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How many hours do Riding Mowers last?

by Jackson White

Riding mowers are really expensive, and getting them is quite the investment. Therefore, you will always want to prioritize having them for a long time and ensure they serve you well throughout this period.

The lifespan of a lawnmower will really depend on many factors, which include the usage, size, and its manufacturer. While the manufacturer can give you an average estimate of its life expectancy, it will definitely last for a longer time as long as you give it proper maintenance and care. Hopefully, we will answer the question of how many hours these riding mowers last.

As a general rule, when you take proper care and maintenance at all times, the riding lawn mower should last for an average of 1000 to 1500 hours, or 8 to 10 years. However, mowers that are poorly maintained will last only for about 4 to 5 years or about 200 to 500 hours.

What does average life expectancy involve?

The AVE (or Average Life Expectancy) is among the major factors that you will use to decide the number of hours you should expect your lawnmower to work. A variety of manufacturers will measure the service life of all the components, as well as the frequency of use of the lawnmower itself.

An instance would be a service life lasting 600 hours when it comes to a premium lawnmower, and 200 hours or less for an average lawnmower. If you maintain a riding mower even more meticulously, it should last for up to 20 years or more.

What are some of the factors that shorten the mower life?

There are several factors that reduce the mower life, and they include:

  • Poor maintenance of the lawnmower itself – This includes failing to clean it, oiling its parts, checking the oil levels, using clean parts, allowing  clogging of the parts to occur, and so on.
  • Using the lawnmower to cut very long and thick grass – You are forcing the mower to work harder than usual, which eventually shortens its life.
  • The size of the lawn – the lawnmower should work well for the lawn size that you have, and you should avoid choosing a small mower for a large area. If you are using the mower for 2 hours a week for three months, you are mowing for 60 hours per year. If the lawnmower usage life is an average of 200 hours or less, then the mower will only last for 2 or 3 years. Therefore, ensure the mower you choose is sufficient for the mowing work you do.

Some tips to help in lawnmower maintenance

The life expectancy will primarily depend on the maintenance methods and frequency you use. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to this in order to ensure you have your mower in top shape for many years.

These steps are:

Clearing out debris

Always check the mower for any debris before starting the engine, through doing a close inspection. In the process, make sure you replace or tighten any loose bolts, as well as painting or priming any rusted structural parts.

Removing the spark plug

Before you embark on any repairs, make sure you remove the spark plug lead from the spark plug. You do not want to accidentally injure yourself in the process of cleaning up the engine, and you also want to ensure the mower can work properly after you finish assembling it.

Position the mower

When you are tipping the mower, ensure you do it as carefully as possible. This is not necessary though, although you can remove the air filter to avoid accidentally saturating it with gas or oil.

Note that many mowers have a fuel line that is between the fuel tank and carburetor, and small needle nose grips with a rubber hose. When you clamp them over each jaw, this can stop any oil flows.

If the lawnmower is a ‘4-stroke’ type (where the oil and gasoline are separate), avoid tipping it on the side when the spark plug is facing the ground – make sure it faces upwards. If the mower is a ‘2-stroke’ type, turn off its fuel tap, and tip it in any way you want.

Change the blade

In order to sharpen or change the blade, it is always easier to remove its spark plug and feed a length of clean cotton into the cylinder head in order to ‘lock’ the piston.

Checking the air filter

As long as the air filter is dirty, this will affect engine performance, and this might appear as a smoky exhaust, weak idle, or several sputters as the engine starts.

Changing the oil (if necessary)

If the mower is a ‘4-stroke’ model, the least number of times to change the oil is once a year. For other models, do so at least twice a year.

Hours of riding mowers

Mower transmission type
Average Hours of service life
Automatic (hydro static)
1.5 hours per week (48 hours a year)
1 hour per week (36 hours a year)



Maintaining a riding lawnmower might seem to be a difficult task at first – until you realize it is necessary in order to ensure the long life of the machine. The good news is that it is not hard, and your machine will thank you in the long term.

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