Question about Poulan 42-Inch Steel Deck 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton I/C Engine With 6 Speed

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Oil leaking around drain plug? Or overfull?

WE just bought a used Poulan 17HP, 42"deck lawn mower yesterday, 2003 model. It has been stored for the last year since the owners moved into town. It seems to be leaking oil and cutting in a cloud of black smoke. The dealer sold it as a 'favour' for the owner. When he loaded the tractor he couldn't tell whether he was filling or overfilling the oil receptacle. Would overfilling the oil cause this problem? It seems to be leaking around where the drain plug. Any help would be appreciated.

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Check the oil in the engine, see if it smells like there is gasoline in the oil. Black smoke would indicate a fuel burn issue, which means there could be a rather dominant presence of gas in the oil pan. This is more common than you might think in an engine that has sat for a while, the gas becomes varnish and causes the float in the carb to stick, allowing the gas to run through the engine. The thinned gas could also be causing the leaking around the plug.

If this is the case and there is gas in the oil (the two smell nothing alike, so it's easy to tell if there is fuel in the oil), then you want to start with cleaning the carb out, making sure the float is not sticking. You'll also need to drain and replace the oil and likely clean the spark plug from where the oil can get into the engine head.

Posted on May 13, 2009


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