Ask the mower Guy at Carlsbad Small Engine: Why is my motor running so bad, spitting oil, and smoking. Could be overheating.
Your air-cooled engine hate the desert. Every mower engine is rated to only work to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. So, with that in mind, keeping the air-cooled engine cool is important especially when you live in a place where the temperature exceeds 100 degrees. If you don’t, your engine will literally fall apart internally as the rings wear out and mechanical parts moving all around inside the motor don’t get lubed right.
We hear a common statement often - they don’t make ‘em like they used to, and that’s true, but in addition most people don’t take care of their stuff like they used to either! In the past, most folks took better care of their equipment and the quality was higher in quality to take more abuse. Not anymore. You have to do routine preventative maintenance or be prepared to replace your stuff often nowadays.
Do at least the following from time to time. First, the engine has a flywheel with fan blades under the blower hosing. Occasionally you need to make sure that the top of the recoil isn’t filled with dirt and goo. Same goes for the side of the mower. It should be clean to allow as much airflow over the engine as possible. Dirt, oil and grass both blocks that airflow, and acts as an insulator like a jacket does. Wear a winter jacket in the summer and you overheat, don’t clean off the mower, and it will overheat. You can usually wash it off with water, but make sure the engine is not hot.
That overheating of the oil causes it to break down more quickly internally as well and not provide proper lubrication inside the motor. In most small engines, the oil is either pumped, around the inside or a paddle splashes oil. Oil, thick, black, sludgy, dirty oil doesn’t splash well. If moving parts don’t stay wet with oil, friction occurs, adding to the heat and wear.
As the engine overheats, microscopic shavings of metal are grinded off the internal parts. That mixes into a nice liquid sandpaper sloshing around and thickening the oil. The oil is also supposed splash feely carrying heat to the sides of the motor to transfer heat away and cool the motor. It the oil is too thick and old; it doesn’t do that. It starts to act like that jacket of dirt on the outside, insulating all the heat inside the motor.
Now, let’s get back to the liquid sandpaper you made in your motor. Not all at once, but it’s very damaging over time. It’s like if you rub a table with your hand over and over and over again in the same spot, eventually you will wear through the shellac, the paint and wear the wood down in a grove where you rub. Image now your hand rubbing back and forth 1,800 times a minute, think about how long it will take with a little pressure to ruin that table. Same thing goes for your engine but its much quicker being metal on metal with limited lubrication.
So, change your oil and filters often and use the right oil. Look up in your owner’s manual how often your supposed to change your oil and what to use. You will be amazed that most manufacturers recommend around every 20 hours of use at normal running temperature. Your stuff will last much longer
At Carlsbad Small Engine with do oil changes on ATVs, side by sides and outdoor lawn equipment. If you need our help, we will be glad to arrange a pick up and delivery to get it into our shop and do it for you along with the other routine maintenance or tune-ups as needed. Give us a call 575-616-2348 or text with any questions. Finally, Carlsbad Small Engine encourages you get the vaccine and wear a mask, just more preventative maintenance just on another machine.