If your lawn mower is churning out smoke or refusing to start, it's time to call for lawn mower repair services. Whether you have a gas, electric or good old-fashioned push mower, lawn
mower repair professionals can fix and provide general maintenance for all kinds of motorized lawn mowers and yard care equipment. On average, lawn mower repair services cost $35-$90, but as with all types of mechanical repairs, the final cost depends on how complex the repair is, whether new parts are needed, and how long the project takes. Companies that handle lawn mower repair may also work on other equipment powered by small motors, such as powerboats, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). According to Scotts Lawn Mower Repair, some of the most common lawn mower repairs include cleaning or replacing carburetors, replacing air cleaners, and sharpening and replacing blades.
There are five main categories of lawn mowers: push mowers, self-propelled mowers, riding mowers, hover mowers and reel mowers. There is also an emerging market of remotely controlled or programmed robotic mowers, which are like a Roomba for your yard, but much more expensive. Repairs generally cost less for smaller push mowers than for larger riding mowers because replacement parts for larger motors are often more expensive. If you love your lawn and the ritual of keeping it pristine, having a well-tuned lawn mower is a crucial part of your maintenance program. Or maybe you can't stand mowing the lawn, but you like the mosquitoes that gather when you let the grass get too wild even less. In either case, lawn mower repair pros can tune up and repair your mower.
Here are the factors that affect the average cost for lawn mower repair services.
Lawn mowers are heavy and messy. Unless you have a truck and strong arms, it may be hard to get your lawn mower to a service center. Fortunately, some companies offer mobile services, sending repair people to your home to troubleshoot, diagnose, and fix a broken or poorly running mower. Other companies can bring your mower to their shop for you. Dragen Lawn and Garden offers free pickup and delivery on every repair and can also fix other equipment, including snowblowers, leaf blowers, chain saws and power trimmers. The Lawn Mower Guy, whose repair rates are $50 for the first half-hour and $50 per hour after that, also offers free pickup and delivery as well as free diagnostics for jobs that are over $50.
Small-motor repair requires some basic mechanical knowledge, and repair techniques may vary by lawn mower or motor manufacturer. Erik Foglia of Anytime Mower Repair is an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)-certified mechanic with 20 years of experience in the field. In addition to mowers, the certified mechanics at Dre's Lawn Mower Repair work on motorized edgers, rototillers, generators, pressure washers and chain saws. It's wise to read reviews from previous customers and confirm that the lawn mower repair pro has experience working with your make and model of mower.
Fixed service rates
As with automotive repair shops, some lawn mower repair services may offer standard pricing for common services. For example, The Lawn Mower Guy charges $50 for carburetor cleaning and $40 for carburetor replacement (plus the cost of parts). Pricing for larger projects, like replacing a blown engine on a riding mower or replacing the transmission on a self-propelled mower or riding mower, are often determined after the repair professional has had an opportunity to diagnose the problem.
Parts and labor
Lawn mower repair prices typically include the cost of labor (calculated hourly) to make the fix plus the cost of any replacement parts. Before agreeing to repair work, ask for a simple written agreement that outlines any new parts to be installed and the labor costs.
Sometimes your lawn mower needs a tuneup in addition to (or instead of) a repair. Tuneups from The Lawn Mower Guy cost $70 for self-propelled push mowers and $140 for riding mowers and non-commercial zero-turn mowers. These prices include changing the air filter and oil, installing new spark plugs, sharpening the hand-filed blade, cleaning the carburetor, resetting the engine's rotations per minute (RPM), adjusting the self-propel function, lubricating the transmission and wheels, tightening loose hardware, and inspecting the mower for any other problems. Investing in regular tuneups can go a long way toward prolonging the life of your lawn mower, which results in savings for you. Tuneups prevent engine build-up, prevent carburetor clogging, and keep blades sharp and strong.
As with auto mechanics, some lawn mower repair services offer a workmanship guarantee, so be sure to ask. It's helpful to have a simple written agreement that outlines what type of lawn mower repair services will be provided, which (if any) new parts will be included, and the total cost for the parts and labor. This will help prevent any confusion later. Talk with your lawn mower repair pro about total repair costs and weigh that against the original cost of the machine. In some cases, it may be best to donate the old mower for parts and invest what would be repair money in a new mower.
Type of mower
The type of lawn mower you have will impact your repair costs. The way your mower is powered (gas, electric or push) and whether it's a walk-behind or a riding mower can also affect the price of repairs. Self-propelled push mowers have slightly different mechanics than the kind that are not self-propelled. If the repair company is familiar with a particular brand of mower, it should take less time to make repairs. Companies may also have replacement parts on hand or be able to get them quickly for brands they work on frequently. Here is a breakdown of the most common types of lawn mowers.
- Reel mower: Completely people-powered, the reel mower doesn't have electrical components and is operated by you pushing. Fewer complex parts mean fewer repair costs and also more opportunity to burn calories while mowing.
- Push mower: Push mowers have a gas engine that operates the blades but does not propel the wheels. You are the power that moves a push mower across the lawn. They weigh approximately 60 pounds, meaning you get a good workout with these, too. Repairs are often less than for self-propelled mowers.
- Self-propelled mower: A self-propelled lawn mower is powered with a transmission, and you simply walk behind to guide it without pushing hard. It requires much less physical work than a reel or push mower, but it does have more components that may need to be repaired and replaced.
- Riding mower: The Cadillac of lawn mowing machines, the riding mower takes the physical work out of maintaining a yard — especially if you have a lot of acreage. The initial purchase cost is much higher than for walk-behind mowers, averaging $2,000 at big-box stores, and repairs can cost much more due to the number of parts and greater labor required. One drawback of riding mowers is that they are larger, making it harder to get perfect edges close to landscaping, etc. Zero-turn riding mowers allow for sharp, tight edges, but they cost more, starting around $3,000 at a big-box store.
Your lawn mower's energy source will also impact cost. You can opt for a gas, electric, battery or human-powered lawn mower. Electric lawn mowers may be corded or cordless, so consider your lawn size and the practicality of maneuvering an extension cord when you are purchasing your lawn mower.
Some services, such as Scotts Lawn Mower Repair, will meet or beat competing services' prices, and some offer military and senior discounts. It's probably worth it to have a small engine repair service take a look at your malfunctioning mower before you assume it's headed for the junk heap. If the estimate to fix your mower is less than $150, that is less than you'll likely spend to buy a new one.
Lawn mower care
Keeping your lawn mower in prime condition will help prevent operating problems, saving you money in both short-term repairs and eventual lawn mower replacement costs. One great way to keep a mower running well is to drain the gas tank at the end of each season. If you prefer not to drain it, you can add a fuel stabilizer to help see it through the coming cold weather. If you don't winterize your mower, the old fuel can clog the engine and your lawn mower may not start come springtime. During the mowing season, regularly check the oil levels and be sure to keep the oil reservoir adequately filled to prevent engine problems. Use the oil recommended by the manufacturer for the smoothest performance.
Keep your foam air filter clean or replace your paper air filter as indicated. The air filter keeps all that dirt and debris that gets kicked up when you're mowing from entering your engine and carburetor. Keep an eye on your tires and test them at least once a season to make sure the air pressure is consistent on all four tires to ensure you get a smooth, even lawn. Finally, remove excessive grass buildup from the undercarriage of your lawn mower on a regular basis and keep the blades sharp. With a well cared-for mower, you'll have the best-looking lawn on the block for years to come.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.