why is my lawn mower smoking

Why Is My Lawn Mower Smoking

You might be mowing your lawn just like every day except you are noticing a strange amount of smoke is coming out from the engine. You might be wondering and asking yourself why is my lawn mower smoking? Well, there might be multiple reasons why your lawnmower is smoking. 

But one thing we might be sure of is that there is some problem with the engine. The good news is we can easily spot the problem by observing the smoke’s color. Here is what you should do if your lawnmower is smoking. 

why is my lawn mower smoking

The first thing is to calmly switch off the engine and get off. Most probably you don’t have to be concerned as there will be no major or life-threatening problems. However, for your safety, turn off the engine and get out of the lawnmower. 

Now, it is just smoking and you can see no fire or noise, approach the lawnmower steadily and turn off the gas tank. This will prevent the fuel from getting to the engine. But in most cases, the smoking will start to decrease as soon as you have turned off the engine. 

Now, take a note of the color of the smoke. The smoke’s color will tell us the problem. It is easier and more reliable to identify the problem by observing the color of the smoke. 

What Does White Smoke Means?

Seeing white smoke rising from your lawnmower might be unsettling. The mower smoke will eventually cease if you continue to run it. It’s an indication that the engine is burning engine oil along with the fuel, although the oil was most likely introduced by accident. 

When you conducted maintenance on the mower, you may have spilled some on the carburetor, or you may have overloaded the crankcase. It’s also likely that when you flipped your lawnmower upside down to clean the blades, the oil must have got into the engine’s combustion chamber. Also, the oil may have flown into the engine’s combustion chamber while mowing on a slope.

What Does Bluish White Smoke Means?

If you are seeing white smoke with increased hue levels, it might be a serious problem. The reason for this smoke is the same as for the white smoke. The engine is also burning the engine oil along with the fuel. But, it won’t go off eventually as you keep working with the mower. On the contrary, the smoke will increase and cause the engine to cease permanently. 

The blue smoke comes because there is some crack in the gasket which leaks the oil into the combustion chamber. You have to immediately stop using the mower once you see the bluish smoke and get it to a mechanic. If you continue to use it, the engine oil will be drained and will cause the engine to rupture due to increased friction. The engine oil is used to reduce friction. The absence of the oil will cause engine failure. 

What Does Black Smoke Means?

why is my lawn mower smoking

If your lawnmower is emitting black smoke, it probably means that the engine is using too much gasoline. This is not a serious problem but will result in the usage of a higher amount of fuel.

The carburetor regulates the fuel and air and makes the right proportion of them. Later, this mixture is sent to the engine’s combustion chamber. When there is a problem with the air supply, the carburetor sends too much gasoline to the engine to compensate for the loss of air. This is the cause of the production of black smoke from your lawnmower. 

To solve this problem, you have to clean the air filter and air duct. Unscrew the air filter from the mower and dismantle it. If you are using a paper filter, you might have to replace the filter paper with a new one. If you are using a sponge filter, you can use the same by washing them. After washing, let it dry completely. Then add some clean oil to it and put it inside the air filter. 

Now take a clean cloth and clean the air duct. If there is any debris present inside the duct, remove it carefully. After cleaning, attach the air filter back to the mower. This will certainly stop the black smoke. 


1. What to stop my mower to stop smoking black?

The black smoke might be caused because of the impure or clogged air filter. If you clean it, the black smoke will stop almost instantly. You have to remove the air filter from the mower and clean its insides. 

2. Can you put too much oil in a lawnmower?

People have this misconception that adding more engine oil to the engine will result in better performance. But it is quite the opposite. Pouring too much engine oil will cause other problems like producing bluish-white smoke.