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I have a Craftsman riding lawnmower tractor. I tried to start it and it was difficult to start. Alot of White smoke came out from under it and would die.why?

I have a Craftsman tractor riding lawnmower, it is a 1700 about 6 years old. After cutting the grass last week (no problems) I covered it. When I came out yesterday to cut my grass it was very hard to start and when it did it would run for just a few sec and then start to die out. Then a lot of white smoke would come out from under the engine, start up again only to have the smoke come out again. Sometimes the smoke would be black. Then it would die, each time I tried to start it the same thing would happen.
I have never had this problem with it.

Thanking you in advance.

Craftsman , Lawn Mowers
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2 Answers from these members:
Manage My Life
I see your Lawnmower Tractor is having white smoke coming out from underneath. While you are waiting on an expert to answer your question. I found this great link on why your getting white smoke from your Lawnmower Tractor. I attached the link below. Hope this helps! Good luck.
by Manage My Life
September 11th, 2010
Answered in 7 minutes
-1 votes
Mark T
I recommend checking the oil. If the oil is overfilled I recommend smelling the oil. If the oil smells like gas you have a problem with the carburetor. (Do not attempt to run the tractor) The float, needle, and seat regulate the fuel in the carburetor. If the needle does not seal against the seat fuel from the tank will run into the engine and cause this issue. I recommend replacing the carburetor and the fuel line. You should also check the air filter it usually will be soaked with oil and gas. If it is soaked or dirty in has to be replaced.

After replacing the carburetor remove the spark plug and turn the key to run the starter. This will push all of the gas out of the cylinder. Then drain the oil from the engine. I like to tip the tractor so all of the oil will come out. Refill the oil and allow the tractor to sit uncovered for a few hours to let the gas in the muffler to evaporate. Then the tractor should be fine. I also recommend changing the oil again after you run it of ten minutes. It might not be necessary but oil is cheap compared to replacing the engine. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If I have assumed wronged please read further about with smoke from the engine.

White smoke is an indication the engine is burning oil. Check the oil level, if it is overfilled it will burn oil.

Several things can cause a tractor to burn oil. Worn rings or scarred cylinder walls are possible. If the crankcase breather is bad or there is an air leak around the oil fill tube or at the oil drain fitting, the engine will burn oil.

Look around the engine for signs of an oil leak, if it leaks oil it will draw air into the crankcase and burn oil.

The amount of white smoke will be a good indication of the amount of oil the engine is burning. Some smoke when the engine is first cranked is normal.

Thank you for using Manage my life.

Here is a link to order any parts you need.

Sears Parts Direct


If you do not feel confident repairing this problem yourself, then you can have it repaired at your home by a Sears technician. Here is a link for the website:

Sears Home Services

by Mark T Earned 58,303 community points in Craftsman
September 12th, 2010
Shay Dogg
Yep. I had the same thing and this was the answer. I do believe you can replace the float and needle, then clean the seat, rather than replacing the entire carburetor.
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