Kohler Lawn Mower Engine Review
Sometimes, it’s better to replace your lawn mower’s engine than it is to buy a completely new mower. Kohler, an American company known for sinks and bathtub fixtures, produces a number of push lawn mower engines. These engines are designed for residential use and have a variety of features that make them easy to operate and maintain. The engines feature technology that provides even power levels, consistent starts, and reduced fuel use. Some of the engines, such as those in the XTX series, will never need an oil change.
Understanding Lawn Mower Engines
Not every type of lawn mower needs an engine. But gas-powered and electric mowers do. While you are able to get a manually powered mower to move and cut the grass just by pushing it, if you want a gas-powered or electric mower to do the same, you need to have a functioning engine.
As Consumer Reports notes, lawn mower engines typically come in either one of two styles. Side valve engines are usually the lower priced option while overhead valve engines typically command a higher price tag.
That higher price tag translates to a more efficient operation, with less noise and less wear and tear on the engine. Overhead valve engines are becoming more and more popular and their price is beginning to fall. While you once would only find an overhead valve engine on a high-end, deluxe mower, today you might find one on a relatively inexpensive machine.
Some folks like to modify the engine’s RPM. Check it out:
Whatever type of engine your mower uses, you need to care for and maintain it. Over time, sediment and carbon deposits can build up in the engine, making it start sluggishly. The build-up can clog the engine and interfere with its operation.
To help an engine run at its best, it’s important not to leave gasoline in the mower over the winter or during periods when you know you won’t be using the mower. It’s also recommended that you replace the oil in the lawn mower engine as recommended by the owner’s manual. Some newer engine models don’t require oil changes at all, but do require you to keep the oil at a certain level.
Features to Look for in a Lawn Mower Engine
Back in the day, the main feature a homeowner might have looked for in a gas-powered lawn mower engine was power. While a having a powerful engine is still a major concern, today’s homeowners are looking for other features as well.
For example, in subdivisions and neighborhoods across the country, noise can be a major issue. No one wants to be woken up at 6am on a Saturday morning by a neighbor’s noisy mower. Few people want to be that neighbor who’s waking everyone up with the roar of their mower’s engine on a weekend morning.
One of the benefits of an engine with overhead valves is that it usually operates more quietly than a side valve engine. A gas-powered mower engine will never be as quiet as a battery or electric powered one, but it is possible to find one that won’t wake the entire neighborhood or lead to noise complaints.
The various parts of an engine determine how long it will last, how effectively it will run and how often you’ll need to perform maintenance. Gas-powered lawn mower engines typically have parts such as spark plugs and air filters to help the engine start and keep it running smoothly.
The higher the quality of the engine’s spark plugs, the better the engine. Although the job of a spark plug might seem very simple, without it, an engine just wouldn’t operate. The spark plug is what gives the cylinders in the engine their initial jolt of power to get the machine going. The better the spark plug, the better the engine will start.
Some engines have special technology that ensures that they are able to provide a consistent level of power. If you’ve ever tried to use a machine that wasn’t getting an even level of power, then you know how difficult it can be to do a good job.
A good engine will maintain the same general level of power through the task of mowing a lawn. Otherwise, you’ll end up with uneven, choppy looking grass.
When to Buy a New Engine vs Buy a New Mower
It’s not always the best idea to replace the engine in your lawn mower. For example, if you have an inexpensive mower, one that cost less than $200 or so, it might cost you as much to buy a new engine for it as it would be replace the entire machine.
But if you have a higher end mower, replacing a worn out or damage engine with a new one can be the more cost effective option. It can also make sense to buy a completely new engine rather than try to repair a broken one.
Some lawn mower maintenance and repair tasks are relatively simple, such as swapping out the air filter or clearing a clogged carburetor. It’s usually a good idea to try to repair those problems rather than replace the engine completely. Damage that calls for a new engine entirely usually includes broken pistons or rods or a busted crankshaft.
Meet Kohler Lawn Mower Engines
Kohler, the same company that is known for sink and bathtub fixtures, also produces a number of lawn mower engines. The company makes a number of engines for both commercial and residential use. It has three engine series that are designed for use in push lawn mowers, as well as in other lawn and garden tools.
The company’s HD series includes two engines, the HD675 and the HD775. Both models feature durable, platinum spark plugs and “Consistent-Cut” technology, which provides steady, even power, so that you can cut through even the toughest of grasses with ease.
The construction and design of the HD series is meant to reduce the amount of time you have to spend maintaining the engine. SInce the engine has a pre-cleaner on the air filter, you don’t have to replace it as much.
No one wants to fuss around with their lawn mower when trying to get it started. The design of the HD series engines are meant to make starting your mower a breeze. The engines feature “Easy-Pull” and “Smart Choke” technology to simplify the starting process.
You’ll find starting process in a competitor’s engine, the Briggs and Stratton 104M02-0028-F1 163cc 725Exi Series Push Mower Engine. The Briggs and Stratton engine is a little less powerful than the Kohler HD series engines, but can be a suitable alternative if you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-start engine.
While the HD series from Kohler is meant to mimic the quality of commercial engines, the engines in the XT series are meant to provide a durable, but user-friendly option. The XT series features overhead valves, which provide a more fuel-efficient and quieter operation.
Like the HD series, XT engines have Consistent Cut technology to make getting a great looking lawn a snap. The engines also have Easy-Pull and Smart Choke technology for easier starting and a larger than average fuel tank.
Kohler’s third series of lawn mower engines is the XTX series. The XTX series as all of the features of the XT series, with the additional benefit of never needing to have the oil changed.