and comes with a warranty.

Lawn Tractor Burns Oil & Smokes Like Crazy! Easy fix! #shorts

Gas In The Oil

If your lawn mower is emitting white smoke, you may have mistakenly put oil into the gas tank. Unfortunately, this is a problem that arises quite frequently. If you made this mistake and need to fix it, empty the gas tank and fill it with fresh gas. If you want things to go more smoothly, you can use a siphon or a fluid extractor.

However, you should not start the engine if the oil has a smell similar to that of gas. This indicates that the seal on your carburetor has been broken. In this particular scenario, you should first make the necessary adjustments to the carburetor and swap out the machine’s oil before attempting to use it again.

If you try to run the engine without adding the appropriate amount of oil or fixing the problem, you could end up causing damage to the engine since the oil will be too thin because of the mixed fuel. After removing the contaminated fuel, continue operating the mower’s engine until it stops working due to the lack of fuel.

This ought to clean the gas out of the system so you can put in new gas. If the engine will not start despite your best efforts, the carburetor most likely needs to be cleaned.

Damaged Piston Rings

Several different factors can lead to the piston rings becoming damaged. However, the worn-out or dirty air filter is the most common cause of this problem. This problem is pretty much unavoidable if you don’t perform proper and regular maintenance on your mower. Due to dirty air or worn-out air filters, dust and other minute particles can enter the combustion chamber, which could cause severe damage to the piston rings.

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Since piston rings regulate the amount of engine oil and drain any surplus oil from the combustion chamber, if you have damaged piston rings, it will not be possible to prevent oil from getting into the combustion chamber. Having bad piston rings is bad news because you cannot fix them unless you are a professional.

And damaged piston rings indicate a cylinder problem as well. So, it becomes necessary to completely rebuild the engine in order to repair the piston rings. However, if you’re determined to fix it, take it to a professional repair shop.

Nonetheless, purchasing an entirely new engine would be the most sensible choice in such a situation where piston rings have been damaged.

Final Thoughts

Remember that brand-new lawn mowers tend to produce white smoke for a short time until they get going and adjust to everything. So don’t freak out if you see this on the first mow you make with your brand-new mower; it’s perfectly normal.

However, on the other hand, if you see white smoke coming from an old lawn mower before it shuts down, the most likely causes are what I mentioned above. The appearance of white smoke is often alarming, but the problem can often be easily resolved with little effort. Blue or black smoke is much more hazardous to your lawnmower than white smoke.

With white smoke, it’s simply a matter of resolving a minor issue and running the engine until the smoke disappears. However, if you cannot determine the problem, consult an expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you run a lawnmower with a blown head gasket?

Your lawn mower will not be able to operate at full power if the seals on the head gasket or the head of the gasket have blown out. In addition, a blown head gasket can be quite pricey to fix if it is not replaced on time. So, you should get it fixed as quickly as you can.

How do I know if my lawn mower has a blown head gasket?

You have a bad gasket if the mower is stalling out or won’t start when you know of the oil leak. Also, if the mower cuts out when you turn a corner, but there is no oil leak, the gasket may still be damaged because there is insufficient pressure to maintain combustion.

What does it mean when a lawn mower blows white smoke?

White smoke is often caused by a blown head gasket, incorrect oil grades, air leaks or worn piston rings and cylinders. However, a tilted engine is the most common reason for white smoke blowing out of your lawnmower. No lawnmower should be tilted at an angle greater than 15 unless it is specifically designed to do so.

Will too much oil cause white smoke?

Yes! White smoke can be caused by too much oil. However, the oil getting into the combustion chamber is the issue here, not the oil itself. When oil levels are excessively high, it spills into the combustion chamber and burns with the fuel and air, emitting smoke.

Why does my lawn mower die after running for a few seconds?

Your lawn mower may be unable to keep running if the spark plug is damaged or unclean. If the plug is clogged with dirt and grease, the mower may be able to produce the initial spark. However, the spark won’t be sufficient to keep the engine going.

Why is My Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke? Here’s Why

Lawn mowers can be quite finicky, especially if you’ve never worked with one before. Smoking, sparking, and loud noises are a few of the frustrations that you might have to experience with a mower. Surprisingly enough, white smoke coming out of a lawn mower isn’t always a cause for replacement.

A lawn mower blows white smoke because it has an overfilled oil chamber, it has a leak on the muffler, or there’s a clog somewhere on the air filter. Other possibilities include worn out piston rings, broken gaskets, and crankcase blockages.

  • Several causes of why your lawn mower is smoking
  • How to prevent or fix a smoking mower
  • When you might want to consider a replacement

Different Causes of White Smoke from a Mower

  • The compression ring (uppermost ring)
  • Wiper ring (in the middle)
  • The oil ring

Piston ring-wear or failure happens when the combustion chamber exerts a lot of pressure on the piston rings.

If the combustion pressure of the gas produced inside the chamber is higher than the usual due to detonation and pinging of the fuel from the leaky injector or when the fuel is mixed with dirty air, the ring performance may be affected.

Also, contaminated fuel oil or the wrong grade of cylinder oil is a significant contributor to piston ring wear or ineffectiveness. This causes the piston ring to be unable to seal the combustion gasses.

Blocked crankcase breather: If this is clogged, it will cause the crankcase to pressurize, and the by-products of combustion will contaminate the oil resulting in white smoke.

When is it Too Late?

The following are some instances when irreparable damage associated with lawnmowers has occurred and might need replacement:

  • A mower that catches on fire. Fuel hazards are one of the leading causes of fires in gas-powered lawnmowers. This happens mostly in summer due to the high temperatures from the blazing sun. While the heat by itself won’t cause the equipment to overheat, using it during this time for a prolonged time may cause it to overheat. The engine catches fire when fuel leaks onto the motor or fuel vapors around a hot muffler.
  • Melted internal parts. As Cut Grass Pro suggestions, melted internal parts are also a result of an overheated lawnmower. Apart from external factors, such as the summer heat, internal factors may cause a lawnmower to overheat. These factors include low engine oil, blocked cooling fins, low coolant, clogged air cleaner, inlet screens or air paths, clogged cutting decks, and mowing thick wet grass. Overheating can damage the mower by melting parts or blowing gaskets, primarily if it’s used for long periods.
  • Locked or jammed blades. Stuck mower blades are quite frustrating. The causes for a stuck blade bolt is usually rust or over-tightening. You might also have a broken or chipped blade. This issue may be fixed using an impact tool, vice leverages, or tool leverage, although this process is time-consuming. It’s especially common on rotary mowers.
  • Constant white smoke. Constant white smoke coming out of your mower is sometimes fixed by replacing a head gasket, which isn’t usually expensive. In the case of worn-out piston rings, it’s often sadly a dead end. This is definitely a call for a rebuild or a new mower altogether.

When white smoke comes out often, you’ll definitely have a severe issue on your hands. That being said, a few repairs can fix the problem without having to buy another lawn mower.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, white smoke coming out of your lawn mower isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of fixes that you can try out in order to save your mower from the dumpster. Most of the issues are related to the gas tank or the oil chamber.

  • Always try to repair your lawn mower before you replace it.
  • Remember to unplug your mower or remove the batteries if it’s electric.
  • If you see smoke of any color, stop mowing immediately.
  • Remove built-up grass and debris clogs in your lawn mower to prevent white smoke.
  • Always tighten loose caps.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke?

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Getting a big Cloud of white smoke can be scary. Most people don’t expect it to happen — but why is it even happening?

Why is your lawn mower blowing white smoke? The truth is, it could be one of these reasons:

  • An air leak in your crankcase
  • An overfilled crankcase
  • A broken or not working breather in your crankcase
  • Poor grades of oil
  • If you tilted the engine for more than 15 degrees (even if just for storage)
  • If your cylinder is worn out
  • Head gasket broke

Of course, just knowing what caused your lawnmower to blow white smoke is not enough — you also have to know how to fix it. So, if you want to learn more about these issues (as well as

some other problems that may be the cause of white smoke), as well as the solutions, read on.

Common Reasons a Lawn Mower Is Blowing White Smoke

As mentioned, there are some common reasons why your lawn mower may be blowing white smoke. It happens often — much more often than you’d think — and most of these problems are easy to troubleshoot, but more on that later.

For now, let’s just take a look at all of the possible reasons why your lawn mower may be blowing white smoke. Some of them you’ve already seen at the beginning of this article. Here they are:

  • Tilted engine, as the most common reason for white smoke blowing out of your lawnmower (no lawnmower should be tilted at an angle bigger than 15 degrees).
  • Oil issues such as overflowing oil or wrong type of the oil are the second most common cause, and it’s often very easy to fix.
  • Leaks are another common issue, and they could cause even more problems if you leave them be.
  • Broken parts such as the head gasket, cylinders, etc. need to be checked for once in a while to prevent these issues.

Other than these causes, there are some less common ones, but it’s good to be aware of them, just in case you are one of the people it happens to. Here they are:

Fortunately, all of these are easy enough to repair. There’s no room for panic. First, you need to shut your machine off and let it cool down. Then, you can move on to some solutions.

How to Fix the Most Common Causes of White Smoke in Lawn Mowers

While white smoke looks scary and like a serious issue, it’s actually not. You can fix it in no time if you just follow some simple steps. Naturally, you may not know immediately what caused the smoke, but it doesn’t hurt to test some of these solutions out until you get it right.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on 2020-05-25.

Cause #1: Lawn Mower Tipped Over

Starting with the most basic cause of white smoke in lawn mowers, this one is also the easiest to fix. You’ll also know if this is the cause right away. Has your lawn mower been tipped at an angle greater than 15 degrees? Maybe you stored it that way, or you accidentally moved it like that.

Most people end up with this issue because of cleaning under the deck or even because they are emptying the chute. When they do this, the oil moves from the crankcase to the cylinder, and once you start mowing again, your lawnmower starts to smoke.

The best solution for this is to put the lawnmower upright, check the oil in the crankcase (add more if necessary), and then let the engine run until the smoke dissipates. It’s a simple solution, although it may not be comfortable for your neighbors because of all the smoke.

But if you have a tractor mower, this will usually not be the case, so you have to look for other causes.

Cause #2: Oil Issues

In general, your lawnmower will take a little over a pound (near 0.5 l) of oil. This is a really small amount, so it would be no wonder if you overfilled the crankcase once in a while. It’s common. To prevent it, just check the level and the amount carefully before moving on to mowing.

Often, people think that a little oil can’t hurt anyone, especially not the lawnmower, but the fact is that it could be very bad for their engine. Most engines work on a system of splash lubrication, and if the oil level is higher than the paddles, it won’t work well.

In this case, the engine is blowing white smoke because it’s trying to burn all of that oil. You can fix it quickly by draining the oil and then let the engine run until the smoke is no longer present. It’s a quick and simple solution, just like with the first cause of white smoke.

While extracting the excess oil could be bothersome, especially on some models, you should do your best because it will make the process quicker.

If the oil smells like gas, you shouldn’t run the engine, though. This will mean that your carburetor seal is broken. In this case, you want to make the fix to the carburetor and then change the oil before using the machine again.

If you try to run the engine without adding proper oil and fixing the problem, you could damage the engine because the oil will be too thin (because of the gas).

Another thing that could happen is that the oil has found the way to the carburetor, and then the gas can’t get to the jet. If you run the engine a few times, you will be able to spend that oil, and the smoke will go away. If it seems like it won’t work, you should clean your carburetor.

For one, you’ll have to turn your engine over and then spill the oil from it. Then, you can replace the plug and try again. There are more detailed cleaning measures for the carburetor, but try them after you try this first as it’s simple, and it might just solve your issue.

You could also put oil in the gas tank by accident, which is a common mistake. To fix it, just drain the oil and put in the gas. Run the engine for a while afterward, so the remaining oil clears out, and the smoke goes away. Again, you could clean the entire carburetor.

Cause #3: Head Gasket Issues

If your head gasket breaks, you’ll probably see a lot of smoke. It’s less common too, but it’s still possible — harder to fix, too.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on 2020-05-25.

A head gasket is a part lodged in between the cylinder head in an engine and the cylinder block, and it serves the purpose of sealing the area where the combustion happens. Some common symptoms — other than white smoke — of this problem are oil leaks, more pressure in the crankcase, a strange noise, etc.

Final Thoughts

White smoke tends to be concerning, but it’s usually an easy fix. Far more dangerous for your lawnmower is blue or black smoke. With white smoke, it’s just a matter of fixing a simple issue and letting the engine run until the smoke is no longer there.

Keep in mind that new lawnmowers tend to blow white smoke for a while until they get started and adapt to everything. So, don’t get alarmed if you see this on your first mowing round with your new mower.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2020-05-25.

Why is the Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke? [2022] (3 Solutions)

A large Cloud of white smoke can be frightening. Most people don’t expect it to happen, so why is it happening at all? What does lawn mower blowing white smoke means?

  • Your crankcase has an air leak.
  • An overflowing crankcase
  • In your crankcase, you may have a broken or non-functioning breather.
  • Oil of poor quality
  • If you leaned the engine more than 15 degrees (even if just for storage)
  • If your cylinder is worn out, replace it.
  • The head gasket had failed.

Of course, simply understanding what caused your lawnmower to emit white smoke is insufficient; you must also understand how to repair it. So, if you want to learn more about these issues (as well as some other issues that could be causing white smoke), as well as the solutions, keep reading.


White smoke could be harmful or beneficial. The good news is that you’ll find out soon enough which one it is. The presence of white smoke indicates that the engine is burning oil.

This is usually the result of a spill or an unintentional overfilling of the crankcase. The smoke should clear up and your mower should operate normally once the trace oil that has reached the engine has been burned off.

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When a new mower is started for the first time, it will also emit white smoke. There is frequently oil residue left by the manufacturer, and running the mower to burn off the oil solves the problem.

However, if your mower continues to emit white smoke in either case, you’ve got a bigger problem on your hands. The oil has found a way into the combustion chamber. A ruptured breathing tube, a blown head gasket, or a worn seal are all possibilities. Whatever the case may be, you’ll require lawn mower repair in Ogden, UT.


Starting with the most basic cause of white smoke in lawn mowers, which is also the simplest to repair. You’ll also know right away if this is the cause. Has your lawn mower been tipped more than 15 degrees? Maybe you stored it that way, or maybe you moved it that way by accident.

The majority of people encounter this problem while cleaning under the deck or emptying the chute. When they do this, the oil moves from the crankcase to the cylinder, and your lawnmower begins to smoke when you restart it. In some cases, the oil will also leak.

The best solution is to turn the lawnmower upside down, check the oil in the crankcase (add more if necessary), and then run the engine until the smoke goes away. It’s a straightforward solution, though the smoke may make your neighbors uncomfortable.

However, if you have a tractor mower, this is unlikely to be the case, so you must look for other causes.


In general, your lawnmower will require slightly more than a pound (near 0.5 liter) of oil. This is a very small amount, so it’s not surprising if you occasionally overfilled the crankcase. It’s quite common. To avoid this, simply double-check the level and amount before proceeding with the mowing.

People frequently believe that a little oil can’t hurt anyone, especially the lawnmower, but the truth is that it can be extremely damaging to the engine. Most engines use a splash lubrication system, and if the oil level is higher than the paddles, the engine will not function properly.

In this case, the engine is producing white smoke because it is attempting to burn through all of the oil. You can quickly fix it by draining the oil and then running the engine until the smoke has gone away. It’s a quick and easy fix, just like the first cause of white smoke.

While extracting the excess oil can be time-consuming, especially on some models, you should do your best because it will speed up the process.

However, if the oil smells like gasoline, you should not start the engine. This indicates that your carburetor seal has failed. In this case, you should repair the carburetor and then change the oil before resuming use of the machine.

If you try to start the engine without adding proper oil and repairing the problem, the engine may be damaged because the oil is too thin (because of the gas).

Another possibility is that the oil has made its way to the carburetor, preventing the gas from reaching the jet. You’ll be able to spend that oil if you run the engine a few times, and the smoke will go away. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you should clean your carburetor.

For starters, you’ll have to start your engine and then spill the oil. You can then replace the plug and try again. There are more detailed cleaning procedures for the carburetor, but try them after you’ve tried this because it’s simple and may just solve your problem.

You could also accidentally put oil in the gas tank, which is a common blunder. Simply drain the oil and replace it with gas to repair it. After that, run the engine for a few minutes to clear out the remaining oil and remove the smoke. You could clean the entire carburetor once more.


If your head gasket fails, you will most likely see a lot of smoke. It’s also less common, but it’s still possible — and more difficult to fix.

A head gasket is a component that is installed between the cylinder head and the cylinder block of an engine to seal the area where combustion occurs. Other than white smoke, common symptoms of this problem include oil leaks, increased crankcase pressure, strange noises, and so on. To repair it, you must replace it.

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When a lawn mower blows a head gasket, it immediately emits SOS signals that allow you to diagnose its current condition. Let’s look at the three most common symptoms.

The Exhaust Produces Smoke

When black or white smoke begins to rise from your lawn mower’s exhaust, it is usually the result of a blown head gasket, which may indicate problems with the mower’s combustion system. Worn or damaged gaskets are simple to replace and should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid further problems.

The Motor Constantly Shuts Off

A faulty head gasket can cause the mower to drop out and shut down unexpectedly. When you turn a corner with the mower, this may be common. Low pressure in the motor’s combustion chamber is frequently the result of a worn or damaged gasket. In that case, the gasket must be replaced.

The Engine Keeps Leaking Oil

When the engine constantly leaks oil, this is another sign of a blown head gasket. If you notice that you are replacing the oil in your engine more frequently than usual, it is likely that it is leaking from a damaged gasket. You can inspect the gasket for wet or dried oil around the edges. If this is the case, the gasket will need to be replaced.


White smoke can be alarming, but it’s usually a simple fix. Blue or black smoke is far more hazardous to your lawnmower. When it comes to white smoke, it’s simply a matter of resolving a minor issue and letting the engine run until the smoke disappears.

Remember that new lawnmowers tend to blow white smoke for a while until they get going and adjust to everything. So, if you see this on your first mowing round with your new mower, don’t be alarmed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when you put too much oil in a lawn mower?

Too much oil in your lawn mower’s engine can cause it to overheat and cause damage. Too much oil in your engine can cause it to overheat, resulting in seal damage, blown gaskets, or becoming hydrolocked.

Can too much oil in a lawn mower cause white smoke?

When too much oil enters the crankcase of the lawn mower, the oil sump overflows. The operation of the crankcase will be hampered by an overflowing oil sump. As a result, signs of too much oil in a lawn mower include oil splatters all over the muffler, white smoke from the muffler, and a difficult start.

Can lawn mowers explode?

If a lawn mower catches fire or unauthorized changes are made to the fuel supply or engine, it is likely to explode. When used properly, the chances of a lawn mower exploding are almost non-existent.

Why is your Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke Leaking Oil?

Do you want to know why your lawnmower is blowing white smoke and leaking oil? You are at the right place.

Lawns are one of the best facilities anyone can have on their property. They not only make your landscape popular envy but also help purify the air, trap carbon dioxide – an important respiratory gas, minimize erosion from storm-water runoff, enhance soil quality, decrease land pollution, and minimize temperatures.

These are not only advantageous to you and members of your household, but they also do your larger environment a great deal of good.

But what is a lawn without a mower? An extensive bed of grass with irregular lengths and shapes. As a matter of fact, behind every awesome lawn is an efficient mower. If you want to keep your lawn in great shape, a lawnmower is a non-negotiable tool for achieving that goal.

Lawnmowers come in diverse brands and types. While some last only for a brief period, others are relatively long-lasting.

If you have been using your lawnmower for quite a while now, what you must have noticed of late is a decline in its efficiency. Its fuel and oil consumption rate could go up, and the engine’s emission from the smoke could double in frequency. Worst still, the engine might be running a little bit unsteadily.

Issues like this can unsettle you as a lawn owner, especially when you need to get things done on your lawn with the mower. The emission of white smoke and oil leakage will tamper with your mower’s efficiency, and you don’t want that.

Every problem has an underlying factor. And to confront these mechanical issues, there’s a basic need for you to diagnose the root cause.

We have taken it upon ourselves to check for the root causes behind these disturbing mechanical inconsistencies so you don’t have to stress yourself. All you need to do is giddy up and enjoy the ride. Let’s go!

Why is your lawnmower blowing white smoke and leaking oil?

Your lawnmower can blow white smoke for reasons ranging from bad gas, a lousy spark plug, or even a damaged carburetor. But when oil leakage adds to the issue, the reason can differ greatly from this.

If your lawnmower is blowing white smoke and leaking oil, below are the potential causes:

  • Blown head gasket
  • Excessive usage of oil
  • Engine oil rings
  • Lawnmower used or tilted at an angle
  • Crankcase leaks

If your lawnmower has been in use for a long time, then some smoke should be expected, considering the length of usage. The color of an emitted smoke is how you know from what engine it comes. For lawnmowers, the smoke color ranges from white to blue and black.

In this article, our FOCUS is on white smoke. The emission of white smoke from an engine can be an outgrowth of several problems, and while some are easily fixed, others need a strategic and long-term approach.

Before we delve into the whys of lawnmowers blowing white smoke and leaking oil, it makes a lot of sense to understand how the mower engine works.

How Does the Engine of a Lawnmower Work?

The lawnmower’s engine burns fuel and air mixture to convert energy from the gas into the flywheel’s rotational motion, which propels the blade. The procedures can be broken down into four items.

  • Air and Fuel Intake: Air and fuel are mixed in proportionate amounts. Any interference with the ratio will affect the performance quality in no small way. The admission happens via a valve controlled by pushrods and a cam mechanism. The carburetor and corresponding filters regulate the air-to-fuel ratio and rate of the mixture.
  • Fuel-air Mix Compression: The piston’s upward movement inside the cylinder compresses the air-fuel mixture. Without this reduction, the power cannot be enabled when fuel is burned.
  • Combustion of Gas: The energy begins to burn as soon as the piston is about to attain the highest position. This happens in either of two ways; a spark or a considerable rise in pressure. This blast moves the piston downward and transports power into the flywheel.
  • Termination of the Remnants: Immediately after the exhaust valve opens, the remnants are moved out to the muffler by the already generated inertial impact.


The oil is applied to lubricate the engine. Oil is used and pumped, leveraging the orifices incorporated into the engine.

O-rings are applied around the piston to ensure that the oil does not get to the cylinder. Because of the O-rings and gasket, the oil film can get sealed.

A second ring en-wrapped around the piston is also present, alongside the oil ring, and plays a formidable role. Any of these rings on the engine’s piston has to become weak, and the performance of your mower’s engine takes a drastic decline. Your lawnmower’s cutting ability is directly proportional to the engine efficiency.

The compression ring controls the burning pressure in the chamber’s interior and gets it to do useful work. If and when you get a replacement, ensure to replace the oil rings and the compression rings, as they are often sold together.


Did you know that the engines of lawnmowers can be air-cooled? Yes, they even use a coolant.

The air coolant has a developed surface area for Rapid heat transfer. Just about the same time, the coolant is dropped into the jackets around the engine block.

Included Parts

Identifying all the active parts will give you an actual grasp of the cause and eliminate whatever smoke is from your lawnmower. Smoke comes up when the functionality of one or all the parts is disturbed. And good management can bring things back to normal.

A disturbed mower engine can emit 3 kinds of colors; black, white, and blue. While black smoke usually comes up as a result of fuel quality or quantity, blue and white smoke often correlate and are caused by lubrication oil or coolant issues.

White smoke and oil spill are the two things we are discussing here.

Causes and solutions of mower blowing smoke and leaking oil

If you recently found that your lawnmower emits white smoke, the most likely cause is oil combustion inside the cylinder. This is why, ninety-nine percent of the time, the reason for both white smoke and oil spill are interconnected.

Below is a list of possible reasons your lawnmower is blowing white smoke and leaking oil.

Lawnmower Blown Head Gasket

If the head gasket of your mower’s engine is crappy, partly or blown, oil and coolant leak into the combustion chamber, resulting in white smoke and spillage of oil. Here’s how you know; there will be an apparent marking inside the cover/hood. An immediate repair is advisable to forestall future damage to your mower engine.

  • Look out for markings, scuffs, or blows around the head.
  • Dismantle the engine head
  • Find carbon deposits of valves and piston
  • If your diagnosis returns as blown, replace it; if otherwise, reassemble all the parts.
  • Open the engine compartment, and assess all parts.
  • Dust the surfaces
  • Clean all deposits of carbon
  • Assess the gasket’s condition
  • If you find it is blown, get a replacement.
  • If partly damaged, make do with gasket-sealant paste. A replacement is the best option, though.
  • Certain products on the market can give your mower’s head gasket a short-term fix. So you can subscribe to this option if you do not have time.

Excessive Usage of Oil

While filling your lawnmower with lubricant oil, you must exercise caution, as beauty is always in moderation, not excess. Overfilling your mower’s lubricant oil can result in white smoke and increase the tendency of oil spillage.

If you find your mower’s engine blowing smoke, you first want to check the dipstick’s oil level. If the oil level is insanely high, you must take some off until the right level is reached.

  • Check for the dipstick on the engine’s reservoir; clean it with a cloth, and take the cap off the reservoir.
  • Dip the stick for a while and then take it out
  • Identify the level corresponding to marks.
  • If the oil level appears too high, get rid of some; drain it through the plug beneath the oil pump. You can also utilize an oil hand pump to terminate some from the reservoir.

Lawnmower Engine Oil Rings

The oil rings are the reason the oil between the piston and cylinder cannot seep into the combustion chamber. Any damage to these rings will remove the barrier around the combustion chamber, make the oil get into it, and combust with fuel.

Invariably, this issue will result in smoke and, if left unaddressed, will compound into greater faults.

Oil rings are parts of the internal engine. Hence, a correct diagnosis is impossible without opening the engine and assessing them. Oil rings have a definite lifespan and should be replaced when due.

  • You should check the condition of the rings every time you do an engine assessment.
  • Replace the piston rings; this is not negotiable.
  • Do not attempt fixing it yourself, especially if you are not an expert. Do yourself the favor of seeking the service of a professional.
  • Install the right replacement; ensure the sizes and shapes are similar. Kindly refer to the instruction manuals for details if you have to.

The lawnmower was Used or Tilted at an Angle

If you use your lawnmower at very steep angles, it could result in oil leakage into the engine block; and not only that, it can also cause smoke. An issue like this can surface after maintenance work on your mower and tilting it.

Fix: All you need to do is put your lawnmower at proper angles, and it will fix itself. It is best to avoid operating on less steep paths, though.

Breather Tube

A breather tube is another component of your mower’s engine that can cause trouble. It is a part of the carburetor that is quite significant but often ignored. Anything as minute as a blockage in the tube’s hose will result in your lawnmower burning.

Fix: Get the breather tube cleaned with some carburetor cleaner.

Lawnmower Crankcase Leaks

Crankcase leaks are also connected to the occurrence of white smoke. If your mower’s engine is blowing white smoke, you may want to check the crankcase up should there be any leak.

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All the causes highlighted in this content will very well blow white smoke and induce oil spills. Smoke, regardless of the color, and oil spills have toxic environmental effects.

What spilled oil will leave is a permanent dirty mark on the garage floor and whatever location your lawnmower is parked. Although the issues may not be totally or quickly gotten rid of, the careful maintenance of your lawnmower can attenuate the tendencies of white smoke and oil spills.

What Can I Do If My Lawnmower Blows Black Smoke?

Black smoke usually results when more fuel is burned than air. The cause of this smoke is not complicated and can be left unaddressed. All engines are responsive to angles. Hence, when you tilt an engine that contains fluid, it is only normal that some of the oil spills.

In this case, the oil will spill out and result in smoke; it shouldn’t last for long, anyway. In a situation like this, you want to keep your lawnmower’s engine running while it burns off the excesses.