Kohler says more then 1 acre a week is abuse on their engine!

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by llee3, Jun 6, 2011.

  1. llee3

    llee3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Equip is a 2000 Lazer Z HP. Kohler command 20. Between 750 and 800 hours total on it.

    A few weeks ago I was mowing my yard in a heavy mist. Soon it turned into a total downpour so I head into the garage. Later when its stopped I went out to start mowing again. Only it wont start. It will only click. Crap I say loudly. Put the battery tender on it. It gives a green light in no time. Hmmm. Turn the key and only get a click again. So I think I must have shorted out the starter selenoid. I go buy one. I have the shop test the battery in case. Battery is good (I hope so since it is less than a year old) get home put on the new selenoid thinking I am about to go mow - click. Shoot I say with some heart felt emotion.

    Ahhh, PTO switch. Of course! Buy one. Home. Install. Gonna mow now! Click. Dag nabbit is came out of my mouth.

    Today I called in to work so I could call the Exmark Help line. Spoke to 2 people there who were very nice and helpful. At least helpful enough to surmise that the problem was with the engine - not anything on the Exmark side.

    I am given a Kohler 800-544-2444 number. So I call them expecting to he helped. HA! I say. (Lots of emphasis on the HA part.)

    The guy tells me that he can help me find a service dealer to fix it for me. That he is not there to help me troubleshoot. I ask if he might have any idea what it might be. He says blown engine.

    I say it is a rebuilt engine. The original engine blew with 350 to 400 hours (5 years in people time) and that Kohler paid for a new short block and I paid the labor. After all if I was a real commercial kind of guy I would have that kind of hours on it in a few months. Since I am a 4 acre homeowner it took a lot longer.

    He said if I am mowing 4 acres with that engine I am ABUSING it! That their engines are not meant to mow more then 1 acre a week!!!! WHAT!!! 1 acre a week???????? I am trying to be nice still. However I could not help but to blurt out "What about the commercial guys who mow for 8 or 10 hours a day???? They are mowing WAY more then an acer a week, or an acre a day, or an acre an hour! My mower is rated at about 3 acres an hour by Exmark. So am I supposed to mow for 20 minutes then stop for 7 days????? Should I get on a 2nd mower, mow for 20 minutes, get on a third mower and so on??

    They reply I got was that once I mowed 1 acre I had pushed the engine to its limit and that after that I was only abusing it so of course it would blow. And as far as the commercial guys go that is why KOHLER does not do warranty work for them after 30 days. They have used up the amount of acreage/hourage by then.

    That is when he heard the CLICK of me hanging up.

    1) I really think it might be the PTO clutch is shorted out.
    2) I think I would have noticed that the engine was not running right when I pulled it into the garage if it was a blown engine.
    3) If it is a blown engine I will NEVER EVER EVER have another Kohler engine again!
    4) My 20+ year old 48" Lesco walk behind with a 14 horse pull start Kaw has WAY MORE hours then my Exmark. That Kaw has never had 1 problem with it. Starts on first or second pull. Even after sitting for a winter.
    6) Kohler real warranty is by hour/time spent putting the hours on?????
    7 Kohler does not do warranty work for commercial guys after 30 days???? Then why are people still buying Kolhers??????????

    Cmon Kohler. Say it ain't so Joe!

    I am about ready to sell this Exmark just to get rid of the Kohler Idiot on the phone today.

    If you are looking for a low hour, garage kept, all maintenance done when/before it should be, extra sets of blades, Exmark let me know. Only problem is you get a Kohler engine in the deal.
  2. llee3

    llee3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I just got the old PTO clutch off. (Thanks Blaster!) More then half the bearings are missing in it! Some look like they are somewhat melted even.

    Blown engine my rear end! Grrr to that kid!
  3. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Why arent you bashing the horrible techs at Exmark that convinced you it was an engine problem? Guess what, Kohler didnt supply the clutch.
  4. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029


    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 999

  6. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    "normal service" is the proper USE of said engine as outlined by both Kohler and the equipment manufacturer.

    I've never had a Kohler warranty claim denied and even gotten a couple just out of warranty claims payed, Also got a couple out of warranty adjustments where Kohler paid for parts and customer paid labor.

    llee3 just got a bunch of smoke blown up his ear......
  7. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    I hope they recorded what he told you. If they gets out it could really hurt there sells big time. Like was said before "You talked to two IDIOTS at two different places"
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Unfortunately Restro we're old school, things have changed drastically in the past years, where have you been?
    Not to be a wise guy but let me see if I can clue you in...

    You see, people today have to take an entire day OFF from work just to CALL the help line!
    And it should go without saying but the reason they have to take a day off to call a help line is because doing that COULD take ALL day!

    This was unheard of in our day Restro, if you or I would have done that and our boss found out about it, we would have been fired.

    But today this is the norm, folks nowadays take time off from work to call people about a problem with something they paid money for.
    Which isn't to say they're not risking being fired over it but they apparently put up with it,
    probably mostly because of the issue of choice (as in, we have none).

    That, Restro, is as close as I can get to describing what things have come to, in few words.


    Well, there's your problem, Kohler already went to bat for you once and now you expect it again and I am sorry but
    your problem can not be diagnosed over the phone, you need to take it to a qualified service technician and pay them
    whatever it cost, and stop expecting Kohler to give you a brand new engine every time you have some kind of a problem with it.

    More than likely it's not blown, but you need to take it to a qualified service technician.
    And be prepared, it might cost more than $50, probably 2, 3, 4, 500, I don't know, maybe more.

    That or fix it yourself, but those are the choices and if it still won't start I don't know what to tell you.

    That having been said...
    You might want to see if you can find some good shade tree 2-cycle / small engine mechanics in your area.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2011
  9. rwaters

    rwaters LawnSite Senior Member
    from Online
    Messages: 731

    just make sure you find a good one. Most of the guys around here give out higher bills then the dealers as they charge 2 hours for an hours labor. They also do not have the tools to do the job right the first time.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I do agree, anybody won't do.
    Other times I take a chance, that works as well but in some cases such as if you may
    have reached your frustration limit this might not be such a good idea.

    What I have found over the years it is best not to just go out and find whoever,
    but instead try talking to friends and family (maybe a good neighbor or a trusted
    co-worker) to see if there's someone they can recommend.

    As a rule, I only use folks who have been recommended.

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