When To Replace A Lawnmower: What To Look Out For

Is your trusty, reliable lawnmower starting to show its age? Or maybe you just want a more efficient model? Either way, by recognizing the clues that indicate when it is time to replace your machine, you have a much better chance of making a good decision. 

With the right attention and upkeep, you can expect a modern gas-powered lawnmower to provide you with up to 10 years of reliable service. The best indication that it’s time to think about replacing one is when it starts to show signs of wear and tear and needs constant repairs.

In this article, I’ll cover the factors and warning signs that can help you determine when it’s time to replace your lawn mower. I will also offer some tips on how to keep your mower running for longer and how to decide if it would be best to just repair it instead.

How Long Should My Lawnmower Last?

As mentioned above, if you look after it, any lawnmower that’s powered by gas should last between 8-10 years or even longer. This can vary depending on how often it’s used along with the brand of mower or even the model you own. For example, a high-end, heavy-duty mower may last longer than a standard, lightweight machine.

Electric models on the other hand (both corded and battery-powered) typically have a much shorter lifespan of 3-4 years as they are made from more lightweight materials.

If your mower has reached ‘old age’ for its particular type and is showing signs of wearing out, then it may well be time to think about looking for a new one.

So just what are the warning signs that it may be time to search for a replacement?

Here’s a general list to look out for:

  • The engine is losing power and struggling to get the job done.
  • The body of the mower is showing signs of rust or corrosion.
  • You’re noticing a lot of noise coming from the engine when it’s running.
  • It’s difficult to start or keeps stalling during use even when properly cleaned and the spark plug is new.

Repairing Vs Replacing Your Mower

So as we now know, the main factors in deciding whether or not to replace your lawn mower are how old it is and what condition it’s in. These also play a part in determining whether you should just repair it instead.

If your mower is old or heavily used, it may not be worth repairing even if it’s possible to fix whatever is wrong. Depending on how old it is and the mileage it’s done, it could break down again soon after any repairs have been made, costing you more money in the long run.

It’s also important to consider the overall condition of the machine when deciding whether or not it needs replacing.

For instance, if there is excessive rust or corrosion visible on any of its parts – particularly around exposed metal components – then this could be a sign that the machine isn’t in a safe condition anymore and you would benefit from replacing it with a newer model.

Comparing The Cost Of Replacing Your Machine To Fixing It

Once you’ve taken all the age and condition factors into account, it’s wise to do a cost-benefit analysis of repairing versus replacing your lawn mower before making any decisions regarding replacement parts or a new machine entirely.

Generally speaking, if there is more than $150 worth of repairs needed then replacing may be a more cost-effective option — but this number can vary greatly depending on how old/worn out your current machine is as well as what kind of model it is (gasoline vs electric).

Another way to look at it is if repair costs exceed half the value of purchasing a new unit, then replacement becomes the more attractive option as a long-term investment in caring for your yard.

If you think you may need a new one but can’t afford it, an alternative is to check out second-hand mowers from local shops or online stores before taking the plunge on purchasing a brand-new one. 

These often provide quality machines at reduced prices compared to buying an unused mower from retailers. If you are wondering how much a lawnmower costs nowadays, you can check out this article I wrote about this topic

Keep Your Mower Going For Longer With Regular Maintenance

As I mentioned earlier, the best way to prolong the life of any type of mower is to make sure you maintain it properly. The amount of upkeep required depends largely on its type and design.

Electric mowers are typically easier to maintain than gasoline-powered ones since they don’t require regular oil changes or spark plug replacements. They also tend to have fewer moving parts, so they require less attention overall although it’s a good idea to keep the blade sharp for an efficient cut.

Gasoline-powered lawnmowers usually need more frequent maintenance than electric models because they create more heat and friction while operating. This means they require regular oil changes, air filter changes, blade sharpening and balancing, spark plug replacements, cleaning of the carburetor, and other services as well.

How often you do these tasks will depend on how much you use your mower. As a general rule, they should be done at least once a year for most homeowners.

Modern machines have done a lot to lessen the burden of regular maintenance with some innovative features like no oil changes on Briggs and Stratton engines, but there will always be something you need to tackle with a gas-driven motor.


As I’ve explored above, there are several telling signs which can help guide you toward determining whether your current lawnmower needs replacing or simply requires some upkeep in order to keep running smoothly.

Maintenance requirements (based on type), age/condition of the unit itself, and doing a simple cost-benefit analysis of repairing vs replacing altogether are all factors that provide a good background when trying to make an informed decision.

Keep this in mind next time you’re browsing the new mowers at your local garden store and wondering whether now is indeed the best time for upgrading!

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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