Lawn Mower Smokes When Blades Engaged – Here’s What You Should Do!

by Jack Grover
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Why does a lawn mower smokes when blades engaged? In most cases, overfilled oil or somehow oil spilled on the lawn mower’s engine spew smoke. But there are other reasons out there too which can cause smoke or a burning smell.

However, smoke coming out from your riding mower is never good. So, if your lawn mower smokes when blades are engaged, try to identify the exact reason behind it. And solve the issue as soon as possible.

Now, scroll down to figure out what’s going on in your riding mower and how you can fix it. So without wasting anymore, let’s jump into the details.

Reasons Why Lawn Mower Smokes When Blades Engaged!

The most exciting part is you don’t need to be a technician to identify the source of the issue. Whether the mower emits black, white, or blue smoke, you can quickly determine the reason by gauging the smoke color.

Such as oil spilled over the mower engine or an overfilled oil reservoir may cause blue or white smoke. On the other hand, burning too much gasoline is the reason behind emitting black smoke. 

However, let’s check out all the possible reasons and their solutions given in the table below.

Potential CausesSolutions
Carburetor issueAdjust or clean the carburetor
Oil spilled on engineRestart to burn the spilled oil
Jammed blade Clear the blockage
Faulty wiringFix the wiring
OverheatingCool down the engine
Worn out engineReplace the faulty parts
Overfilled oil reservoirDrain the extra oil
wrong grade engine oilUse the exact type of oil
Mower tipped over incorrectlyEngine idle until the smoke clears

Now let’s dig into the explanation of why a riding lawn mower smokes when blades engaged. You can also try the fixes, as many have found them useful. If it still doesn’t help, you should better consult a mechanic or take your mower to the repair shop.

Oil Spilled On Engine

One common reason behnd lawn mower emitting smoke is the oil somehow being spilled on the mower’s engine. It can happen when you change or add engine oil or overfill the oil reservoir.

Mowing on the slopes more than 15 degrees or tipping your lawnmower upside down can also cause this trouble. However, you can easily fix this by running the mower until the spilled oil burns off.

Carburetor Issue

A clogged air filter leading to a clogged and faulty carburetor is another main reason behind a smoking mower. The dirty air filter does not allow enough airflow in the carburetor. And it results in emitting black smoke.

But if you find the carburetor is clean but still, your riding mower smokes when blades engaged. The carburetor might not be adjusted properly.

So check if any debris or dirt has blocked the air filter and carburetor. Clean the carburetor and repair the air filter. Then adjust the carburetor appropriately.

Jammed Blade

Cutting the wet and harsh grasses can result in jamming the mower blade. And this jammed blade can cause your electric mower to smell burning or smoke.

Clearing the blockages and carefully mowing wet and harsh grasses will fix the issue.

Overfilled Oil Reservoir

Always make sure you don’t overfill the oil reservoir. There is a dipstick located on the reservoir by which you can check the engine oil level. Too much engine oil can damage your mower’s engine.

Rather than emitting smoke, an overfull oil reservoir can cause poor running, oil leakage, engine damage, no running, etc.

Also Read: Lawn Mower Deck Too Low: How to Increase the Height?

However, it emits white and blue smoke by combusting the extra oil spilled in the cylinder. Keep running the mower to burn the excess oil for a few minutes. Then the smoke will not appear anymore.

Mower Tipped Over Incorrectly

Sometimes oil enters the cylinder when you turn over the mower to clean the deck or for other purposes. So when you start the mower and blades are engaged, the excess oil starts combusting and results in white smoke.

In most cases, oil leaking from the engine muffler also causes smoke. You can simply fix the trouble by the idle engine running and let the excess oil burn until the smoke clears.


Over-using engines and improper maintenance can cause overheating problems. A clogged carburetor or air filter can also overheat the engine. And it makes your lawnmower smoke and emits a burning smell.

Add necessary engine oil or clean off the blockages and debris to cool down the engine oil. Replace or repair the damaged parts.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Why does my riding mower smoke when engaging the blades?

A riding mower may emit black, blue, or white smoke because of many reasons. Such as carburetor issues, overheating engine, overfilled engine oil or using the wrong grade of engine oil. Besides, faulty wiring, jammed blade, and mower tipping over incorrectly can also result in a burning smell or smoke.

What is the issue when your lawnmower blows white smoke?

If your lawnmower is blowing white smoke, there is oil spilled over or onto the engines. So, when you restart the mower, the excess oil starts burning and creates white smoke. It mainly happens after changing or pouring the oil or overfilling the oil reservoir. It can also occur if your mowing angle is greater than 15 degrees.

How to fix white smoke from lawn mower?

To fix the smoking problem in your lawnmower, identify the exact reason at first. Check if there is any excess oil spilled over the engine and burn it down by keeping your engine idle. Do not overfill the oil reservoir.

Final Words

So, that was all about what you need to do if your lawn mower smokes when blades engaged. A smoking lawn mower is one of the most usual incidents that every lawn owner has experienced.

Try the above fixes if you can identify any of the causes mentioned above. If you still struggle to figure out what’s wrong with your riding mower, consulting the mechanic or technician is recommended.

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