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A lawn mower made by the American Company Toro

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smoke and oil coming from Toro variable speed propelled mower exhaust

I bought a new (customer returned) mower from a salvage dealer. It has never cut grass as below the deck is pristine. I added oil and gas and it started on the second pull. It pours smoke from the exhaust as well as spits oil (maybe oil vapor) that gets the deck and wheel oily. I saw one expert said oil in the cyllinder can cause this. Even with a new mower?

One other said to let it run for 15 min to burn it off, safe?

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks Tim G

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Letting it run for 15 minutes won't hurt anything that isn't already broken, if anything is. My first thought is the oil ring on the piston is not sealing, if all the oil is coming from the exhaust. The heat from letting it run for 15 minutes could cause it to expand to proper position. You have nothing to lose if it is something else like a cracked head allowing oil to blow through the valves that problem exists anyways. It is also possible that some misguided person put 2 cycle gas in it and what you experienced is from the remnants of the gas in the carburetor bowl.


Also make sure you didn't over fill your oil!


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Thanks to the help posts. I removed the muffler and the guard and let the mower run w/o it attached. It run loud but perfect, no oil! no white smoke!

When I re-attached the muffler, it spit a little oil but no white smoke. I removed it again and no oil and no smoke.

I think the muffler may have had some oil in it and I drained it and a little oil came out and now I am soaking it in gas to remove any remaining oil.

I'll let you know what happens when I re-attach the muffler and re-start.

Thanks again to AB, Phillip and Turkey

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Hello friends, I cleaned the muffler (had some oil inside) and replaced it ands the guard. It cranked first pull and ran w/o smoke or spitting oil. I cut my front lawn, bagged which also vacuumed the leaves and it worked perfectly.

Thanks so much for the help responses and hopefully I can be of assistance to someone on this site in the future.



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Sometimes when the mower has accidentally been laid on its side or even turned over, oil can drain into the cylinder. If it runs long enough, the oil will burn off.If it accidentally has a oil/gas mixture, you will have to drain the tank and flush the carb, and change the oil. It is also possible that the rings are broken or worn and letting oil get by the cylinder into the combustion chamber. It would have to be significant in order to throw the oil out of the exhaust. Depending on how your mower runs, it could also be a broken, stuck or burned valve or valve spring. You could do a compression check on it when the engine is cold. that would give you an idea of how bad the cylinder is. Not sure what type of engine you have, same Briggs and Stratton engines utilize a breather valve to control and maintain crankcase vacuum. The breather valve is a fiber disc or reed which closes on the piston up stroke and opens on the piston down stroke. The breather is located on the cylinder or inside the rocker cover, depending on engine model. If the breather is clogged you may develop to much much crankcase vacuum, which can force oil out into the combustion chamber and ultimately out your exhaust. If you can let us know what engine your mower has, we might narrow your problem down a bit. Hope this helps, good luck.

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tim sarà eternamente grato.
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