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White or Blue/Gray Smoke
 
Most people automatically associate this as a sign of a major engine problem, which is not always true. While there are definite reasons for concern, this symptom or problem is not always as bad as it appears. In fact, there are several causes for this problem that are relatively simple to troubleshoot and correct. Before you assume the worst, take a look at some of these potential causes along with my recommendations for each.

1. The engine has been overfilled with oil, or the oil has been contaminated with water or fuel, causing an overfilled condition. (Check the oil level, and make sure it is not contaminated.)

2. Diesel fuel, or 2-Cycle oil/fuel mix has mistakenly been added or substituted for gasoline. (Take a fuel sample in a clean container and verify that it's pure, fresh gasoline.)

3. The engine or equipment has been tipped up the wrong way, causing oil to enter the combustion chamber, carburetor and or exhaust system. This is a very common cause for this problem. (If you have recently tipped the engine for any reason, chances are good that this will be the cause. )

If the exhaust system or carburetor have been filled with oil, the engine will eventually stop smoking unless the air filter has become saturated with oil. If it has, the engine may not start or will run poorly until you clean or replace the air filter. BE SURE TO CHECK THE OIL LEVEL BEFORE RE-STARTING!


*Note - All of the following will require at least a partial disassembly or special tools to verify.

4. The crankcase breather(s) are malfunctioning.


5. Leaking crankcase gaskets or seals are causing the engine to lose crankcase vacuum, and allowing the oil to be "pulled" into the combustion chamber.


6. Oil is leaking past worn or damaged valve stems, valve stem seals, or valve guides.


7. The oil ring(s) and/or cylinder bore are worn or damaged.


Refer to the repair instruction manual or take the machine in for professional service.