Answer from dealer as to why scag v-ride oil is darkening

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by lawnsaspire, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    This is a continuation of another thread I started 2 or 3 months ago about the oil darkening quickly on my 24 hp Kawi Scag V-Ride. Some of you who also own this mower have stated having the same issue. As my season is over I took the mower into the dealer. They said that bad gas had created carbon build-up on one of the valves creating blow-by that has ruined some of the gaskets but not the engine. They said the engine warranty does not cover bad gas (of course) It'll be about $300 in repairs and parts. I'm not a mechanic beyond routine maintenance, so I have to take their word that this is the case. If this is true, which I don't have any reason to believe it's not, you guys who have stated similar issues with the engine on the V-Ride ought to get it checked out. THey said continuing to run the engine like this would have resulted in much more damage. I don't know how they know that bad fuel caused this, but right now I don't have any other choice but to trust them and pay for repairs. Any thoughts?

    Messages: 1,343

    We are in the same boat, I am going to bring mine in next week to have it checked out
    I will let you know
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  3. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    I didn't see/read your other thread.....

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess you don't store fuel for a couple months before you put it in your machine, Or let your machine sit a couple months between each use right ?

    If not.....I'm inclined to call BS on what this "dealer" is trying to pass off on you.

    Now, This sounds more like what has happened;
    Blow-by/bad valve guides or seals create carbon build-up on the valve/piston and head not bad fuel, Strange that I don't recall finding "ruined gaskets" on any engine I've tore down with carbon issues.

    Being a Kawi warranty Tech and not able to inspect this engine up close and personal and going by your post alone, Something sounds fishy.....

    IMO, A second opinion is in order.....
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I can see getting one load of bad gas, but not repeatedly. Even stations that buy on the Spot Market don't normally get "bad" gas. The Spot Market is whoever has it the cheapest that day. The fuel may not have the additives that high quality gas has but it's not going to carbon and coke up an engine over night. It takes hundreds upon hundreds of hours for carbon to build up.

    Have you sent a sample of the oil to have it tested? Usually if there is something wrong with the engine or fuel, it will show up in the oil.
  5. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,192

    Just one :That is utter B.S. !!
    1. bad gas wont cause "carbon" buildup on the valves, varnish/gum deposits yes, but not carbon.
    2. a bad valve ( regardless of why its bad) won't cause "blowby".
    Blow-by is caused by worn piston rings or a worn cylinder bore, letting combustion gasses BLOW BY the rings and over pressurizing the crankcase, which can contaminate the oil, tax the breather system, force oil past the rings into the combustion chamber etc.
    3. A blown head gasket can cause the same symptons, but is not the same as blow-by.
    What gaskets exactly did it ruin?

    I know Kaw. recommends decarbonizing the heads/pistons at a specified hour, that may be what he was talkin' about.
    All air cooled mower engines use/burn oil, which in turn, causes carbon build-up, that's the nature of the beast.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  6. DR J

    DR J LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Did they preform a leak down test on motor? May ask. Would be nice to see results. Also a vac check while engine is running.
  7. slowleak1

    slowleak1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 532

    How fast is your oil darkening?

    What makes you think there is an issue to begin with?

    Does the mower smoke while running?
  8. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Try another dealer or try calling Kawasaki about it. I dont see bad gas causing this.

    Do you have other machines? All of them running on the same gas? Problems with other machines?
  9. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,760

    Curious: what brand and wt oil are you using?

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