New Kohler 15 starting to burn oil

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MATTHEW, Sep 15, 2001.


    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    My Kohler command 15 was installed last spring. Only 1 1/2 years on it. My lifters clacked pertty loud and it bothered me. A few threads touched on this and there were 2 suggestions. #1 DO NOT OVERFILL OIL, KEEP IT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GRID. #2 ADD SOME MARVEL MYSTERY OIL. I did both of these and the lifters are still clickin' but not quite so loud. Fine. But now, I am having to add a bit of oil, amybe 1-2 oz A DAY to keep the level safe.
    Did this advise cause damage to a $700.00 engine?
  2. Kevin M.

    Kevin M. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    I have three Kollar commands and there horsepower ranges from 11 to 17 hp and my three engines dont burn any oil at all. We use two of these engines for sprayers and the other one is on a compressor which is for the recycling equipment I own in our wood yard. You might want to take the engine to a dealer or a shop to have them look at it.
  3. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    Keep oil at bottom of grid??? Who's advice was that?

    The dipstick should always read to the highest reading. Just not over that. We are talking about engines that contain less than 2 qts when stopped. When the oil pump is pumping at 3600+ RPM's very little of this oil is left in the pan. If you run the oil level low, you may be starving the pump pickup, sucking air which would contribute to your noisy lifters. Not to mention the lack of cooling. Oil in an air cooled engine is very much involved in the cooling of the engine.

    How many hours are on it?
    What type and brand oil do you use?
    What type and brand oil filter do you use?
    Do you mow a lot of hills?
    What is this engine powering?
  4. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    What oil are you using, brand and weight?

    Also, I've only had a 22 Kohler Command as the smallest in a Coomand, so is yours a 2 cylinder and does it have hydraulic lifters?
  5. Tony

    Tony LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    Call me crazy but go buy some Kohler 10W30 and give it a try. It won't fix a damaged engine but I know first hand that it'll help. When a kohler rep told me this I thought he was just trying to sell me his oil so I thought he was crazy too. At the worst it'll cost you less than $ 5.00

  6. mowingmachine

    mowingmachine LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    I've found the Kohler Command 15hp to be an excellent engine. They do chatter a bit louder than alot of engines but they last forever. I have never seen one burn oil yet. It might be just a bad engine you have. It should still be under warranty if there is something wrong with it.

  7. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Your engine should have 6 months left of warranty. It should not be using oil already. My old 22 Kohler will turn 3700 in about a week and we are lucky if we put in a 1/2 cup in it in 50 hours to keep it on full.

    The old Magnum engine was a different story.
  8. Orkin Yards

    Orkin Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    i had the same engine and a little after a year it started smoking really bad, diagnosed as needing a long block, the engine is now sitting in a box for sale while my new 17 vtwin kaw powers the mower, the kohler misse dits warranty by 3 months because i procrastinated....i'm happy now though
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I just started to wonder...

    The 5.5 HP on my Toro 21" smokes white smoke bad when I start it up. Sometimes more than other times, and sometimes not at all. What's the deal? I haven't had any problems with the 18 Hp Kohler Magnum on my Groundsmaster so I'm not mad at Kohler yet.
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Scag48 wrote:
    The 5.5 HP on my Toro 21" smokes white smoke bad when I start it up. Sometimes more than other times, and sometimes not at all.

    Intermitant smoking at startup can be caused by different things. If you don't let the engine run for a minute at idle before shutting it off can cause it. Also the way the engine sits when not running can cause it. When an engine sits with the cylinder leaning downwards oil can work it's way into the combustion chamber. When you start the mower it burns off causing the smoke. The cure is to always park the mower on a level or fairly level surface and to make sure it's not overfilled with oil.

    Your engine probably does this the most right after an oil change or right after you've topped the oil off doesn't it?

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