Lawn mower smokes and smokes - what to do?

Lawn mower smokes and smokes - what to do?

Cause # 1: spilled oil and gasoline

Does blue and white smoke rise as soon as you start the lawn mower? Then you are dealing with harmless vaporization of oil or gasoline. If small amounts of the substances are spilled during filling, light smoke is produced when the liquids burn under the influence of the hot engine. How to act correctly:

  • Immediately switch off the smoking lawnmower
  • Let the engine cool down in the shade
  • Wipe the case with a dry cloth

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  • If the lawnmower smokes black - it could be

Cause # 2: clogged air filter

If your lawnmower emits black smoke, this is a clear indication of a dirty air filter. As an additional symptom for this cause, the engine starts getting worse every time. You can clean a clogged filter yourself on most types of device. How to do it correctly:

  • Remove the air filter according to the operating instructions
  • Clean or replace paper filter
  • Clean the plastic filters with hot water and grease-dissolving dishwashing detergent

On this occasion, also clean the spark plug, including the contacts, with a dry cloth. Sooty black or light gray discolored contacts indicate that the carburetor is not correctly adjusted. If, on the other hand, the contacts are light brown in color, the settings on the carburetor are plumb. The manual will tell you how to properly adjust a carburetor on your lawnmower.

Tilting it the wrong way will make the mower smoke

A mower must not be tilted in any direction. Always turn the device so that the spark plug points towards the sky. Otherwise, oil will leak out and cause a smoking mower the next time you cut the lawn. With most types of lawnmower, you can play it safe when you tilt the machine backwards.


You can effectively prevent a smoking lawnmower if you are particularly careful when refilling with oil and gasoline. Use a funnel (4.63 € on Amazon *) so that no liquid runs onto the housing. If the mishap happens nonetheless, wipe the mower thoroughly with a rag.