craftsman kohler blowing excessive smoke

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craftsman kohler blowing excessive smoke

J We have a 4 yr old craftsman 16.5hp w/kohler engine (model no. 917.271142). Tractor has received very good care including oil changes, oil filter changes, air filter changes, fuel filter, blades replaced, etc. (One note, Iíve never done any maintenance with the carburetor in the 4 yrs that Iíve been using it, I donít know what, if any, maintenance is required. Also, the tractor has the original belts, not sure if this is relevant.) Two mowings ago, I noticed some vibration in the deck (recently put new blades on). Didnít do anything about it, continued to use tractor (approx. 45 min). At the last mowing, vibration continued, so I decided to check the oil level. The low level looked low, so I added more oil. I kept adding the oil up to almost 2.5 quarts. At this point, I felt that I ran the tractor w/out any oil and thought that I had damaged the engine somehow. After adding the oil, I finished cutting the grass (another 45 min). Today, I went out to cut the grass again. The tractor started fine after running it about 30 seconds I engaged the mower to start cutting. I saw a lot of white smoke coming out of the muffler and the engine stalled. I decided to check the oil before continuing mowing since I couldnít believe that I had to add 2.5 quarts last time. The oil level seemed very high so I changed the oil. After draining the oil, I noticed that almost twice as much oil came out from the engine. After putting in fresh oil, I started the tractor. The tractor started fine but I continued to see white smoke coming out of the engine. The smoke continued to come out of muffler and it feels as though the engine is not as strong as before.

Does any one have any suggestions or things to try?

Dirty ED The mowing deck and belts have nothing to do with your present engine problems.
The carb doesn't really have any routine maintenance requirements, but could be the source of your oil problem, if the float or main jet stuck open and gravity drained gas from the tank down through the carb into the cylinder, past the rings into the cranckcase which in turn can be forced back into the carb thru the cranckcase vent. If and when this happens it is almost impossible to see the thinned oil on the dipstick, which can lead you to add more oil.

Did/does the oil have a gasoline smell to it, and appear very thin?

How long did you run the engine after it started to blow smoke.
It's hard to tell if you damaged your engine when you overfilled it with oil, without doing a compression check.
With any luck all you did was saturate the carb/intake and exhaust with oil hence all the smoke, and it should burn off in a few minutes of running and probably show signs of reduced power(Oil ain't Gasoline).
Install a fuel shut off valve and use it everytime your'e finished mowing.
You may need to change the oil again.
Clean and inspect(repair) your carb.
You may very well see power restored and no damage to the engine.



Thanks for the reply!

Did/does the oil have a gasoline smell to it, and appear very thin?

I didnít smell the oil, but I believe it did appear thin.

How long did you run the engine after it started to blow smoke?

As I mentioned before, the engine ran ok (I think), it when I engaged the mower than there was A LOT of smoke. I shut the engine off, emptied the oil (this is when I noticed that almost twice the amount drained out) and changed it, then start it again. I only let it run a minute or so but it continued to blow smoke, so I shut it down.

Install a fuel shut off valve and use it everytime your'e finished mowing.

How hard is it to install the shut off valve (I assume you would need to drain all the gas before doing so)? Does it go before or after the fuel filter?

You may need to change the oil again.
Clean and inspect(repair) your carb.

There was nothing in the manual on the carburetor. How hard is it to inspect/repair it? What exactly needs to be repaired?

Dirty ED Your tractor may already have a fuel shutoff valve and or a filter, locate the gas tank and find the hose that goes to the carb, somewhere in line(usually at the tank is a vavle) there may be a filter as well further down the line.

You don't have to drain the tank if you use a set of hemostats, or locking pliers/clamp to close off the fuel flow by gently crushing the rubber fuel line.

If it doesn't have one they are easy to install, can be picked up at any automobile parts stores or WalMart, you just need to know what size fuel line you have. Install the valve prior to the filter so you can use the valve when you change filters. Get a can of carb cleaner also.

The carb probably just needs cleaning, but may have a bad needle valve and or seat.

If you are going to remove/disassemble the carb, then I would reccommend that you do so at a workbench/table with plenty of ventilation(no smoking or spark producing devices), use a cloth to keep all parts arranged in the manner in which you removed them(so you know how they go back).
It helps alot if you have a compressed air source to blow out the tiny holes/jets and use carb cleaner(spray can) where needed.
You can buy kits that contain the software, seat, needle valve and gaskets that may be needed, but you need the engine model and serial numbers.

German Cordoba Same thing is happening to me after changing the oil
start liking oil by the muffler and there is a lot of smoke coming out, I use 10-30w oil.
The tractor starts fine but after 4 to 5 minutes the
oil start coming out and the smoke.

Any advise, please.
Thank You

jogi ya,
i had the same problem with my lawn mover..i overfilled it with engine oil..and after running it for a while, i saw excesssive white smoke and then engine stalled.
i am also smelling gasoline and it appears thin..
HEY DIRTY ED, please advise what to do?


Dirty ED I have the Craftsman 6000 w/ 27 hp OHV Kohler. The mower is 3-4 yrs old, 130 hrs on unit. This season it started burning oil heavily. I mow 45 minutes every week or two. I now have to add oil at every use. I pulled the plugs and oil only appears to be coming from one cylinder. (one plug clean one has oil debris on it).
This unit has been well maintained, and only has 130 hrs. Compression in both cylinders good, any idea what may be causing problem. I don't want to tear down the engine if not necessary. To have this problem w/the minimal hrs on the unit really pisses me off.

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B Holm Same as above we have the 6000, 27hp. It is also smoking and acts like it is running out of fuel. Do these fuel pumps just go bad? How can we be sure that this is the problem.
nick hi i have a craftsman garden tractor with a 19hp kohler engine. and when i go to start it up it sqirts out oil but doesnt smoke then i shut it down check the oil and its empty so i add it and start it but its fine it only happens when its cold. can you help me with my problem
Joe Merenda In July 2002 I bought a Ferrris IS4000 61" ZTR with the kaw 27 hp liquid cooled engine. From day one, the mower and engine were serviced on the regular basis of two to 3 times/wk. Lube, oil, filters, and coolers are serviced/cleaned/replaced and chaged WAY BEFORE THE MANUAL SUGGESTS.

In the summer of 2005, with approximately 1,050 hours (...and out of warranty) we noticed the engine oil was down significantly at each servicing. Thinking it was a fluke, we just added the few ounces of oil. You guessed it -- the oil problem got worse with NO BLUE OR WHITE SMOKE, NO OILY RESIDULE IN THE TAIL PIPE, AND NO FOULED PLUGS. It got to the point that we would just try to make it through the season. We did, but it progressed to adding oil every few lawns.

In December of '05 brought the machine into a commercial dealer (Kaw cert) who was taken back as the mower barely limped up to the doors with only 1,162 hours. Nearly $3,000 later I have a new replacement motor; picked it up in Feb '06. At my request, the dealer agreed to have someone from Kawasaki contact me to discuss what I might have done OR NOT DONE in servicing. NO ONE EVER CALLED and I soon became busy just plain forgot.

With approximately 1,050 hours (UNBELIEVABLE!) in June of this year ('08) we started to experience the SAME PROBLEM!! It is up to 1ľ ounces of motor oil per machine hour! The dealer tried to go to bat for me with Kawasaki, but was told it was 'out of warranty', but it sounded like a "blow-by" test was in order. I contacted Kawasaki Consumer Services on 08/18/2008 to discuss this with a technician. He told me that when we blow the air filters out with compressed air we cause nonvisible tears in the paper element (its OK for the foam precleaner) and that this practice allows dirt into the upper engine. When we discussed the same procedures used with the three other Kawasaki engines with no problem, he referred to the Kawasaki manual where it warns not to used compressed air. He did concede that compressed air, when used properly (no definition) may not cause this filter damage.

Does anyone have any thoughts here? I'm thinking that if I could have received better customer service from Kawasaki after the first engine went prematurely, I might not be in this same predicament.

plantdr I had same exact problem as J. I could not understand how there was at least an extra 2quart of oil in the engine when I had not added any and the previous time I checked the oil it was okay. I drained the oil thumped the carb and the engine stared but smoked heavily. What should I do now?
Rex W. Bonham Everytime I engage blade, white smoke comes from engine. Is it valve or cylinder problems?
Thanks so much, Rex

Marvin marshall I have Kawasaki engine used a little oil everyday under warranty never got fixed kawasakl is the worst customer service I will never buy another one been is business 30 yes was told they were better thats lie but I did find the problem on mine its leaking on its the seal where govener goes in engine stay away from Kawasaki

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