Riding Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke

Riding Lawn Mower Blowing White Smoke – 10 Common Problems with easy Fix

Imagine a hot summer day, and you’re all set to mow your lawn with your trusty riding mower. But, surprise! When you turn on the blades, a cloud of white smoke appears, making you wonder what’s going on.

Don’t worry; you are not alone, I am also facing the same problem when I use a riding lawn mower for the first time. I am here to help you figure it out. White smoke from your mower is a common issue. It often happens because of simple things like spilled oil, too much oil, a dirty carburetor, stuck blades, an old fuel filter, or using the wrong oil.

Here below after recalling the issue, I will provide you a simple solution to 10 Common Reasons why your riding lawn mower is blowing white smoke?

Why is My Lawn Mower Smoking?

When you’re riding Lawn Mower starts blowing White smoke. The first question that came into everyone’s mind was Why is My Lawn Mower smoking? The answer is simple:

White smoke from your lawn mower can be caused by simple things like oil spilling, using too much oil, or a dirty carburetor. Sometimes, blades can get stuck, the fuel filter might be old, or you might be using the wrong type of oil. These problems are common, and we can help you understand what’s happening and how to get your lawnmower back on track.

In the next few paragraphs, I will discuss 10 Common Riding Mower White Smoke issues and share straightforward solutions to get it running smoothly. It’s not as tricky as it might seem, and you’ll soon have a smoke-free lawn. Let’s Start!

Troubleshooting 10 Common Riding Mower White Smoke Issues and their Solutions:

1. Oil Spilled on the Engine – Easy Fix:

Cause: White smoke appearing from your lawnmower indicates that oil has either leaked onto the engine or been spilled onto it.

Symptoms: When you restart the mower, the excess oil begins to burn, resulting in the production of white smoke.

Diagnosis: Start by checking the oil level and ensuring it’s at the correct level according to your owner’s manual. Verify that you’re using the correct type of oil specified in the manual.

Solution: If the oil level is correct and you’re using the right oil, clean any spilled oil from the engine to prevent further smoking.

2. Overfilled Oil in Smoking Lawn Mower:

Cause: Overfilling the oil reservoir can lead to white smoke, as the excess oil gets into areas it shouldn’t.

Symptoms: White smoke, accompanied by a noticeable oil smell, can occur when the oil reservoir is overfilled.

Diagnosis: Check the oil level, and if it’s too high, carefully drain the excess oil according to your mower’s specifications.

Solution: Maintain the oil level as recommended in your owner’s manual.

3. Dirty Carburetor:

Cause: The carburetor can become clogged with debris, leading to improper fuel and air mixture and white smoke.

Symptoms: In addition to white smoke, you may experience poor engine performance, sputtering, or stalling.

Diagnosis: Inspect the carburetor for dirt, debris, or clogs.

Solution: Clean or replace the carburetor, as necessary, and ensure it functions correctly.

4. Stuck Blades in Riding Mower (Also a big reason of Mower Blowing White Smoke:

Cause: Blades that are jammed or unable to spin freely can create excessive friction and produce white smoke.

Symptoms: You might notice unusual noises, vibrations, and white smoke when the blades are engaged.

Diagnosis: Visually inspect the blades for obstructions and ensure they rotate smoothly.

Solution: Remove any obstructions and lubricate the blade spindle to prevent future issues.

Related Post: if you want to learn how to sharpen the lawnmower blades on your own click here.

5. Soiled and Dirty Fuel Filter:

Cause: A worn-out and dirty fuel filter can restrict fuel flow, leading to an imbalanced fuel-air mixture and white smoke.

Symptoms: White smoke, along with decreased engine performance and uneven idling, can indicate a worn fuel filter.

Diagnosis: Examine the fuel filter and replace it if it’s old or clogged.

Solution: Install a new fuel filter to ensure proper fuel flow and combustion.

6. Incorrect Engine Oil Type:

Cause: Using the wrong type of engine oil for your mower can result in poor combustion and white smoke.

Symptoms: White smoke, along with reduced engine performance and efficiency, can occur.

Diagnosis: Verify that you’re using the oil recommended in your owner’s manual.

Solution: Drain the incorrect oil and replace it with the appropriate type as per your mower’s specifications.

Related Post: Learn about quick fix of oil leak

7. Engine Overheating Issues in My Riding Mower:

Cause: Overheating can cause the engine to produce white smoke, as excessive heat may vaporize oil.

Symptoms: Alongside white smoke, you might notice elevated engine temperature and possible overheating warnings.

Diagnosis: Monitor the engine temperature, check for cooling system issues, and ensure adequate airflow around the engine.

Solution: Address cooling system problems, ensure proper ventilation, and follow recommended maintenance intervals to prevent overheating.

8. Fuel Contamination or Use of Old Fuel:

Cause: Contaminated or degraded fuel can lead to combustion problems and white smoke.

Symptoms: White smoke, along with erratic engine behavior and stalling, might be observed.

Diagnosis: Examine the fuel for contaminants or water and consider the age of the fuel in your mower’s tank.

Solution: Drain and replace contaminated fuel, or use fuel stabilizers to maintain fuel quality over time.

9. Air Filter Blockage:

Cause: A clogged or dirty air filter can disrupt the air-fuel mixture, resulting in white smoke.

Symptoms: White smoke, coupled with reduced engine performance and possible engine misfires.

Diagnosis: Inspect the air filter and replace it if it’s dirty or clogged.

Solution: Regularly clean or replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

10. Spark Plug Issues:

Cause: An incorrect or malfunctioning spark plug can lead to incomplete combustion and white smoke.

Symptoms: White smoke, accompanied by poor engine performance and difficulty starting.

Diagnosis: Examine the spark plug, check the gap, and ensure it’s the correct type.

Solution: Replace the spark plug with the appropriate type and gap it correctly.

Related Learn More about Cleaning Spark Plugs

Other Smoke Problems

Black Smoke Problem in Riding Lawn Mowers

Cause: When your riding lawn mower starts blowing black thick smoke, it’s usually because it is using too much fuel. Think of it as your lawnmower working too hard and getting all smoky.

Symptom: You can’t miss the black smoke. Plus, your lawnmower might feel weaker, and it could make weird sounds.

Diagnosis: First, check the air filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, it messes up the fuel mix and makes the black smoke. If that’s not it, look at the carburetor. It might be letting in too much fuel.

Solution: If the air filter is dirty, clean it or put in a new one. If it’s the carburetor, adjust it right or get it cleaned. By taking care of these things, you’ll stop the black smoke and have a clean-running lawnmower.

Blue Smoke Problem in Riding Lawn Mowers

Cause: If you see blue smoke coming from your lawnmower, it means that oil is getting into places it shouldn’t. It’s like your lawnmower is feeling a bit oily inside.

Symptom: The most noticeable thing is the blue smoke. You might also see that your lawnmower is using more oil than it should. It’s like a mower is thirsty for oil.

Diagnosis: First, check the oil level. If it’s too high, that’s a problem. Then, see if the piston rings are worn out. They can let oil sneak into the combustion chamber, causing blue smoke.

Solution: If the oil level is too high, drain some of it out to the right level. If it’s the piston rings, you might need to get them fixed. This way, your lawnmower won’t be all smoky, and it will run better.


White smoke from a riding mower may not always be a sign of a severe problem, but it can disrupt your lawn care routine. To avoid this issue, remember to regularly check your oil level and use the correct type of oil specified in your owner’s manual.

Avoid mowing on steep slopes or turning your mower on its side, as these actions can lead to oil spillage.

Additionally, make it a habit to clean your carburetor and replace the fuel filter regularly. Ensure that your mower’s blades are in good condition and free of debris.

By following these simple steps, you can keep your riding mower running smoothly and efficiently, free from the annoyance of white smoke.

Naveed Aanjum author

About Naveed A Hashmi

In my childhood, I used to see my parents while working in the land, for these reasons today I have been serving the same as our own tradition and culture. I thus love to stay in it, because I want to learn something advanced and new so that I may improve my farm’s contour and help others with my experience.

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