Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! The gas can be going through the carburetor and getting into the crankcase, diluting the engine oil. This is caused by the carburetor needle valve not shutting off the fuel . I would recommend changing the engine oil and filter, if it has one. Then rebuild the carburetor. You might get by on the carburetor by just removing the float bowl and float and needle valve and cleaning the parts and passages. Here is a site that shows the carburetor disassembly if you need it. Let me know. Thank you.
If I purchased a carburetor repair kit, would this give me what you describe above? I have from the owners manual 12-757-03-S? I am a woman and have called a small engine repair company who basically told me to scrap the tractor based on my explanation of the problem (no different than what I told you). I'm just not willing to give it up that easily, the tractor was a lot of money and I'm determined to fix it if I can.
Can I clean the parts you have described above with carburetor cleaner alone?
Yes, a good spray carburetor cleaner will work fine.
If cleaning doesn't work, will the repair kit give me all of the components that are needed?
I am not finding the carburetor identified with my tractor at the sight you recommended. My engine model is CV490. Could you recommend another sight so I can figure out what I am doing?
http://outdoorpowerinfo.com/repairs/kohler_walbro_lmk_carb.asp This is the one for the cv490.
Great! Thank you for your help!
How certain are you that this will fix the problem? Could their be other issues that I should be aware of?
If you change the oil and filter and repair the carburetor, I think you can make another season with it.