Kohler command pro.

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by JPL, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. JPL

    JPL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I have a 2006 15 hp Kohler command pro.
    Does anybody know what the warranty is on this engine?
    I was told that it is only 2 years.
    My engine is burning oil about a quart every 3-4 days (I top it off every day).
    The shop I use told me that the engine is not worth fixing and that I would be better off to convert my mower to a Kawasaki engine. The Kohler engine would cost too much to rebuild.
    Has anybody had an oil burning problem with a Kohler engine?

    I am open for suggestions on what to do.

  2. mike r

    mike r LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    JPL: how much oil would you say your using? single cylinder i assume?

    i had the command pro 18 hp engine,single cylinder, super fine engine in my honest opinion, couple of questions though,
    1) what oil weight and type are you using? very well BE kohler's own sae 30!, NOT synthetic!
    2) in what type of enviroment are you using it? IE... hot and humid?
    3) how LONG everyday are you using it? 1 hour, 2-8 hours?
    4) oil MUST be checked BEFORE,DURING,AFTER YOU mow, rule of thumb,BUT not written in stone, check every 4 FOUR hours of operation.
    well the answer in #2, these command pro's WILL use oil like this, ALL engines will.
    5) are you mowing at part throttle or full throttle? hopfully FULL.
    6) is the engine blue smoking? if it is it's your rings.
    also clean that air prefilter and the primary air filter also, and keep it CLEAN.
    this is a start, but as far as this issue your having, if your using synthetic, change to kohler's sae 30.
    i am glad i did, because i was using mobil 1 synthetic, and was using even more than the normal amount over the kohler sae 30! well good luck.

  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,588

    Warranty is two years but in second year they don't cover fully. I had rings put in at around the 2 year point and had valves ground and it cost about $90 for my part. Some of that was oil and filter and spark plug. The other problem i have is the darn carb don't last two years and they don't have but 90 days on warranty.
  4. AmsoilPower

    AmsoilPower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 938

    Please explain this statement as I am :confused: why someone would not want to use synthetic.

    Engines "using" oil at 1 oz/hr is considered the norm and tolerable by most engine manufacturers with conventional oil.
  5. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    I have run 4 Kohler command pro engines. 1 is still in use. The other 3 have all started knocking or burning oil at high rates, till they finally throw a rod, or have some other huge mechanical failure. The last one I lost, I replaced with a Kawi. I have been fairly happy with the Kohlers, but I am way more impressed with the Kawi. The Kawi is so easy to start. It doesn't vapor lock, or flood like the Kohlers do, and somehow it is way easier to pull. It is like starting a 5hp mower. The twin cylinders are quiet and smooth. The only complaint I could have is that it uses a bit more fuel.
  6. JPL

    JPL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Mike r,
    Thanks for getting back to me, let me follow up on your questions.

    I am using Penns oil 10w-30w with a Wixs oil filter.
    The enviroment can be anything from cool to hot and humid as I am located in the north east.
    The engine is mounted on a 36" Scag mower and it see's action about 8-10 hrs a day 5 days a week.
    The oil is checked every day and the air filters are cleaned.
    On my other mowers with a Kawi engine I add a bit of oil once in a while and they run just as long each day.
    Yes I always run at full throttle unless I am empting the box.
    The smoke appeares to be black and the catcher box is covered with black soot.
    The engine carb. also floods when it sit over night as mention from Lawn Tamer.

    So that's where I stand. What next?? Do I just keep it running until it fails or do I take the time and try to rebuild it??

    Thanks for you imput.
  7. Phil G

    Phil G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 844

    Sounds to me like the float level is not set right in the carb'
    Try dropping to bowl and see if it's sitting level when the neddle valve is shut.
    I think you will find it's not shutting off at the right moment, or has dirt trapped under
    the neddle seating.
    Most floats can be adjusted by gently bending the tab.
    Too much unburnt fuel can wash the oil off the cylinder walls and cause premature wear.
    OR the choke is not fully disengaging.
    This may not slove all the issues, but needs to be right.
    Good luck Phil

  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    I have a 15hp Kohler Pro Command on an Exmark 36" w/b. The mower is working the eleventh season, with at least 6,500 service hours. The initial engine started using oil after the 3,000 hour mark, and I replaced the engine (no rebuilding). I felt that service life was more than I could expect. The second engine remains on the machine, and is used every day. It has more hours than the first engine, but runs very well. It uses just a bit of oil between changes, perhaps a half cup. It starts first pull, and I have never had any carb problems with either engine. In both cases, they have been flawless and I believe I've gotten much more service than one can expect.

    I use 10W-30 oil, using Wolf's Head for many years. In the recent past, I've used Shell Rotella 10W-30. For filters, I've used either Kohler OEM filters, or Oregon aftermarket filters. The air filter is serviced regularly, with the cycle depending upon conditions. At a minimum, the foam filter is cleaned weekly, sometimes daily in dirty conditions. The paper cartridge is swapped out at least four times per season.

    I have no complaints about this engine, and believe it has provided excellent service for a very long time.
  9. JPL

    JPL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Thanks for the tip with the float adjustment I will look at that this weekend while the machine is down. Sounds like a good reason that the engine is burning a lot of oil with the unburnt gas. I would have thought if that were the case the oil would have been thinned? The oil looks fine I have added some lucas oil additive to see if this will extend the life of the engine. At this time of year it's tough to have a machine down for a long period.
  10. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,986

    You have been very fortunate. Of the 3 Command Pros I have lost, only one was what I would call premature, but I had lots of issues mostly with the carbs. Seems like I often have to give the Kohlers 2 or 3 pulls to get them running, hard pulls. The Kawi seems to only require 1 gentle pull. I don't know if this is normal.
    I had put 4 years of commercial use on my last Kohler which bit the dust, which wouldn't be too bad alone, but I bought the motor used for $225, so I got more than a good value there. I think the Kohlers have 1 major flaw. They lack a low oil shut off switch. I don't understand why. I mow a lot of steep hills with the walk behinds, and I think the motors get starved for oil on these slopes.

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