Lawn & Garden

How Much Does Lawn Mower Repair Cost?

When a lawn mower is on the fritz, homeowners may want to consider investing in lawn mower repair instead of purchasing a new mower. Lawn mower repair costs between $40 and $90, or $60 on average.
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Lawn Mower Repair Cost
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Highlights

  • Lawn mower repairs typically cost between $40 and $90, with the national average cost coming in at around $60.
  • The exact cost to repair a lawn mower will depend on the type of mower, the type and location of the repair, the experience level of the tradesperson, and the choice between repairing and replacing a mower.
  • A lawn mower may require repairs if it has an inoperable or vibrating engine, oil leaks, inconsistent performance; is making unusual noises; has a smoking exhaust pipe; or is consuming more gas and oil than normal.
  • A skilled DIYer who is comfortable working with engines may be able to perform basic lawn mower repairs themselves. However, homeowners are advised to hire a professional when there are more serious issues or when they aren’t sure what they’re doing.
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A lawn mower is a necessary piece of any home’s lawn-care maintenance equipment. This machine is designed to cut the lawn to a specified length, making the yard more appealing for the homeowner, residents, and any guests. Keeping the grass trimmed throughout the year also keeps weeds in check, prevents insect infestations, encourages improved root growth, and helps the lawn dry faster, reducing the risk of anyone slipping on wet grass.

So when the lawn mower isn’t working properly, it’s necessary for a homeowner to repair the machine as soon as possible to avoid dealing with an overgrown lawn or needing to pay professional lawn mowing costs. Experienced DIYers can handle some lawn mower repairs, but most people will need to hire a lawn mower repair professional to fix the machine. According to HomeGuide, repairs typically cost $40 to $90, though the average cost is about $60. Homeowners can use this guide to learn more about lawn mower repair cost factors to help determine whether the mower should be repaired or simply replaced with a new model.

Factors in Calculating Lawn Mower Repair Cost

Lawn Mower Repair Cost
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Most lawn mower repairs cost just $40 to $90, but the cost of the repairs can vary depending on several factors, including the mower type, repair type, repair location, and tradesperson experience. Homeowners can find out more about lawn mower repair cost factors below to get a better idea of the budget required for lawn mower repair.

Mower Type

There are four common types of lawn mowers that are frequently used to maintain yards of various sizes, including push mowers, reel mowers, riding mowers, and self-propelled mowers.

  • Push mowers rely on a gas engine to drive the cutting blades, but the user still provides the physical power to move the lawn mower over the grass. These machines weigh about 60 pounds, and repairs typically cost about $25 to $70.
  • Reel mowers are completely manual. The user pushes the mower from behind, turning the wheels of the mower, which in turn drives the rotary pusher and cutting blades through the grass. These mowers have a basic design that can typically be repaired for about $10 to $50.
  • Riding mowers are made for large yards and user convenience. The user can sit up on the mower, relying on the powerful engine and transmission to drive the movement of the mower as well as the rotation of the cutting blades. The repairs for riding mowers cost the most of any lawn mower type, so users should expect to pay about $100 to $250 on average.
  • Self-propelled mowers work similarly to push mowers, except that they have a transmission to drive the wheels forward with minimal effort required by the user. This feature is great for large yards, but it can also increase the cost of repairs. Homeowners can expect to pay about $25 to $100 for self-propelled lawn mower repairs.
Lawn Mower TypesAverage Cost of Repairs
Push$25 to $70
Reel$10 to $50
Riding$100 to $250
Self-propelled$25 to $100

Repair Type

A range of issues could cause the lawn mower to malfunction. The cost for lawn mower repair depends heavily on the type of repair required to get the mower functioning properly again. Common repair types include replacing the air filter, replacing the fuel filter, changing the oil, sharpening the lawn mower blades, replacing the spark plugs, and tuning up the engine.

Severe problems with the lawn mower can lead to high repair costs that greatly exceed the average cost of common lawn mower repairs. For instance, while a simple carburetor cleaning may cost between $36 and $50, it can cost as much as $500 to $900 for a professional to repair the crankshaft of the mower. Homeowners can troubleshoot the problem and speak to a repair professional to get an estimate based on the type of repair.

Repair Location

A lawn mower doesn’t have the same convenient mobility as a car or truck, so when something goes wrong with the machine, the user needs to either pay for a repair technician to come to the home or load it up into a car or truck to take to the repair shop. If the repair technician needs to come out to the home, the homeowners can expect to pay a higher price for the repairs.

Homeowners can also expect the cost of lawn mower repairs to increase during the busy times of the year when the demand for this service is at its highest. With this in mind, it’s recommended that the homeowner take the lawn mower in for annual servicing during the early spring or late fall months, when the demand is lower. Choosing the right time of the year for service can help homeowners get a lower price for any required repairs.

Tradesperson Experience

Another factor that can affect the cost of the lawn mower repair is the experience of the repair professional. Repair technicians who are relatively new to the field will often charge less for their services, so if the lawn mower needs only a minor fix, like a spark plug replacement, it could be advantageous to seek out a less experienced tradesperson.

However, if the lawn mower has a more serious issue, it may be in the homeowner’s best interest to pay a little more, knowing that the professional repair technician has a significant amount of experience dealing with small-engine repairs. Before hiring a lawn mower repair professional, homeowners are advised to spend some time researching local repair companies and individual contractors.

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Repair vs. Replacement

Minor lawn mower repairs are often worth the expense to get the machine up and running again, but when there is a serious issue, it may be a better idea for a homeowner to invest in a replacement lawn mower.

  • Repairs are effective options for dealing with relatively simple issues, such as cleaning the carburetor, sharpening the lawn mower blades, changing the oil, replacing the spark plugs, changing the air filter, replacing the fuel filter, or tuning up the engine.
  • Replacement becomes a serious option when there is a significant problem with the lawn mower, such as a cracked crankshaft, transmission failure, blown head gasket, or blown engine. In this case, the homeowner will want to look into the best lawn mowers that fit within their budget.

Before investing in a new mower from one of the best lawn mower brands, homeowners are advised to determine the cause of the problem so they can decide on the best option for dealing with the lawn mower. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that while a new lawn mower ranges in cost from $160 to $3,000, many lawn mower repairs can be completed for about $40 to $90. Even the best cheap lawn mowers will typically cost more than that.

Lawn Mower Repair Cost
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Cost by Type of Repair

The cost to repair a lawn mower depends heavily on the type of repair. Fixing something minor or performing a regular tune-up won’t typically cost a lot, but if the head gasket is blown or the transmission requires replacement, the repair cost could be significantly higher. Homeowners are encouraged to find out the average cost of common lawn mower repairs near them to ensure the repair company is providing a service at a fair rate. To do so, they can call several lawn mower repair companies in their area and compare quotes. Below are the national average costs of lawn mower repair based on type.

Lawn Mower Repair TypeAverage Cost
Blade sharpening$50 to $70
Carburetor cleaning$36 to $50
Crankshaft repair$500 to $900
Head gasket$1,200 to $3,000
Motor repair$65 to $1,000
Rotary pusher repair$40
Transmission replacement or overhaul$200 to $500
Tune-up$10 to $250

Blade Sharpening

Lawn mowers are made for cutting through tough grass, but if the blades are dull, the mower may struggle to cut areas of the lawn with thicker patches of grass. This can overwork the engine, leading to overheating and excessive fuel consumption, so it’s recommended that homeowners have their lawn mower blades sharpened at least once a year.

The ideal time for lawn mower blade sharpening is just before the first mow of the season. This allows the user to get the most out of the mower before it is put into storage at the end of the season. Lawn mower blade sharpening typically costs about $50 to $70.

Carburetor Cleaning

The carburetor is the part of the lawn mower that is responsible for mixing the air and gasoline. If this part is dirty or not operating properly, the user may notice black smoke coming from the lawn mower exhaust. This typically occurs when the carburetor introduces a higher percentage of gasoline into the fuel mixture.

Lawn mower repair professionals will generally charge about $36 to $50 for lawn mower carburetor cleaning. If the problem is not resolved, it can lead the engine to backfire, overheat, or have difficulty starting. Additionally, the carburetor may fail, forcing the user either to invest in a new mower or pay for replacement parts and repair services to replace the carburetor.

Crankshaft Repair

Crankshafts are one of the more costly parts of a lawn mower to repair, ranging from $500 to $900. A crankshaft is intended to act as a bridge between the pistons and the flywheel. If the crankshaft is cracked, bent, or warped, the lawn mower will have a hard time starting.

Once it is started, if the crankshaft is broken, the mower may not be able to drive the cutting blades, and it could also overheat, causing the engine to shut down. This is because the crankshaft uses the up-and-down movement of the pistons to crank the flywheel in a circular motion, which in turn powers the fan belt and the transmission.

Head Gasket

A blown head gasket in a riding mower is often not worth the investment to repair given that it can cost between $1,200 and $3,000. If a riding lawn mower has a blown head gasket, it’s recommended that homeowners invest in a new lawn mower instead of paying to repair the existing one. A mower can still operate with a blown gasket, as long as the gasket is still able to facilitate enough compression within the system. However, the problem will get worse the longer it is left unresolved, leading to low power output, low compression, oil leaks, and excessive smoke from the exhaust; in some cases a blown gasket may prevent the engine from starting at all.

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Motor Repair

Issues with the lawn mower motor can range in severity. Minor problems may cost only about $65 to fix, but if the mower needs a full engine replacement, it can cost more than $1,000. The engine is easily one of the most important parts of the lawn mower. This component is responsible for producing the power necessary to drive the cutting blades.

In self-propelled and riding mowers, the engine also provides the force needed to propel the mower forward, instead of relying on the physical strength of the user. With this in mind, if the user notices any issues with the motor, it’s recommended that they speak to a repair professional to determine if it is worth it to repair the motor or if it would be best to invest in a new mower.

Rotary Pusher Repair

Not every homeowner has a mower with a gas engine. Some people still rely on basic reel mowers with a simple rotary drum and cutting blades to tackle small lawns. However, if the rotary pusher cracks, warps, bends, or otherwise becomes damaged, the lawn mower cannot function properly.

Users will want to take the lawn mower to a local repair company to determine if the rotary pusher can be repaired or if it will need to be replaced. Typically, homeowners can expect to pay about $40 for rotary pusher repairs. This low cost is one of the reasons some individuals prefer basic reel mowers.

Transmission Replacement or Overhaul

The transmission is an important part of the lawn mower and can cost between $200 and $500 to replace or overhaul. Push mowers and reel mowers don’t have transmissions, but self-propelled mowers and riding mowers rely on transmission systems to power the wheels and drive the mower forward.

If the transmission is having issues, such as grinding gears or starting and stopping during operation, or if the wheels are not rotating with the pulley, the transmission may need to be replaced or overhauled. Overhauling a transmission means a professional will need to remove, disassemble, and rebuild the transmission, taking time to inspect each part for wear or damage. Any parts that are damaged or that show substantial wear will need to be replaced with new parts when the transmission is being rebuilt.

Tune-Up

One of the best tips for homeowners to keep a lawn mower in working order is to take it into a repair shop or have a professional come out to the home to tune it up. This service is an important preventive measure to help ensure the lawn mower continues to function properly for years to come. Typically, users will spend about $130 on average for a thorough lawn mower tune-up.

However, DIYers may be able to get away with spending as little as $10, while it can cost up to $250 to have a professional tune up a heavy-duty residential riding mower. The cost of the service varies depending on the type of mower, the condition of the mower, and the local labor rates.

Do I Need Lawn Mower Repair?

Lawn mowers and other power equipment for the yard will typically start to show signs of wear before a problem occurs, such as an oil leak, vibrating engine, or smoking exhaust. Similarly, if the average job completion time starts to steadily increase, this can be an indication that the mower isn’t operating as efficiently as it once was.

Inoperable or Vibrating Engine

The clearest sign that there is an issue is if the lawn mower won’t start or if the lawn mower keeps dying. While this may be due to something as simple as low fuel levels, it could also indicate a problem with the spark plugs. Experienced DIYers can try to replace the spark plugs to resolve this issue, but if this doesn’t work, it’s recommended that they take the mower to a lawn mower repair professional.

Similarly, excessive vibration could indicate that the lawn mower has a bent or loose part that needs to be repaired. It could also be a sign that the engine is on its last life, so homeowners are advised to speak to a repair professional to find out if the mower can be repaired.

Oil Leaks

Oil is intended to keep the various parts of the lawn mower properly lubricated. This helps the components move and reduces the heat caused by friction. If the lawn mower does not have enough oil, the moving parts of the machine tend to wear out faster, so if the user notices an oil leak, it’s important that they have the issue repaired before using the mower again.

A lawn mower may leak oil due to a crack in the seals or gaskets. It could also be caused by a loose plug or pan. However, if the mower is also producing black smoke from the exhaust, the engine could be cracked, leading to more costly repairs.

Inconsistent Performance

Another sign that the lawn mower may need repairs or servicing is if the machine seems to operate inconsistently. Lawn mowers are designed for cutting thick grass so that homeowners can maintain the functionality and appearance of the yard. If the user notices that the lawn mower slows down significantly when they reach areas with thicker patches of grass, this may indicate that the mower is due for a tune-up.

The homeowner will want to inspect the lawn mower for any signs of wear and consult with a knowledgeable repair professional to determine the cause of the inconsistent performance. The issue may be as simple as dull cutting blades that need to be sharpened, though engine problems could also affect the performance of the mower.

Unusual Noises

A lawn mower is supposed to make a low droning noise as the blades whip around to cut through the grass and weeds. However, if the mower is making a loud screeching, knocking, or rattling sound, this could be an indication of a serious issue. Screeching sounds from the engine typically indicate that there is a problem with the engine belt. Professional repair technicians can replace the belt to resolve this problem.

A knocking sound can indicate that the mower has a bent blade or that there is a broken mechanism in the engine. Similarly, a rattling sound often indicates that a part has come loose or shifted out of place. It’s recommended that the homeowner stop using the mower until a repair technician can figure out what broke, bent, or came loose. Otherwise, the parts could cause further damage to the mower.

Smoking Exhaust

The exhaust of a gas mower can sometimes smoke after the oil is refilled. This is typically due to the user overfilling the oil. However, if white smoke is spilling out of the exhaust, it may indicate that the mower has a worn-out gasket or that there is a problem with the carburetor. The carburetor is the part of the mower responsible for controlling the mixture of air and gasoline in the engine.

If the carburetor is not functioning properly, there may be a higher percentage of gasoline in the mixture, leading to the smoking exhaust. Replacing the air filter could resolve this issue, but if this doesn’t work, a professional repair tech may need to repair or replace the carburetor.

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Excessive Oil or Gas Consumption

Older lawn mowers and mowers that are in poor condition may start to consume oil or fuel at a higher rate than normal. If the user notices that they are having to refill the lawn mower with oil or gas more frequently than usual, there may be a problem with the mower. Ongoing wear can lead to a lower efficiency level in older mowers, but a newer model that’s experiencing this problem may have an issue with its spark plugs.

Incorrectly firing spark plugs mean the lawn mower needs to consume more oil or gas to operate properly. Replacing the spark plugs may resolve this issue, but if the problem persists, the homeowner is advised to take the mower to a lawn mower repair professional for servicing.

Lawn Mower Repair Cost
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DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

When it comes to lawn mower repair, there are many tasks that can be handled by an experienced DIYer. Depending on the skill level of the individual, they may be able to complete an entire lawn mower tune-up, including replacing the spark plugs, switching the air filter, changing the fuel filter, changing the oil, cleaning the mower, and sharpening the cutting blades.

This can be a great way to reduce the cost of lawn mower repairs, though the drawback is that there isn’t any guarantee on the work, so if the DIYer makes a mistake or uses a faulty aftermarket replacement part, they will be stuck with the responsibility of resolving the problem.

If the lawn mower is experiencing a serious issue, like a blown head gasket, it’s recommended that the user leave the repair to a trained professional lawn mower repair technician. While this will cost more than purchasing replacement parts and handling the repair as a DIY job, there is a better chance that the repair will be successful. Additionally, a trained pro from one of the best lawn mower repair services will typically complete the repair in a shorter period of time than an inexperienced DIYer, allowing the homeowner to get back to their yard care and lawn maintenance more quickly.

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How to Save Money

Most lawn mower repairs won’t break the bank, with an average cost of just $60, but there are some problems that can be significantly more costly to resolve. So that users can avoid emptying their wallet to pay for lawn mower repairs, it’s a good idea to think about ways to save money on lawn mower repair costs. Consider these potential options to keep the lawn mower in good working condition while also keeping repair costs low.

  • DIY simple repairs and service. Instead of hiring a professional lawn mower repair technician, a DIYer can complete a variety of minor repairs, reducing the overall cost of lawn mower upkeep.
  • Research and get quotes from multiple companies. If the mower does require professional repair, make sure to research at least three different companies to ensure that they offer a fair rate for the service.
  • Purchase replacement parts separately. Lawn mower repair costs are typically split into labor and parts. Depending on the problem, homeowners may be able to purchase replacement parts separately to reduce the cost of the repair.
  • Keep up with regular lawn mower maintenance. The best way to avoid costly lawn mower repairs is to stay on top of regular maintenance tasks, like changing the oil, replacing the air filter, and cleaning the mower.

Questions to Ask About Lawn Mower Repair

Knowledge is important when hiring a company or an individual. The more the customer knows about the service, the better chance they have of getting the best value for the job. To find out more about lawn mower repair and to ensure the repair professional is suitable for the job, homeowners will want to ask a few key questions before, during, and after the lawn mower repair.

  • How many years of experience do you have?
  • Can you share a list of references?
  • Where do you source replacement parts?
  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
  • How much will the repair cost?
  • How serious is the problem?
  • What parts of the mower will you check?
  • What is the cost of labor?
  • Are the replacement parts intended for this mower?
  • Do you use universal replacement parts?
  • What is the estimated timeline for completion?
  • Do you offer a warranty or guarantee on the work?
  • Do you provide a written quote?
  • How will additional charges be handled?
  • How long will it take to service the lawn mower?
  • Is it worth it to repair the mower?
  • How frequently should the mower be serviced?
  • How can I prevent further issues?

FAQs

It’s not a good idea to rush into a decision when looking for a lawn mower repair company. The homeowner will want to research a pool of potential options and spend some time learning more about lawn mower repair to ensure that the companies offer a fair price for the service. Homeowners can check out the answers below to some of the most frequently asked questions about lawn mowers and lawn mower repair.

Q. Is it worth it to service a lawn mower?

A lawn mower will need to be serviced at least once a year to ensure that the machine is functioning properly and that there aren’t any problems. If the lawn mower is properly maintained, it can last for about 8 to 10 years on average, but if the user neglects the lawn mower maintenance, the machine may give out after only 4 to 5 years of use.

Q. Is it better to repair or replace a lawn mower?

In most cases, it’s more cost-effective to repair the lawn mower, but in some circumstances the user may want to consider investing in a new mower. Homeowners may want to replace the lawn mower if the engine is blown, the transmission needs to be replaced, the current lawn mower is more than 10 years old, or the mower needs frequent repairs.

Q. Are lawn mowers hard to fix?

Whether a repair is easy or difficult depends on the problem. There are many simple issues that fall into the low-end cost range for lawn mower repairs. These issues can often be resolved by a DIYer with a little small-engine repair experience, such as replacing the fuel filter, replacing the air filter, changing the oil, replacing the spark plugs, topping up the fuel, or cleaning the blades. However, for more complicated problems, like a blown head gasket, it’s best for a homeowner to rely on experienced lawn mower repair professionals to resolve the situation.

Q. Is it worth replacing a lawn mower engine?

While carburetor replacement may be worth the investment, replacing the entire lawn mower engine falls into the high-end cost range for lawn mower repairs. Homeowners may end up paying more than $1,000 to replace the lawn mower engine. With this in mind, it’s typically a better choice for a homeowner to invest in a new mower entirely instead of paying to replace the engine.

Q. How many years does a lawn mower last?

When a lawn mower is properly maintained and serviced throughout its life, it will typically last for about 8 to 10 years on average. However, if mower maintenance is rarely kept up, the machine may last only 4 to 5 years before the user needs to start looking for a replacement.

Q. What can damage a lawn mower?

Complex machines like lawn mowers can be affected by a variety of issues. Some problems that can cause damage to a lawn mower include using the mower with a clogged air or fuel filter, allowing rusting, not taking care of corrosion, or even neglecting to add a fuel stabilizer, leading to damaging engine build-up. Similarly, the lawn mower can develop issues if the user doesn’t regularly maintain the mower and fix issues when they occur, or if they install unreliable components, like universal replacement parts or aftermarket engines from box hardware stores.

Q. How often should I service my mower?

The frequency with which the lawn mower should be serviced depends on how often the lawn mower is used throughout the year. At a minimum, it’s recommended that a homeowner have any maintenance work or lawn mower repairs completed once a year. However, if the mower is used more than once or twice a week, the user will want to consider increasing the service frequency to about once every 100 hours of use.

Q. What time of year should you service a lawn mower?

Yard-care equipment should be regularly maintained to avoid any potential problems while the mower is in use. Users can service a lawn mower at any time throughout the year, though most lawn mower repair service professionals recommend having the mower serviced at the beginning or at the end of the mowing season.

Q. How often do you need to clean your lawn mower?

The debris that can collect on the underside of the mower will ideally be cleaned out after every use. Similarly, the collection bag or side discharge chute should also be cleaned out after every use. However, the body of the lawn mower needs to be cleaned only about two to three times a year.

Q. How do you diagnose a lawn mower problem?

If you want to know whether investing in professional lawn mower repair is worth it or whether you would be better off purchasing a new machine, it’s important to know how to diagnose lawn mower problems. Start by carefully examining each part of the mower, including the fuel tank, fuel filter, battery, spark plugs, carburetor, engine, and air filters. Look for signs of damage, excessive wear, corrosion, or contamination.

Also check that there is enough oil and that the mower is set high enough for the lawn. Additionally, you will want to frequently clean out any debris from the underside of the mower to keep the machine operating efficiently.

Q. How do I know if my lawn mower engine is blown?

There are several signs that can indicate that a lawn mower engine is blown, including oil leaks, smoke coming from the exhaust, low fuel pressure, and low power operation. If you still aren’t sure, a lawn mower service technician can confirm the condition of the machine.

Q. How long will a lawn mower run on a tank of gas?

The runtime of the lawn mower depends on several factors, including the type of lawn mower, type of terrain, fuel tank capacity, and engine efficiency. On average, users can expect a riding mower to last between 1 and 3 hours on a single tank of gas. A standard push mower with a gas engine may last 1 to 2 hours, though self-propelled mowers can have a shorter runtime due to the additional expenditure of fuel to drive the mower forward.

Sources: HomeGuide, Angi (1 and 2), Airtasker (1 and 2), eHow