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What Causes a Lawn Mower to Smoke? – Main Reasons & Quick Solutions

When you need a perfect home, you also consider a beautiful yard or garden with it. But maintenance of gardens could be challenging. Not because of anything else but the grass that grows on it. Grass can grow at a variable speed, turning things messy for you, which is why you need a lawnmower. Mowers come in different types, and all of them have their own set of pros and cons. While the structure, mechanism, and function could differ from one kind to another, smoke remains constant. You might ask why is my push lawn mower smoking? So now, let’s see what exactly are these clouds coming out of your machine?

Types of Lawn Mower Smokes on Startup

Lawnmowers could be hard if not cared for properly. The machine has a simple mechanism, but it could trouble you if the combustion is inappropriate. Usually, the smoke results from fuel and oil mix or incomplete combustion, which gives out different color fumes. Though the problem is not a serious issue if the smoke dusts away and if it does not, you sure could use a mower repair person. Now, how exactly would you confer the seriousness of the problem? You could do that with the help of the color of the smoke coming from lawnmower.

Black Smoke, Relax!

Just relax if you see black smoke coming out of your machine as it will puff out on its own within some time. Black smoke comes out as a result of incomplete combustion. When you put extra fuel in your machine but there is a lack of air, smoke is formed. It is the unburnt fuel that comes out of the chamber.

Now, you could deal with the problem quite quickly. First, clean your air filter, or rather swap it with a new one. Unfortunately, the dirt in the filter causes this problem. If the problem continues, check your carburetor with the help of your lawn mower manual.

Blue Smoke, You Need Help!

Blue smoke isn’t anything like black smoke. It is rather an indication of some sort of serious problem within your machine. The machine inside faces an oil leakage into the combustion chamber, a serious problem. In this case, the smoke would not puff out and need proper repair for the leakage holes. However, the leakage could be accompanied by engine failure or stoppage and oil passage to the air filter leading to problems in air combustion. Seek a professional to repair your machine.

White Combustion, Just Wait And Watch!

White smoke is somewhere in the middle of both black and blue smoke. It would not stop easily, but it would definitely if you let it run. Nevertheless, it is not a pleasant view to watch clouds of smoke all over your yard, building stress in your mind. The reason behind this color is excessive oil which has entered the engine or combustion chamber, and now it is showing its magic.

The better fix to stop this white smoke coming from your lawn mower is, you need to change your machine’s fuel and remove the excessive oil you added, and your work will be done. In case white smoke comes out of your new machine. Do not worry, just use the machine for some time and it will be gone.

Machines are helpful and delicate. They need proper attention to work smoothly and continuously. Also, fumes are not very harmful and can be easily avoided if you take care of the mower and check on it from time to time.

Why is My Lawn Mower Smoking?

Many reasons would lead to smoke coming out of your lawnmower. But unfortunately, it is only a case when small issues were eventually ignored because of bad maintenance, and now the result comes as smoke. Here are the reasons for your query ‘why is my lawnmower smoking?’

Most common reasons as to why your mower turned smoking hot:

  • Dirty Air Filter: You need to take care of your air filter; it is the most important part of your machine. When you work with a dirty air filter, it causes problematic combustion, leading to black smoke.
  • Oil Leakages: Oil leakages could be dangerous. They could stop your machine or make it sputter at the least. Oil leakage could be on the inside or outside, which would lead to smoke, and it does not go away that easily.
  • Incomplete Combustion: If your machine does not get proper air passage, it could rupture the breathing tube and lead to incomplete combustion, altogether leading to smoke out of its ventilation.

How to Stop a Lawn Mower from Smoking?

Lawnmowers are not much of a complex machine, and you could deal with them at home if it is a tiny issue. If you practice regular maintenance, the machine will not cause any problem and will work in the long run. However, if you are too busy to check your machine regularly after using it for long hours, be ready to spend more time cleaning and repairing it. And, how exactly would you do that?

  • If your lawnmower does not start on a beautiful morning, you need an inspection. Firstly, check if it is good for fuel. If it is, there might be an issue with the air filter. You need to clean the filter or replace it with a new one.
  • The mower stopped in the middle of nowhere? If that happens, you need to check the inside of your machine because it might be dirty. Clean the underside and go mowing, but you need to sharpen the blades if it still does not work.
  • Remove the excess oil off your machine through the valves because it is one reason for leakage. On top of that, when you clean your machine, try not to move it much as the oil could enter the wrong chamber.

You could perform minor actions at your home, which does not require much expertise but runs straight to a professional in case of a serious one. One wrong step could make things complicated.

How to Troubleshoot Lawn Mower Engine Smoking?

This is serious! Smoke coming out of your machine’s engine could indicate a severe problem that calls for a professional at most times, but in case you could do the troubleshooting at home.

There are certain specific reasons which lead to engine sputtering, eventually leading it to stop, which are

  • Oil leakage
  • Accumulation of dirt inside or underside your lawnmower
  • Incomplete combustion and blockage in the breathing pipe
  • Bad maintenance
  • Old fuel or gas in the machine
  • A problem in the compression and ignition system
  • Damaged parts of the machine that works for the engine

The above are the problems that damage and destroy your mower’s engine, which is why you need to shoot them as soon as you can.

  • Make sure you clean your machine’s undersides, as well as the engine, from time to time as a collection of dirt could lead the machine to stop.
  • Old gas or fuel in the machine could lead to engine damage. Old fuel has residues that harm the machine and do not allow your machine to start smoothly. So, better go and check if the machine has fuel. If it is too old, clear and fill up with fresh fuel for proper functioning.
  • Check your air filter and carburetor regularly and clean or clean them to avoid engine damage. The carburetor helps mix the fuel with air inside your engine, and thus it can directly affect the engine.
  • A bad compression system means bad machine performance. They facilitate clean and compressed gas to the engine, which, if not supplied, could result in damaging your engine as well as other parts of the machine. Check the compression system to avoid this big issue.
  • At a certain time, when your machine makes some noise from the inside, there might be one or two damaged parts that make that sound. Fix them at the earliest because every part ultimately serves the engine, and their poor performance would harm the engine.

An engine is the heart of your lawnmower, and the heart-stopping could create major issues in your easy life. So, if you practice good maintenance of the machine, you might not have to go through the above troubleshooting options and treatments.


And so, you know how important it is to keep a check on your machine before it is too late. Lawn mowers are basic and easy to operate but make sure you save yourself from that smoke, or the confrontations would not be very pleasant for you or your pocket. Just take care of its mechanism and the parts to keep it away from that smoke, as smoking could kill a machine too.