did I break my friend's lawn mower ?

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My lawn mower is in servicing, so I borrowed my friend's and use it for 90 minutes or so.
I then put it back into my trunk, except that it could only fit when tilted (with the spark plugs down, the handle up, outside of the truck). It stays in my trunk for 2 hours, before driving the 5 minutes to bring it back. in retrospect, that wasn't very smart....
when my friend started it the next day, it did a huge cloud of white smoke. He called me to ask me what was going. I told him, " well, not sure. it was working. Maybe oil got in the engine. just run it, the extra oil should burn and it should be fine".
he did that for a little bit, still a lot of smoke. then he thought maybe oil is missing. He refilled. and tried again, but couldn't start the engine anymore.
I went back to his home to see if I could help. The oil was very overfilled by maybe 1 quart (maybe 3 inches on the level). we tipped it to empty the extra oil, but still couldn't start the engine.
it is totally engine. I tried to turn the blade manually. the blade turns but the engine seems to be stuck..
it is a Toro, self-propelled, if that makes a difference. don't remember the engine's brand.
Any advice ? do you think it's fixable ? thanks in advance.
Fred
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Remove the oil filler cap and turn the sucker upside down and drain out all the excess oil into a pan or can for several hours. Also drain out all the gas which may be oil-contaminated.
Then set it right side up. Remove the spark plug and pull it a few times to get any oil out of the combustion chamber. Also check the air filter to make sure it's not oil-soaked-- replacing it if it is.
Let it sit upright over night and in the morning, refill it with the *correct* amount of the proper weight oil. Crank her up and after the initial big cloud of smoke, all should be OK.
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Runtime Error wrote: ...
...Sage advice snipped for brevity...
Very good.
I'd strongly recommend a new plug as well -- once the porcelain been oil soaked, they're never right again even if attempt to clean.
If it has a cartridge-type fuel filter, replace it as well as it may have gotten oil-contaminated gas in it as well.
--
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You didnt ruin it you just got oil into the head, overfilling it a quart got more oil into the head. drain everything as others said, maybe the airfilter is oil soaked also. It will smoke alot when you restart it
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Who was the nitwit that added an entire quart of oil to a lawn mower? That's like trying to stuff a double quarter pounder into a newborn baby.
Anyhow, that said, the other fellow had the right idea. Drain the oil, drain the gas, remove the plug, pull the cord a couple times to clear the cylinder. Let it sit over night.
Most walk behind mowers take 20 ounces of motor oil, and many do not have a fuel filter of any form.
--
Christopher A. Young
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You say, "I borrowed my friend's..."
That should read, "I borrowed my EX-FRIEND'S ..."
I assure you he is definitely NOT your friend any more.
It's time to step up to the plate and do what is right. Which is to take the mower to the dealer and get it repaired or buy him a new one.
Legally, you owe it to him anyway, so you might as well make it a moral obligation too.
On Mon, 1 Sep 2008 13:17:55 -0700 (PDT), fredinstl

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How is it that the borrower is morally or legally responsible? He had the mower tilted while returning it. It sounds like that caused some oil to get into the cylinder and produce some smoke when started again. Not the right thing to do, but in my experience, not a big problem.
The owner of the mower then decided to grossly overfill it with oil (about a qt, 3 inches on the dipstick). That's like saying I returned your car with some soda spilled on the floor mats and then you decided to drive it into a lake to clean it, so now I'm responsible for all the repairs.
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On Mon, 1 Sep 2008 18:40:43 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

It's the law. Always has been and always will be.
It's called a constructive bailment and 'extraordinary care is the standard here. Here in a nutshell is the law: "Bailee's Duty of Care In all bailment situations, the bailee has a minimum duty of care to ensure the safety of the property. If the bailee breaches or fails to uphold that duty, he can be legally liable for damages. A bailee can also be held liable for conversion if he uses the property without the bailor's permission, or does not return the property to the bailor upon request. A higher standard of care is imposed upon a paid bailee, and there is a lower standard of care imposed upon a bailee in a gratuitous bailment. With a bailment agreement or contract, the parties can agree to hold the bailee free from liability.
The bailee's standard of care is determined based upon the purpose of the bailment, and whether it is for the benefit of the bailee alone, the bailor alone, or for the benefit of both parties. If the bailment is for the benefit of the bailee alone, then the bailee owes a duty of extraordinary care. If the bailment is for the benefit of both the bailee and the bailor, then the bailee owes a duty of reasonable or ordinary care. Reasonable care is care that a person of ordinary prudence would exercise in the same or similar circumstances. If the bailment is a gratuitous bailment and is for the benefit of only the bailor, then the bailee owes only a duty of slight care. "
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Reading this law/nutshell makes my head hurt. Like learning Japanese Arithmetic. A man's "word" and hand shake ought to be enough to fix the mower.

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Oren wrote: ...

...
Fortunately FWIW to your head, the bailment law isn't applicable as the temporary loan of personal property doesn't even constitute a "gratuitous bailment" what more the more onerous "constructive bailment" claimed...
--
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I don't know all those big words, but I agree :-))
It gets into resonable and prudent. What would an ordinary person conclude? The common sense type person.
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re: It gets into resonable and prudent. What would an ordinary person conclude?
I conclude that I'm not gonna lend my lawnmower to either of those guys.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Screw what the law books say. Guy law says that if you borrow a tool and it craps out, even if it wasn't entirely your fault, you go the extra mile to make sure the owner is made whole. If I borrowed a friend's mower, and it came out of the car in non-running condition, I'd offer to pay for repairs. Even if he did something that made it worse out of cluelessness.
-- aem sends...
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The problem is that it _was_ running coming out of the car. The owner "broke" it by way overfilling. It is after that that it was "broke" and wouldn't start. Had he not overfilled it, all that was needed was to run it a bit for the smoke to clear. The borrower (OP) TOLD him what to do about it and he didn't follow the instructions. In my case I would tell him. Tuff s***, you broke it, you fix it.
Harry K
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Oh geez. Mighta known the lawyers would put in appearance! And we have two 'legal' opinions so far.
The only 'law' that got broken here is the immutable one that says; "The time something will break is when YOU borrow it and/or when YOU lend it".
I agree totally with other posters. The engine is most likely stuffed full of too much oil. Drain it all out including removing the plug and draining any oil out that way. Gee whiz who would put THAT MUCH oil into (what is it a Briggs and Stratton/Tecumseh) 3 or 4 HP motor or something! Struth! No wonder it won't turn and or give compression!
Morally as you have indicated since the lender seems to feel it 'broke' while on loan it IS up to YOU to satisfy that it is working again. Trouble is that someone not very technically 'ept' ( because I hate to use the word 'inept') may have an attitude of "Well it worked OK until lent it to XYZ. Hasn't worked right since"!
And those kind of people (rather like arguing with a dumb blonde!) you can't reason with. (Oh gee. There's another preposition at the end of one of my sentences for the group's Word Police to jump on!)
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I had a mower with exactly the same problem, just two days ago. I drained about 1.5 qts from the base, Took out the plug and oil ran out of the hole. I made sure that the oil had a chance to drain out of the plug hole by standing it up on end for a while. Put a new plug in and put the proper amount of oil in. Two pulls and it started right up, Lots of smoke, until all the excess oil was burned from the cylinder. My experience has shown that the cylinder can fill with oil from the base if the mower is turned on end or on it's side. Someone checks the oil level and sees it low and adds oil. In the mean time some of the the oil in the cylinder can drain back into the base and result in a gross overfill. Because of this I was able to obtain a very good mower free, because someone tossed it out, not knowing what had hapened.
wrote:

Oh geez. Mighta known the lawyers would put in appearance! And we have two 'legal' opinions so far.
The only 'law' that got broken here is the immutable one that says; "The time something will break is when YOU borrow it and/or when YOU lend it".
I agree totally with other posters. The engine is most likely stuffed full of too much oil. Drain it all out including removing the plug and draining any oil out that way. Gee whiz who would put THAT MUCH oil into (what is it a Briggs and Stratton/Tecumseh) 3 or 4 HP motor or something! Struth! No wonder it won't turn and or give compression!
Morally as you have indicated since the lender seems to feel it 'broke' while on loan it IS up to YOU to satisfy that it is working again. Trouble is that someone not very technically 'ept' ( because I hate to use the word 'inept') may have an attitude of "Well it worked OK until lent it to XYZ. Hasn't worked right since"!
And those kind of people (rather like arguing with a dumb blonde!) you can't reason with. (Oh gee. There's another preposition at the end of one of my sentences for the group's Word Police to jump on!)
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The mowers I've serviced have all had crankcase breather. So, any fumes from the oil gets fed into the air stream, and reburned. Over fill with oil, and oil splashes up through the rebreather.
--
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Yes, but what you fail to grasp is that the person who borrows something is only responsible for the damages that person causes. If you return the item and then the owner proceeds to turn a minor problem into a much bigger one by doing something stupid, the borrower isn't resonsible for that. Did you not grasp the car example I gave? Would you also pour an extra quart of oil in a lawn mower engine, filling it to 3" above the full mark on the dip stick and then claim someone else should pay for it?
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On Wed, 3 Sep 2008 05:16:13 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

If he brings the mower back with only two toes --- he can gamble away the other two. Fall off my ladder and you're fired before you hit the ground.
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On Sep 1, 8:40pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The owner overfilling it a quart was negligence, that completely flooded the cilinder to hydro lock, either way it should be fine after its cleaned out unless a ring broke, then both are at fault.
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