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Lawn Mower Smoking And Leaking Oil – What To Do?

Have you ever been mowing your lawn and the engine starts smoking, or worse, it leaks oil? This is a common problem with lawn mowers, and fortunately, there are things you can do to fix it. We've researched what to do if your lawn mower is smoking and leaking oil, as well as some tips for preventing this from happening in the future.

A lawn mower smoking and leaking oil can be alarming. These are both signs that something is wrong with the engine and, if left unchecked, could lead to costly repairs. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. Here are a few ways to do it:

  1. Turn off the mower
  2. Check the oil level
  3. See the mower's air filter 
  4. Examine the mower's spark plugs
  5. Inspect the mower's blade
  6. Check the gas tank
  7. See the angle of your lawnmower

Keep reading to get more tips on how to fix the issue and get your lawn mower back up and running in no time. Check out different ways to prevent smoking and leaking oil from your lawn mower.

dirty electric lawn mower flipped in green grass at home, Lawn Mower Smoking And Leaking Oil - What To Do?

Signs Of A Lawn Mower Smoking And Leaking Oil

If your lawn mower starts smoking or leaking oil, it's definitely time for a tune-up. So, it's important to take action immediately. Continuing to operate the mower can cause serious damage to the engine and could even lead to a fire. 

Mowing or cutting the long grass with a green lawn mower in the summer sun

Some of the most common signs that your mower is smoking and leaking oil include:

  1. White or blue smoke coming from the exhaust
  2. Oil dripping from the mower onto the ground
  3. A burning smell coming from the mower
  4. Strange noises coming from the engine

If you notice any of these signs, shut off the mower and allow it to cool down before checking for leaks.

Is It Normal For A Lawn Mower To Smoke And Leak Oil When It's New?

Some lawn mowers are shipped with oil already in the engine, so it's not unusual for them to smoke and leak a little when you first start them up. But then, if your mower is leaking a significant amount of oil or smoking excessively, this could be a sign of a problem.

It's always best to consult your owner's manual or contact the manufacturer if you're unsure. In most cases, a little smoke and some slight leaking is nothing to worry about - but it's always best to err on the side of caution.

What To Do If You Have A Lawn Mower Smoking And Leaking Oil?

Oil leaking from a lawn mower engine, dirty spots oil on gasoline engine

If your lawn mower starts smoking and leaking oil, it's important to take action right away.

1. Turn Off the Mower

If your lawn mower starts smoking or leaking oil, it's important to take action immediately. The first thing you should do is turn off the mower and allow it to cool down.

If the smoke is coming from the engine, it's likely that something is overheating. Allowing the engine to run for even a few more minutes could cause serious damage.

2. Check the Oil Level

One of the most common issues with a lawn mower is smoking and leaking oil. In most cases, this problem can be fixed by simply checking the oil level. If the oil is too low, add more until it reaches the full line on the dipstick. If the oil is too high, remove some until it is at the correct level.

It's also important to make sure that you are using the correct type of oil for your lawn mower. Refer to your owner's manual for specific recommendations.

Finally, be sure to dispose of used oil properly. Many service stations and auto parts stores offer disposal services for a small fee.

3. See the Mower's Air Filter 

A dirty air filter is one of the most common reasons for a lawn mower to smoke or leak oil. The air filter keeps dirt and debris out of the engine, and over time it can become clogged with grass and dust.

If your lawn mower's air filter is dirty, it can restrict airflow to the engine, causing the engine to overheat and smoke. Additionally, a dirty air filter can cause oil to leak from the engine.

To clean the air filter, remove it from the mower and wash it with soap and water. Allow the filter to dry completely before replacing it. By keeping the air filter clean, you can help prevent smoking and oil leaks.

4. Examine the Mower's Spark Plugs

Inspect the mower's spark plugs and replace them if they're worn out. A dirty spark plug can also cause the engine to run hot and may need to be replaced.

Spark plugs can become fouled with oil and debris, which can cause the engine to misfire. You'll know the plugs are fouled if they're black and/or wet.

To clean the plugs, remove them from the engine and scrub them with a wire brush. If they're excessively dirty, you may need to replace them.

Once the plugs are clean, reattach them and try starting the mower. If it still doesn't start, you may need to take it to a repair shop.

5. Inspect the Mower's Blade

A dull or damaged blade can cause the engine to work harder, leading to smoking and oil leaks. In addition, a blade that isn't properly mounted can also cause these problems.

If the blade is loose, tighten it up using the appropriate wrench. If it's dull or damaged, you'll need to replace it.

Once you've inspected the blade, start the mower and let it run for a few minutes to see if the problem has been resolved. If not, there are a few other potential causes you can check, such as the air filter or spark plugs.

6. Check the Gas Tank

The gas can break down and form a varnish-like substance on the inside of the tank. This can cause clogs and restrict the flow of fuel to the engine, leading to reduced performance and increased wear and tear. 

To clean out your gas tank, start draining all of the old gas. Next, add a cup of fresh gasoline and swish it around to loosen any build-up.

Finally, drain out the gas and refill the tank with fresh fuel. If you do this regularly, it will help to keep your lawn mower running smoothly for years to come.

7. See the Angle of Your Lawnmower

If you notice that your lawn mower is leaking oil and smoking, it's essential to look at the machine's angle.

The blade should be level with the ground, and the engine should be slightly higher than the blade. If the engine is lower than the blade, it can cause oil to leak into the engine and start smoking. 

By taking these simple steps, you can keep your lawn mower running smoothly and prevent potential damage to the engine.

What Are The Consequences Of A Lawn Mower That Smokes And Leaks Oil?

Teenager changes rechargeable battery in electric lawn mower

A lawn mower that smokes and leaks oil can have some consequences.

  1. First, it can be a fire hazard. The oil can drip onto the hot engine, causing a fire.
  2. The smoke can be harmful to your health. Breathed in, it can irritate your lungs and cause respiratory problems.
  3. The leaking oil can pollute the environment. It can contaminate soil and water and harm wildlife.
  4. Finally, a smoking and leaking lawn mower is unpleasant to use. It emits toxic fumes and makes a mess of your yard.

If you have a smoking and leaking lawn mower, it's essential to take it to a repair shop as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may put yourself and your surroundings at risk.

Is It Possible To Fix A Lawn Mower That Is Smoking And Leaking Oil By Yourself?

If your lawn mower is smoking and leaking oil, it's essential to take action quickly to prevent further damage. In many cases, you can fix the problem yourself with a bit of time and effort. 

While it may tempt you to fix the problem yourself, it's important to remember that lawn mowers are complex machines, and attempting repairs can be dangerous. In addition, many lawn mower manufacturers void the warranty if repairs are attempted by anyone other than a licensed technician.

So, the best action is to take your lawn mower to a qualified repair shop. The technician will diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs. While it may cost you some money upfront, you'll save time and hassle in the long run.

How Can You Prevent Your Lawn Mower From Smoking And Leaking Oil?

A male hand is using spray cleaner on the carburetor linkage of a gas lawnmower engine

Lawn mower maintenance is vital to keep your machine running properly. Over time, the engine oil breaks down and degrades, causing it to smoke and leak. You can prevent this by regularly changing the oil and using a higher-quality oil.

In addition, check the air filter regularly and clean it as needed. A clogged air filter can cause the engine to run hotter than usual and smoke.

Finally, make sure that you keep the lawn mower's deck clean. Grass and other debris can build up on the deck and cause the blades to become imbalanced. This can strain the engine, causing it to smoke and leak oil.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your lawn mower running smoothly for years.

Final Thoughts

dirty electric lawn mower flipped in green grass at home

The lawn mower smoking and leaking oil can be a scary sight. But, don't worry - there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and get your machine running like new again. Review the list above, or reach out to professionals for the best options.

To get more tips on keeping your gardening tools, see our posts below:

How To Start A Lawn Mower Without The Pull Cord

How Fast Do Lawnmower Blades Spin?

Mowing The Lawn On A Sunday – Is That Ok Or Not?