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What Should I Look for in a Used Lawn Mower?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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If you are considering buying a used lawn mower, first decide what type of lawn mower you want to purchase, as this may dictate what you will need to consider before purchasing. A push mower, for example, will require you to check the engine, blade, and body of the mower, while a riding mower will require you to check all those components in addition to steering components, suspension components, drive components, and so on. Look for a used lawn mower that starts easily, is not visibly leaking fluids, and cuts the lawn evenly and effectively. Be sure to check for loose, worn, or broken components as well.

Generally speaking, if a used lawn mower starts up and stays running quickly and easily, it is probably in decent shape. If it takes significant effort to start the used lawn mower, it may need some maintenance shortly after purchase, or it may be close to breaking down entirely. Be sure the used lawn mower starts quickly and easily, and when it is running, the engine runs smoothly without any dips in power; listen for abnormal sounds such as sputtering, and if the engine stalls, be sure to inquire about the cause of the issue.

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Check the spark plugs for oil build-up or leaks. This can be an indicator of a significant engine problem that will require maintenance or repair shortly after purchase. When checking plugs, be sure to keep them far away from the engine to avoid an accidental spark. Ask the seller what kinds of repairs have been done to the used lawn mower, if any, and be sure to ask why the seller is selling the unit. These questions may reveal potential problems that may occur down the road.

Check the blade and body of the mower carefully. Mower blades can be replaced quickly and easily, but doing so may cost a moderate amount of money. If the blades are worn before purchase, be sure to address this issue with the seller. Check the mower's deck and the rest of the components for cracks, dents, loose parts, or other damage that could affect the functionality of the mower. Check wheels carefully as well to ensure they are in proper working order. Some mowers use wheel and tire combinations, so be sure to check the tires for punctures and excessive wear. If the mower has a drive system, be sure to test it out thoroughly before purchase; if the mower features multiple speeds, be sure to test out all speeds for consistency and proper working order.

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