Oil leak troubleshooting - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Oil leak troubleshooting

Hello everyone, new to the forum and looking for some help.

Just this past January I purchase a Troy-Bilt Storm 24-inch two-stage snowblower from Lowes. I had a smaller model (Bolens 22-inch two stage) also from Lowes that worked flawlessly for four years before I decided I needed to upgrade.

Well, this new one worked fine in the 8 or 9 times I used it since January. I completed the first oil change recently (it came assembled and with oil from Lowes), then ran a bit of stabil through it and ran the gas out to prepare it for the off season, then stuck it in the corner of the garage. I only recently noticed that it was leaking oil underneath the engine. At first I just assumed it was some residual oil from the change (I spilled a bit while doing it) but I put a piece of cardboard underneath there and sure enough, it appears to be very slowly leaking oil from two spots. Hard as I may try (I will try harder at lunch) I can't quite figure out where exactly it's leaking from.

Any thoughts?

First off, two questions:

1) When I changed the oil, I had it tipped nearly all the way back to make sure all the oil drained out from the plug. Could that have messed something up? I hope not, because that's really the only way to get it all out.

2) Could overfilling have caused a leak? I have a very hard time reading the dipstick. I know that sounds silly, but even if I wipe and re-stick, I just see the whole thing looking oily and I have a hard time telling if it's at the appropriate level. When I changed the oil I just measured the same amount that I removed, put that much new oil in and called it good. In my opinion it is very unlikely I overfilled it, because I didn't put any more in than what I took out, and it ran fine all winter.

It did not appear to leak at all before my oil change, so I am not sure. Looking for ideas. I am dreading having to call Troy-Bilt to sort it all out.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 10:11 AM
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To SBF SnowyArt

I have a 2410 also. Mine seems to want to leak from the fill plug on the left side (Muffler) of the machine. I'm always worried that plastic plug is going to back out while I'm running it
You want to fix any leakage as it might find it's way down onto your friction wheel.

Adding what came out doesn't guarantee you of anything other than you have some oil in there. Who knows if the eighteen year old cared enough to put in the right amount or the sixty eight year old could see the dipstick at Lowes ??
YOU need to make sure it's the right level as overfilling can cause it to leak. I know that silver dipstick can be hard to read with fresh oil but depending on the light sometimes looking at the smooth back is easier than the checkered front.
What oil did you put back in ??

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 10:34 AM
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I think you probably spilled a bit of oil and its slowly making it's way to the ground. Also possible that it may be leaking from the oil drain plug, depending on how that is configured.

Some engines have this plastic drain extension arrangement and those have been known to leak. Some engines do not have an extension on he drain hole and as soon as you take the plug out, you will have oil all over the place. If that is the case with your engine, you can get an extension pipe and cap to bring the drain out to some place that doesn't make a mess.

You should not have to tilt the machine all the way back to drain the oil. Just make sure the engine is warm before draining, and tilt it back about 30 degrees and leave it for a bit while it drains out. You won't ever get all the old oil out.

If it leaks from the plug, try some teflon tape on the threads. WIpe everything down as much as possible and then leave the cardboard or paper underneath to see if things persist. If it's just oil that spilled, it will stop dripping eventually.

Have you run the engine with the new oil to see if the leak gets worse, or is it just sitting but not been run yet with the new oil.

Overfilling by a lot is a problem as the excess oil will leak out someplace. Check the manual to see the capacity of the engine, then make sure you keep an eye on the bottle during filling so you dont over fill. Engines generally take less than a quart (28 oz ish) so putting in an extra 4 ounces is not a good idea. You generally have to sneak up on the full mark to get it just right.

You might want to sand the glossy finish off a plastic dipstick so it's easier to see the oil on the end. If you have a metal dipstick you can heat it to cause it to dull and change colour to make it easier to see where the gloss starts from the oil. Also, when checking the oil level, wait several minutes after filling the oil before pulling the dipstick because the oil takes some time to drain down the filler tube and will tend to get all over the dipstick if you put it in too soon. Check your manual to see if you have low mounted oil drain plugs (usually with yellow caps) as you can use these to check the oil level as well. The oil should come just to the threads of these plugs. If you have them or not depends on the engine.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 11:22 AM
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Check a couple of things . . .

1) The oil 'pipe' comes off the back of the chassis. When you loosened the cap to drain the oil, you may have loosened the pipe. Check all that to make sure it is tight . . . pipe and cap.

2) There are also 1 or 2 orange caps on the lower front of the engine crankcase. those are also areas where the oil could be drained/pumped out. Make sure those cap are tight.

Assuming that you have the 208cc engine (my Troy-Bilt 2410 came with the 179cc engine) the oil looks to drain off the rear of the chassis, so hopefully, little if any oil spilled on the top of the chassis where the engine rests. However, if some oil did get on the chassis, then it can hide out in the 'stiffening channels' under the engine block.

It is best to wipe everything up and then check on a daily basis to see if you can narrow down where the oil is coming from.

Post some pictures of where the oil may be originating and where it is going.

There was a thread a few months ago about someone who spazzed-out while taking the oil plug off and ended up fracturing the engine block where the oil pipe threads in. Hopefully, your issue will not be in that realm.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks SO MUCH for all of the replies and help!

I feel a little bit silly after I discovered that the problem is simply that I didn't tighten the oil drain cap bolt enough. I thought I checked that before, but evidently not. It was slowly dripping out from there, then hitting the chassis halfway down and running along the underside, falling on the ground in a few spots along the way. So the simple fix was to tighten that up.

I will try the tips for checking the oil level. I already took all the gas out of there and stabilized it for offseason storage. I would assume it will be ok to just check it before I start using it again next season. The dipstick being shiny metal definitely doesn't help. So I should run it for a bit, leave it set for a few minutes, then pull out to check?

On a side note (since you guys clearly know a lot), the lawnmower I got last year has a Briggs and Stratton engine that claims it never needs to have its oil changed. How is that even possible??? Doesn't all oil get dirty?
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowyArt View Post
Thanks SO MUCH for all of the replies and help!

I feel a little bit silly after I discovered that the problem is simply that I didn't tighten the oil drain cap bolt enough. I thought I checked that before, but evidently not. It was slowly dripping out from there, then hitting the chassis halfway down and running along the underside, falling on the ground in a few spots along the way. So the simple fix was to tighten that up.

I will try the tips for checking the oil level. I already took all the gas out of there and stabilized it for offseason storage. I would assume it will be ok to just check it before I start using it again next season. The dipstick being shiny metal definitely doesn't help. So I should run it for a bit, leave it set for a few minutes, then pull out to check?

On a side note (since you guys clearly know a lot), the lawnmower I got last year has a Briggs and Stratton engine that claims it never needs to have its oil changed. How is that even possible??? Doesn't all oil get dirty?
Change the BLOODY OIL in it at the end of the season. they say that so lazy people will buy them. and also means more money for them when you have to buy a new 1 down the road.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2018, 07:21 PM
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That good for the life of the unit is in a number of owners manuals for things that use hydraulic fluid for their drive like snowblowers and lawn tractors. Most people, including me believe if you change it you lengthen the equipment's life and maintain better performance. There are a lot of people out there who never check or change oil in lawn and garden stuff they just replace it when it breaks. You could likely run it for a decade without changing it but I'd still spend the five bucks and fifteen minutes to dump it out and put in fresh when it's looking like it needs it. That's my

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