Lawn Mowers

Repairing Your Lawn Mower vs Buying New

Repairing Your Lawn MowerShould you invest money into repairing your lawn mower or should you invest  in a brand new lawn mower? Many people are faced with this dilemma every year and sometimes it is difficult to know just how much you should spend or when you should just send the old one to the dump. I was recently faced with this problem and fortunately for me, there were lots of sales on at the time and I was able to get a really good deal on a self propelled lawn mower for just under $200.

Repairs to my 32 year old lawn mower were going to cost me around $100,  so there was no decision really. I may have been able to fix it myself, but frankly after 32 years, I figured it was time to get a new self propelled model so it was more of “I want” kind of decision than an economic one.

Regular Maintenance will Keep Your Old Lawn Mower going

For years I had self repaired my lawn mower. I changed the oil every year, replaced the spark plug every couple of years and sharpened the blade myself as well. These were all basic maintenance things that I could do myself and kept my lawn mower running smoothly for many years. Unfortunately the body began to rust out and there was really nothing I could do for it. In fact it was becoming dangerous to operate, so it was time to replace it. As I mentioned I was able to get a great deal on a new on at Lowes.

Not everyone can do the repairs that I did. Many do not want to be bothered with these sorts of things either. Some of my neighbors never even change the oil in their lawn mowers. They just keep going on the same old engine oil until the engine just seizes up from really bad oil after a couple of years. By the time you take your lawn mower into a small engine shop, pay for the tune up and oil change and pick it up again, you have invested time and money in a machine that is not really worth that much. You can purchase a new lawnmower for under $200. It begins to get close to a replacement option that is more reasonable than doing repairs.

Repairing Your Old Lawn Mower

For folks with jobs or people with lots of money, they probably cannot be bothered with changing oil or repairing their old lawn mowers. Just buy a new one. But what if you are living on a fixed income. Or are unemployed and you need to stretch every dollar as far as possible? Doing your own repairs becomes almost necessary!

If you do it yourself, it can be pretty reasonable vs. paying a small engine mechanic to do repairs and change oil. If they charge $20 and hour, and it takes an hour to do the work then you can save yourself $20. You still have to pay for oil and any parts you need. But you are saving yourself money. Maintaining the engine and body in excellent working order will also ensure that your lawn mower lasts for many years.

Rule of thumb for Deciding on New vs. Repairing Your Lawn Mower

This is my rule of thumb. When it comes to the decision process re fix an old lawn mower vs. purchase a new one.

  • Can I repair it myself
  • What will the parts costs
  • What will it cost to have a small engine mechanic do the repairs
  • How much does a new lawn mower cost
  • Can I sell my old one and for how much

If the repairs are 50% of the cost of a new lawn mower, I would be tempted to just go for the new lawn mower. Chances are that once these repairs are completed and paid for, there may be more more repairs a year from now. Purchase a new one now. For me 50% is the rule of thumb I use. However for some of our readers your decision point may be higher or lower. It depends on your personal situation and criteria.

Satisfaction with Self Propelled Lawn Mower

By the way I am very happy with my new self propelled lawn mower. This is the first time I have had one. Although I really did not need the self propulsion system, it is a breeze to cut the lawn. In addition this particular lawn mower is 2 inches wider. It is surprising the amount of time it saves me in time when I am cutting the lawn.

The old lawn mower was placed along the curb the night before garbage day. Someone came along and picked it up. Hopefully they will repair it and someone will be able to continue using it.

We have written a number of posts about selecting a new lawn mower. Find the features that are right for you. Take a look at these posts to help you with your decision to purchase a new lawn mower if you decide to go in that direction.


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One Response to “Repairing Your Lawn Mower vs Buying New”

  1. my husband keep our lawn mower going for 32 years, cheap when the labor is free but we would not have done that if we had to pay to keep the lawn mower going.

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