When buying a riding mower, there a few key things to consider regarding the mower's engine. One thing to consider is if the mower has an oil filtering system, another is how many cylinders the engine has, and you will want to look into the type and quality of the engine cooling system. If an engine doesn't have a good cooling system, it will run at higher temperatures and that means a shorter life for your mower engine.
The cooling system is one of the six systems required for an internal combustion engine. The combustion and friction within an engine can produce over a thousand degrees of heat. (And you thought you got hot mowing the lawn!) If this heat becomes too great, parts of an engine can eventually weld themselves together which will bring a quick end to any engine or mowing job. While lubrication helps to reduce friction and heat, this isn't enough to keep an engine cool enough to perform at optimal levels. Without a working cooling system a mower engine can go from working to being permanently broken in a few minutes. The good news is that most mowers shut down before things get to that point.
A number of lawn mowers have an air-cooled engine, which doesn't cool the engine as effectively but keeps the engine and the mower lighter. Air-cooled engines have metal fins outside the engine cylinders which move the heat away from the engine. Other, typically larger, mowers have water-cooled engines. Water-cooling systems do a better job of cooling the engine, but are more costly and add to the weight of the mower. Engine performance is improved by water cooling systems while fuel consumption decreases. It's estimated that a water-cooled engine can last almost twice as long as an air-cooled one.
Most riding lawn mowers with a water cooling system use 10 or 12 cc pumps in their engines. The Wright Z uses a 16 cc hydro pump instead, which allows the mower to run faster and cooler than the competitions'. Plus, a more effectively cooled engine means that the engine will last longer.