lawn mower repair cost

dpvirginiaOctober 5, 2009

Just received an estimate of $165 to repair my mower. The next shock was seeing the cost of new mowers.

--any advice on whether it makes sense to put more money into this mower, which has already had two other repair/tune-ups?

The repair shop said that it will rebuild the carburator and put a new belt on the mower. This is a Scotts 22" mower with a Tecumseh engine--6.5 hp OHV engine on "high-wheel power-propelled front wheel drive 3-in-1 convertible - mulch/bag/discharge" mower." --Scotts Model # OVRM105-120, bought about 8-10 years ago.

Is $165 a fair price for a repair like this? This is a repair shop based in the Wash.DC/northern Virginia area. --Thanks for any advice....

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That is more then the mower is worth and 8-10 years is a pretty decent life for that mower. I don't know what you are using if for, so I will hold off on model suggestions, but you can get a similar model with rear wheel drive (much better then front wheel drive for most purposes) at the box stores or at dealers for a discount this time of year (end of season).

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:00AM
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Most mowers with carb problems need the main jet cleaned and that's all. Maybe 10% need a total carb rebuild.

Around here, which is definitely not DC, your bill might be $80.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2009 at 11:20AM
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You can easily change a belt.
Removing and cleaning a carb is not difficult.
If you lay out an area where you can disassemble
the carb (kitchen table)and you carefully take the
carb apart watching the main jet as you remove the
bowl it may be an hour job.
A can of carb cleaner and a small stiff brush
and a air compressor to blow out passages and you
are done.
Usually the dirt in the bowl, jet are easy to see
and the process is not difficult.

When you are done, it should run good for a few
years. If it doesn't work you will have the extra money
to buy new.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 6:49AM
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Here in the Toronto area large Lawnmower shops charge $80 to $120 plus parts for a basic tune-up. Basic means sharpen blade, change oil, clean main jet on carb, everything else is extra. Average bill on a mower is around $160 plus tax. If you do not want to spend that on a repair. As an option they happen to have a bunch of new mowers you can buy.

Keep in mind shop rent, labour costs, taxes and a bunch of other cost shops can't spend their time on small repairs.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 8:52AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

around here many small shops will do the job for about 50.00 plus parts. how much is the parts breakdown out of that 165? but i agree, it has pretty much lived it's life an no way i would sink that much into it. i would get the parts and DIY it if anything.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 2:52PM
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We've been in business for nearly 40 years and it is amazing how much repair costs have gone up. Our company sells Husqvarna lawnmowers, but repairs mowers of all types. If you're in the Virigina area, give us a call and we can see if we can keep you next repair from being so costly.

Here is a link that might be useful: lawnmowers virginia

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 12:39PM
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I can attest that the carb cleaning is not as bad/hard as I thought it would be and I am no mechanic. I did it to my 13 year old snowblower this year...with some guidance from the folks in t his forum. I ended up having to replace a belt too but I have now used it (instead of my newer thrower) several times...its running strong. Also, I'd think it easier to get at the parts on the lawn mower than the snowblower...that was half the battle.

So fo maybe $35 in parts, why not go for it!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 4:37PM
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I agree with andrelaplume2. The majority of the expense on a mower repair involves labor (just like a car repair). Also, the shop is probably marking up the parts 50 to 100 percent. So it's worth it to do the job yourself if you're willing to get your hands a bit dirty (and you won't have to life the mower into the car!).

FWIW the average mower life expectancy is 7 years and 120 hours (less if an owner doesn't do oil and filter changes, leaves the thing out in the rain, etc.). Given those numbers, I wouldn't pay to get your mower fixed again -- I'd buy new (or nearly new on Criagslist, where there are some huge bargains to be had if you're patient).

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 6:33PM
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Seems high for the work being done. Most mower repairs can be done at home if you are willing to read up a bit and do the job thoroughly.

For whatever it is worth, comparing the cost to repair with the resale value of the mower makes no sense unless you plan to sell the mower after repairing it. You have already paid for that mower so any additional cost simply extends the life and usefulness of the mower. If you find someone who will do the work for $100 then you wil have a functioning mower for far less than the cost of a new one. Do it yourself and you will have the satisfaction of learning something new and saving a ton of money.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:02AM
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"You can easily change a belt.
Removing and cleaning a carb is not difficult."

Agree, plus if the mower runs, there is a good chance that using SeaFoam per instructions on the can may take care of the carb.

You didn't say what the mower was doing/not doing that causes you to say you need carb cleaned.

"So it's worth it to do the job yourself if you're willing to get your hands a bit dirty "


Walt Conner

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:30AM
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