I have a Cub Cadet 1529 which I recently maintained in several different ways.
- I changed the oil and filter a few weeks ago. I put 5W-30 in but had a really hard time telling if/when it was full because someone really needs to invent a better way to see oil level than a stupid inaccurate dipstick. I ended up removing some oil after I saw it leaking. I still can't tell if it's too full or not. I mowed at least once (1/2 acre) (maybe twice) without any major issues other than some oil leaking while sitting in the garage. The oil level seems like it's FULL or possibly overfilled but as far as I can tell, it's definitely not LOW.
- I replaced the PTO belt (it was old and worn out and finally broke). I have mowed about 1/4 acre with it without any major issues.
- I replaced the air filter. I can't possibly imagine how this would have caused any issues.
Today when I went to haul some stuff around my yard, I noticed the engine wasn't running well, as soon as I started it up. I could only go about half-throttle before it stopped speeding up. Blue smoke was coming out consistently. The choke sounded like it was going to kill the engine. I tried driving it around a little bit to see if the slight angle was causing a problem but it didn't get any better. I turned it around and drove it back into the shed.
I have a feeling it has a blown head gasket which I will have to figure out how to fix, I suppose... is that the most likely issue? How hard is this to change myself?