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First post on this forum. I appreciate the help in advance.

I have a Ariens 1130DLE with the Tecumseh Snow King engine with 3-4 years of mild use on it.

Yesterday, I noticed some white oil foam on the dipstick. I understand this to be condensation of water in the oil (Amsoil 5W-30, changed about 12 running hrs ago). This is understandable because I had a few snowblowing events in the last week where I really didn't get the motor up to temp. So, this time I really let her run and get warm to see if I could cook off any of the water. To accelerate the process, I removed the dipstick while the engine was running after snowblowing the drive. I was really surprised by what I saw: almost a geyser of what I thought was steam coming out of the dipstick. So I let it run a few minutes like this, expecting that the geyser would subside. However, it didn't. Just kept on spewing. So, I get to thinking, is this really water being cooked off or is this just exhaust gases escaping through the crankcase because I gave it an easy exit path? The snowblower had a nice coating of oil all over it afterwards.

Or, do I have a bigger problem? Bad rings allowing all that exhaust gas to blow by the rings, into the crankcase and out the dipstick. That could explain the water in the oil.

Just curious if anyone has ever tried this with similar results? If not, can you try it and get back to me?

Thanks,
Tim
 

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It’s a splash lubricated engine, just like it sounds oil gets flung all over the place to lubricate all the critical components. Their will always be some blow by from combustion leaking past the piston rings. The breather on the side of the engine releases that pressure.

Degrease the motor, and leave it. It’s not unusual to see a coating of white film on the oil cap.
 

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I have a Tecumseh Snow King 11 HP on a Craftsman 30" blower (2003/4 purchased in fall 2004). The top of the dipstick did show the white bubly deposits that seemed to be from water condensation. The white stuff was not far down the fill tube and the engine oil seemed fine. When I removed the dipstick on the engine while running a lot of oil came out (not just fumes) so I quickly put the dipstick back on. I figured the oil was from the splash lubrication system. There is a vent tube from the OHV valve cover that did not expel pressure or oil so I think the engine is fine.

The engine had a lot of use with me and for the last 4 years my son has used it and it performs flawlessly. So I don't think you have a problem with your engine.

I had a 1974 Tecumseh Snow King 8 hp side valve that had a breather from the valve cover on the side of the block. After 30 years of use there was pressure at the hose and oil would discharge from blow-by. Those engines are long lived.
 

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There is a o ring on the cap for a reason. You shouldn't run the engine without the cap. The hot and cold cycles of snowblower use causes the condensation. If I notice the cream, I just wipe the cap clean, the oil tube if I can get some of it out and change the oil asap. I want my engines to be healthy inside so that's why I change the oil once a year or more often if I "see" the cream.

In my area it's been a someone mild snow season. Spring is in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good point on the O-ring Ariens hydro pro. I'll change my oil soon and check on it again.
It runs great by the way.
 

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:welcome: to SBF Tim

Good practice is to let the engine warm up some before you use it / move it so it reaches operating temp. Bad idea to run it with the dipstick loose or off as it's going to leak oil. You could run it up to temp, shut it down and then pull the stick to see if it would cook off some of the moisture but you'd be better served in pulling the breather or oil sepeartor apart and making sure it isn't gummed up and that it's able to ventilate the crankcase. https://www.jackssmallengines.com/equipment/tecumseh/snow-blower/breather
Being so new I doubt there is any problem with it you likely just need to wipe the milk chocolate colored oil off the stick and not worry about it.

Nothing wrong with Amsoil, I run Mobil1 full syn and have no problems with condensation in my machines. Most folks here recommend full syn. There will always be arguments over which brand and weight is best. Don't want to go there :eek:

.
 

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I've had white foam on the dipstick, I'm pretty sure after changing to Mobil 1. I don't know the best way to eliminate it. Getting the engine up to temperature, then changing the oil while hot, might be one approach.

I wouldn't be comfortable running the engine with the dipstick removed. Maybe you could unscrew it and leave it installed, if you really wanted to help vent things while running. That would keep the tube covered at least, to reduce spray from it.
 

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My ride to work and home is 3 miles. My truck don't even reach operating Temp in the winter. I get that cream on my truck dipstick too.

Now I go for a longer ride Friday night to warm the motor up some. I change the oil often in it also. So snowblowers aren't the only engines to suffer from condensation.
 

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I was really surprised by what I saw: almost a geyser of what I thought was steam coming out of the dipstick. So I let it run a few minutes like this, expecting that the geyser would subside. However, it didn't. Just kept on spewing. So, I get to thinking, is this really water being cooked off or is this just exhaust gases escaping through the crankcase because I gave it an easy exit path? Just curious if anyone has ever tried this with similar results? If not, can you try it and get back to me?
Thanks,
Tim
Exhaust gases no blow-by gases yes which pulse. Pulsing or pressure in the crankcase is what operates a lot of external fuel pumps for small engines.
 

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:welcome: to SBF Tim

Good practice is to let the engine warm up some before you use it / move it so it reaches operating temp. Bad idea to run it with the dipstick loose or off as it's going to leak oil. You could run it up to temp, shut it down and then pull the stick to see if it would cook off some of the moisture but you'd be better served in pulling the breather or oil sepeartor apart and making sure it isn't gummed up and that it's able to ventilate the crankcase. https://www.jackssmallengines.com/equipment/tecumseh/snow-blower/breather
Being so new I doubt there is any problem with it you likely just need to wipe the milk chocolate colored oil off the stick and not worry about it.

Nothing wrong with Amsoil, I run Mobil1 full syn and have no problems with condensation in my machines. Most folks here recommend full syn. There will always be arguments over which brand and weight is best. Don't want to go there :eek:

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Thanks for the advice Kiss4aFrog. I do always let it warm up for about 5 minutes as I shovel hard to reach areas. I'll give your suggestions a try.
 

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Exhaust gases no blow-by gases yes which pulse. Pulsing or pressure in the crankcase is what operates a lot of external fuel pumps for small engines.
Blow-by past the rings pulses. But don't forget that the crankcase pressure exhibits pulsing anyhow, due to the piston simply going up and down.

If you sealed up your crankcase, and cranked the engine with the electric starter, with the spark plug removed (so no compression source at the rings), you'd still see pressure spikes, as the piston went down, reducing the volume of air in the crankcase.

Now, the crankcase breather valve is supposed to exhaust this excess crankcase pressure (from blow-by, or any source), and maintain a small vacuum in the crankcase. It can't do this with the dipstick removed, of course.
 

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Blow-by past the rings pulses. But don't forget that the crankcase pressure exhibits pulsing anyhow, due to the piston simply going up and down.

If you sealed up your crankcase, and cranked the engine with the electric starter, with the spark plug removed (so no compression source at the rings), you'd still see pressure spikes, as the piston went down, reducing the volume of air in the crankcase.

Now, the crankcase breather valve is supposed to exhaust this excess crankcase pressure (from blow-by, or any source), and maintain a small vacuum in the crankcase. It can't do this with the dipstick removed, of course.
Great explanation. Thank you.
 

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Your breather assembly is basically a "PCV " Valve for the engine. Operating your engine without a dipstick causes serious pressure changes in your crankcase, (Even though you might have a splash lubrication system) thus resulting in poor lubrication, which could blow your motor.

Change your motor oil at last once a season (While the engine is warm or hot) or every 25 hours with the grade of oil recommended and don't worry about the foam...
 

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Pull that amsoil crap out of there and go back to regular good old standard oil, then you wont see that foam.
If it isn't run long enough ANY oil will have foam in it from condensation. What the heck does synthetic have to do with it? This is physics.
 

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My ride to work and home is 3 miles. My truck don't even reach operating Temp in the winter.
I know that feeling. It's 20 below out, start the truck and let it idle a bit and begin the drive and you get there before you even have heat !! I ended up getting one of those little 12V "heaters". Works fair as a defroster, does nothing to heat.
Newer vehicles have stainless steel exhaust which holds up better. The older stuff would rust through every couple years. Those short trips are murder on exhaust and promote condensation inside the engine.
Still, it's nice not having to worry about traffic going to or coming home from work :devil:
 

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