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First oil change on Kohler Courage Pro 25 - odd color

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by ewilly, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. ewilly

    ewilly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I did the first oil change on my new mower with a Kohler Courage Pro 25, (12 hours) and it scared the crap out of me. After coming to my senses and realizing it is an air cooled engine, and not anti-freeze in my oil, I was baffled and slightly confused. :cry:

    The color of the oil that came out was a butterscotch with a hint of green. :dizzy: Does anyone know what causes that? Should I be concerned?

    This mower is a brand new Toro Titan Z 60" - yes its a residential mower. The dealer talked me into it due to the 3 yr/340 hr warranty, and that it was aimed at starting LCOs. It has been a POS for the couple of accounts that it gets used on (that's another thread though!), and if this is an engine problem, I'm going to end up at the dealer extremely angry - with it on the trailer - and hopefully trading for a Z Master 60". The only thing I can think of is that it is water in the engine, or maybe an assembly lube, since it is the first oil change. I store the mower inside a garage, and has only been on the trailer once in the rain during its life.

    Anyone have any feedback on this?
  2. 65t

    65t LawnSite Member
    Posts: 60

    Greenish color is fluorescent oil dye used at the factory to check for leaks after assembly. Should glow under a black light. Should be nothing to worry about.
  3. ewilly

    ewilly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    I'll have to take a blacklight to it now to see, thanks for that tip!

    I called my dealer and spoke to the tech (owner is out until Monday apparently). The tech, who is older than dirt, says that the condition of the oil is normal, as water condenses in the oil due to the heating/cooling cycle.

    For 12 hours on the engine, I don't think there should be THAT much water in the oil - is that even a true statement, that water in the oil is NORMAL ? I'm about ready to try to get my money back and go buy something besides a Toro...
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,023

    If your going to mow commercial buy a commercial unit !

    The condensation theory is true, The amount depends on weather conditions and how long the unit is ran each time it's used....
  5. mowerknower

    mowerknower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    We get the condensation a lot with new units. They are drove out to display everyday and they just never get hot enough to burn the moisture out. Over time the oil looks odd. We always change the oil out when it sells. Nothing to worry about.
  6. mowerknower

    mowerknower LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    Not that I like Toro or anything but you said you want too take it back and get something besides a toro. Toro doesnt make the engine so that is not the problem. You could get the same engine on a different brand or stick with toro and get a different engine. Dont blame the whole machine for a little engine problem. The engine is just a small part of a big machine.
  7. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    240 hours, not 340.
  8. ewilly

    ewilly LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    Yes I am aware that Toro doesn't make the engine, my issue is with multiple things. The dealer told me this mower was a low end commercial unit (HA! That'll teach me to believe them.) Also my other issues are with the mower itself, poor quality and no aftermarket for anything on this. I can't even get a bagger from Toro, or aftermarket - Toro told me directly they wont have a bagger anytime soon if at all. I was told my mower came straight from the crate - I had to wait a couple days for them to assemble it. The crates sat outside, who knows for how long, saw that with my own eyes. Every time I have run this unit, it is for at least 45 minutes at a time - so I would imagine that is long enough to burn the residual moisture out of oil. I have a bad feeling the engine sat out in the rain, and the unit just absorbed water from the time it was in a crate. I definitely don't get the warm and fuzzies knowing I've been running water throughout the first part of its life!

    My other issues with the mower is the antiscalp wheels on the front of the deck have actually BENT so that the wheel isn't able to turn anymore. That concerns me about the quality of the rest of the unit. The engine is also underpowered, and doesn't like running on inclines very well. It will bog way down in thicker grass and I actually gave my customer a free mosquito fogging a couple times while mowing on a hill. I may be nitpicking on the next one, but if you aren't paying careful attention to the height adjustment on the deck, it can slip to the almost all the way down position, past the adjustment bar. Thankfully that was my own lawn I accidentally scalped up. The striping kit (Toro part) was a joke too. Its a rubber flap style, didn't come with the correct bolts to install it (missing from the sealed box) so I had to go buy some bolts to install it. Then the kit won't stay on at all, it keeps catching when adjusted per their directions. I actually ran it over when it vibrated loose, it caught a dip in the lawn and ripped it right off! Poor design, I used the exact bolts/washers Toro spec'd on their sheet btw.

    I don't abuse my equipment, that is why I bought brand new - didn't want to inherit someone else's poor maintenance or issues. I guess I learned a hard lesson - make sure its a commercial unit, and search for sites like this BEFORE buying. :drinkup:

    Live and learn.

    Thanks for clearing that up! I was had a momentary brain fart ! :hammerhead:
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
  9. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Posts: 2,419

    Toro Consumer riding mowers, TimeCutter and Titan are shipped in a crate surrounded by cardboard with a cardboard top, that unless it was damaged in shipping, stays on pretty good. It is not just regular cardboard, it is moisture resistant cardboard. I left some sitting out after cutting the mower out, and water will pool up on the tops until you swipe it off. Water sat for at least a week there back when we were getting rain and didn't soak through, so as long as the tops were on there, your engine probably didn't get water on it, and even then it would be unlikely that water could have gotten IN the engine to a point of damage just from sitting. Water usually gets into an engine from pressure washing it and forcing water into areas that regular vertical rain normally would not hit.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    This is the reason why the owner's manual says to do the first oil change at 8 hours,
    I don't think you hurt much of anything by letting it go to 12 but the color of the
    oil on that first change is usually something unreal, and I have to agree it is normal but
    just to be sure I'd watch it, you have to check the oil frequently anyhow.

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