Skip to main content

Like all other machines, a lawn mower also has a lifespan. And despite regular maintenance, lawn mowers eventually succumb to time and usage. But how would you know your lawn mower is amost dead? Luckily, there are some unmistakable warnings. Be on the lookout for these five clear signs that indicate it’s time to start shopping for new lawn equipment.

1. Engine issues

lawn mower dead, lawnmower dead
A man pushes a lawn mower in an overgrown yard | BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The engine is the most crucial part of a lawn mower because it powers the machine. Therefore, if your lawn mower’s engine starts giving you trouble, it’s a sure sign that the lawn mower is almost dead. Typical engine issues include:

  • Loss of power
  • Surging
  • Sputtering
  • Knocking
  • White/blue smoke from the exhaust

In most cases, engine problems are not fixable. And even if they’re repairable, they could be expensive. Therefore, if you notice any of the above issues, it might be time to dispose of your old lawn mower and get a new one.

2. Transmission problems

The transmission is what helps transfer power from the engine to the wheels. Therefore, when a transmission issue arises, it affects the lawn mower’s speed and performance. Signs that point to a problem with your lawn mower’s transmission include:

  • Erratic movement
  • Strange noises emanating from the transmission
  • Gears grinding or slipping

3. Crankshaft damage

The crankshaft is responsible for converting the linear motion of the piston into a rotational motion, which, in turn, powers the lawn mower’s wheels. Therefore, any damage to the crankshaft will directly affect your lawn mower’s performance. Crankshaft damage typically appears as grinding noises, excessive vibration, engine stalling, uneven cuts, and issues when starting your lawn mower.

This damage occurs as a result of various factors, including:

  • A build-up of debris and dirt
  • Natural wear-and-tear

If you notice your lawn mower is not performing as well as it used to, it could be due to crankshaft damage. In most cases, the crankshaft needs replacement.

4. The blade or blade system is beyond repair or sharpening

The blade system is among the most crucial parts of a lawn mower. Therefore, once it incurs irreparable damage, there’s little you can do but discard your dead lawn mower and buy a new one. Typical damage to this system includes:

  • Chipped blades
  • Split blades
  • Worn-out bearings

In most cases, a technician can fix some of these issues by replacing the damaged parts. However, if the damage is too extensive, it might be time to get a new lawn mower. Always avoid using a lawn mower with a damaged blade because it can cause severe lawn mower accidents.

5. Your lawn mower is over 5 years old

Although the average lifespan of a lawn mower is about 10 years, most lawn mowers last for about five years before requiring repairs or replacement. Therefore, if your lawn mower is over 5 years old, it might be time to start thinking about getting a new one.

The bottom line

Once you have noticed any warning signs that your lawn mower is almost dead, the next step is to determine whether the cost of repairs would be more than replacing the entire machine. To gauge the repair costs, consider the warranty if any.

According to Martha Stewart, most lawn mowers come with a two- or three-year warranty. Therefore, if your lawn mower is still under warranty, you might be able to get it repaired for free or at a reduced cost.


How Often Should You Change the Oil in Your Lawn Mower?