liquid cooled vs. air cooled

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by SLCINC, Jul 6, 2007.


    SLCINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    how much more valuable is it to have a liquid cooled over regular air cooled engines. Also, what are the advantages of one and the other, do the liquid cooled mowers last longer, are they quieter? Looking to by a new mower not sure which one to get.
  2. Hushko

    Hushko LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    In my opinion, water-cooled engines do run somewhat quieter, but the distict advantage water-cooled engines have over air-cooled engines is that they run within a controlled/optimized operating temperature range. Since the temperature is regulated, the cylinders, pistons, valves and valve guides and all other metal parts inside the engine are stabilized with respect to expansion and contraction. In addition, the engine oil also runs cooler and therefore doesn't break down as quickly. Air-cooled engines, on the other hand, run at temperature that can fluctuate dramatically, dependent on the ambient temperatures and also on how hard the engine has to work. For instance, on a 90 degree day while mowing four inches of grass, the mower will work harder and run hotter than if you were mowing 2 inches of grass on a 70 degree day. In essence, if maintained properly, water-cooled engines, will typically outlast an air-cooled engine. On the downside, however, not only do water-cooled engines typically cost more, but they have greater potential for things to go wrong as well. For instance, coolant levels need to be maintained and there is always the potential for leaks as well as the potential for mechanical failures such as fan motors, hoses, clamps, water pumps and thermostats. At the same time it's important to always maintain a clear/unobstructed airway for the radiator. Air-cooled engines, on the other hand, essentially eliminate all of these potential problems with the exception of keeping both the oil cooler and engine cooling fins unobstructed with debris. So you have to weigh the pros and cons of each design and go with what you feel confident with. As for myself, I've run both air-cooled and water cooled engines on my mowers, and when I have to make the choice now, I'll always go with the air-cooled engine option. To me, I can't justify the additional cost, maintainance and potential problems inherent of a water-cooled engine in a mowing application. If you maintain an air-cooled engine and change the oil and filter at regular intervals with a high quality lubricant, it will provide an excellent service life. Hope this helps somewhat with your decision. Regards! Rob

    SLCINC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 110

    thanks for the great info.
  4. tralfaz

    tralfaz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 57

    I have a 27HP liquid cooled Kawasaki and it's about at 2,000 hours. The only problem I have ever had engine-wise was with the water pump leaking. It is quieter. My last mower I bought has a Kohler 28HP EFI air cooled. It really saves on the gas. Over 700 hours on it and so far haven't had any engine problems. If you really want something that will last and can afford it diesel is the way to go.

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