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View Full Version : How much oil useage is "acceptable" (25hp. Kohler)


Jason Rose
06-15-2007, 11:44 PM
THe 25hp Kohler on my Dixon has been using oil for some time now, I noticed it using quite a bit at around about 200 hours, but of course I didn't take it in...

Well now I have 900 hours on it and for the last several hundred Iv'e been adding oil about every other day, usually 8 to 10 ounces at a time! The engine dosn't visibly smoke other than at start-up sometimes. The exhaust does smell strong at times too.

Anyway, I had the machine at the dealer to get a couple things fixed and I asked them to check it and told them how much oil it was using. I was told it was totally NORMAL! "Every engine is different" he kept telling me when I explained that I have had about 6- 22 to 25hp engined over the years and NONE have used this much oil. Even my backup machine with 2500 hours dosn't burn this much oil.

They did a "leak down" test and found that I have one intake valve leaking slightly, but everything else was within specs. He said that the intake valve wouldn't account for that much oil useage, but then told me again that "it's normal".

Engine warranty wouldn't cover any repairs at this point so I told them to just forget the rebuild and I'd keep dumping in oil till winter and then decide what to do. I was using mobile1 syn. from 50 hours up till about 800, but frankly I'm tired of spending that much $$ on oil that's just dissapearing! I just swiched back to cheapo 10w30.

Any opinions? Thanks! :dizzy:

mcambrose
06-16-2007, 12:24 AM
Kohler says 1 ounce per hour. I don't know if this is on a per cylinder basis or total for two cylinder. Either way that is a lot of oil.

Jason Rose
06-16-2007, 12:27 AM
1 ounce per hour? wow! Well if that's the case then it really isn't that big of a deal, considering that I'm logging 8 to 10 hours every 2 days, and oddly I'm adding 8 to 10 ounces of oil every 2 days. Wonder why all my others were so much tighter though?

haybaler
06-16-2007, 09:58 PM
I always thought Kohler were good engines, but I'm changing my opinion quickly. My 23 hp is already blowing smoke at startup at 50 hr's! my Kawasaki didn't start doing that until 750 hr's.

Bill Kapaun
06-16-2007, 10:59 PM
I think that considering it's a 25 HP engine, 1 oz./hr. wouldn't be considered "excessive". Maybe not desirable, but....

Jason Rose
06-16-2007, 11:18 PM
I'm going to start using Valvoline "maxlife" oil in it (10W30). Don't know why that didn't occur to me a while back...

Iv'e had several vehicles in the past that started using oil, including my '98 dodge. Every one that I started using that Max Life oil in STOPED using oil! Supposedly it has some special additives in it that soften seals to make them more plyable again etc. I can tell you first hand that it DOES work, at least in my trucks. As for small engines, I guess I will find out.

The other PROBLEM I have with this engine is that it's hard as hell to start when it's hot! I can SMELL the excess fuel that has flooded the carb. once it does start. I told the mechanic about this 2 times now and he says "there's nothing wrong, it runs fine". Well the problem is that it's in his cool shop and the engine hasn't been running for an hour+ when he's checking it. I have to crank and crank and crank on the starter when it's hot to get it to fire. Drives me nuts! (Iv'e tried new plugs too, no help) I'd love to just adjust the carb a bit leaner and see what it does... But where in the heck is the adjustment screws??? Or is there any??

haybaler
06-17-2007, 09:30 AM
I'm going to start using Valvoline "maxlife" oil in it (10W30). Don't know why that didn't occur to me a while back...

Iv'e had several vehicles in the past that started using oil, including my '98 dodge. Every one that I started using that Max Life oil in STOPED using oil! Supposedly it has some special additives in it that soften seals to make them more plyable again etc. I can tell you first hand that it DOES work, at least in my trucks. As for small engines, I guess I will find out.

The other PROBLEM I have with this engine is that it's hard as hell to start when it's hot! I can SMELL the excess fuel that has flooded the carb. once it does start. I told the mechanic about this 2 times now and he says "there's nothing wrong, it runs fine". Well the problem is that it's in his cool shop and the engine hasn't been running for an hour+ when he's checking it. I have to crank and crank and crank on the starter when it's hot to get it to fire. Drives me nuts! (Iv'e tried new plugs too, no help) I'd love to just adjust the carb a bit leaner and see what it does... But where in the heck is the adjustment screws??? Or is there any??

first of all, lawn mower and car motors are totally different. two main things are mowers only run in warm weather and at a constant rpm. Don't use a multy viscosity oil. run straight 30w oil. if the temp is below 50f in the morning just let the mower warm up for a minute. Make sure after the first time U start the motor DON'T use the choke. Kawasaki's need the choke almost every time to start and Kohlers rarely ever and the do flood out easily. I wouldn't adjust the carb, bring it to the dealer. most carbs now you actually have to drill a hole in the right place to get to the screws, and you'll notice all the 2 cycle carbs have stops on the adjusters so you can't mess it up. so many engines have been ruined by people messing with the adjustments and not knowing what there doing. Even 4 stroke motors can be ruined by running to lean.

Bill Kapaun
06-17-2007, 05:22 PM
"Don't use a multy viscosity oil. run straight 30w oil."
For Kohlers with their hydraulic lifters, that statement is WRONG!
Using a straight weight oil can result in problems with the lifters.

Jason Rose
06-17-2007, 08:40 PM
"Don't use a multy viscosity oil. run straight 30w oil."
For Kohlers with their hydraulic lifters, that statement is WRONG!
Using a straight weight oil can result in problems with the lifters.

Thank you. I was going to say something but was busy at the time I looked at this tread earlier...

Yes, with Kohler engines it's best to use 10W30 ONLY. However Iv'e talked to people that use nothing but 15W40 in everything (for ease of servicing equipment, one oil for everything, gas or diesel). I thought I'd give it a shot a month 'n a half or so ago. Believe it or not, the engine was running FINE when I changed the oil, and the day after, and from there on out, untill I changed the oil again back to 10W30, it ran HORRIBLE!!! I'm unclear how a slightly different oil could make the engine run BAD, but it sure seems to me that it did. It was stalling at idle, backfiring at full throttle while mowing, loosing power/bogging down for no reason, etc. I checked fuel filter and changed the plugs, no difference. Couldn't have been the fuel as I had ran many many gallons through it in that time, all from different fuelings. Changed the oil and it ran fine again... wierd!:dizzy:

Bill Kapaun
06-17-2007, 11:18 PM
You shouldn't have turned it upside down to drain the oil:laugh:

EMJ
06-18-2007, 09:08 PM
first of all, lawn mower and car motors are totally different. two main things are mowers only run in warm weather and at a constant rpm. Don't use a multy viscosity oil. run straight 30w oil. if the temp is below 50f in the morning just let the mower warm up for a minute.

:clapping: Just for future reference a car motor, and a lawn mower motor are basically the same. You will not hurt a lawnmower engine by running a multi weight oil in it. A multi weight oil has 2 viscosity levels. 1 is the **w (the w stands for winter) this is the weight of the oil below 32 degrees (I believe that is the right temp). The second is the viscosity at running temp. If you let your mower warm up at the first job of the day you will be basically running a 30w oil all day long. Unless your jobs are far enough apart to let your equipment cool down. When the motor is cold the lower viscosity will travel to the valves faster. Manufactures opt for the straight weight in things that they believe will not get a chance to warm up.:confused:

johnwon
06-19-2007, 08:01 AM
Being you are now using so much oil...I would switch to a good quality 15w-40 oil. You can buy Chevron at Wal-Mart at a pretty good price in one gallon jugs.

thecrankshaft
06-19-2007, 09:29 AM
Although Kohler says .5 oz/cylinder/hour, IMO if an engine is using that much oil, especially a 25 HP, something else is wrong with it. When was the last time the head gaskets were replaced?

Jason Rose
06-19-2007, 07:53 PM
Being you are now using so much oil...I would switch to a good quality 15w-40 oil. You can buy Chevron at Wal-Mart at a pretty good price in one gallon jugs.

Tried that, I had similar consumption, plus, refer to one of my posts above about that. It ran horrible with the 15W40 in it.

Although Kohler says .5 oz/cylinder/hour, IMO if an engine is using that much oil, especially a 25 HP, something else is wrong with it. When was the last time the head gaskets were replaced?

When it was at the dealer last week (to repeat myself here) they preformed a leakdown test and found some leakage on one intake valve, not large enough to be where ths amount of oil is going. Head gaskets are original. This is only a 900 hour engine, and a year and a half old, and this oil consumption problem was occuring basically from day one, but it did get about double as bad at around 400 hours.


Iv'e had, lemme count here..., 7 different 20 to 25 hp kohler engines in the last 10 years. Iv'e had NO problems with any one of them using oil like this, and none ever were rebuilt or anything else internal replaced, and several were at around 2,000 hours. One I still have, unknown hours now since the meter broke, it uses some oil now, but good lord it has probably 2500++ on it. Still starts and runs like a new one. Scratch that... It starts and runs BETTER than my new one.

thecrankshaft
06-19-2007, 08:01 PM
Most dealers never see a head gasket that is blown. Oil can seep through very small passages. It usually blows between the oil return port and the combustion chamber, and only wears away one side of the head gasket.

TOOMUCHWALKING
06-19-2007, 10:56 PM
Try 20w50...you have nothing to lose . I've done this in several old car engines , and for lack of a better explanation , it must take up some of the excess clearances . I have been having this same problem with a 22hp kohler , and I got so sick of breathing that oil mist I bought a new mower today . Good luck ; I'd just replace the engine on that one

Jason Rose
06-20-2007, 12:09 AM
Well, all the oil issues I can deal with... Now the carb is messed up! I guess the low speed jet or the seat or something has some crud in it. Runs fine at WOT with the blades engaged, but without load the govenor just hunts, and at less than half throttle it chokes itself out and just dies. I started to pull the carb off and clean it out tonight, but OMG. Ther'es a LOT if brackets and shields that have to come off too. Heck, the muffler may have to get dropped to get the 2 bolts out that hold a bracket that holds the donaldson air cleaner... arg!

Restrorob
06-20-2007, 12:40 AM
I started to pull the carb off and clean it out tonight, but OMG. Ther'es a LOT if brackets and shields that have to come off too. Heck, the muffler may have to get dropped to get the 2 bolts out that hold a bracket that holds the donaldson air cleaner... arg!

And some wonder why shop labor rates are so high.....

Good Luck !

johnwon
06-20-2007, 08:20 AM
Sorry for missing the point about how it ran with 15w-40...that don't make any sense though. I wonder if maybe a carb problem allowing too much gas, could be letting gas dilute your oil??