Honda mower oil leak. How can you be losing oil if you have no obvious leak

How to Check Valve Stem Seals

Valve seals precisely control the amount of oil entering the valve stem system, making them critical components in maintaining your engine’s compression levels. Having a valve stem seal that works correctly within any of your applications can save you time and money by eliminating the need for lengthy engine repairs and replacements. But how do you check for bad valve seals, and what signs should you be aware of?

No one wants to face valve issues because they indicate a severe problem within your machine’s engine. Here is where Global Elastomeric Products comes into play. Learn how to find faulty seals and what you can do to avoid these issues.

Table of Contents

  • 6 Signs Your Valve Stem Seal Is Leaking
  • Conducting a Cold Engine Test
  • Increased Smoke Levels
  • Oil Consumption
  • Engine Idling
  • Compromised Acceleration Power
  • Engine Misfiring
  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Signs Your Valve Stem Seal Is Leaking

Valve stem seals control oil consumption and lubricant in an engine by allowing a specific amount of oil inside the valve stem as it moves. A controlled amount of oil is crucial in maintaining adequate lubrication. Otherwise, too little oil can cause various components to wear as parts rub together. However, excess oil can result in carbon buildup, which can lead to many issues, such as:

  • Damaged valve seats
  • Degraded catalytic converters
  • Increased emissions
  • Less efficiency
  • oil consumption

Essentially, valve stem seals prevent oil from entering the combustion chamber from the cylinder head. A damaged seal can cause engine oil flooding that will lead to engine failure.

Six ways to assess whether you have a faulty seal on your hands include:

  • 1. Cold engine test
  • 2. High levels of smoke
  • 3. High oil consumption
  • 4. Idling
  • 5. Less acceleration power
  • 6. Misfiring

Conducting a Cold Engine Test

One of the best ways to tell if you have a faulty valve seal is to conduct a cold engine test. After your machine hasn’t run for a while — even overnight — the seal is now cool. Once you start the engine, the seal will contract. Damaged seals will leave a small gap. Leftover oil will then settle at the top of the valve cover head.

When you start the engine, you may also see blue-tinted smoke appear from the exhaust. If this happens, it means the residual oil is passing down through the damaged seal and into the combustion chamber. The bluish smoke, which is burned oil, signifies that the engine needs a new seal, even if it clears after several minutes of running the engine.

Increased Smoke Levels

Depending on the machines and equipment you use, smoke is often a common form of exhaust. However, when you start seeing it last longer than usual or appear a different color, you know a faulty seal may be the cause. The excessive smoke may also come in more consistent waves as the engine runs for long periods. Be aware of specific machine movements that cause more smoke than usual.

Oil Consumption

If you notice you’re going through more oil than usual, it can be another indication of a bad seal. When oil leaks or burns at higher rates, the seal no longer controls the oil flow. Burning oil increases emissions and can contaminate the catalyst. Unburned fuel in the exhaust skyrockets the converter’s operating temperatures, which can cause the converter to overheat and create a blocked exhaust.

Make sure to check the engine’s oil level with a dipstick, and refer to your oil log to see if the fluid levels differ. You can make this part of your regular maintenance schedule. While oil leaks are often a clear warning of faulty valve seals, they may not always be visible, so don’t rely on this as a guaranteed warning because the oil could be burning off.

Engine Idling

Pay attention to your machines if they ever idle. When the engine is at rest, high vacuum levels can cause the oil to build around the heads of the valve system while the valve is closed. If the seal is faulty, you may once again see blue-tinted smoke when the engine begins to run. That means the oil is getting pulled past the seal and into the valve guide. Make sure to shut the engine down and remove it from operation until you can get it repaired.

Compromised Acceleration Power

Depending on the engines you use in the oilfield and agricultural industries, testing the engine’s compression can also help determine if your valve stem seals are deteriorating. If the machine has a higher compression level, you have a valve seal issue and you’ll need replacements. On the other hand, a lower level may designate a piston ring malfunction.

Engine Misfiring

An engine with broken seals can cause oil to build on the electrodes of the engine’s spark plugs. As a result, plug fouling can occur, which is an accumulation of carbon deposits that can cause engine misfires. As carbon buildup increases, so does compression, leading to engine damage from faulty detonation or even issues with pre-ignition.

Knowing these six signs of valve stem seal failure can help you mitigate the issue before problems like oil leaks and high compression levels begin. The sooner you notice different-colored smoke, an increase in oil usage, misfiring engine startups and idle noises, the faster you can make the necessary seal repairs. In return, your operations will remain efficient, productive and safe.

Causes of Bad Valve Stem Seals

The main causes of a deteriorated seal come from faults within the seal itself and improper installation. Even though valves consist of high-strength rubber, they can break, crack or wear down. Seals could even be missing from a botched installation. Any of these faults in the seal will cause oil to reach the engine’s cylinders.

As valve stem seals begin to fail, carbon buildup forms, which also affects other engine components like the valve seat and guide — which is why quick repairs are critical.

In some cases, there still may be excellent compression. However, if high oil consumption is present, it will then cause higher operating temperatures that can lead to broken or cracked seals. Seal problems can also form from an improper clearance between the valve and valve guide. When it’s loose within the cylinder head, it can move laterally, wearing out the valve.

The best thing you and your crew can do is refer to your preventive maintenance schedule for each piece of equipment in your fleet and complete regular safety checks.

Daily or weekly inspections will help you find leaks and problems before they become more severe.

It’s also essential to invest in top-quality valve seal solutions that are free of defaults. Partnering with a company that guarantees seal products with no defaults places you ahead of the competition, giving you a competitive advantage.

How to Check If Your Valve Stem Seal Is Faulty

Because many factors can indicate a bad valve stem seal, you’ll have to investigate and not always rely on the various signs. If you have the appropriate training and qualifications, go ahead and start your inspection. Otherwise, rely on the experts for guidance.

Step 1

Open the hood to the engine and check the oil level of your machine using a dipstick. Is it significantly lower compared to other times after a similar amount of usage? You can also check to see if there is any excess clearance between the valve stem and guide. Leaks are an obvious sign the valve stem seal has issues — but these aren’t always present, even when the seal is failing.

Step 2

Start the engine and observe the exhaust. Is there a lot of smoke coming out of the pipe, and does it have a blue-gray tint? If so, the engine is burning leaked oil — which is why you may not see any leaks under the hood.

Step 3

Listen for odd noises like rattling or tapping as the engine idles. Any unusual sounds can indicate problematic valves.

Step 4

Check for engine and error lights that can indicate a problem. You can hook the machine up to a diagnostic reader to scan for different error codes. For example, valve seal and valve guide issues will read as specific codes, so reference the owner’s manual for assistance.

Step 5

If worse comes to worst, you will need to disassemble the engine and inspect the valve stem seals and other components. Relying on the professionals for this step may be best to ensure more parts do not get damaged throughout the process. You or the expert should look for dented, cracked, broken or deteriorated valve seals.

Valve stem seals’ replacement costs are affordable in the long run because new seals prevent more catastrophic engine damage.

How to Prevent Valve Stem Seal Leaks

If oil is leaking from your engine, you’ll want to find a temporary, stopgap solution until you identify the issue and make repairs. For example, you can use an oil stop-leak additive in the oil filler, just like you would with regular engine oil. The additive will give the valve seals a quick fix by causing them to expand, creating a Rapid extension of life.

You can also add high-mileage oil with seal conditioners that can slow or stop oil leaks. This type of oil keeps the seals pliable to help prevent corrosion.

Once you make a short-term fix, it’s crucial to start on repairs or replacements right away. Prolonged valve failure can affect the entire engine and hydraulics system, costing you expensive repairs or replacements in the future.

Failed parts can also affect your workers’ safety and well-being. Your machine may begin to operate hazardously with a jolt of power or faster/slower movements than usual.

Once you’ve taken the correct preventive measures, replace the leaking seals using the following steps:

  • 1. Remove the seal cover.
  • 2. Get rid of any buildup.
  • 3. Place sealer on both sides, unless it’s rubber.
  • 4. Position the new seals.
  • 5. Place the cover back on.
  • 6. Tighten bolts.
mower, leak, losing, obvious

Fast valve stem seal replacements are just as essential as choosing a manufacturer that knows the vitality of a well-designed valve stem seal. Look for custom solutions that can fit your specific requirements if your machines are unique to your industry or operations.

You will want to invest in top-tier solutions that are free of defaults. For example, Global Elastomeric Products has an inventory of rubber seals that provide an elastomeric seal for your engines. We FOCUS our valve seal portfolio on durable, temperature- and chemical-resistant solutions. We can also manufacture any customized rubber compound to fit your unique needs.

Quality means everything when you’re trying to meet your oil or agricultural industry quotas, including valve seals. Your business needs to rely on elastomeric products that produce defect-free replacement parts just as much as you count on efficient employees on your rig. If you neglect quality, you can put your operations and workers at risk of breakdowns and injuries.

Customized Valve Stem Seals

Functional valve stem seals are crucial in keeping your operations efficient. Whether you work in the agricultural, oil or another industry, your machines drive daily operations. If you’re experiencing seal leaks, deterioration or damage, Global Elastomeric Products has what you need.

We guarantee our standard and custom in-house seal designs will be free of defects. Our experts design, manufacture and distribute our valve seal product lines while keeping your specifications at the forefront of each customization. We can generate product designs and engineer seals for any oil field or agricultural application. Global Elastomeric Products is the solution to your leaking and damaged seals.

Reach out to us online with questions or for more information about our solutions. You can also request a free quote by calling us at 661-831-5380 to help you better understand our valve stem seal products.

Fixing oil leak on a Honda mower

How can you be losing oil if you have no obvious leak?

Imagine this: you’re driving down the road, and suddenly your oil level light comes on. There’s is no puddle under your car, and you’ve never seen evidence of any kind of leak. The bad news is that oil loss can happen for a multitude of reasons, and a leak is just one of them.

The good news – we can help your oil loss situation, whether it’s a leak or not.

For now, let’s assume it’s not a leak. So what’s going on?

How can my car be losing oil if I have no leak?

When your car begins to lose oil in the course of everyday driving and there is no leak, you’re probably burning it away. Though you may not see any visible signs of leakage on the ground, oil loss can still happen. This typically happens because as a car ages, engine seals harden and shrink from the plasticizers being removed over time. It’s normal, but it’s a pain.

So does that mean I’m burning oil?

Probably, yes. Oil burning happens when older engine parts allow oil to seep into the combustion chamber. A telltale sign is the bluish smoke coming from your exhaust. But even if you don’t see any signs of blue smoke, you can still be burning oil in trace amounts. Over days and weeks, this leads to low oil levels, and eventually your oil indicator lighting up on your dashboard.

Oil loss isn’t something to sleep on. Losing too much oil can result in serious engine damage and expensive repairs, especially with high-mileage cars and those that see a lot of stop-and-go driving or driving in harsh conditions.

So what can I do, short of taking it to a shop or dealer?

Bar’s Leaks has been known for effective, affordable leak repair for over 75 years. We have a few oil leak repair solutions, but the most powerful among them is our professional-grade Oil Seal Engine Oil Burning Leak Repair (most often referred to as Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal, part number OS-1).

This is our strongest formula ever to stop main seal, valve seals, timing cover seal, cam seals, crankshaft seal, oil pan, valve cover and all other oil sources of oil leaks, no matter what size.

What does Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal do, and how does it work?

This product is incredibly effective against oil leaks, but what about oil burning? We have that covered too.

There could be two possible reasons as to why your vehicle is burning oil. (1) It may have an oil leak or (2) it could be burning oil during the ignition cycle. One common problem is if the cylinder walls are allowing oil to leak up from the bottom of the engine, past the piston and into the combustion chamber. So when the fuel ignites, the oil does as well, and then expels it out as exhaust. Before you know it, you’re dealing with an oil burning problem.

mower, leak, losing, obvious

The good news is that with a single application of Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal. those problems will be history.

Almost New Honda Mower Was Leaking Oil

Will Oil Seal work in my car?

Short answer: almost certainly.

Your vehicle is a good candidate for Oil Seal if it does not consume more than one quart of oil per day. We have designed this product to work in all gasoline and diesel engines including turbocharged, EcoBoost, hybrid and even racing engines. This covers 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 cylinder engines in all cars, trucks, vans and SUVs. Our product can also be used in heavy-duty applications referencing the appropriate dosage level.

This product doesn’t just work on cars, either. It also applies to a wide range of other motor applications too: tractors, boats, RVs, motorcycles (including wet clutch), ATVs, and lawn equipment.

Main benefits of Oil Seal

  • Repairs leaking main seals and gaskets
  • Renews worn valve seals and guides
  • Stops oil burning blue exhaust smoke
  • Seals all other oil leaks, drips and consumption

Oil Seal’s main technology

Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal is a professional-grade product specifically formulated to tackle every kind of oil leak, burning and consumption issue. Synthetic polymers combined with premium seal restoring additives work together better than all other regular treatment products to create a long lasting repair. These polymers also fill in small scratches and wear marks preventing oil from passing and being burned. All of this centers around a few main chemical components:

  • Seal restorer – restores seal size, flexibility and elasticity lost due to engine heat, age and high mileage.
  • Seal polymer – chemical polymers work where other stop leaks fail to seal leaks that is caused by normal engine wear. This includes grooves worn in the crankshaft seal mating surface. The polymer forms a film between the seal and the crankshaft, preventing leaks.

Where to buy

Bar’s Leaks Oil Seal is available at the following retailers nationwide:

Lawnmower Is Burning Oil: 6 Reasons And How To Fix

A lawnmower in your garden is quintessential. It helps trim grass to an even and appropriate height and keeps weeds in check.

Typically, a lawnmower can use up to 1 ounce of oil per cylinder in an hour. That’s already massive.

However, it could burn more under problematic circumstances. When this happens, your lawnmower is burning oil.

The situation could arise from a problem with the engine or the oil. If you are experiencing such a technical issue on your lawnmower, we got some answers.

Causes of A Riding Mower Burning Oil

Cases of lawnmowers burning oil are not uncommon. These reasons range from improper storage to an overfilled crankcase.

An Overfilled Crankcase

When your lawn mower’s crankcase gets overfilled, it starts to burn oil. How does this happen?

Your lawn mower’s engine contains a piece of electromagnetic equipment called a solenoid. It is responsible for monitoring the gas flow into the engine.

The float in the carburetor connects to the solenoid. If the carburetor malfunctions or gets stuck, it prevents fuel shut off.

The result is an overflow of gas into the engine, which thins the oil.

Consequently, oil burning occurs much faster, leading to the mower producing a Cloud of white smoke.

You can fix the problem by checking the carburetor and repairing it. As a precaution, always use the manufacturer’s manual to check what oil grade is best for the machine and use only it.

mower, leak, losing, obvious

Piston Rings Are Worn Out

The piston rings of your lawnmower wearing out is a potential cause for your lawnmower burning oil.

As a result of the wear and tear of the pistons, oil flows through the narrow gap between the cylinder wall and the piston, burning in the ignition chamber.

Burning of oil also occurs when the valve seats wear out. Replace any worn-out parts in your lawnmower to overcome this problem.

Using The Wrong Oil Grade

Different lawn mowers use different oil types. Using the wrong oil grade on your lawnmower could cause it to burn oil, decreasing the fuel efficiency.

Another important parameter associated with oil is viscosity. Oil with the wrong viscosity causes the lawnmower to slow down, increasing your operational cost.

Low-grade oil could also damage the lawnmower engine.

You also want to check the owner’s manual to know whether your lawnmower is meant for a lighter or heavier oil.

Using lighter oil on a heavy oil engine makes the oil burn more quickly.

Low Oil Levels In The Crankcase

A decrease of oil in the crankcase below appropriate levels is also a cause for your lawnmower burning it.

Insufficient oil causes temperatures to increase inside the crankcase due to more friction.

Oil gets burned up faster due to higher temperatures and a lack of lubrication inside the engine. A valve or a seal in the engine could also blow up.

Take care of low oil levels in the crankcase by routinely filling it up to the correct levels. This helps prevent wear and tear and repair costs in the future.

Oil Leaks

Your lawn mower could also burn oil because of oil leaks in the engine or the lubricating system.

Usually, such leaks are rarely visible, and it might take some extra checks to spot them.

Common areas the oil leaks occur include the oil gaskets, the breather cavity, and the O-ring. A tell-tale sign of an oil leak is your lawnmower emitting dark or white smoke.

Another sign of an oil leak in your mower is sluggishness or sputtering during operation.

If this happens, do check the piston rings or seals. Do a thorough inspection of your lawnmower, especially at the oil tank, the engine base, and the oil fill tube, for any leaks.

Here are some measures you can take to prevent oil leaks from happening:

  • Avoid storing your lawnmower for long periods with gas and oil inside. Old oil causes the seal and gaskets to wear, making you incur the repair cost the next time you want to use it.
  • Regularly check and replace any worn-out parts.
  • Replace old oil with new oil after every 25 hours of use.

Storing Your Lawnmower On One Side

We hope your garage is spacious enough to store your lawnmower. However, avoid keeping it on one side if it isn’t the case.

Gardeners are also guilty of turning it on one side while replacing old oil or doing maintenance. Doing this is a potential cause for your lawnmower burning oil.

mower, leak, losing, obvious

Here is what you should do to avoid this eventuality.

  • Keep your spark plugs facing upwards when doing maintenance. It helps to avoid leaks from the crankcase.
  • Drain oil or gas from your lawnmower before keeping it away.

How To Know When Your Lawn Mower Is Burning Oil?

Having said it all, a common sign of your lawnmower burning oil is the production of white smoke.

Often, you will also spot the production of black smoke. A high fuel to air ratio results in incomplete combustion that makes the unburnt fuel come out as black smoke.

A smoking lawn mower is never a good sign. Whether the smoke is blue, white, or black, here’s how to identity and address the issue without the help of a professional.

By Glenda Taylor and Bob Vila | Updated Sep 24, 2020 1:40 PM

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Q: Recently, my mower started billowing smoke when I powered it up, so I shut it off immediately. Why is my lawn mower smoking? And is it a fire hazard? I want to know how to proceed so I don’t harm the machine.

A: Your lawn mower can emit smoke for numerous reasons—many of which don’t require the services of an expert. A homeowner can usually identify the reason for a smoking lawn mower by gauging the color of the Cloud coming around the engine, then fix it accordingly before lasting damage occurs. Keep in mind that all mowers with internal combustion engines contain the same basic parts, but the configuration of those parts varies widely, depending on manufacturer and model. Consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure how to access a specific part of your lawn mower’s engine.

White or blue smoke may indicate an oil spill on the engine.

If you’ve recently changed the oil in your mower and the engine is emitting white or blue smoke, it’s possible that some of the oil spilled onto the engine. Similarly, you could’ve spilled oil on the engine by mowing on a slope greater than 15 degrees or tipping the mower on its side. The smoke may look disconcerting, but it’s completely harmless. Solve the problem by restarting the mower and allowing the spilled oil to burn off. If you tip the mower often for cleaning or maintenance, check your owner’s manual to determine the best way to reduce the risk of oil leaks.

An overfull oil reservoir may also cause white or blue smoke.

Ensure you didn’t overfill the mower by checking the oil level with the dipstick located on the reservoir. To do this, remove the dipstick cap, wipe off the stick with a rag, and reinsert it into the reservoir. Then remove the dipstick once again and determine the oil level in comparison to the recommended “fill” line on the stick. If the level is too high, drain the oil (consult your owner’s manual for instructions), then refill the reservoir with it. Start checking the oil level with the dipstick after you’ve added about ¾ of the amount recommended in the manual. Continue to add small amounts of oil until the level matches the recommended “fill” line. Also note that using the wrong grade of engine oil may cause blue or white smoke. Consult the owner’s manual for the exact type of oil recommended for your mower.

Black smoke may indicate that the mower is “running rich,” or burning too much gasoline.

Your lawn mower’s carburetor regulates the ratio of gasoline to air mixture. If the carburetor isn’t getting enough air, the mixture has a higher percentage of gasoline, which can create black exhaust smoke. It’s possible that a dirty or clogged air filter is preventing sufficient airflow into the carburetor. Try replacing the air filter. (Note: air filters vary by mower model; view example air filter on Amazon.) Next, run your lawn mower for a few minutes. If the black smoke still appears, the carburetor might need to be adjusted in order to increase airflow. Either take the mower to a professional or adjust the carburetor yourself with instructions in your owner’s manual.

Take your mower to a repair shop if necessary.

If the previous steps don’t correct blue or white smoke, your mower could have a more serious problem, such as an air leak in the crankshaft (the cast iron or cast aluminum case that protects the moving parts of a mower’s engine). Continuing blue or white smoke could also indicate that some of the engine’s components or seals are worn out and need replacement. Similarly, if black smoking still persists after you’ve replaced the air filter and adjusted the carburetor, you could be facing a more serious mechanical issue. All of these problems require the help of a professional. If your mower is still under warranty, check with the manufacturer for the location of the nearest servicing dealer; problems stemming from a factory defect or poor workmanship may garner free repairs. If your mower is not covered under warranty, a reputable small-engine repair shop should also be sufficient to get the job done.

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Home » FAQs » Is outdated information preventing your vehicle from being at its best?

Is outdated information preventing your vehicle from being at its best?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Technology, Tips and Tricks on Thursday, October 15th, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Does synthetic oil still cause engine leaks?

The car, truck or SUV that is sitting in someone’s driveway is likely one of the biggest assets a person can own. It only makes sense that people will want to make sure they can wring every mile they can out of that investment, and the best way to do that is to make sure that the vehicle is well-maintained. Regular maintenance is the best way to keep any vehicle of almost any age running in peak condition. One of the biggest challenges to this goal is outdated thinking. If you’re wondering, ‘Does synthetic oil still cause engine leaks,’ this is the kind of outdated information we’re talking about. While Third Coast Auto Group doesn’t have a service department, it is still a question that comes up a few times a month while we’re helping customers. Let’s take a look at a few things.

Synthetic Oil Myths

Some of the younger sales associates working at Third Coast Auto Group were surprised to learn that synthetic oil has been around since the 1970s. In that time, petrochemical engineering has come a long way and synthetic oil is better now than it has ever been. The reason people still think that synthetic oil causes engine leaks is because it was kind of true. According to the best information available, this was because synthetic oil was derived using esters, a chemical compound created from acids. Old school engine seals were also made from esters and the combination of the two things lead to failed seals and leaks.

The other reason people thought that synthetic oil caused engine leaks in the old days was because of its cleansing properties. Synthetic oil can actually break down and help remove engine gunk and that would reveal bad seals, which would again, lead to leaks. No reputable technician would ever recommend using engine contaminants as a way to bolster the health of a failing engine seal.

How often do I need to change synthetic oil?

One of the reasons that most automakers have made the switch to synthetic oil from conventional oil is because it is so much better at protecting engines. This means that the old interval of changing the oil every 3,000 miles is outdated. Some newer models can go 5,000 miles or more before requiring an oil change. Be sure to follow the recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual

If you are in the market for a reliable and affordable pre-owned car, truck or SUV, make an appointment with a Third Coast Auto Group product expert today.