The problems causing lawn mower air filter soaked in oil can include the mower’s positioning, oversaturation, maintenance, or issues with other parts.

My Lawn Mower Air Filter Soaked in Oil

In this complete guide, we will delve into each of these issues and provide easy solutions to prevent an oil-soaked lawnmower air filter from happening again, so read on to learn more! Also, check out our helpful guide on charging your mower’s battery.

Why Is the Air Filter In Your Lawn Mower Soaked in Oil?

The air filter in your lawn mower is soaked in oil because it was flipped over on the wrong side, the crankcase is overfilled, the head gasket is blown or worn out, you are mowing on sloped land, or the air filter is oversaturated, among other reasons.

Here are the most probable reasons why the air filter of your lawn mower keeps on getting soaked in oil.

– Tilting of Lawn Mower

One of the most likely reasons why the air filter of a lawn mower can be drenched in oil is that it was flipped over on the wrong side. While turning the lawnmower on its side to do maintenance like adjusting, sharpening, or replacing the blade, there are both proper and improper ways to do it.

Tilting it in the wrong direction risks having an oil-soaked air filter because the oil leaks from the engine and can accumulate over time in the air filter until it is completely soaked.

Even though the location of the air filter depends on the brand and model of the mower, it must always face upwards when you turn the mower on its side. If the air filter is facing downward, then it will most likely catch the gas and oil that leak due to gravity.

However, air filters do become greasy with time, so if the issue is not persistent, your filter probably just needs to be replaced.

– Overfilled Crankcase

The majority of lawnmowers used for residential purposes have small crankcases. Typically, it only needs a fraction of a quart of oil. Therefore, the likelihood of oil flowing out of the crankcase will be significantly higher if it is filled up above the recommended level.

Reasons for Lawn Mower Air Filter Soaked in Oil

Even though the excess oil will frequently reach the cylinder, it can sometimes find its way into the carburetor and exit through the air filter.

– Blown or Worn-out Head Gasket

If, in addition to an oil-soaked air filter, your lawn mower also won’t start, the most likely cause is that the head gasket is blown or broken, which can result in the spark plug suffering.

This is because, aside from sealing the combustion gases inside the cylinders, one of the functions of the gasket is to help prevent engine oil from leaking into the cylinders, piston rings, carburetor, and other areas.

– Mowing on Sloped Land

Even though it does not frequently happen, it can still be a reason why the air filter of your lawn mower can be soaked up in oil. Mowing on an extremely sloped lawn can cause oil leaks. Because of the angle of the mower’s position, the oil will begin moving out of the crankcase and toward the air filter.

– Incorrect Maintenance Procedure (Dirty Filter Cleaning)

Air filters are typically replaced once every season or after you have used your mower for 25 hours. If you are using a paper air filter, replace it. However, if it is made of foam, you can wash it in hot water with a bit of dish soap and then wring it out.

Before being placed back in the mower, it should be saturated with engine oil and wrung out with a cloth. Although that is contrary to what we are trying to prevent, air filters are really meant to be oily but not clogged, soggy, or dripping with oil.

Sometimes, the carburetors must also be cleaned as a dirty carburetor that is not functioning well can also contribute to the problem of the air filter.

– Oversaturated Air Filter

As previously mentioned, the air filter of a lawn mower is meant to be applied with a little oil because it improves the ability to capture dust particles. However, it loses its effectiveness if you oversaturate it with oil.

In addition, the oil coming out of air filter may also leak into the filter box or the carburetor, thus also reducing efficiency. Worse, the engine might sustain significant damage.

– Internal Engine Problem

If you checked out all six of the probable causes in this list and found them not to be the root of the problem, then the culprit may be the engine itself, especially if your mower is pretty old, which means your air filter can be covered in oil.

This is because the oil that leaks in the wrong direction and reaches the air filter could be caused by a blown head gasket, a broken cylinder, or worn cylinder rings. If this is the case, then you will need the assistance of a specialist to repair the engine.

Also, because repairs can be costly, you should consider whether it is still worth repairing your mower or you would be better off purchasing a new mower.

What Are Some Solutions ?

Some solutions for lawn mower air filter soaked in oil include tilting your lawn mower to the correct side, always checking the oil levels, replacing the head gasket, replacing the filter, squeezing out extra oil from the filter, or bringing the lawn mower in for repairs. You can also try to clean your lawn mower’s air filter before following the solution below.

Now that we have discussed the most common reasons, here are the solutions that you can apply to solve this air filter problem.

– Tilt Your Lawn Mower

Oil spills on the air filter can be avoided by tilting your lawn mower such that the carburetor is facing the high side. There is another way to choose how to place your grass-eating machine if you do not prefer turning your lawnmower on its side or if your particular model cannot be turned. Although it was suggested to turn the mower on the correct side, tilting the handlebars to the ground is also a good alternative.

– Always Check the Oil Level

As advised by manufacturers, it is best to put very little oil on your lawn mower. To prevent overfilling the crankcase, use a dipstick to check the level. Keep adding small amounts until you reach the recommended level. The safe range of oil level should be above the “Add” mark but not beyond the “Full” mark on the dipstick. If oil is coming out from your lawn mower’s exhaust there are some easy-to-follow solutions for you.

– Replace the Head Gasket

The only solution to this is to replace the gasket to stop the oil leakage and prevent a sudden loss of engine power. Bring your lawn mower to a mechanic to diagnose the problem and replace the head gasket for you if you don’t have much experience with mowers.

– Find Alternatives for Sloped Land

If your lawn is situated in an area with extremely sloped land and you are using your lawn mower, you should be very careful and always check to see if there will be oil leaking into your air filter.

Solution for Lawn Mower Air Filter Soaked in Oil

It is also best to assess if it is worth using a lawn mower with all the given risks, or if it is time to look for alternative solutions on how to attend to your sloped lawn without using the mower.

– Replace Lawn Mower Oil Filter 

The simplest solution is to periodically replace the lawn mower foam air filter oil and air filters. Make sure to maintain it in good condition as well. Leaving it dirty and saturated with oil will cause the oil to leak through the lawn mower, eventually coating other engine parts.

So if the air filter is not always replaced, your lawn mower will eventually break down due to the oil in it. Ideally, air filters should be changed once per season or when they get clogged with dirt or debris.

– Squeeze Out Extra Oil From the Air Filter

If you accidentally pour too much oil onto the foam filter, you can remove it by wrapping the filter in a paper towel and squeezing off the excess oil. Squeeze out the extra oil using a foam air filter or foam pre-filter.

– Bring Your Mower to Professionals

The biggest problem on the list can only be solved by repair. Depending on the severity of the engine problem, it is best to call in professional help to solve it rather than try to do it yourself, especially if you are not that familiar with repairing small engines.

Consequences of a Soaked Lawn Mower Air Filter

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