White smoke and oil in carb


Old 03-27-13, 06:54 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Exclamation White smoke and oil in carb

I recently performed a tune up on a Honda Eco 46 self propelled lawn mower. I sharpened the blade, changed the oil (added 10w-30 oil), cleaned the air filter, cleaned the carb and patched up some rusty holes. I also made a feeder housing so I could shred palm leaves with it.

I was working through the palm leaves for a couple hours and it was working better than ever. Then I changed from green leaves to dry brown ones. Within 15 minutes I noticed it choked out when previously the motor would choke down but never out. Weird. Then I started it right back up on the first pull and noticed it was blowing white smoke and running a little rough. I adjusted the throttle and was able to make the smoke clear away momentarily but then it would return. This happened in the hottest part of the day.

I checked the air filter and noticed there was oil in the housing and it looked like oil in the carb. I overfilled the oil after I changed it and now I am not sure why there would be oil in the carb?? Is it the 10w-30 oil is thinner than 30 weight oil slipping past seals?

What should I do? I first will empty a bit of oil to a better level. Must I clean the carb again or will it clean itself with normal use? Is there possibly something else happening like a bad head gasket or piston ring?

PS. This is my mother in law's mower so I have to return it working.

Last edited by Freeparty; 03-27-13 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 03-27-13, 07:16 AM
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Location: NC, USA
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If you think you over filled it with oil I would start there before worrying about rings and head gasket. Remove some oil to get it to the proper level. Then I would remove any oil from the air cleaner housing. If you want to be thorough you can remove and clean the spark plug. Then I would just run it for a bit and see if it cleans itself out.
Old 03-27-13, 07:20 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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I filled the mower with 10w-30 oil. Is that alright?
Old 03-27-13, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
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10w-30 should be OK. Most mowers recommend straight 30w however.

The 30w is less likely to break down in a lawn mower versus a 10w-30.
Old 03-27-13, 11:02 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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Back at work. I emptied some oil and the white smoke went away. I read that the 10W part of 10w-30 is lighter than the recomended 30w and may squeeze past rings. I think everything is ok with it now, compared to what is was when I got it.

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