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I have a 2005 John Deere 115 19 HP automatic riding mower. After leaving it in the garage all winter, I started the mower, drove it about 50 yards, engaged the blade. After about 20 feet it made a loud boom and has not started since.

I had a lawn mower repair guy come out who said that the engine was "gone". He didn't do really anything as far as I could tell other that listen to it and spin the top if the engine. He said the engine shouldn't spin like that.

He said he would do research and see about options on a replacement. He said it was going to be $450.00 US for a "Short Block" which he would charge an additional $200 US for labor. He said that he would just bolt my existing parts (starter, muffler, etc) to the short block and it would be fixed.

My question is whether or not I should put $650.00 US into a John Deere mower which is almost 10 years old and that I paid about 1,300.00 US for when I bought it brand new. As far as I can tell, it will cost me about $1800.00 US for a similar replacement. I'm really not sure if this "short block" solution is common and a good option.

Is it worth the repair costs or should I just buy a new one?

  • This question might be better suited to the motor vehicle and repair SE site. The do small engine questions. It's still mostly opinion based but might get some good input mechanics.stackexchange.com – OrganicLawnDIY May 12 '14 at 4:29
  • I think this question is suited, but maybe not in that form. Asking a question to gardener whether a certain mower-model can be repaired (or whether it is worth to be repaired) or not is valid in my eyes. – Patrick B. May 12 '14 at 13:52
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Try to have it repaired, it is less expensive and it is better for the environment and thus for the society in several ways. A longer discussion about those aspects are largly out of scope here.

I'd be surprised that technology for lawn-mower in the past 10 years has evolved to justify a replacement.

If I'd were you I would see with another "lawn mower repair guy" which gives you better explanation of what needs to be done and especially why it has failed in the first place. Make sure that this guy is not selling those mowers, if he does he might do all to make the repair more expensive than needed to make you buy a new one.

Another option is to sell the broken mower as a bargain as an alternative to throwing it away. I'm sure there are people who are willing to repair it "on their own".

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