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Frequently Asked Questions

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Engine Burns Oil (White or Blue Smoke)

I am burning oil (white or blue smoke). Is this normal?

Typically, with the engine running at full throttle, an air cooled engine can consume up to 1 oz. of oil, per cylinder, per hour. If your engine consumes any more than this, please consult a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer.

White/blue smoking usually indicates the burning of oil. Causes to this condition include:

  • Overfilling the crankcase with oil
  • Incorrect oil grade
  • Operating engine at greater than a 15 degree angle
  • Inoperative crankcase breather
  • Crankcase air leak
  • Blown head gasket
  • Worn cylinder and/or rings
  • Turning/Tilting the engine on its side for any reason (storage, changing oil, etc). If the engine has to be tilted, ensure the spark plug is facing upwards to help prevent oil from escaping the crankcase.

Also, be aware that any small air leak can cause an excess of air entering the crankcase and will create a higher oil mist than the breather is capable of handling. The excess oil will then return through the breather tube and back to the air filter. Other possible causes include operating or tilting the unit at an angle, an obstruction in the breather tube (located behind the air filter), damage to the cylinder/piston rings, etc.

Engine oil capacity is dependent on your specific engine model. To determine your engine's oil capacity, please visit our Oil Capacity page. Oil level checking and changing intervals are available on our Maintenance Schedule page, as well as a hyperlink (text highlighted in blue) leading to oil changing procedures. The "Oil" section of your Operator's Manual also contains this information.

If you wish to troubleshoot the engine yourself, a good source for engine specifications and technical servicing information would be a Briggs & Stratton Repair Manual (Lookup Manual by Engine Model).

The correct Repair Manual for your model engine is often listed in your engine's Illustrated Parts List.

Repair Manuals are available for purchase through our websites Repair Manuals page.


Your best source of information regarding any engine concern would be a Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer. Your Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealer has all the information relating to Briggs & Stratton warranty information, replacement engines, short blocks, parts, pricing, service/repair, specifications, etc.

For your convenience, we offer three easy ways to locate your nearest Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealers:

  • Use our website's Service Center Locator.

  • Visit www.yellowpages.com and enter "Lawn Mowers" or "Engines-Gasoline" in the Category search field and your Postal Code in the Location search field.

  • Call the Briggs & Stratton Automated Hotline at (800) 444-7774. This hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week and features voice recognition technology to assist you in finding the Briggs & Stratton Authorized Dealers in your area. Automated maintenance tips, product information, and FAQs are also offered through voice activated menus.



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