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newjerseybt


You want it done right?...You better learn how to do it yourself!

Ariens 1128DLE
Ariens 8526LE
Honda HRC216
Bosch 3221L
Craftsman DYT4000
Stihl FS90R


Location: Honesdale, PA
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Points: 171

Snowblower crankcase condensation
Original Message   Feb 19, 2006 11:17 am
When I bought my Ariens 1128DLE snowblower in 2003, I checked the oil before and after my first use.  I noticed after initially running the machine for about 2 hours  that a creamy substance formed on the dipstick which had  the consistency and color of Lubriplate grease ( creamy French vanilla ice cream in color).

I can't remember where, but someone said it was a combination of water and oil being whipped up by the crank due to crank case condensation.  I got scared and changed the oil immediately.

Does it make sense that if a snowblower arrived in humid weather and sat until the cool Fall weather that it would be subject to condensation?

Secondly, if that were the case does it make sense to change the oil immediately on any new engine that may have sat around a while to avoid possible damage or unecessary wear to the engine?

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nibbler


Joined: Mar 5, 2004
Points: 751

Re: Snowblower crankcase condensation
Reply #3   Feb 19, 2006 5:52 pm
I did a bit of googling and cam up with this site

http://www.chris-longhurst.com/carbibles/engineoil_bible.html

According to this guy it indicates a blown head gasket. The site talks extensively about oil for cars and the blown head gasket comment is because coolant is getting into the oil and then mixing. Since snowblowers work in a somewhat wetter environment I have a hunch it doesn't indicate a gasket problem, just that you have water in the oil. I haven't found anything to indicate what to do about it. Certainly replacing the oil and then being careful when you check the oil level.is the most conservative solution.
newjerseybt


You want it done right?...You better learn how to do it yourself!

Ariens 1128DLE
Ariens 8526LE
Honda HRC216
Bosch 3221L
Craftsman DYT4000
Stihl FS90R


Location: Honesdale, PA
Joined: Dec 19, 2004
Points: 171

Re: Snowblower crankcase condensation
Reply #4   Feb 20, 2006 2:23 pm
I always change oil about every 10 hours or so but this time I used Mobil-1 5w-30 so I have no idea if you can whip up a synthetic to a creamy froth.

.

solara


Location: Boston
Joined: Jun 16, 2004
Points: 252

Re: Snowblower crankcase condensation
Reply #5   Feb 20, 2006 3:32 pm
 I use mobil synthetiac and the one time that i checkeed the oil when it was hot i got the creamy froth. Immediately did an internet search and came up witha response  rom this or the  schism cite which said NO PROBLEM.

2004-2005 Ariens 11528LE
Jacobsen snow-burst
spottedpony


Joined: Aug 23, 2004
Points: 301

Re: Snowblower crankcase condensation
Reply #6   Feb 20, 2006 7:17 pm
nibbler wrote:
I did a bit of googling and cam up with this site

http://www.chris-longhurst.com/carbibles/engineoil_bible.html

According to this guy it indicates a blown head gasket. The site talks extensively about oil for cars and the blown head gasket comment is because coolant is getting into the oil and then mixing. Since snowblowers work in a somewhat wetter environment I have a hunch it doesn't indicate a gasket problem, just that you have water in the oil. I haven't found anything to indicate what to do about it. Certainly replacing the oil and then being careful when you check the oil level.is the most conservative solution.

This needs to be taken with a grain of salt so to speak.  If you have an abundant amount of white foamy gunk in your oil then in the case of a water cooled engine, it well could indicate a blown or leaking head gasket, resulting in leaking coolant into the oil.

 on a small air cooled 1 or two cylinder engine though, not likely, and its just as likely on the small engine, it wouldnt even run with a blown head gasket, due to lack of compression.

Whats actually happening is the engine warms to normal operating temp. then when its shut down and stored in a cold temp. moisture forms inside the engine (just like it does on a glass of cold or iced liquid on a hot summer day) and gravity being what it is, the condensation drains to the lowest place possible, usually the oil pan.
its perfectly normal to see a little white oil water mix around breather caps and even on the dipstick or in the oil itself when drained,  when dealing with temp. changes the blower (and other engines) are subjected to in winter weather, where your dealing with around a 160 degree temp. change (or more)  from actual air temp. to normal engine operating temp.

The reason you dont see it as often in auto engines is they usually run for longer periods of time which will for the most part evaporate the water thats created from condensation inside the block. Ive seen condensation streaks, (the white foamy stuff) in many autos & other engines from time to time through the years with no ill effects, in fact one of my farm tractors has been subject to this in weather where there are some more extreme temp changes we see some parts of the year. At over 6000 hours, which would be in excess of 200000 miles based on an (average speed of 40 mph which would be reasonable for an automobile with this number of hours,) and the majority of it under working load, if it were to be coolant leaking into the oil, or merely problems caused by the condensation, after this many hours would of been cause for major engine repairs.

Bottom line, though some engines seem to be more prone to seeing condensation issues than others, its pretty much normal for it to happen in winter weather. keep an eye on it, and change the oil as recommended & there should be no problems arise from it.
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