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I have a 5-year old Craftsman lawnmower with a Tecumseh engine. It was running fine the last time I started it last season, but when I recently tried to start it (a year later), it won't turn over. The oil has turned milky looking, and I also noticed water sputtering out of the muffler and from the oil reservoir when I cranked the pull cord.

I suspect rain water got into the engine and oil tank over the past year, which may be why it won't start. There is ignition spark. I sprayed some starter fluid in the carb to see whether the engine would at try to turn over, but no luck.

My next step is to check compression, but does anyone know what's going on with the milky oil and water in the engine/oil and whether this may be preventing the engine from starting?

THANKS!
 

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Water causes oil to look this way. Drain all the oil from the crankcase, as well as all the fuel from the tank. You should also at the very least, drop the float bowl off of the carburetor and have a look in there for water and or damage from water. Fill the crankcase with new motor oil and use fresh fuel. Remove the spark plug and pull the engine over several times as there may be water in the cylinder. If your lucky your valves will be alright. You may need to replace the spark plug. Test for spark while the plug is out, if all checks then try starting again.
 
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