How Long Should a Riding Mower Last? (Solved!)

A good quality riding mower can last decades, provided it is kept in first-rate condition with regular maintenance. Clean your mower regularly, keep the blade sharp, and avoid cutting overlong grass to prolong your mower’s life.

In this article we will break down how you can reduce the wear and tear your mower will experience year in, year out. Don’t miss these tips if you want to protect your investment!

How many hours does a riding mower last?

A high quality, well-maintained mower can last thousands of hours. It takes some work but looking after your mower saves you more money in the long run.

A riding mower purchased from a reputable brand can last anywhere from 1000 to 1500 hours if used responsibly and maintained diligently.

What riding mower brand lasts the longest?

Choosing the right brand is very important, as the top brands vary markedly in terms of the longevity of their mower.

According to a survey by Consumer Reports, John Deere ranked as the most reliable brand, only suffering a breakage rate of 22% after 4 years. This outranks competitors Troy-Bilt and Husqvarna which experience 30 – 40% breakage rates over the same period.

You should perform regular maintenance on your mower to increase its lifespan. Well-maintained mowers can last 10 -15 years, while neglected or poorly used ones can last as little as two years. Next, we’ll cover the maintenance steps you need to follow to keep your mower in good shape.

What maintenance does a riding mower need?

Change the engine oil, keep the blade sharp, and clean or replace its filters often to get the most out of your mower.

For an engine to work optimally, it requires frequent oil changes. Use premium quality oil for the best results. If you clean your mower’s oil and air filters often, your mower will run smoothly and efficiently.

Keeping the blade sharp not only makes cutting easier, but also reduces the load placed on the motor, prolonging its lifespan. Expect to sharpen each blade 5 to 6 times before replacing it, or after every 30 to 40 hours of use.

Tire pressure should be kept at 14 psi for front tires and 10 psi for back tires. This will reduce the risk of punctures, prevent grass clumping, and guarantee an even cut.

How much does maintenance cost for a riding mower?

Provided you take care of your mower and avoid making the engine work harder than is necessary, maintenance can be quite cheap.

The type of regular maintenance you’ll need to do such as replacing your mowers filters, sharpening the blade, or changing the engine oil will only set you back $10 – $15 each.

On the other hand, if you have to replace the engine or the transmission, expect to fork out upwards of $500.

Does the type of grass I cut affect my mower’s lifespan?

Letting grass get too long before you cut it increases the burden placed on your mower’s motor. It may also put more stress on the blade, making it dull and eventually break.

Cut your grass regularly and avoid cutting areas that contain gravel or small stones to ensure it lasts as long as possible.

How should I store my riding mower?

Ideally you should store your mower in a clean, dry space. High humidity conditions cause rusting which can adversely affect your mower’s lifespan.

Key components such as your mower’s carburetor are prone to rusting, so you should avoid storing it outside or in a damp garage. Instead, keep your mower in a well ventilated, dry garage and cover with tarpaulin for best results.

What fuel should I use in my riding mower?

Top engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton recommends using high quality gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87.

Using a fuel stabilizer can prolong the life of your fuel from 30 days to over two years and prevent the buildup of gummy residues inside your engine.

If engine life is your priority, avoid eco-friendly biofuel blends like E15, as they can cause a layer of water and ethanol to form in the fuel tank, severely damaging your engine.

How can I winterize my riding mower?

The colder, wetter months can be detrimental to your mower, but if you prepare by winterizing it correctly, you can almost entirely mitigate these effects.

Prep your mower for winter with these easy steps:

  1. Before starting any maintenance on your mower, always make sure to disconnect the battery and remove the spark plug.
  2. Clean your mower of any debris, hose it down and dry well with cloths to avoid the buildup of rust.
  3. To perform an oil change, simply drain the old oil through the release valve, and replace with fresh clean oil. Replace the oil filter and you’re done!
  4. Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, and make sure you run the engine for a few minutes, to ensure the stabilizer mixes evenly with the fuel throughout the engine.
  5. Store the mower in a dry garage, and cover with a tarpaulin.

When should I replace my riding mower?

If you follow the guidelines in this article, you shouldn’t need to replace a good quality mower for many years. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so here’s what you should consider when your mower comes to the end of its run.

Despite years of loving care, eventually you’ll find that the more expensive parts of your mower such as the engine, transmission and crankshaft start to break down. Replacing these can cost thousands of dollars and may be the final nail in the coffin for your old trusty mower.

It might feel like betraying an old friend, but new models are often more fuel efficient, saving you more in the long run. Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh up all these factors before you retire the pride of your garden.