Whether you’re using a sparkling new riding lawn mower or the same dinged-up push mower you’ve had for years, this convenient piece of lawn equipment is going to need a repair or two at some point in its lifetime.
While some owners might prefer the DIY method, more advanced or difficult repairs are better fixed by an expert for the sake of your lawn mower’s longevity.
If you are somewhat mechanical, you should be able to perform routine maintenance on your mower. I recommend taking your lawn mower to a professional for in-depth repairs.
There are several options available to repair your lawn mower including specialty outdoor power equipment dealerships; small engine repair facilities; small independent repair shops; large home and garden stores; and hardware stores.
With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which choice best suits your needs. So, let’s go over the places you can go to for your lawn mower repairs so you can find the one that is right for you!
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
5 Place to Repair Your Lawn Mower
1. Specialty Outdoor Power Equipment Dealerships
The essence of lawn mower repair services is undoubtedly lawn mower specialists who dedicate their entire business to repairing, maintaining, and selling these pieces of equipment.
Services offered at specialty power equipment store provides you with the knowledge of a manufactured trained mechanic while taking advantage of the parts pricing of a certified dealer.
Because dealerships have retail agreements with manufacturers, you get quick access to parts and competitive pricing.
Individuals at lawn mower dealerships will know how to fix a wide range of issues, like
- Lawn mower not starting
- Frequent smoking or overheating
- Fuel component problems
- Electrical Issues
- Power loss while in use
- Hydraulic problems
- Damage to mower decks and improper cutting
Most of these are fairly common issues, but some require a little more knowledge than most retail home and garden store workers can supply.
When purchasing mowers at big box stores, the stores may not offer the support needed for repairs. Make sure you determine your repair options in the area before making a lawn mower purchase.
Another positive of using an equipment dealership is that they work sort of like automotive dealership repair shops. They might not always have the part necessary to fix your lawn mower in stock, but they can get it for you and repair your machine all in a timely fashion.
However, the downside to going this route is that not all lawn mower dealerships are created equal – some are better than others at fixing specific problems or brands of mowers.
So, if you do end up taking your equipment here (or anywhere else), be sure to ask them what models they’re most experienced with repairing and see if they can give you an estimate of what your particular repairs might cost.
You might have to do a little shopping around for the right store, but the repairs are worth you keeping your trusty lawn mower versus purchasing a new one. A good place to start looking is by using your manufacturer’s website and finding an equipment dealer near you.
Find Lawn Mower Dealership Near You:
2. Small Engine Repair Services
Most of the time, when owners discover their lawn mower is acting up, they don’t know what’s causing the issue. However, if you’re fairly certain that your lawn mower’s malfunction is engine-related, we highly recommend you take it to a small engine repair service for an easy fix.
The technicians at these locations are specifically trained for small engine repairs of equipment such as weed eaters and generators and will get your lawn mower running like new in no time!
As specialized individuals, small engine repair workers will be able to quickly determine what is wrong with your engine and how to fix it. This is different from mechanics at large chain businesses who might be able to solve general lawn mower issues but not something as specific as this.
Of course, specialized skills and advanced knowledge come at a cost. Taking your lawn mower to these locations can quickly add up because you are paying for the time and effort of someone specially trained to do this job.
Not only that, but they are also working on the most expensive element of your lawn mower, the engine.
Most specialty lawn mower dealerships will have mechanics that are factory trained to work on the engines that the store sells.
It’s important to have your work done at a certified engine dealer especially if you need engine work completed while your engine is still under its warranty period.
Only authorized engine dealers with trained staff are able to work with the manufacturer to get the repair covered under warranty. Not all dealers allowed to sell engines are able to service them.
Sometimes, the cost to repair a lawn mower’s engine is greater than it’s worth, particularly if it is several years old, so use your best judgment here.
You can usually have your engine diagnosed and obtain a quote for recommended repairs. You will have to pay a fee to cover the time to diagnose your engine problem.
Find Certified Engine Repair Shops Near You:
3. Hardware Stores
Hardware stores are a nice step above your general home and garden retail store. There are plenty of them conveniently located in any town or city, but they’re a tad more specialized than your everyday Home Depot mechanic, who is responsible for basic fixes on a wide range of equipment.
Popular hardware stores like Ace Hardware and True Value are great for basic repairs. Independently owned hardware stores are a little more hit or miss when it comes to lawn mower repairs.
Most will supply parts you will need to fix an issue on your machine yourself, but few have repair services offered. They are mostly businesses focused on selling tools and other products.
If you are looking for a place that is a little more machine-focused than a home and garden store but doesn’t think you need a fully-fledged specialist, we recommend taking your lawn mower to one of the more established hardware stores near you.
4. Large Home and Garden Retail Stores
When in doubt, large home and garden retail stores are a safe bet for repairs. The chains like Home Depot, Lowes, and even Walmart offer a wide range of services from minor tune-ups to major repair work with prices that won’t break the bank.
Not all big box stores or locations offer this service or have the staff to complete major repairs or warranty work on all lawn mower brands.
In addition to having budget-friendly prices, another benefit of the large home and garden retail stores is their accessibility. There is bound to be a handful of these stores within a 20 or even 10-mile radius of your home, making them a highly convenient option.
One downside of home and retail stores for lawn mower repairs is that they might not be able to provide the repairs you need if you have an extremely difficult issue that would require a more specialized individual.
These locations are good for quick fixes, but the more difficult the repair, the more likely they are to push you toward purchasing a new lawn mower from their selection.
Another potential issue here is that these stores are they only carry certain brand products.
If you have a lawn mower that you purchased from another store, Walmart, for example, mechanics at Home Depot might not be able to fix it because they don’t carry the parts necessary for your particular lawn mower’s model if they don’t sell products from that brand.
Of course, there are some things that can be fixed with a piece from virtually any brand. However, this is something you don’t want to do unless you’re familiar with the inner workings of your lawn mower.
There’s lots of risk involved and plenty of opportunities for things to go awry, causing further damage.
If you are going to go this route for your lawn mower repairs, try to take it to the same store you purchased it from. The hope here is that the salespeople are more knowledgeable about the mower they sold you. However, we know that’s not always the case.
Note: some large retail stores will send out your equipment to a local repair center to be fixed. Not all stores are set up as full repair centers.
5. Small Independent Repair Shop
You have probably driven down the road and seen a small mechanic’s shop along the side of the road with a sign that reads, “We repair lawn mowers”.
Some of these shops have highly qualified and trained staff that have worked for an equipment dealership at one time. Others have had no formal training at all.
It’s good to check with neighbors or friends who have experience working with these types of shops before trusting them to work on your lawn mower.
I’ve seen many times where a mechanic just throws parts to a repair without really fixing the issue. On several occasions, I’ve had customers bring me equipment to finish a repair that was started at one of these shops.
The job ended up costing the customer more money in the long run because the original mechanic completed work that didn’t need to be done.
Also, keep in mind, these small shops often have to purchase OEM parts from the local lawn mower dealership and in turn, parts may cost a little more after the price is marked up for resale.
Will the Lawn Mower Manufacturer Fix Your Mower?
Most lawn mower manufacturers will not fix your lawn mowers. Manufacturers set up authorized equipment dealers to sell and service their products to provide user-end support.
Again, not all authorized selling dealers have authorized repair centers. It’s important to find a dealership that has manufacturer-trained mechanics repair your equipment, especially if you need warranty work completed on your mower.
Manufacturers require authorized service centers to send their mechanics for hands-on training on their products. This is true of both lawn mower and engine manufacturers.
Which Lawn Mower Repair Shop is Best?
There’s no clear-cut answer here regarding which of the five options previously listed is “best.” It really all comes down to what is wrong with your lawn mower, what model you own, and what you are willing to pay to fix it.
In the event that your lawn mower has a much more serious issue that requires specialized tools, parts, and knowledge, we suggest you opt for the lawn mower or outdoor power equipment specialists.
Here, you’ll have a better chance of paying for a well-informed service that will be able to quickly determine what is wrong with your lawn mower and how to fix it.
The only downfall is that it’s likely to come at a much higher cost than other options, where they fix very general issues.
The small engine repair services are a great option when you need a specialist to fix your lawn mower’s engine, and you know the cost of repairs won’t be more than the lawn mower is worth.
If you want to repair your lawn mower but have limited funds or know it is a simple fix, we recommend going to one of the home and garden retail stores, hardware store, or independent repair shops.
These places can either repair easy things for you. The retail locations may even have the part you need so you can fix it yourself.
Can An Electric Lawn Mower Be Repaired?
As technology has advanced and the world has become more energy-conscious, lawn mower technology has made an important shift away from the gas-powered mowers of the past.
Today, most lawn mowers are electric and use a rechargeable battery to power them instead of gasoline or diesel. However, many questions whether these eco-friendly outdoor machines can be repaired like their gas-fueled brethren, and the answer is yes.
An electric lawn mower can be repaired at your local manufacturer’s authorized repair center. While it might be slightly more difficult to find specialized services and parts for these more modern machines, they’re still relatively accessible.
The nice thing about these machines is that they are usually significantly cheaper and require much less regular maintenance than gas-fueled lawn mowers, making them a popular choice.
But just because they don’t require the same level of maintenance as gas-fueled lawn mowers doesn’t mean electric lawn mowers can’t break. They, too, experience common malfunctions such as starting issues and motor problems.
Any of the options listed above are perfectly viable to take your electric lawn mower for repairs. Just make sure you do your research so you know which choice is best suited to your needs.
Keeping up with your routine electric mower maintenance will reduce
When To Go DIY vs. Repair Store
Lawn mowers are hefty pieces of outdoor equipment, but you don’t always have to be an expert mechanic to fix them. There are many online resources, particularly YouTube videos, that can show virtually anyone how to fix common lawn mower problems.
With free tutorials like these just a click away, it might be hard to determine when it’s appropriate to save yourself the hassle of a repair fee and go full DIY and when specialized help is necessary.
Use good judgement when watching YouTube videos as some recommendations provided can do more harm than good.
That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most common lawn mower repair issues below that you could easily solve yourself at home. If you are experiencing any of these issues and want to get your hands a little dirty and try our repair tips.
If your lawn mower still isn’t working properly afterward, or your issue is more severe than these, then we definitely suggest using one of the services listed above.
Lawn Mower Loss of Power While Operating
What’s more frustrating than a lawn mower that won’t start is one that won’t stay on while you’re trying to power through your yard. But, don’t worry. This is an extremely common issue that has lots of easy fixes, depending on its cause.
There are several things that could cause your lawn mower to cut out prematurely. Here are the most common ones you can troubleshoot and will hopefully resolve the issue:
- The air filter is dirty: your lawn mower’s air filter is one of its parts that need regular maintenance. If you keep losing power, check to see if the filter is dirty and in need of cleaning or replacement.
- Dirty spark plug: spark plugs are another part you should have on your regular lawn mower maintenance list. If you notice yours is exceptionally dirty, clean it or replace it.
- Significant clippings and debris build-up: similar to the previous issue with the starter rope, checking to make sure the underside of your lawn mower deck is clean and clear will often solve this power issue as well.
- Mower blade needs attendance: without your lawn mower’s blade functioning properly, you aren’t going to get very far in your lawn care tasks. Upon inspection, you might find it’s dull, loose, or even bent, causing the machine to randomly shut off. If this is the case, either sharpen, fix, or completely replace the blade.
Lawn Mower Is Smoking
Nothing warns you that something is wrong with your lawn mower more effectively than a cloud of smoke. While this is certainly a scary issue that will leave people avoiding their lawn mowers as if it’s a ticking time bomb, it’s actually a common issue you can usually fix with ease.
A darker smoke is the telltale sign that your oil chamber is either too full or has a leak. When the lawn mower’s engine is off and the machine has cooled down, check to see if either of these is the case.
If there’s indeed too much oil, you could potentially attempt to remove some safely to prevent future smoking. If you notice there’s oil leaking onto the muffler, you want to have the leak repaired.
Sometimes the issue is as simple as the cap not being screwed on tight enough, so don’t immediately panic and run to the professionals with this one until you’ve tried these first.
However, if your lawn mower is emitting lighter-colored smoke and you seem to have trouble keeping it running for even a brief period, this is a sign of a more severe issue you’ll want professionally repaired.
Read more about this in “5 Reasons Your Lawn Mower May Be Smoking“.
Lawn Mower Refuses to Start
It can certainly be frustrating when you’ve set aside time for some much-needed yard work, and your lawn mower won’t even start.
This issue can usually be prevented through regular maintenance, but there are a few factors that could leave your lawn mower refusing to come to life. The easiest and most common cause is an empty gas tank or dead battery.
Your lawn mower isn’t going to function without a power source to fuel it, so whether you have an electric or gas-fueled lawn mower, you’ll want to make sure everything is full and ready to go before pulling that starter rope or turning the ignition key.
Learn more about jump-starting your lawn mower battery.
If you’re usually pretty good about making sure your gas-fueled lawn mower is full at all times, it’s still worth taking a glance into the chamber to make sure an unexpected leak isn’t present that might be depleting your lawn mower’s supply.
You’ll also want to make sure you have fresh gas in your lawn mower before every use, as storing and using it with old gasoline inside could cause even more severe issues.
In the case that old gasoline has been sitting in your lawn mower for months, you’ll want to completely drain it and replace it with fresh gasoline.
If gasoline levels or battery power isn’t the problem, consider troubleshooting with these instead:
- Damaged battery: whether it occurs during use or while in storage, it isn’t unlikely your lawn mower’s battery will take a knock or two. Make sure it’s in prime condition before using the machine.
- Old battery: A lawn mower battery doesn’t have to be used frequently for it to run out of charge or become an issue. Even if you’ve only used the battery on a handful of occasions, if it’s significantly old, your lawn mower might not start, and it will need replacing. Read “5 Things That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Battery“.
- Spark plug complications: going back to the point of maintenance, you won’t have issues with spark plugs if you keep them clean and replace them frequently. However, if this often slips your mind, you can check to see if a loose, dirty, or disconnected spark plug is the root cause of this issue.
- Dirty air filter: You’ll want to make sure your air filter is clean and functioning properly. If it’s dirty or in need of replacement, your lawn mower might not start. Read “Why Your Lawn Mower Starts & Then Dies“.
- Dirty or Clogged Fuel System: this is a common problem. If you have a suspicion that the fuel in your lawn mower isn’t traveling properly to the engine, you may need to make sure you have fresh fuel and nothing clogs the carburetor. Check out our steps to clean your carburetor. We use Sea Foam to stabilize our fuel so that fuel doesn’t break down over extended periods of time.
Lawn Mower Loses or Can’t Maintain Speed
This is a common issue with riding lawn mowers, where you can dictate their speed when cutting grass. If you notice your lawn mower is riding properly and all of a sudden it significantly slows or can’t maintain the desired speed, check the drive belt in the motor casing.
More likely than not, it’s been damaged and or loose. If it’s loose, then it’s an easy fix, and all you have to do is reattach it. If it’s damaged, you’ll want to buy a replacement which is usually an easily accessible and affordable part.