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30 Kohler... keep an eye on your oil!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Shady Brook, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    Lost a head gasket the other day on my Super Z with 30 Kohler. I was loosing about 1.25 qt in a couple hours run time. Maybe mine was a freek occurance, or maybe the 30's will have problems like their smaller older brother. Thankfully I watch my oil pretty close or else the engine would have been toast. I lost a 27 this year and half wonder if it may not have been the same issue. fyi
  2. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Posts: 2,869

    Shady How many hrs do you have on it ? Did it start smoking a lot or what were the symptoms?
    Mine is put away until spring and has 175 hrs on it I think. But I still have to add a little bit between changes , not much though.
  3. mine blew at 30 hours.
  4. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    I have a mini bobcat with a kohler and I lose oil as well. Spoke to manufacturer and he said to just check the oil often and top up. It's an old engine with many hours, but as long as you check it 3 times a day should last for years.

    Kohlers seem to burn and "blow by" oil I guess.
  5. Josh.S

    Josh.S LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,085

    I used to have a mower that used oil alot to...

    just fill the oil and check the gas :laugh:
  6. ccl

    ccl LawnSite Member
    from ky
    Posts: 50

    It's been my experience that every Kohler motor I've owned has used some oil between changes, even on brand new mowers. I just assumed after my second or third one , it was just part of their nature. Every Kawasaki I've owned hardly uses a drop of oil, even with a 1000+ hrs. I'm not putting the Kohler's down, their a good motor and I've never had any mechanical problems with the ones I've owned, but if I had to choose between the two I would prefer the Kaw's.
  7. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    What I have found is that Kohlers don't like a lot of RPM and almost every one that has blown a head gasket was turning beyond 3600 RPM. My first 25 starting using oil at about 500 hours and by 600 hours the head gasket was gone. I had the engine set to 3750 no load as per Dixie Chopper recommendation. By 900 hours I was putting another head gasket on it. Then I turned the RPM down to 3600, it stopped using oil and blowing head gaskets.

    When I got my 28 EFI it was set to 3800 RPM and was already using oil at 29 hours. I turned the RPM down to 3600 and it hasn't used a drop since. I have almost 600 hours on it now.
  8. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517


    I have about 250 hours.

    I agree with what others have said, the Kohlers tend to use oil between changes. I think Richard maybe onto something with the rpm's, but I also think heat has something to do with it. I use more in the summer months. I also think having a heat sheild on it to keep from burning the grass may add to the heat and the burning of oil. I don't mind adding a bit of oil, but not two or three quarts a day....now that is a bit much.:)
  9. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    i used synthetic and never lost any
  10. CC Lawncare

    CC Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 114

    How often do you replace oil & filter on your machines with running the synthetic? I have always ran Walmart cheapstuff in my stuff just because I change it so often. I would switch to a good synthetic if I thought that I could stretch out the changing intervals enough to make it cost effective. I would definitely do it if it ended the dil consumption between changes.

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