What is a Lawn Mower’s Life Expectancy?

Your mower's service life will be tied directly to the number of hours it's used. Remember that the age of your lawn equipment doesn't necessarily mean it is worn out. With proper lawn mower maintenance, your mower can last well beyond its expected lifespan. Inspect your equipment regularly and take the following steps for maintenance on a annual basis:

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A Lawn Mower’s Life Expectancy

What is a lawn mower’s life expectancy? Lawn mowers are definitely a product that falls into the “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To” bucket. Manufacturers have focused on making parts more affordable and lighter for shipping on many models, and corners have been cut (no pun intended) in terms of materials and design.

Lawn mowers also fall into the “You Get What You Pay For.” Even with push mowers, the more expensive models will likely have a modern overhead valve engine, electronic ignition starter, and other features. A larger ride-on lawn mower will have additional parts like a battery for starting and lights, as well as an alternator and other accessories.

With all those moving parts, how long should you expect a lawn mower to last?


How Big Is the Yard?

Your mower’s service life is tied directly to the number of hours it’s used. A mower that’s rated for 200 hours of service life by its manufacturer is expected to last a few years if you have a huge yard that takes a couple of hours to mow. If your grass grows fast, you’ll need to mow it weekly or even more depending on how large the deck size is. If you wait until the grass is 4 or 5 inches long, you will put more work and more stress on the mowers blades and engine, which will certainly shorten its lifespan.


How to Extend the Life of Your Lawn Mower

Just remember that the age of the equipment doesn’t necessarily mean it is worn out. With proper lawn mower maintenance, your mower can last well beyond its expected lifespan. Inspect your equipment regularly and take the following steps for maintenance on a annual basis:

  • Start with an annual oil change
  • Clean or change out the air filter, and consider installing a fuel filter if the mower doesn’t have one
  • Sharpen your blade(s) so they can actually cut grass instead of just beating it into submission.
  • Inspect the drive belts on a riding mower. Look for cracking, chipping, and make sure there isn’t a lot of slop in the belt tension.
  • Remove the spark plug, clean or change it out.
  • Remove any accumulated dried grass from the underside of the deck. Prevent it adhering in the future using a spray lubricant. (Clean and reapply this coating throughout the year to keep the deck from rusting.)
  • Clean, tighten, and lubricate anything on the mower that needs it
  • To extend the life of your ride-on mower’s battery, keep it on a battery tender to maintain the voltage level over the winter, newer tenders not only keep the voltage, but have cleaning/maintenance cycles to make them last even longer
  • Become notorious for walking through the yard and removing any rocks, sticks, or other debris before you start mowing
  • At the end of the season, clean out the fuel system by running it dry. Let the mower’s engine run at wide open throttle until it runs out of gas. This will ward off carburetor and fuel tank and line related issues the following year.

If you follow these recommended steps, you can expect to have a longer service life out of even the most inexpensive lawn mower.


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