| >| Claudia,
| >| Not trying to be a smart patoot, but do you have the manual?
| >| Sometimes they are available online, even for the older mowers and if
| >| the engine is made by B& S or somebody, you could probably call or
| >| e-mail and get a copy...
| >| Anyway, point is, some mowers use oil in the air filter, like the old
| >| oil bath air filters used in old (i.e. pre-1960) cars. Briggs &
| >| Stratton's larger engines, for instance, have a paper air filter, and
| >| a sponge foam pre-cleaner. You saturate the pre-cleaner with oil to
| >| help clear all the Yeck!Ptooey! out before the air hits the paper
| >| filter.
| >Yes, I have the manual, and I also consulted B&S web site for more
| >information. Since my air filter is a paper pleated version it seemed to
| >that it shouldn'g be soaked with oil. None of the information that I
| >come across mentions this. For the foam filter, yes, I understand and it
| >documented as in need of being oiled before using it.
| >I just wanted to find out if a paper filter that is soaked with oil (and
| >shouldn't) is an indication that there is something wrong. I sense there
| >(i.e. rings, whatever that means).
| Are you sure you didnt flip the mower on it's side, or upside down?
| If not, throw a new set of rings in it. It's not all that hard on
| those mower engines.
What do you mean "throw a new set of rings in it." Is this a job that
someone with average mechanical aptitude can do? Where are those rings? I
imagine in the engine somewhere. How do you get there? The Briggs &
Stratton web site is silent on this subject - it keeps telling me to take it
to a qualified service center. Lots of questions as you can see from a
woman on a very tight budget, but willing to fix things herself. So don't
tell me to throw a new set of rings in it, and leave me hanging. <g>
If you need rings the mower has seen better days it isnt worth it as
there are alot of other components to rebuild. Basicly it means
rebuilding it. If its the rings run it till its dead or it smokes to
Rings go around the piston and create a seal with the cylinder
wall. The top ring is the compression ring, and it keeps the
pressure from the combustion of the fuel-air mixture from getting
past the piston. The next ring down is the secondary compression
ring, and can be thought of as a backup to the compression ring and
the oil ring. The bottom ring is the oil ring and allows
lubrication to take place, but keeps oil out of the combustion
No, replacing rings in not a D-I-Y job if you've never worked on
internal combustion engines before.
To reply by e-mail, remove the obvious word from the e-mail address
It's hard to tell what the problem is from a distance, but there is
certainly a problem. Unless you can do the work yourself, rebuilding
small engines is probably not worth it. By the time you pay shop fees,
you could buy a whole new mower.
First, change the oil. If you have never done that, we have discovered
the source of your problem. Small engines have no oil filter. You have
to change the oil frequently, or they will grind their guts out on the
dirt in the oil. The drain plug is under the mower deck, or on the side
of the mower just below the oil fill spout. Re-fill with a top grade of
detergent motor oil, like Delo 400. For new engines past the break-in
period, I use a full synthetic, Castrol Syntec 5w-50, but in a worn
engine like yours you should probably stick with straight 30w.
Next, change the spark plug. That won't fix anything, but if you have
been burning a lot of oil it will probably be fouled.
Take the air filter off and start the mower. Where is the oil coming
from? If there is a lot of blowby coming out of the crankcase breather,
your rings or valve seals, or maybe both, are not working. Either they
are worn out, or so crudded up from lack of maintenance that they can't
do their job. You might try some crankcase additives, like Motor Medic,
STP or Essentialube. It can't hurt. Change the oil as soon as it gets
black. The fresh detergent may dissolve some of the sludge out of the
engine. Otherwise, see if you can cobble together a washable air filter
out of filter foam, and just run the thing until it dies.
When you get a new mower, service it regularly. I personally break the
manufacturer's recommendations and add 2 oz. Marvel Mystery Oil and 2
oz. non-alcohol carb cleaner to every 5 gallon can of gas I buy, plus I
add Sta-Bil while the gas is fresh. In combination with the Syntec 5w-
50 in the crank case, changed frequently, my small engines run trouble
free for decades.
Briggs & Stratton motors are junk. My mower does the same thing. I have to
change the air filter twice per season. I had a B&S gas power washer that
went into the trash after one year because of oil issues also.
I have a mower with a B&S engine, one of the cheaper mowers on the
market (Murray self propelled) I needed a cheapie in a hurry. I've had
it for 9 years with no problem except, replaced rear wheels, air
filter (twice), blade and spark plug. While working on or
transporting mower, if I tilt mower past a certain level, oil will
come out of pleated paper filter, Crankcase is vented behind it...
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