Bad Boy Mower Smoking? Quick Fixes You Can Do

By | January 29, 2024

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As a seasoned expert in lawn mower maintenance with extensive experience in troubleshooting and repairing Bad Boy mowers, I understand the complexities and nuances of these machines.

If your Bad Boy mower is smoking, it’s a clear sign of an underlying issue that requires immediate attention.

Trust in my guidance to not only diagnose the issue but also to implement the most effective repair strategies, ensuring your mower’s longevity and optimal performance.

Quick Summary

  • Identify the smoke color and address specific issues like engine oil, fuel concerns, overheating, damaged parts, and air filter maintenance.
  • Identifying the color of the smoke is key, as black, blue, or white smoke each indicates different underlying mower issues.
  • It’s advisable to replace the air filter of a Bad Boy mower at least once every mowing season or after every 300 hours of operation to prevent engine damage and smoking.
  • In my opinion, consulting a professional mechanic for persistent smoking issues is a wise decision to ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your mower.

Dealing with Overheating Issues

Description of the Problem:

Overheating in Bad Boy mowers can lead to severe issues, including the production of smoke, engine damage, or complete engine failure.

Indicators of overheating include smoke (specific color not specified) emanating from the engine, darkened or discolored spark plug wires, increased engine temperatures, abnormal engine noises, and instances of engine lock-up or shutdown.

What to Look For:

Be alert for signs of overheating, such as smoke from the engine, changes in the color of spark plug wires, higher-than-normal engine temperatures, unusual engine sounds, and the engine locking up or shutting down unexpectedly.


  • Regular Maintenance: Essential for preventing overheating and its related issues.
  • Check Coolant Levels: Ensure they are adequate for optimal engine temperature control.
  • Inspect and Clean the Cooling System: Regular inspections and cleaning are vital.
  • Leak Checks: Routinely check for any leaks in the system.
  • Maintain Proper Oil Levels: Crucial for engine health and preventing overheating.
  • Role of Coolant: Plays a key role in reducing engine temperature and preventing damage.
  • Importance of Cooling Fins:
    • Aid in effective heat dissipation.
    • Increase surface area for better heat transfer away from the engine.
    • Help in maintaining optimal operating temperatures.

Addressing Engine Oil Problems

Mower engine oil

Description of the Problem:

Engine oil issues in Bad Boy mowers, such as overfilling the oil reservoir or using the incorrect oil grade, can cause smoke from the engine, indicative of burning oil.

Recognizing symptoms like excess oil leaks on the frame, smoking, or inadequate engine oil levels is crucial for addressing these issues and averting further damage.

What to Look For:

Be vigilant for signs of engine oil problems, including oil leaks on the mower’s frame, visible smoke from the engine, or low engine oil levels, which could indicate serious issues needing attention.


  • Refer to Owner’s Manual: For specific instructions on checking and changing engine oil, recommended oil types, and oil change intervals for your Bad Boy mower model.
  • Address Low Engine Oil Levels: Adding fresh oil to the correct level can resolve smoking caused by low oil.
  • Seek Professional Help for Complex Issues: If the problem is intricate, consult a qualified small engine mechanic for diagnosis and to weigh repair costs against engine replacement.
  • Regular Oil Changes: Crucial for preventing smoke and maintaining mower performance.
  • Use Correct Oil Grade: Ensures efficient engine operation and smoke prevention.
  • Promptly Address Oil Leaks or Spills: Immediate action prevents further complications.
  • Proper Oil Filter Care: An important part of overall oil maintenance.

Read More: What Kind of Oil to Use in a Husqvarna Zero Turn

Tackling Fuel-Related Concerns

Mower fuel tank

Description of the Problem:

Fuel-related issues in Bad Boy mowers, such as using substandard fuel, overfilling with gasoline, or having a malfunctioning carburetor, can lead to engine smoking. Identifying symptoms of these fuel-related problems is essential for effective resolution.

What to Look For:

Be aware of signs indicating fuel system issues, like difficulty starting the mower, poor engine performance, irregular idling, stalling, black exhaust smoke, and engine backfires.

These symptoms could point to problems with the fuel quality, quantity, or carburetor function.


  • Use High-Quality Fuel: Incorporate fuel system and injector cleaners to minimize engine smoke.
  • Add Fuel Additives: Utilize detergents and similar additives to reduce black smoke emissions.
  • Regular Fuel Filter Changes: Essential for a clean and efficient fuel system.
  • Monitor for Carburetor Issues: Look for signs like difficulty starting, irregular idling, stalling, black smoke, or engine backfiring, indicating potential carburetor problems needing cleaning or replacement.
  • Maintain a Clean Fuel System: Key for preventing engine smoking and achieving optimal performance.
  • Regular Maintenance: Includes valve adjustments and servicing of air, fuel, and oil filters to effectively reduce engine smoke.

Identifying the Smoke Color and Its Causes

The color of the smoke your lawn mower produces offers a useful hint towards diagnosing the problem. The hue of the smoke can range from black, blue, or white, each indicating different underlying issues. 

Black Smoke

Black smoke coming from your Bad Boy mower usually indicates an engine problem, typically caused by a clogged air filter or fuel-related issues.

A dirty or clogged air filter can prevent sufficient airflow into the carburetor, leading to an excess of gasoline and black smoke.

To prevent smoke emission resulting from a clogged air filter, keep it clean and consider replacing it more frequently when mowing in dry, dusty conditions. Starting each mowing season with a new air filter is also a good practice.

If black smoke continues even after you’ve replaced the air filter and adjusted the carburetor, you might need to take the mower to a repair shop.

A professional mechanic can diagnose the issue and determine if there are any other air restrictions or underlying engine problems that need to be addressed.

“I recently had an issue with my Bad Boy mower – it started emitting black smoke every time I used it. Recalling an article I read about mower maintenance, I checked the air filter first. Sure enough, it was clogged with dust and debris, a common issue here in Texas. After cleaning it, the smoke reduced but didn’t completely disappear. The article had mentioned that persistent black smoke might indicate a carburetor problem. Not confident in adjusting it myself, I took the mower to a repair shop. A quick carburetor adjustment there, and my mower was running smoothly again. That article not only helped me identify the problem but also saved me from potential mower damage.”


Blue/White Smoke

White or blue smoke

Blue or white smoke from your mower often indicates oil burning in the combustion chamber, which an overfilled oil reservoir can cause, oil spills during maintenance, damaged piston rings, valve train problems, or leaks in the engine gasket.

Another possible reason is oil being forced into the cylinder from a clogged air filter. When inspecting your mower, look for signs of oil burning off around the muffler or engine, possibly due to oil leaks or spills that occurred during an oil change.

If you find the oil level is too high, drain the excess and refill the reservoir to the appropriate level, using the dipstick for accuracy. It’s important not to leave excess oil on the engine but to let it naturally burn off.

If these measures don’t stop the blue or white smoke, you should take your mower to a repair shop for a more comprehensive diagnosis and professional repair.

Related: Why Is My Push Mower Smoking: Common Causes

Repairing or Replacing Damaged Parts

Damaged components in your mower, such as head gaskets, piston rings, or pistons, can lead to the emission of blue smoke, signaling that oil is being burned in the combustion chamber.

Promptly identifying and rectifying these issues is crucial to avoid further harm to your mower. Taking steps to repair or replace damaged parts, especially piston rings, is key in resolving the issue of blue smoke.

To prevent your Bad Boy mower from  smoking and ensure its efficient operation, it’s important to regularly inspect it for any damaged components and address them as soon as possible.

If you find yourself uncertain about how to conduct repairs or replacements, seeking help from a professional mechanic is the recommended course of action for accurate diagnosis and effective repair.

Cleaning and Replacing Air Filters

A clogged air filter in your mower can lead to engine damage and cause your mower to emit smoke. It’s essential to keep the air filter clean and in good working condition to prevent these problems.

To change the air filter in your Bad Boy mower, first find the air filter housing. Then, take out the old filter and replace it with a new one. It’s advisable to replace the air filter at least once every mowing season or after every 300 hours of mower operation.

By regularly cleaning and replacing the air filter in your mower, you can help avoid engine damage and prevent smoking. This simple maintenance task is key to maintaining optimal performance and prolonging the life of your mower.

Checking Coolant Levels and Cooling Fins

Mower cooling fins

For preventing overheating and smoking in your Bad Boy mower, it’s vital to maintain correct coolant levels and keep the cooling fins clean.

Regularly checking the coolant levels, ideally before each use or at least once a month, is a proactive measure to spot and address potential issues early, preventing damage.

Equally important is the cleaning of cooling fins. Over time, debris and grass clippings can build up, hindering their effectiveness and leading to overheating.

By routinely monitoring coolant levels and ensuring the cooling fins are clean, you can help avert overheating and smoking, thereby maintaining the optimal performance and prolonging the lifespan of your mower.

When to Seek Professional Help

If the smoke issues of your mower persist, or if you are uncertain about how to fix them, it may be the right time to consult a professional.

A professional mechanic can diagnose the underlying issues and provide you with the necessary guidance and repairs to get your mower back to its best. Ignoring persistent smoke issues can lead to:

  • Additional damage
  • Decreased performance
  • Potential safety risks
  • Invalidation of your warranty.

Do not hesitate to consult a professional mechanic if you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned earlier, such as frequent smoking, difficulty starting, or loss of power.

They can help you address the problem with Bad Boy and ensure your mower remains in top-notch condition.

Our Verdict

Delving into the ‘Bad Boy mower is smoking’ issue, I’ve reached a well-informed verdict. From my personal experience with these sturdy mowers, I’ve learned that identifying the smoke’s color is crucial.

Whether it’s tackling overheating, engine oil troubles, or fuel-related problems, prompt and proper maintenance is key.

I can’t stress enough the importance of regular air filter replacements and coolant level checks. In my own encounters with a smoking Bad Boy mower, I’ve realized that attentive care significantly extends its life and efficiency.

So, remember these insights, and your Bad Boy mower will remain a dependable ally in your lawn care adventures!

Ethan Dixonete Avatar

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my zero turn mower blowing white smoke?

White smoke coming from your zero turn mower likely indicates burning oil, which can be caused by overfilling the crankcase with oil, using incorrect oil grades, or operating at a greater than 15 degree angle. Solutions range from burning off the oil on the engine to draining excess oil from the reservoir.

Why is my lawn mower blowing GREY smoke?

Low oil levels and burning oil in the combustion chamber could be causing your lawn mower to blow grey smoke, so it’s important to check and top off the oil regularly to prevent further engine damage.

How often should I replace the air filter in my mower?

It is recommended to replace the air filter at least once per season or after 300 hours of operation.

When should I seek professional help for my smoking mower?

If you are still experiencing smoke issues or are unsure how to fix them, seek professional help to prevent further damage and maintain optimal performance.