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Hi I have a 42" craftsman riding mower that I had

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Hello, W/D here.
There is the possibility that oil is leaking into either the cylinder or the exhaust side of the cylinder, and may indicate mechanical damage. Also, bad rings, or stuck rings may also create these symptoms. If you suspect damage may occur to run the engine, then have it serviced. If, however, you can account for how oil might have migrated to the cylinder from the crank case (was the mower stored on end?, Was the crank case overfilled?), you may wish to simply start the engine and let it run, burning the oil off as it runs. This is a judgment call that you will have to make. One easy way to free up the rings is to remove the spark plug, and spray the cylinder liberally with penetrating oil such as WD-40, and allow it to work into the rings. This has probably a 50/50 chance of working, but it can remedy the problem sometimes. The key to getting this to work is to spray liberally, rotate the engine, and respray. This causes the oil to be well distributed, allowing it to work better. Repeat several times, and loosely fit the spark plug back in the hole to keep dirt out between oilings. This can take between several hours and several days, but at some point you'll be wanting to try to run the engine. With the plug out, rotate the engine several revolutions to remove any excess oil, then replace the plug and connect the coil wire. When the engine starts, look for the oily smoke to begin to lessen. If it does, you may be OK, and can continue to run the engine. If it does not begin to clear up, you should shut it down and have it looked at. I know the cost will not be palatable, but it will be considerably less than the cost of a new engine.
Best regards, and I hope that this helps, --W/D--

Posted on Apr 11, 2011

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