Small Engine Troubleshooting Problems? Ask a Mechanic Now.
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Gas in the crankcase is a sign that gas is flowing through the carburetor, and seeping down through the cylinders.
This is caused by a bad carburetor, usually a stuck or damaged float needle.
This carb is a CARB-compliant unit, and is not supposed to be opened up at all. There are no parts available for it.
A bad carb is just supposed to be replaced.
Yes, you will need to change the oil and oil filter.
Check the spark plugs. Normally, this alone would not be cause to need to replace the plugs, but only a visual check can determine if the plugs need to be cleaned or replaced.
Trying to clean it or not is entirely your call.
I do not even try in the shop, as the failure rate is over 50%. By the time I figure labor, it is just more cost effective to the customer if I just replace it.
Another reason I don't recommend trying to clean is that you can not get any parts for it at all. The bowl gaskets dry up and shrink pretty quickly, and you can't get one. Also, the needle on these things is extremely fragile. As often as not, you will break the needle trying to get the altitude adjust knob off.
No, it's definitely not normal. But it does happen.
I have had a couple of carbs be bad right out of the box, straight from the factory.
Today's gas formulation starts to go bad in as little as 30 days.
The best thing you can do is to run it a bit more often, and to make sure you always have fresh gas available.