Last Updated: May 2021
A lawn mower is not a cheap product to buy; it is an investment. You could choose to buy a cheap lawn mower, one which will not last and will have to be replaced after a couple of years, causing you to have to buy another one and ending with you spending more than you would have spent if you had just bought the high-quality mower in the first place.
Whichever way you look at it, a lawn mower is an investment.
Now, with any investment, you want to get the best for your money. The longer your lawn mower lasts, the more bang for your buck you get. Wouldn’t it be great if your lawn mower would last forever?
While nothing lasts forever, there are some steps which you can take to increase the longevity for your lawn mower. But, before we get to that, let’s take a look at the standard lifespan of a lawn mower.
The Life Expectancy Of A Lawn Mower
With some care and attention, most lawn mowers can last 10+ years. If you do not take care of your lawn mower, you can expect it to last around 4-5 years. If you abuse your lawn mower, then it may only last 2 years.
Think about that. If you take care of your lawn mower, it can last at least 5 times longer than if neglected.
If that is not motivation to take care of your lawn mower, then I do not know what is.
What Affects The Life Of Your Lawn Mower?
Of course, there are some variables at play here, and there is never a guarantee that your lawn mower is going to last that long. Most manufacturers measure the lifespan of their products in hours and average that by usage over these years.
A lawn mower which is used three times a week is not going to last as long as one which is only used once a week.
You also need to think about the type of grass which is being cut. If you are using your lawn mower to cut long grass once a week versus cutting short grass once a week, then that is going to take a toll on the blade and the lawn mower motor.
There is the size of the lawn to take into account. A lawn mower is going to last a lot longer if you are only cutting a small area once a week compared to a larger area.
There are variables which will determine the life of your lawn mower, but there are also steps which you can take to help your lawn mower live a long and happy life.
How To Increase The Lifespan Of A Lawn Mower?
There are many things which you can do to improve the lifespan of your lawn mower, and our number one tip should come as no surprise if you know us here at Durability Matters.
The number one way to have a long-lasting lawn mower is to buy a high-quality and durable lawn mower in the first place. By doing this, you give yourself the best chance of never having to buy a lawnmower again.
Durable and high-quality lawn mowers are the ones which are made from high-quality parts and better construction. Sure, they may cost a little more, but that cost is an investment. A cheaper lawn mower will break down quicker and need to be replaced sooner. Spending more at the out-set will actually save you more money in the long run.
Once you have your durable lawn mower, what else can you do?
Use Quality Fuel
A high-quality lawn mower needs high-quality fuel. Again, this means spending a little more here and there but that extra spend is going to save the inside of your lawn mower and save you from having to replace parts.
The ethanol in gasoline can wear and degrade the parts in your lawn mower, especially the rubber and plastic parts. Gas can also gum up the inside of your motor.
Adding a stabilizer will help to stop the ethanol from wearing the parts and the gasoline from gumming up the insides. Look for one which is designed to be used with ethanol.
At the end of the season, you should also siphon out any remaining fuel so that it is not sitting in the mower over the winter.
Change The Oil
Fuel is the energy, but oil is the lifeblood. You need both working in harmony with each other. Skimp on one, and it does not matter how good the other is.
Having high-quality, clean oil in your mower is a must. Start with premium oil, and be sure to change the oil on a regular basis. Consult your owner’s manual for a regular maintenance schedule.
When you are changing your oil, be sure that the fuel tank is empty before you do. This helps to avoid spilling as you may be changing the position of your mower.
Use something to catch the used oil from your mower when you remove the oil cap and, once empty, refill with fresh oil.
Again, consult your instruction manual for an oil change schedule.
Change or Clean The Filters
This is often an overlooked area of lawn mower maintenance. Filters are cheap and easy to re-place, so there really is no excuse for not replacing them.
Many lawn mowers have two filters; one for the oil and one for the fuel. They can both be removed in seconds and replaced in seconds. Your user guide will tell you exactly which filters to use.
I find that if I change (or just clean) the filters when I am changing the oil, I stay ahead when it comes to maintenance.
Spark Plugs & Batteries
Keeping the contacts and charge at the appropriate level will also go a long way to keeping your lawn mower in tip-top shape.
Spark plugs should be changed out after 100 hours of use (again, consult your manual for exact times). Old spark plugs can take their toll on a lawn mower motor and can damage it. Your overall lawn mower performance will also be affected.
If you have an electric mower, then charging the battery a few times over the winter, when the lawn mower is not in use, will also help to prolong the life of the battery. If a lawn mower battery is left empty, then its ability to fully recharge will be diminished, and you will not get as much out of it when you do come to use it.
Keep The Blade Sharp
The blade does all of the cutting work. Following the above tips will help to take care of the motor, but how can you prolong the life of your blade?
One of the best things which you can do is to sharpen it regularly. You should aim to sharpen the blade three times over the cutting season. A sharp blade will cut through the grass easier and take less toll on the motor.
It is easy to sharpen your own blade with the correct tool, and it does not cost much to have someone else do it for you.
Along with sharpening the blade, you should protect the blade to ensure that it does not dull. Be sure to stay away from and sharp corners (like the corner of a deck), and remove any large rocks and stones which are in your way.
Clean Your Lawn Mower
Many mowers have a washout port through which you can wash out the grass clipping which has been caught up in the mower. Removing these clippings helps the air flow of your mower and leads to more even cutting and less corrosion.
If there is no washout port, you can still clean out the debris and clippings from the bottom of your mower. Just be sure that the mower is turned off first. If you find that you are getting a lot of clippings building up on the underside, then you can also use a spray-on lubricant.
Starting with a high-quality lawn mower and taking proper care of it is the best way to have a healthy and happy lawn mower. It may seem like you are spending a lot of money for a durable lawn mower and the maintenance costs can add up, but you are saving money for ‘future you.’
If your lawn mower needs to be cleaned, clean it; if something needs to be tightened, tighten it; if it needs to be lubricated, lubricate it. If you take care of your lawn mower, it will take care of your lawn.
The great thing about these tips is that they will help any lawn mower to last. If you cannot afford the high-quality mower (which we highly recommend), you can still have a cheaper lawn mower which will last longer than it should.
This is my AL-KO 46 BR lawn mower. It was made in 2007 and it’s still going strong. I bet that this is because of AL-KO’s slogan “Quality for Life” and me maintaining the lawn mower according to the tips I just gave you.
Take the time to care for your lawn mower and never worry about having to repair or replace again.