View Full Version : 20 Kohler smokes at startup

02-20-2008, 10:46 PM
I have a 20hp Kohler on my Tiger cub and it has been smoking on and off (blue smoke) at startup since it had about 50 hrs on it. The dealer did a leak down test and said everything is fine and even the Kohler rep doesn't seem to concerned. The mower has almost 600hrs now and it still does this although it doesn't seem to use any oil. Just thought I would ask if any of you have exprienced this and what you know about it. I will add that I change the oil often and that I use Mobil1 10/30. Thanks.

Jason Pallas
02-20-2008, 11:01 PM
I have the same "problem" with a few of my Kohler 20HP (they're in Exmarks though). I've been told and I believe that the problem is a valve that is hanging up/sticking open occaisionally - allowing a little bit of oil to leak in. I've done a search on it and that's what I believe is the most likely culprit. As it has never been an oil consumption issue, we've just lived with it for the time being.

02-21-2008, 05:21 PM
careful about that little bit of smoke---might have a enviromental wacko neighbor----------------:dizzy::dizzy:

02-23-2008, 09:25 AM
We have had these engines that would out perform a mosquito fogger on start up one day and not smoke any the next day. They are very sensitive to the oil level but the start up smoking doesn't seem to indicate any engine problems.


02-23-2008, 11:14 AM
Mine on a Scag does the same thing, not sure if a little is getting by the valves . One mechanic told me it happens sometimes because of the angle you go up to get on a trailer and some gets picked up in a vent. Mine does it some when it hasnt been on a trailer in a while........I dont know.....in 50 hours there is little difference on the dip stick


02-24-2008, 04:15 PM
I used to help out at a dealer that had a Great Dane with a 20 or 22 Kohler, I can't remember which. It would always smoke on startup like that.
I know a guy with a 61 Bob-Cat that has a 22 Kohler with massive hours so, it must be a tough engine. Tony

02-24-2008, 08:17 PM
On a new engine the oil needs changing I think after the first 8 hours, then normal.
So long that is done and the oil changes kept up that is not the problem but they all do that, not just Kohler. Make sure to check the oil because you'd be surprised... Weird but the oil level is fine for however long then all of a sudden it's like 1/2 quart low, so check it regularly and keep up on the service interval as listed in the manual, but all engines do it even cars smoke at times.