Kohler Engine Spewing Liquid out of Breather(Solved)

Experiencing a Kohler engine spewing liquid out of the breather can be a perplexing issue.

The sight of liquid escaping from the breather raises concerns about the engine’s health and functionality.

However, understanding the causes and finding appropriate solutions can help rectify this problem.

In this post-guide, we address common questions related to the issue of liquid spewing from the breather in Kohler engines.

We provide insights into the potential causes behind this phenomenon and offer practical troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem.

Let’s jump in.

Kohler Engine Spewing Liquid Out of Breather

Kohler Engine Spewing Liquid Out of Breather

The first thing you should do is determine what type of liquid is coming out of the breather. 

1. Oil coming out of the breather

If it is oil, there is likely an issue with the engine’s valve train or cylinder. If it is coolant, it could be a sign of a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head.

One of the most common causes of oil being expelled through the breather is a worn or damaged valve guide. 

This allows oil to pass through the valve stem and into the combustion chamber, where it is then expelled through the breather. 

How to Fix

If this is the case, the valve guide will need to be replaced.

Another possible cause of oil coming out of the breather is a damaged or worn piston ring. The piston ring seals the combustion chamber and keeps oil from getting into it. 

If the ring is damaged or worn, oil can leak into the chamber and be expelled through the breather. The solution here is the replacement of the piston ring.

2. Coolant coming out of the breather

If you notice coolant coming out of the breather, it could be a sign of a blown head gasket or a cracked cylinder head. 

A blown head gasket allows coolant to enter the combustion chamber, where it is then expelled through the breather.

A cracked cylinder head can also allow coolant to leak into the chamber and be expelled through the breather.

How to Fix

The solution here is to get a professional engine technician to check the engine, if the head gasket or cylinder head is the problem it will need to be replaced.

In general, it is important to address any issues with liquid coming out of the engine’s breather as soon as possible, as it can lead to significant damage to the engine if not taken care of promptly. 

Regularly checking and maintaining the engine can help prevent such issues.

It’s also worth noting that in some situations, the symptom you’re describing could be caused by a clogged or dirty air filter or wrong oil viscosity also make sure to use the recommended oil and coolant for the specific engine model.

If you’re unsure of how to diagnose and fix the issue, or if you don’t feel comfortable working on the engine yourself,

it’s always best to consult with a professional engine technician or the manufacturer’s technical support to find the best solution.

Read Kohler Engine Dies After 30 Minutes(7 Quick Ways To Fix)

Solution for Kohler engine spewing liquid out of Breather

Oil coming out of the breatherValve guide worn or damaged
Piston ring worn or damaged
Coolant coming out of the breatherBlown head gasket
Cracked cylinder head
Clogged or dirty air filterClean or Replace air filter
Wrong oil viscosityUse recommended oil viscosity
Use of non-recommended oil or coolantUse recommended oil and coolant
Solution for Kohler engine spewing liquid out of Breather

Read Kohler V-Twin Oil Leak(5 Quick Ways To Fix)

What does a Kohler breather separator do?

A Kohler breather separator is a device that is installed on internal combustion engines, specifically those used in lawnmowers, generators, and other small power equipment

The purpose of the breather separator is to separate oil vapor and other contaminants from the air that is taken in by the engine’s air intake system.

When an internal combustion engine runs, it produces a significant amount of oil vapor as well as other contaminants such as dirt and dust. 

This oil vapor and other contaminants can build up in the engine’s crankcase, potentially causing damage to the engine’s internal components. 

The breather separator helps to prevent this build-up by removing the oil vapor and other contaminants from the air before it enters the engine.

The way the separator works is typically by using a combination of filters and a centrifugal separator. When the air is drawn into the breather separator, it is spun rapidly by the centrifugal separator. 

This spinning motion causes the heavier oil droplets and other contaminants to be flung outwards, where they are collected by the filters.

The clean air is then able to enter the engine, while the oil and other contaminants are retained by the filters.

It is important to note that the Kohler Breather separator should not be confused with an oil separator or PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) valve. 

While they are related and have similarities in function, they work in different ways and have different mechanisms.

Read Kohler Engine Starving for Fuel(5 Quick Ways To Fix)

What happens if Kohler’s breather is blocked

If the Kohler breather is blocked, it can cause several problems for the engine. 

Some of the most common issues that can occur include:

1. Oil buildup in the crankcase

Without the breather separator functioning properly, the oil vapor and other contaminants produced by the engine can build up in the crankcase. 

This can lead to increased oil consumption, as well as potential damage to internal engine components.

Read How to Change Oil on a Murray Lawn Mower(Quick and Easy Way)

2. Reduced engine performance

A blocked breather separator can restrict the flow of air into the engine, which can reduce engine performance. 

This can lead to a decrease in power and torque, as well as increased fuel consumption.

3. Increased engine wear

Without the breather separator filtering out oil and other contaminants, these particles can be drawn into the engine. 

They can cause wear and tear on the internal components, reducing the lifespan of the engine.

4. Pressure build-up

The Kohler breather is there to allow internal pressure to vent, if it gets blocked, the pressure that forms in the engine will cause the pressure to be contained inside. 

This build-up can cause oil leaks, seals, or gasket failure, and can even cause the engine to seize.

Read How to Remove PTO Clutch Bolt(In 5 Quick Steps)

Kohler Command Crankcase Breather Problems

Here are some common problems associated with the crankcase breather in Kohler Command engines:

1. Excessive Oil Consumption 

A malfunctioning breather can lead to excessive pressure buildup in the crankcase, causing oil to be forced past seals and gaskets. This can result in higher oil consumption as well as oil leaks.

2. Smoke from Exhaust

If the breather is not functioning properly, it can allow oil to be pulled into the combustion chamber, leading to blue or white smoke coming from the exhaust.

3. Poor Engine Performance

A clogged or malfunctioning breather can disrupt the air-fuel mixture and combustion process, causing the engine to run poorly, misfire, or lack power.

4. Oil Leaks

Pressure imbalances due to breather issues can cause oil to leak from various seals and gaskets in the engine, leading to messy and potentially damaging leaks.

5. Crankcase Pressure Issues

A blocked breather can result in excessive pressure buildup in the crankcase, which can cause seals and gaskets to fail, leading to leaks and reduced engine efficiency.

6. Carbon Buildup 

If the breather system is not functioning properly, it can allow unburned fuel and oil vapors to accumulate in the crankcase, leading to the formation of carbon deposits inside the engine.

To address these problems, you should consider the following steps:

  • Inspect the Breather: Check the breather valve for any signs of damage, blockage, or clogging. Clean or replace the breather valve as needed.
  • Check Hoses and Connections: Inspect all hoses and connections in the breather system for leaks, cracks, or disconnections. Make sure they are properly attached and functioning.
  • Clean or Replace Filters: Some Kohler Command engines have breather filters that need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance.
  • Ventilation System Maintenance: Ensure that the entire crankcase ventilation system is in good condition, including the breather, hoses, filters, and any other related components.
  • Proper Oil Level: Maintain the engine oil at the recommended level. Overfilling the tank can contribute to breather-related issues.

Kohler V-twin Ignition Coil Problems

1. Faulty Ignition Coil

The ignition coil may be faulty or damaged. In this case, the coil will need to be replaced. It’s essential to use a genuine Kohler replacement part to ensure compatibility and proper functioning.

2. Poor Connections

Check the connections between the ignition coil and the spark plugs, as well as the connections to the ignition module or points.

Make sure all connections are clean, tight, and free from corrosion. If any connections are loose or corroded, clean or tighten them as necessary.

3. Wiring Issues

Inspect the wiring harness connected to the ignition coil for any signs of damage, such as fraying or exposed wires.

Damaged wiring can cause intermittent or no spark. If any issues are found, repair or replace the wiring as needed.

4. Ignition Module Problems

The ignition module, which works in conjunction with the ignition coil, may be malfunctioning.

If you suspect a problem with the ignition module, consult the engine’s service manual or contact Kohler customer support for guidance on diagnosing and troubleshooting the module.

5. Flywheel Magnets

The flywheel magnets that interact with the ignition coil may have weakened or lost their magnetic strength. In this situation, a qualified technician would need to replace or repair the flywheel.

Read Kohler Engine Dies After 30 Minutes(7 Quick Ways To Fix)

Kohler Breather Separator

A breather separator, also known as a crankcase ventilation separator or oil separator, is a component used in engines to separate oil vapors from the air that’s expelled from the crankcase ventilation system.

It’s designed to prevent oil mist from being released into the atmosphere and to ensure that only clean air is vented out. This helps reduce pollution and maintain proper engine performance.

In the context of Kohler engines, including the Kohler Command series, a breather separator would serve a similar purpose.

It’s used to manage the ventilation of the engine’s crankcase, preventing excessive pressure buildup and ensuring that any oil vapor or mist generated during the combustion process is separated and returned to the engine rather than being released into the environment.

The breather separator typically consists of a housing or chamber that contains baffles or a filter element.

These components help trap the oil droplets in the air before they are vented out. The separated oil is then directed back into the engine, while the clean air is released.

If you suspect issues with the breather separator in your Kohler engine, it’s important to inspect it and, if necessary, clean or replace it.

Over time, the separator can become clogged with accumulated oil deposits, affecting its efficiency.

Read Kohler 7000 Series Review(Read This Before You Buy)

Final Remarks

If you’re experiencing a situation where your Kohler engine is spewing liquid out of the breather, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. 

This is likely an indication of a problem with the engine’s crankcase ventilation system,

which can lead to a variety of issues, such as oil buildup, reduced engine performance, increased engine wear, and pressure buildup.

Regular maintenance, including cleaning or replacing the breather separator filters, is crucial to prevent these issues from arising. 

If you find the problem to be persistent, it is recommended that you contact an authorized service center for further diagnosis and repair.

Read Kawasaki Liquid Cooled Engine Problems(7 Quicks Ways To Fix)


Why is my Kohler engine spewing liquid out of the breather?

This can occur for several reasons, such as overfilling the oil, a damaged or worn-out breather valve, or excessive crankcase pressure.

How do I fix the issue of liquid spewing from the breather?

First, check the oil level to ensure it is within the recommended range. If overfilled, drain the excess oil.

Next, inspect and clean the breather valve. If damaged, replace it. Additionally, check for any clogged or obstructed vents.

Can high engine temperatures cause liquid to spew from the breather?

Yes, excessive heat can increase crankcase pressure, leading to the liquid being forced out. Ensure proper cooling system function and monitor engine temperature.

Should I seek professional help for this issue?

If you are unsure or uncomfortable performing the necessary checks and repairs, it is recommended to consult a qualified technician or a Kohler engine service center.

How can I prevent future occurrences of this problem?

Maintain the engine’s oil level within the specified range, perform regular oil changes, clean or replace the breather valve as needed, and ensure proper engine cooling to prevent overheating.

Are there any other potential causes for liquid spewing from the breather?

Yes, other factors like worn piston rings, a damaged cylinder wall, or a malfunctioning carburetor can contribute to this issue.

If the problem persists, it is advisable to seek professional assistance for a thorough diagnosis.

Read Briggs and Stratton Engine Bogs Down Under Load(Solved)

George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.