View Full Version : My Situation...

Matt Hermann
06-16-2011, 09:34 PM
So I'm a sophmore in High School, and cuta bunch of lawns.

Bought a 32" Exmark mower back in April, no problems except for small oil leak, so bring it in to get tuned up. No problems.

Last week ago, (about 2 months or so since tune up), I hear a really weird noise. Doesn't sound good, so I bring it to local repair shop (Robies in Medford NJ). I get a call from them today, telling me that the weird noise is the sound of the engine about to blow. (when I bought the mower the guy said there weren't any problems, recently replaced transmission, and about 7 years old. Repair shop tells me the mower is AT LEAST 15 years old. So they give me a quote on replacing the mower, a new one would cost 900 plus labor. For a 13hp engine.

My question is would you suggest replacing the mower? Or shop around for a new used mower? Keep in mind I bought the mower for about 700, and put about 3-400 into it between parts, tune ups, accesories.

What do you suggest I do?

06-16-2011, 09:56 PM
Tough situation, however, welcome to the real world. Sorry to hear of your dilema, but that is the chance you take when you buy something used, especially from someone you don't know.

The guy may have been honest, and really didn't realize the mower was 15 years old, but, then again... who knows. I don't know if you've ever heard the expression "throwing good money after bad" or not, but it pretty much covers this situation. I, personally, would not put a grand in a mower that is 15 years old, and probably worth half that even if running. You'll end up with almost $2,000 total in the machine, over half of what you can buy a brand new one for, (someone correct me if I'm wrong, don't know much about Wb's) and it will still be a 15 year old mower.

If you have to go used, the next time do a little more research before putting down your hard earned money. There are threads on here all the time from guys trying to find out the year model of a mower they are looking at.

I don't know your situation, how serious you are about your business, or your family, but you might consider buying a new mower with warranty if your folks are willing to sign for financing. There are lots of interest free programs out there now, some with up to 36 months to pay. Good luck. Hope it all works out for you.

Matt Hermann
06-16-2011, 10:01 PM
Would you suggest just running the mower to the ground? Like just run it until it literally breaks down, because I hear where your comming from, how it might not be a great idea to drop another grand on this mower and look for other options (used or a cheaper 32-36 new one), What exactly happens if the engine blows? Like it just seizes up? I just want to get every little bit out of this before I trash it, because i've only been using it for about 2 months.

GreenCloverlawnCare, LLC
06-16-2011, 10:02 PM
...cut your losses with this mower. I feel your pain...but I would bet it will continue to be a money pit. Man, that's a rough one. Keep your head up.

06-16-2011, 10:12 PM
I'd cut my losses if I were you and in the future write down and check the model number of any used mower you buy.....DON'T EVER just take the owners word for it. The quicker you replace that mower the better as you don't want to embarrass yourself by breaking down while cutting someones lawn.

06-16-2011, 10:20 PM

Very simple rule to live by:
Never spend more to fix it than it's worth.

I apply that rule to almost everything mechanical, now you said you paid $700 for it.
Now it's probably worth less, but certainly not more.

And it's going to cost $900 to fix, that's more than the $700 it's worth.
Hence the answer is no, don't fix.

Matt Hermann
06-16-2011, 10:22 PM
So would you suggest buying used again but give it a more in-depth look over? I'm really trying to avoid a 3500 brand new lawnmower, even though it would be very nice haha
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Oakleaf landscape
06-16-2011, 10:24 PM
Same thing happened to me. Bought a 36in exmark put 50 hrs on it, motor blew. Replaced motor ($900) sold it 25 hrs later. What i had invested in it i could have easily bought me new one...

06-16-2011, 10:28 PM
I kind of disagree. I'd do some research, and shop around for a new motor for it. as long as the specs are the same, about any motor will work. Craigslist would be as good place to start. If you can find a decent used motor for a few hundred, I'd do it. Also, check in to a short block price for it.

06-16-2011, 10:29 PM
Does the lawnmower shop you went to have any used mowers? Or trade ins? might be an option for you.

06-16-2011, 10:32 PM
I'd look for a good used motor for a few hundred and slap it on.

06-16-2011, 10:33 PM
So would you suggest buying used again but give it a more in-depth look over? I'm really trying to avoid a 3500 brand new lawnmower, even though it would be very nice haha
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If you do your HW and thoroughly check the mower over then buying used isn't all that bad. Check the hydro's or belts, controls, tires, grease fittings, spindles, pulleys, blades, oil, service records?, air cleaner.....and so on. Check these items not only for functionality, but appearance as well. If you can find a mower with maintenance records that's always a plus. Look for a 2005 or newer IMO.

If you are, on the other hand, more interested in trying to fix this mower you should be able to find an engine for less than $500.That's just not what I'd do.

Matt Hermann
06-16-2011, 10:37 PM
I called the guy I bought it from, he said he was going to call his buddy to get a better price on an engine, he said 900 was way overpriced. The thing is the transmission was replaced in 2009 or 2010, so after a new motor is on it, what else is there to go, the frame is in pretty good condition, minimal to no rust. Just want to know what you guys think. Thanks for all the help so far!
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06-16-2011, 10:57 PM
you get what you pay for................brand new you ge a warranty...also any good dealer will put you at the top of the list for any servicing if you buy from them and they know your commercial

Get Some...
06-16-2011, 11:31 PM
Fist of all, if you are going to this for money you should be able to do a "tune up" on a mower yourself.
Oil filter ----- $12.00
Spark plug---$3.00

Can of pre filter cleaner--$12.00.......will last for one year with one mower.
Air filter-if necessary.

About $30.00 and take's 1.5 hour's.

Shop's charge 5 time's that or more.

Second $900.00 is alot for a new single cylinder motor.

Local shop is putting a new 13hp honda in for $600 for a csr.

It is very important to learn to diagnose/fix/maintain equipment yourself if you want to make $ in this buisness, or do enough volume of work to be able to pay the high price's most shop's charge.

I would find a used motor and put it in........
Talk to the local tech high school and maybe you can give them the bad motor to rebuild.

Many online and vocational resource's to learn how to fix/maintain small engine's.

Personaly I have had good luck with used mower's.
Toro proline's....... 36, two 44's and a 62.
All hydro's.
One has over 5000 on the meter.
All run very well and look good.
Less than $4000 in all four mower's......

Maybe you paid a little too much for the mower, but that's in the past.
Learn from your mistake's, and do a better deal next time......

My opinion as a small buisness is.... good used equipment is the way to go.

Craig's list can produce great deal's if you are ready to act fast.

Toro proline hydro, 62", 20 hp v twin kohler, 450 hrs.----------$1300.
Had a broken push rod, my shop fixed it in ten minute's for almost nothing..
I thought the head gasket was blown. But even that is not a major repair job.

Anyway good luck........

Matt Hermann
06-17-2011, 11:31 AM
So if I were to shop around for a used mower, preferably 32 or 36 inch, would 700-1000 be reasonable for a belt drive? I honestly know nothing about ricing on mowers, so all comments help. I'm borrowing my buddys 48 snapper hydro (really nice being ablt to make zero turns with a true reverse), Id like to get hydro but i'm feeling it's too expensive at the moment....thanks guys

06-17-2011, 11:46 AM
thats a bad situation to be in. i know how you feel. i bought a leaf loader 2 yrs ago and before i even got to use it once i had to drop $180 into it to get an unexpected repair. at the end of this year a had to spend a little over $300 to get it fixed as well...luckily it was my last cleanup of the year that it decided to crap out on. The thing has made me a ton of money but it just sucks having to get it fixed like that. make sure if you do buy a new mower look it over real good and run it for a while...you can even bring a mechanically inclined friend to look it over with you jut to make sure you are not buying a dud. i hope you find a new mower and dont have any problems anytime soon lol.