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Repair information and troubleshooting for Craftsman-brand riding lawnmowers.

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gas in the oil

how does gas get into my oil tank? I filled up the gas tank, and next day most of the gas had gotten into the oil, when I drained the oil it was mostly gasoline...

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I have a craftsman model 247.288841 19.5 horse riding mower with a Briggs one cylinder engine. It was a cast-off from a relative who was tired of taking it in to get the "gasoline in the oil" problem fixed. The last repair actually worked, but by then my sister-in-law was exasperated with it and gave it to me. The problem is the in the carburetor. It has a solenoid in the bowl which shuts off the flow of gas when the ignition is switched off. The design is faulty - the solenoid does not completely shut off the gas and so it allows a siphon action to empty the bowl into the intake manifold. The raw gas then leaks down the cylinder wall and into the crankcase. The repair shop gave up trying to fix it and installed a manual cut-off valve in the fuel line. You have to remember to open the valve before you start the engine and close it when you shut the engine off. I've been looking for a way to modify the carburetor to stop the siphon problem, but have not found a way to do it so far. In the meantime, the manual valve allows me to use the mower without ruining the engine. Don't run yours with gas in the oil - it thins the oil and will damage the engine. Hope this helps.

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How to fix it if you forget to shut off the valve? Drain the oil is the first thing. Do you also need to replace the fuel filter? Thanks.


I have same problem . Installed new carburetor and add a shut off valve. Still mixing tho . Help ?


Put a 12 volt solenoid valve in the gas line from the tank, hook it up so it activates open when the engine runs (I connected it to my headlamp sw), and shuts down the fuel when the engine is off. No brainer, no forgetting, 12 bucks on Amazon for a nitrile seal solenoid valve.


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Is this a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine?

On a 4-stroke it could happen, gasoline is running down the cylinder walls if mixture is way to rich.

But then will notice gas in the oil ... just a few millilitres so to say.

If it is a 2-stroke, gas and oil will be mixed before entering the cylinder, I think, and I would have a look if there 's a broken valve or something, so that gas can run down the oil line, if the engine is off.

Regards, Stone

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Usually the problem is in the float bowl. The float needle and seat need replacing.

When it’s faulty, gas doesn’t stop flooding the carburetor and gets into the cylinder and mixes with the oil. You must also change the oil when this happens as your oil is now ruined. Not a hard fix at all. By the way, sometimes you can easily replace the entire carburetor cheaper and easier than cleaning and replacing the carb parts. I just changed mine on my Ariens snow blower for $17. Granted it’s not an OEM part, but it works just fine.

now I’ve got an extra carb I can repair in my free time and just swap it out quickly next time too.

On a side note, seasonal storage is usually the culprit. People think that using “stabil” in the gas works but instead you should run the engine dry and then add a NON-ETHANOL fuel, usually just an ounce or two works, then just run it dry one more time. The non-ethanol fuel can be bought in very small cans at your hardware store for around $6.00 and it stores very well for a couple of years. Search seasonal storage on YouTube for examples.

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Craftsman lawn mowers with key left on overnight well sometimes leak gasoline into the engine cylinder and it'll slowly fill the engine oil case as the gasoline slips past the rings of the engine…leaving the key on overnight can also damage the alternator of the riding lawn mower creating more problems

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