Inherited riding mower

scgekg(Z5 NY)December 12, 2012

(sorry I am wordy)
I bought a house with a riding mower included. It is a Toro 8-25, and is about 17 years old, but seems in very good shape (I am not at all mechanical - but no rust and it was stored clean). I saw some repair bills for about $300 from the year before, and mower was not used for any of last year- they left in January I bought in June). Lot size is under 1/2 acre, and fully flat, and I can mow it with a push mower in under an hour (as a guess, I never timed myself and I used a 20" mower), but that is about how long it took, and usually I finished without a refill of small mower's tank.

I am debating using this "free" mower (which will probably cost me $150 per year to service) or getting a new self-propelled 21 or 22 inch mower for say $500 that would cost maybe $50 per year to service. I am used to using a Toro super recycler on a larger lot - closer to 1 acre.

Is there an advantage to a small rider that I am not aware of to offset the cost of servicing? I don't mind the walking about the yard. I usually just mulch, and even mulch in a large portion of the year's leaves. (Note: I think it was $70 on that last repair for just round- trip delivery, but I certainly do put the super-recycler in the trunk or on a small back shelf that attached to a hitch. My wife has the super-recycler and the bigger 1 acre yard that I still mow, but that is hillier and more obstacles and I don't think switching the rider there makes sense.)

I was thinking of seeing if I could sell the rider for maybe $250 (no idea of value but I see prices like that on mowers that visually look worse to me). That would mean I was ahead with a new mower after maybe 3 years if I had no repairs on either.

It was useful to write this, but I am looking for input.

(The 20 inch push at an hour is slower than I like, but I suppose continuing to use that is the cheapest alternative and as it is I have 3 mowers at 2 houses. The 20 inch is a "disposable" mower that seems to survive longer that I figured - I use to use it for mowing under trees, bought used about 10 years ago.)

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I don't know what the repair bill was and I have to question you estimated yearly serving cost unless you are including gas? the repair was probably for something that was broke not servicing. Actually you can service it yourself. It don't take alot of mechancial knowledge to Check the oil, gas, and give it look over before you use it and clean up after you use it. Other than oil change once or twice year and maybe few places to grease that's it for servicing. Maybe a belt once in blue moon thats about it.

Basiclly read the owners manual (or get one online) and figure out what you need to do (if you can't Utube probably has video you can watch and learn). Belts, spindles, bushings, ect... usually last years.

Not much more that maintaining pushmower IMO.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 3:54PM
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I agree with rcmoser. You Tube has a great videos for repairs if you need them. I usually check donyboy73's videos. He has some great ones with detailed information.

It could be as simple as a dirty carb that needs cleaning to get it running. Myself, I would try and get it running first. If it doesn't start, post the Make model # and detailed information on Garden Web and I'm sure you'll get answers of what the problem might be.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:24AM
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