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View Full Version : New mower using oil during "break-in"


pvbooner
04-03-2012, 02:31 PM
Just wondering if anyone else has ever had a new mower use a little oil during the break in period. I bought a new cheetah with a 34 kohler this year, checked the oil at three hours and it was fine, checked it again at 18 hrs and it was a little low. Is this normal for a new mower? Dealer says that it is normal.

Ridin' Green
04-03-2012, 03:40 PM
Hopefully you performed your first oil/filter change at 8 hours.

You didn't say whether or not you did that in your post, but you should have did at at 8. That's the std recommended break-in oil change interval. The stuff that comes in new engines is almost like water. It is designed to allow the rings and piston to wear in and seat properly.

It is common for a new engine to use oild a little until they have 50-100 hours on them, even after changing the oil initially at 8 Hours. They just need time to wear in completely.

lawns Etc
04-03-2012, 05:49 PM
Id recommend using KOHLER OIL its the best in their engines

pvbooner
04-03-2012, 06:16 PM
My book said 20 hours so I have not changed it yet. Will probably be doing it before I run it again.

Ridin' Green
04-03-2012, 07:30 PM
Interesting.

My new Kohler bought last year said 8 hours, and I've read several other posts here where to poster said the same thing about their new Kohlers. My new Kawi bought last week says 8 hours as well.

chip25521
04-03-2012, 08:45 PM
When I bought my pro v I was told to change the oil at 10 hours. The book could say 8 though, I haven't really read it through yet.
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pvbooner
04-03-2012, 10:12 PM
Just went back through my book and found one place that said 20 hours and one place that said 8 hours. Mine actually had 16.5 not 18 and I just changed it tonight. Hopefully everything is good. The oil that was in it looked normal weight so hopefully everything is fine.

dahammer
04-03-2012, 10:39 PM
I bought a new Scag Tiger Cat with a Kohler CV740 (27HP) at the end of the season ;ast year. The Scag manual says the "check" the engine oil at 8 hours and to change it at 20 hours, then change it at 100 hours and every 100 hours thereafter. Both the Kohler service manual and owner's manual say to change it every 100 hours and there is no mention of any "break-in" oil change. The oil in mine appears to be standard Kohler engine oil and isn't thin like water. Mine has 18.8 hours on it and I am going to change it tomorrow for the first time.

Ridin' Green
04-04-2012, 12:17 AM
I was kind of exaggerating when I said "like water" just for affect. It is much thinner though, and has less lubricating protective qualities so that the internals can all wear in to each other, and the rings can seat. It is not good to go for very long with the oil that any new mower comes shipped because too much wear can take place and ruin any chance that the engine will give long life use. I always follow the manual instructions on break-in periods and first oil change for that reason.

weeze
04-04-2012, 01:00 AM
my kawi engine used oil until about 75-100hrs. i changed it at 8hrs, 50hrs, and 125hrs. there's much debate about how often to change the oil. the manual says every 100hrs (after initial break-in) but alot will say do it every 50hrs. i've decided to just change it around every 75hrs and go with it.

dahammer
04-04-2012, 02:51 PM
Perhaps they are delivered to the mower manufacturer dry and they put the initial oil in it and that is the difference in the recommended breakin period? You'd think the Kohler manual would specify but it makes no mention of a breakin oil change.

I'll probably change mine every 50 hours after the initial change. I'm leary of the Mobile 1 synthetic though. The last new Kohler I had (a Courage) starting smoking badly at startup and randomly while mowing after I switched it to Mobile 1.
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pvbooner
04-04-2012, 03:53 PM
I talked to kohler yesterday and they did say the the engines are sent out dry. Another thing that I cant figure out is the kohler book says the cv940 takes 3.1 quarts of oil. When I changed mine yesterday it took 2.1. Only thing that I can figure out is that it was a typo.

TheOctagon
04-04-2012, 07:43 PM
I talked to kohler yesterday and they did say the the engines are sent out dry. Another thing that I cant figure out is the kohler book says the cv940 takes 3.1 quarts of oil. When I changed mine yesterday it took 2.1. Only thing that I can figure out is that it was a typo.

Thats odd when i changed oil on my 34 it took 3 quarts. I like that kohler added a quart to the large engines. I wish they were 4 or 5 quarts.

dahammer
04-04-2012, 11:53 PM
I talked to kohler yesterday and they did say the the engines are sent out dry. Another thing that I cant figure out is the kohler book says the cv940 takes 3.1 quarts of oil. When I changed mine yesterday it took 2.1. Only thing that I can figure out is that it was a typo.

Did you change the filter?

Alan0354
04-05-2012, 04:26 AM
Should change oil in less than 8 hours. New engine need to be worn in and there will be a lot of metal shaving. Should get rid of it asap.

I change oil on my crappy Troybilt in like 3 hours or so, it was pitch black metallic silverish!!! After two oil change, used oil look normal again. I know you have better engine, but this still apply particular if you don't have a filter.

I like Mobil I, if I use it in my car, I'll use it in my mowers.

pvbooner
04-05-2012, 09:48 PM
Yes I changed the filter. I talked to my dealer today and he told me that he has never seen a 34 that held 3 quarts. Told me off the top of his head exactly how much it took and was right. Dealer said they had made several calls in the past to find out why it says 3.1 courts and had not gotten a strait answer, he said he would call again and let me know if he heard anything.

dahammer
04-05-2012, 11:23 PM
Yes I changed the filter. I talked to my dealer today and he told me that he has never seen a 34 that held 3 quarts. Told me off the top of his head exactly how much it took and was right. Dealer said they had made several calls in the past to find out why it says 3.1 courts and had not gotten a strait answer, he said he would call again and let me know if he heard anything.

Did he have any input as to when the initial oil change is due? I changed mine yesterday at 19 hours. It looked/felt like standard oil to me. It was dark, but not overly so. The Kohler oil is really light colored (almost clear) when new though.

MOturkey
04-06-2012, 12:14 AM
I'm guessing here, but I am pretty sure the "8 hour" oil change is an arbitrary number they have come up with based on the average work day. In other words, run your new engine for a day, then change the oil to get rid of any contaminants left from the manufacturing process. I seriously doubt it makes much difference if you do it at 4 hours, 8 hours, or 18 hours.

pvbooner
04-06-2012, 12:24 AM
One part of the scag book says 10 hours and one says 20. I ended up changing mine between the two and will change it again at 50. Then at 100 I will switch to the synthetic stuff. I told the guy at kohler this and he said that is sounded like a very good plan. I can't believe the enging manfacturer does not give any recomendations. The kohler book just says every 150 hours which is crazy!!

willowick
04-06-2012, 12:41 AM
Hopefully you performed your first oil/filter change at 8 hours.

You didn't say whether or not you did that in your post, but you should have did at at 8. That's the std recommended break-in oil change interval. The stuff that comes in new engines is almost like water. It is designed to allow the rings and piston to wear in and seat properly.

It is common for a new engine to use oild a little until they have 50-100 hours on them, even after changing the oil initially at 8 Hours. They just need time to wear in completely.

Huh. My dealer had me switch out the oil and oil/fuel filters at 5 hours. He said that was enough to run any schmutz out of the 27hp Kohler engine.

It was an easy change.

Yes, the first few times I fired up the mower it blew blue puffs for a second. No longer happens. Doesn't use a drop of oil.

I know a lot of folks diss Kohler but the engine really runs nicely and is getting better on fuel as the hours pile on.

Ijustwantausername
04-25-2014, 07:37 PM
I talked to kohler yesterday and they did say the the engines are sent out dry. Another thing that I cant figure out is the kohler book says the cv940 takes 3.1 quarts of oil. When I changed mine yesterday it took 2.1. Only thing that I can figure out is that it was a typo.

Bump bump, I'm reviving this thread, im dealing with the exact same thing on my new cheetah. I changed the oil/filter at 7 hrs (break in) and I put 3 qts per owners manual. I put maybe 2 hrs on it with the new oil. I'm worried this manual is wrong and it should have been 2.1 qts. Even the dip stick was high on the level, but its what manual called for. Any clarification? Have I messed up my brand new cheetah?
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whiffyspark
04-25-2014, 08:06 PM
Always go by dipstick. How much did you over fill it
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Ijustwantausername
04-25-2014, 08:07 PM
Always go by dipstick. How much did you over fill it
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One whole quart.
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whiffyspark
04-25-2014, 08:09 PM
Is that what it says on dipstick. Inch over full mark?
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Ijustwantausername
04-25-2014, 08:52 PM
Is that what it says on dipstick. Inch over full mark?
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Well the manual I received told me 3.1 quarts, the one online said 2.1. It was probably a little more than over an inch.
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Marshmallow
04-25-2014, 08:57 PM
The Kohler ECV940 (this is the EFI 34hp 999cc engine) takes 3 quarts of oil, I can never get in the last few ounces but that's because I probably can't get a few ounces out during the change. Always change the oil hot.

They will use oil unless you switch to 20w50 as per the updated owners and service manual. I switched mine to 20w50 and no more oil usage.

Ijustwantausername
04-25-2014, 09:01 PM
The Kohler ECV940 (this is the EFI 34hp 999cc engine) takes 3 quarts of oil, I can never get in the last few ounces but that's because I probably can't get a few ounces out during the change. Always change the oil hot.

They will use oil unless you switch to 20w50 as per the updated owners and service manual. I switched mine to 20w50 and more more oil usage.

Thanks for that, but what makes you say it takes 3 quarts, not arguing with you but im just curious. And why on earth is the level way above the full mark?
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Marshmallow
04-25-2014, 09:06 PM
If it's over the full mark it's overfilled. Did you get 3 quarts out? You have to tip the front end of the machine at least on the Toro since the drain hose is on the back side and not on the bottom of the engine.

It says to check oil after 80% filled so on the third quart you are really checking it a lot.

Ijustwantausername
04-25-2014, 09:14 PM
If it's over the full mark it's overfilled. Did you get 3 quarts out? You have to tip the front end of the machine at least on the Toro since the drain hose is on the back side and not on the bottom of the engine.

It says to check oil after 80% filled so on the third quart you are really checking it a lot.

Oh ok, thats weird though I never had to do that with my old cheetah with the 31 kawasaki, level ground was sufficient and it all drained out. You must have a different manual, my doesn't say anything about 80%. So have I messed anything up?
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Marshmallow
04-25-2014, 09:19 PM
I have no idea but download the manuals off the Kohler website. Service and owners.

whiffyspark
04-25-2014, 09:26 PM
Well the manual I received told me 3.1 quarts, the one online said 2.1. It was probably a little more than over an inch.
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Yeh you're over filled
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weeze
04-25-2014, 10:18 PM
just drain some out and recheck the dipstick until it's at the full mark.

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 03:05 PM
The Kohler ECV940 (this is the EFI 34hp 999cc engine) takes 3 quarts of oil, I can never get in the last few ounces but that's because I probably can't get a few ounces out during the change. Always change the oil hot.

They will use oil unless you switch to 20w50 as per the updated owners and service manual. I switched mine to 20w50 and no more oil usage.

Synthetic?
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DXN1EL
04-26-2014, 03:54 PM
So, you run the engine overfilled by one qt of oil for two hours? Usually when the engine oil is overfilled it will smoke crazy and it will get the spark plugs wet. And you would need to change spark plug to fire her up again.
I don't know how the Kohler engine dip stick is. But on the Honda it says. to place the dip stick it without screwing it all the way in.

Richard Martin
04-26-2014, 04:05 PM
Synthetic?
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If you're changing the oil at 100 hours, the use of synthetic is a waste of money. Any quality conventional oil will give you just as much protection as synthetics will.

weeze
04-26-2014, 05:41 PM
So, you run the engine overfilled by one qt of oil for two hours? Usually when the engine oil is overfilled it will smoke crazy and it will get the spark plugs wet. And you would need to change spark plug to fire her up again.
I don't know how the Kohler engine dip stick is. But on the Honda it says. to place the dip stick it without screwing it all the way in.

this is a good point. mower engines usually smoke if there is too much oil in them. they will burn it all until it's at the correct level.

soloscaperman
04-26-2014, 06:55 PM
Perhaps they are delivered to the mower manufacturer dry and they put the initial oil in it and that is the difference in the recommended breakin period? You'd think the Kohler manual would specify but it makes no mention of a breakin oil change.

I'll probably change mine every 50 hours after the initial change. I'm leary of the Mobile 1 synthetic though. The last new Kohler I had (a Courage) starting smoking badly at startup and randomly while mowing after I switched it to Mobile 1.
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That's weird the opposite from me. My 2008 Kohler 27HP smoked 5 times of every 10 starts (meaning it smoked like a flip of a coin) from brand new till about 85-100 hrs and the manual said you can change to synthetic after 85 hrs. Now with 940hrs and still using Mobile 1 10W-30W it only smoked at start up for a few secs of a total of maybe 2-5 times ever! Seems like the more hrs the more the engine gets better.

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 08:41 PM
So, you run the engine overfilled by one qt of oil for two hours? Usually when the engine oil is overfilled it will smoke crazy and it will get the spark plugs wet. And you would need to change spark plug to fire her up again.
I don't know how the Kohler engine dip stick is. But on the Honda it says. to place the dip stick it without screwing it all the way in.

Yep you are exactly right. I helped my grandfather bring his Super A to a mechanic who's probably worked on every kind of mower longer than i've been alive. I told him the situation and one of the first things he asked was if I was seeing blue smoke.

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 08:47 PM
Also it ended up taking about 2.25 quarts, but its not quite to the F line. The dipstick on this mower is silly too. So instead of it just being a straight metal or plastic rod to stick down the tube it is a thin piece of metal on something like a swivel. Also the metal isn't straight - picture this L Okay now turn that L upside down. the smaller leg of the L is screwed into the top of the cap and it swivels on the bolt, and when I say swivel I mean it turn a 360 degree as many times as you want. You get 2 pretty different readings if the swivel is one direction, and if you turn it 180 degrees and insert it you get a pretty different reading as well. I've never seen anything like it.

weeze
04-26-2014, 09:01 PM
I always hated the kawi dipstick because it goes in at an angle. so is it full when the top of the oil is at the full mark or the bottom edge of the oil is? or do you make an X where the oil goes through the middle of the full line on the dipstick? :laugh:

hard to explain exactly but maybe you get what i'm saying.

it looks like this sorta:

---\---

--- is the oil level

\ is the line on the dipstick

they can't make anything simple these days.

whiffyspark
04-26-2014, 09:06 PM
Y'all over complicate this lol
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weeze
04-26-2014, 09:14 PM
I actually said that wrong. I meant to say is it full when the oil level is at the top of the dipstick full mark or when the oil level is at the bottom part of the dipstick full mark?

I think it's the other way around. the manufacturers complicate things.

:)

whiffyspark
04-26-2014, 09:17 PM
Top mark. Bottom mark is qt low
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Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 09:17 PM
I actually said that wrong. I meant to say is it full when the oil level is at the top of the dipstick full mark or when the oil level is at the bottom part of the dipstick full mark?

I think it's the other way around. the manufacturers complicate things.

:)

I KNOW!!! I'm glad to see were on the same page. That was the way my 31 kawasaki was. This Kohler is ever WORSE! I don't think I'll ever be able to get the exact right amount. Heck I just want it in between the bottom circle and the top circle now!

weeze
04-26-2014, 09:28 PM
here I drew it out for you guys. you tell me which of the 3 is right? :laugh:

weeze
04-26-2014, 09:30 PM
Top mark. Bottom mark is qt low
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a qt. low? I dont' think so :laugh:

it's only a tad bit of oil difference from top to bottom. i'm not talking about the low oil and full oil line. :laugh:

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 09:35 PM
a qt. low? I dont' think so :laugh:

it's only a tad bit of oil difference from top to bottom. i'm not talking about the low oil and full oil line. :laugh:

Yeah I was going to say something about that. Certainly not a qt. It did take half a qt to bring it up to the full hole though, at least during break in. As to your pictures im not sure?

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 09:36 PM
Maybe the one all the way to the right, that's where id feel comfortable at least.

sjessen
04-26-2014, 09:37 PM
here I drew it out for you guys. you tell me which of the 3 is right? :laugh:

My vote is for the middle picture.

whiffyspark
04-26-2014, 09:45 PM
a qt. low? I dont' think so :laugh:

it's only a tad bit of oil difference from top to bottom. i'm not talking about the low oil and full oil line. :laugh:

Gotcha low mark to high is qt low

You're splitting hairs on the full line.
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weeze
04-26-2014, 09:46 PM
well according to my Honda trimmer the one on the left would be correct. it would be level with the opening of the engine case.....but that is Honda. I have no idea what Kawasaki uses for correct level.

whiffyspark
04-26-2014, 09:47 PM
Dude seriously you're talking about a half of ounce. Lol
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weeze
04-26-2014, 09:53 PM
ATTENTION ALL ENGINE MANUFACTURERS!!!!

Make an oil dipstick like this that goes straight up and down.

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!

weeze
04-26-2014, 09:55 PM
anyways might as well overfill it a tad since it's gonna use oil anyways LMAO

sjessen
04-26-2014, 09:57 PM
Have heard anecdotal reports of manufacturers refusing warranty claims on engines that were the least bit low on oil especially if the mower was used on slopes. Best to run them full or just a bit over full.

Ijustwantausername
04-26-2014, 10:01 PM
ATTENTION ALL ENGINE MANUFACTURERS!!!!

Make an oil dipstick like this that goes straight up and down.

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!

hahahahah!!

weeze
04-26-2014, 10:02 PM
but then too full is bad for engines too :laugh:

it's all a guessing game at this point. there is no perfect oil level that exists.

I miss the good 'ol days. if it said 2qts of oil that's what you used and it was exactly on the full line EVERY SINGLE TIME!!!!!!!!

soloscaperman
04-26-2014, 10:16 PM
I bought a mint 1994 Chevy Z71 with 110K miles. I was told not to use synthetic oil or it would basically piss out. Ignored the guy when I bought it 8 years ago. changed oil and use Mobile 1 10-30 I changed the oil on the next 3,000 miles and only a quart came out or so. I have 297K miles NOW on the original engine and put LUCAS with the Mobile 1 and it doesn't leak. They say an engine doesn't need that much oil the extra amount is for cooling purposes.

Also I got into that terrible bike accident. Forgot to tell my worker there was NO OIL IN THE 8hp little wonder push blower which was only 6 years old. That sucker ran 1.5 days without oil! Then a big bang sound and the connecting rod broke off the head still moves.

weeze
04-26-2014, 10:29 PM
I remember my 1988 Toyota 4x4 pickup. after 200k miles or so it would use oil. I drove it another 100k and I would drive it until the low oil light would come on and then add oil to it which was about once a month or so. I sold it around 300k and that truck is still running til this day. probably has over 500k on it.

DXN1EL
04-26-2014, 10:32 PM
ATTENTION ALL ENGINE MANUFACTURERS!!!!

Make an oil dipstick like this that goes straight up and down.

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!!!

The Briggs on my chimcon mower it like that

weeze
04-26-2014, 10:49 PM
they used to all be like that. even the kawi engines. I don't know what made them all change???


like this one on a mower I used to have:

http://i55.tinypic.com/11sfjfc.jpg