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Solution to the mower engine using oil

Have about 1and 1/2 acres to mow, my 18ohv uses about a quart per each mow, no leak observed, any thoughts?

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  • Garden Master
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Is it smoking? if its not leaking it, it must be burning it. could be the valves or rings

Posted on May 12, 2017

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I have had my Poulan Lawn Mower for 4 years. The model number is 961320020. As I was mowing the lawn today, I thought that it might be running a bit sluggish and it dawned on me that I had not ever added...


Four years without adding or changing the oil?!
I think that was the problem right there.

Mowers need oil changes to protect the cylinder walls and valve guides every 25 hours of operation. Thats usually about one season if your yard is under an 1/3 of an acre.

Your mower ran on almost no oil for the last two years. The normal lawn mower only holds 20 ounces of oil. You topped off with 16 ounces! The four ounces still in the motor were probably so full of dirt and metal particles that it was grease! Which is no help to an engine that gets its lubrication by splash oiling.

Your mower should be oiled with 30 weight non detergent oil. Multi Vis oils are for engines with tighter machined tolerances. Your oil choice is going to go right past the piston rings and valve guides creating gobs of smoke! Go get some 30W ND oil at your parts store and put it in....but run the mower first so you can clean out all the gunk in the oil sump. Run it long enough for the oil to flow easily.

Once you put in the right oil you can run it and try to clear out the remaining multi vis oil.

If it keeps smoking...I would say you have permanent damage to the cylinder wall or valve guides.

Good luck and be careful!

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Uses approx 1 quart oil to mow roughly 2 acres, not high grass, no hills, loses compression


sounds like the rings are bad on your piston. you can inspect the cylinder and see if it has any grooves in it by removing the spark plug and the plate it screws into. If you do this you will at leas have to buy a new gasket if you pull off the plate.

when my toro did this it burned through a quart in the time it took me to mow my 1/4 acre city lot. I didthe above and my cylinder had a groove dug into the cylinder. The cylinder was going to cost me $267 and a new motor was $250. Doesnt make much sense does it?

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Oil leaking way to much


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