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Tips for buying riding lawn mowers

riding lawn mowers
When you're thinking about buying a new or used riding lawn mower there are many things to consider as you weigh up the pros and cons. As there is quite a difference between new and used it would best to treat each differently when considering your purchase.

Obviously riding lawn mowers are very different to push mowers. You will need to make sure that a riding mower is required for your lawn and will easily be able to access it (these mowers are very heavy to lift). Once you've decided to purchase a riding lawn mower there are some things you will need to consider. Here they are;

New Riding Lawn Mowers

  1. Check if the mower has had any recalls Apart from reading reviews and hearing sales talk there is very little you can discern about a new riding mower without actually using it. There is no service history and no neighbour to give his opinion on his own experience of the machine.

    However, investigating the mower to see if it has had any recalls can be a clue to how the mower may perform in the future. If the mower dealership is still selling them then you have a good chance of knowing that the problem has already been rectified. If they're not available when you're ready to purchase it could be a good indication that the problem hasn't been, or won't be, fixed in the short term anyhow.

    No manufacturer of riding lawn mowers is immune either. John Deere had a spate of recalls on it's GX85 and SX85 riding mower models due to a fuel tank that was susceptible to cracking and leaking fuel.


  2. Check lawn mower forums If the riding lawn mower you're searching for has been around for a little while there is a good chance that there are people who have bought them already and are willing to provide an unbiased opinion. Always learn from others mistakes.

  3. Query the warranty Does your preferred riding mower come with a clear warranty and what does the warranty cover? Is it possible to extend the warranty and if you did extend it do the benefits of the extension outweigh the extra charges?

    Warranties are only ever worth the effort if the manufacturer or dealer handles claims efficiently and with limited inconvenience to you. While you're checking the warranty provisions see whether the dealer provides a courtesy riding mower if you need to claim on the warranty.


  4. What are the service costs? Most mower manufacturers are going the same way as car manufacturers. They've realised that they can make more revenue by increasing the amount of service time and parts required to keep your riding mower running.

Used Riding Lawn Mowers

  1. Check if the mower has had any recalls and also check mower forums This advice is similar for both new and used models. It's always good to research as much information about any mower before making that final purchase decision.
  2. Check the service history of the mower If the riding mower your looking at has been well-maintained then it will usually be well documented as well. The service paperwork should tell you of any problems that the mower has had during its use and hopefully list some of the items requiring attention.
  3. Take it for a test drive Ask the owner if it's possible to test drive the mower observing how the engine handles when it is just moving but also when it is cutting the grass as well. These could be two entirely different results. Make sure there is minimal smoke discharged through the exhaust and that at the end of the test there is no leaking fuel or oil.
  4. Know which attachments came as standard Many riding lawn mowers come with some standard attachments and some optional extras. Know which ones the mower should have and demand that they are included with the sale and not sold separately.
  5. Don't worry about replacement parts If the engine and deck are in solid condition then you are more likely to buy a good riding mower. Wheels, blades, spark plugs and even seats are all replaceable and can be repaired later down the track with minimal cost.

stuart robinson
  • Stuart Robinson
  • Busselton, Australia
  • Email Me


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