5 Signs its Time to Retire Your Lawn Mower

Makes sure to keep your mower clean so you can see if you're leaking oil

It’s the beginning of the mowing season, you’ve mown your  yard a few times and you’ve seen how you’re mower is acting after a long winter. Now you have the hard decision of deciding whether or not its time to retire you’re faithful cutting machine or see if you can fix it up (or have us fix it up). We can’t speak to the sentimental bond between a man and his lawn mower but we can talk about economics and whether a lawn mower is worth being repaired. Here are five things that typically spell the end of the line for your mower. These repairs are usually more costly than the machine is worth. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but in general here some signs its time to scrap your lawn mower.

You hear a knocking sound

If your engine is knockin’ you better be shoppin’- most of the time knocking in the engine is a result of a bent crankshaft or a broken or bent rod. This is a terribly expensive lawn mower repair and most of the time you’re better off looking for a new mower. One of the main causes of this is running the machine out of oil. Make sure you’re always checking your oil level!

Your Engine is vibrating too much

How much is too much? You’ll know. When it seems like the engine might vibrate right off your machine, you’ve got an issue. This is yet another sign of a bent crankshaft or broken/bent rod. Double check your oil!

Smoke is coming out of your exhaust

In some cases this can be repaired by a head gasket which isn’t usually that expensive, but in other cases your rings may be worn out causing your engine to use too much gas and scoring your cylinder. This can be caused by not cleaning your air filter (debris gets in the cylinder and wears down your rings), or your rings could just be worn out. Regardless, depending on the severity of the scoring it might be time for another engine and at that point you should be looking at a new lawn mower.

You’re using too much oil

This usually goes with smoke coming out of the exhaust. The oil has to go somewhere and it’s usually into the cylinder. If you have to add oil after each mow job, you’re either mowing way to much or you have a problem. Not to mention oil is in itself expensive.

Your deck is rusted out

This is one thing on this list that is external on the machine. If you have a rusty deck you’ve lost most of your support and you’re running the risk of the blades flying off while you’re mowing, among other things. In some cases the mowing deck can be the most expensive part of the lawn mower, so it sometimes means it’s time to find a new lawn mower.


Bonus Section: Fixable Issues (But you need to get your lawn mower repaired now)

Won’t Start: This seems pretty basic and can be caused by a lot of different things. One of the most costly is that you’ve lost compression. This means the fuel you’re running wont ignite. A lot of times this can be fixed with a  head gasket or new set of valves

Losing Horsepower in heavy grass: This is another sign that you’re losing compression. Not only is it annoying, it can be a serious problem and its important to get it fixed soon.

Your engine is missing: This is most often caused by fouled plugs due to above average oil use. It can be caused by damaged rings, bad air filter or scored cylinder among other things. It can also be caused by debris in your gas tank which is a pretty easy fix. The moral of the story is that this can cause a serious problem down the road and you need to have a professional take a look at it immediately.

Don't want your lawn mower die just yet? Avoid these common maintenance mistakes! 

This article is intended for use with riding lawn mowers. Push mowers and handheld power equipment is different because minor repairs can quickly add up to the cost of a new unit. Riding lawn mowers and zero turn lawn mowers can be a little more tricky when it comes to deciding to replace them, simply because they’re a larger investment. If you’re experiencing one or more of these side effects with your mower contact us today.