Liquid Cooled Versus Air Cooled

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by puppypaws, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,922

    This will be a good discussion. Why and for what reasons do some prefer liquid cooled engines over air cooled engines which have less maintenance and parts to fail. I can understand this on larger engines but air cooled has been proven very well for longevity on smaller mower engines.

    Why do some want the aggravation of water pumps a radiator to keep clean and coolant to maintain.
  2. lawnspecialties

    lawnspecialties LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,513

    I used to race ATVs many years ago. LC engines always produced more power than air-cooled and I guess that's just still stamped in my head.

    My LC engines are quieter and run just as strong whether it's 20 degrees outside or 105.

    I've never replaced a water pump.
    I add coolant maybe once per year.
    Blowing off a radiator is easier than blowing out the cooling fins of an air-cooled motor.
  3. sydanna Lawn Care

    sydanna Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    I am on my second Kawi LC & when I buy a new mower it will be LC as well. Last longer & run cooler than AC. From what I gather, the city mowers tend to purchace AC because less maintenance but the also trade them up sooner than us guy's would.
  4. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,922

    I keep hearing this also; that L/C last longer, yet I know people personally with up to 4100 hrs. on Kohler A/C engines. There are really very few people in this area that run L/C engines on zero turn mowers and my dealer does not speak of major engine problems on mowers he sells.

    I will ask him the difference he sees in the A/C versus L/C he sells.
  5. sydanna Lawn Care

    sydanna Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 113

    It's really a personal preference for me. It's what I know. I'm not saying that I'd never buy an AC.
  6. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    LC pros: quieter, fuel efficient, does not rely solely on dissipation for cooling (grime on block not as bad as on A/C), L/C engines with fans on top suck hot air in rather than dissipate heat onto operator's back and head. They claim longevity, but I'm like you, I'm not sure there's much to that. I've heard numbers around 50% longer lifespan, but we haven't had any of our mowers that we've sold out long enough to verify that firsthand.

    A/C: lower price, less parts to fail.

    Nothing you didn't really know already, but for the sake of discussion...
  7. Kykutter

    Kykutter LawnSite Member
    from ky
    Posts: 20

    When i talked to a Dixie dealer last year before i bought my scag he said Dixie dropped the L/C from they're mowers because they were not seeing any longer life from them.Is this true?

    All i've ever had is A/C never had an issue.
  8. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,224

    On LC engines, constant operating temperature helps to produce constant power, reduce engine wear, increase oil life and lower oil consumption. Oil can be changed every 100 hours with no ill effect on engine wear while on AC engines, 50 hours seems to be the maximum recommended between oil changes.

    The biggest enemy of AC engines is overheating the cylinders. This will "cook" the oil and increase gases blow by which will contaminate the oil and drastically reduce oil and engine life.

    In the South, LC engines will last much, much longer and run better than AC engines.

    In essence, I am not against AC engines but IMHO, LC engines are the way to go.
  9. Ted Bell

    Ted Bell LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I think if someone is considering LC they may go ahead and upgrade to diesel engines which have longer life and more torque.
  10. tb8100

    tb8100 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from TX
    Posts: 1,627

    You bring up an excellent point. Oil life is a big factor. For this reason, I would only run synthetic in an air cooled engine.

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