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A
"Although he couldn't help me with my mower he was really nice, gave me some good advice, and referred me to his competitor to see if they could help me. If" we should end up getting another reel mower, we'll go with his advice and get the model he suggested.

-Kate B.

A
"A true professional. Had on the parts with him and got it going. Punctual and a pleasure to deal with. Money well spent!

-Douglas D.

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Local Articles in Rockford

Lawn mower repair

The average suburban lawn mower is a true workhorse, but you might not be maintaining it as well as you should. Here are some practical tips on troubleshooting common problems, how to make some lawn mower repairs yourself and how to maintain your mower so it keeps performing well year after year.

A man starting a push lawnmower
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

Whether it's sharpening blades or getting a professional tuneup, follow these maintenance tips to help your mower run longer.

lawn mower side by side clean and dirty air filters
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair, Lawn & Yard Work

Clogged air filters or bad spark plugs may be to blame for lawn mower problems at start of the mowing season.

Lawn & Yard Work, Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

It's time to get reel. Manual mowers might be a smart choice for small yards and level terrain.

Even if you winterized your mower last fall, it’s a good idea to give it an inspection and tuneup come spring, to keep it running smoothly all season. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Michael L. of Washington)
Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair

Want to keep your mower going as long as the grass is growing? Follow these mower maintenance instructions.

Angie's Answers

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The only time a carburator needs replacing is if you put some really corrosive cleaner in it that ate through the metal (usually aluminum), or if you have physically broken it.

Otherwise, carbs can be rebuilt - rebuild kits (that contain basically all the non-metallic parts, the primer bulb (usually) and carb gaskets) typically run $10-25. A tuneup (carb rebuild and new spark plug) with parts typically runs about $60-80 ($100-150 for rider mowers), although a lot of repair shops have $45-60 spring specials. Probably needs a sharpening too - another $10-15 or so when done as part of a tune-up.

By hiring someone to do it, I presume you mean taking it to a small engine repair shop with a good word of mouth reputation, and being sure to get a dropoff receipt and estimate in writing that you carry away with you.

If it runs at all, or ran last fall, this is probably all you need.

Compare this to the cost of a new mower - for a rider mower, no comparison of course - go with the carb cleaning and rebuild. However, for a standard 20-22 inch push power mower, replacement cost is about $140-250, depending on whether you go with a Walmart special or brand name, additional $100 or so if self-propelled or bagging type.

For a 10 year old push type power mower, if it sits outside all winter or is pretty rusty, since you are not mechanically inclined I would recommend getting a new mower - something like a Sears or Murray Ohio (at Target, WalMart, etc) plain-jane mower for about $150-180 unless you have steep hills or medical issues, then get the self-propelled model. A 20 inch or even 18 inch will do fine for a small lawn; if you have several lawns or a pretty big lawn area (over say 2500 SF) then you probably want a 22 inch - the extra path width makes quite a difference in how long it takes to mow.

If it sleeps in a shed or garage and is not rusting out, I would recommend a new one if the plain jane will do it for you, otherwise if the replacement one that you would buy is over about $250 I would go with the carb overhaul and tuneup.

I would STRONGLY recommend you get a 4 cycle engine - I swear by Briggs and Stratton rather than Tecumseh or other brands. 4 cycles start much easier and are less sensitive to fuel/air mix issues, and the plugs stay clean a lot longer. 2 cycles are lighter for the same horsepower which is why you see them a lot in outboard motors that are less than about 50-80 HP and in small generators and motorcycles, but they are a lot more tempermental about starting, especially in cold weather or after a long storage.

If you pay attention to proper winter storage procedure, rebuilding the carb on the old one should last you another 5+ years. I have a Murray Ohio with 4 cycle Briggs and Stratton engine that is 33 years old, lives in an unheated shed in a northern state, and has had nothing more than annual blade sharpening, oil change every few years, and one carb overhaul and plug cleaning (and ZERO new spark plugs) in its life, and starts by second pull every spring. The key is if you store it inside in a garage to run it dry each fall (so you do not have gas in the garage, for safety reasons in case it leaks out); if you leave it outside I fill the tank to the top so moisture cannot acccumulate from moist air "breathing" in and out of the tank due to temperature changes. I do this with mower, chain saw, leaf blower, weed wacker - all start on first or second pull in the spring (and throughout the summer). If you live in an area with a lot of moisture in the winter air (ours is very dry) you might have to add Heet or Sta-Bil to the fuel can (per instructions) before topping off tank.

You will find other people who say you HAVE to run it dry each season. Their theory is that if there is no gas in it then there is no gas to collect moisture or to evaporate and turn to varnish over the winter (though that generally takes a few years of sitting to happen). My theory is if it is filled with fuel it cannot dry out and leave varnish residue to block the fuel tube screen and fuel jets, plus it does not rust metal fuel tanks by being empty. To each their own procedure.

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No personal experience on rider mowers but some with small rider tractors, but since you have gotten no response in 5 days, here is my 2 cents worth:

 

1) read the Consumer Reports and JD Powers reviews on rider mowers

 

2) from what neighbors have told me, TroyBilt are maintenance problem and not built very rugged, Sears tend to have transmission/drive train problems, those with John Deere say they were unhappy with the price but they run well and don't have extreme maintenance costs - so sounds to me like JD is best brand out there right now.

 

3) A recommendation also from personal small engine experience and neighbors - stay with Briggs and Stratton 4 cycle engines if possible, and stay away from 2 cycle engines - they are lighter and cheaper, but have a LOT more starting problems and tend to not last as long.

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With you not saying what this is on - could be portable device or very small rider mower - check oill level - some fancier ones on air compressors and pressure washers and rider mowers have oil monitor that shuts it off if oil pressure does not build up. Failed governor spring (rare - would be one of my last guesses) can do this, but when I had it happen the engine ran up to speed and died in only a second or two - not 8 seconds. Governor linkage usually an external metal rod with springs connecting to the carb - try watching it during the 8 seconds to see if it is yanking the throttle/choke setting back causing it to shut down. Also check to be sure not blocked by twig or leaves or such. I would check the plug after it dies - if wet then you are pretty sure you are getting fuel, if dry then maybe it is only getting fuel from manual priming or automatic choke, but then the choke is cutting out and starving the engine for fuel. IF your model has accessible automatic choke linkage (or if choke plate is accessible if you remove air cleaner), try using a long tool (not fingers, in case of backfire through carb) to adjust choke angle to see if that will make it keep running - if you can see it after taking off air cleaner, it should be staying full on for probably 20-40 seconds before it opens up wide open if temperature contr4olled type, but the engine-speed type open up as soon as engine comes up to speed. Another possibility - check air cleaner to be sure not plugged with dirt - wash (and with many models oil) per owners manual instructions. Another common problem - starts on priming or choke, but when on regular fuel flow leans out and dies due to air leak in fuel line letting air in with fuel, or dirty screen in tank not letting enough fuel in to keep it running. Also, crudded up holes in the tank cap can cause vapor lock by not letting air in to tank to replace fuel consumed - remove and take out inner liner and check holes in liner and metal cap are open so you can see daylight through them. Another possibility - look for debris, etc keeping throttle from opening up - could be idle screw jiggled loose and is set too low. Try screwing it in a half turn or so to see if keeps running - because might be starting on choke but then when choke starts opening up the idle setting is too low so throttle is not open enough to keep it running. If consistently runs 8 seconds and dies, try turning the main needle valve 1/4 turn one way, then if tht does not work back the 1/4 turn plus 1/4 turn the other way (keep track of turns so you know where initial setting is) - if one or other makes better than adjust in that range for smooth running and no flooding or leaning out when you open throttle up.
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Hi Maurice,
 
This is Sarah B. in Member Care. Thanks for your interest in Angie's List!
 
We'll be happy to help find top rated Lawn Mower & Power Tool Repair providers, but it doesn't look like you have a subscription to the List yet. You can join by visiting www.angieslist.com or by giving us a call. Our call center is available 8:00 am-9:00 pm weekdays and 8:00-5:00 pm ET on Saturdays. If you join online, you can save 20% on an annual plan by using the promo code ANSWERS.
 
Thanks for your question and we look forward to assisting you, Maurice!
 
?

Since it would not start BEFORE you took it in for service, hard to blame them - even if rainfall did get in it, because they would assume when you delivered it that it was in "normal" condition, whjich presumably meant vaent closed. By "vent" on top of the gas tank I am not sure what you mean - a "vent" should not let a lot of water in, but if you mean the filler cap then certainly you would get about as much water depth in the tank as the number of inches of rain you had while it was sitting out.

 

Another possibility - vent was open during your fall washing down, and wash water got into the tank, which then ended up in the gas can for the winter, then back to the mower in the spring.

 

Other possibility - your gas can picked up a lot of water over the winter, particuylarly if metal and stored in a location where it could warm up during the day (evaporates gas) then as it cools overnight forms a partial vacuum so it pulls in moist air, which then condenses in the can and settles to the bottom. If using normal pour spout, the first thing out of the can in the spring would be the water (would be first into spout as you pour out), so water from the can might have gone into the mower at first filling.

 

Another possibility which is amazingly common - little Johnny decides to fuel the mower for you and poured water or bug juice or such in there.

 

BTW - most fuel stabilizers do NOT trap water - fuel stabilizer put a very thin layear on top of the liquid to retart evaporation, so your gaoline does not turn to diesel or sludge. To trap water and keep it from settling out you need alcohol - like Heet. Also, when draining tank, you should drain the first part into a clear containear (mayonnaise jar or such) then after it has settled a few seconds pour back to the can, leaving the water in the bottom of the jar to be disposed of.

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Hi Kyle,
 
This is Sarah B. in Member Care. Thanks for posting!
 
I was able to find several rated providers to help you. For your current need though, our Snapfix specialists would also be able to do all of the dialing for you, match you up with a top rated company and arrange to have them call you to figure out the logistics. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please fill out the form in the link below and our Snapfix Team will take it from there!
 
http://www.angieslist.com/fix/
 
If you would like to reach out to these providers yourself, please let me know. I’d be happy to send these to you.  No matter which option you choose, I hope you’ll take the time to fill out a review when the work is done.
 
If you would like information on providers through this forum, please let us know. You can respond to this thread or submit a new Answers post. You can also reach us at memberservices@angieslist.com . We're happy to help, Kyle!

Lawn Mower Repair reviews in Rockford

F

Rating
After repair, on the way home, the mower fell out of the back of my truck and damaged the handlebars and brakes. I called them and the first thing they said that it wasn't their responsibility to tie it down...uh, they never said that. But they said bring it back in for a look. I did and they said I'd have to order repair parts and I said I didn't know what parts to order. They didn't seem to either. They became defensive and belligerent about their failure to properly load the equipment. I've never seen a repair shop that didn't load and tie down your equipment, especially for a widow. In short, I just brought the equipment back home, damaged because of their negligence. They were chauvinistic and rude. If you want a quality experience, don't take your equipment here. Now I have more problems that I started with.
- Betty S.
A

Rating
Received communications from provider were excellent and quick and courteous. The technician showed up early and was very friendly. He also provided a detailed list of the work to be performed and showed me basic maintenance as well as answered all my questions (very knowledgeable!). Overall I am very satisfied with the service and the work of the technician....More /> If you need it, I highly recommend using this company!

- Lowell S.
A

Rating
The employees are so friendly here. They have been trained well in customer service. My mower was not able to be repaired, and I was told this, within 2 days of dropping off. I was not charged, so that was nice! I will start shopping here now, over going to the big box places.
- Christi F.
A

Rating
Amazing group of knowledgeable people. Just relocated to NC and needed all new equipment. Knew I wanted a
Rockford Lawn Mower Repair Shops Provider Name Locked
Goat and these guys knew answers to my questions, as they knew the equipment. Had my eye on a specific Honda mower and they explained how a lower priced Honda would be just as good. Then, for the trimmer, they showed the benefits of an Echo expandable "system".
Aside from the great sales experience, delivery came 2-3 days later and they had already put oil and gas into the equipment and tested that it worked.
Only thing that could have made this a better experience would have been if they mowed the lawn. Guess there's a limit to their service.
- Jay B.
A

Rating
Very good experience. Ed was able to quickly diagnose the issue with the tractor and provide a
Rockford Lawn Mower Repair Shops Provider Name Locked
solution that saved me from buying a new carburetor for a price that was less than my local vendor's pick up fee. Also brought the walk behind "back from the dead" with minimal effort.
- Michael K.
A

Rating
We ran over a metal pole with the lawn mower and bent the blade, but after replacing the blade the mower wouldn't start.
We called around - 2 weeks, $100 labor.
We called
Rockford Lawn Mower Repair Shops Provider Name Locked
- he said come on over. He fixed it in 30 minutes while I waited. Charged me $40. (Plus, I got to pet his cat.) Mower runs great.


- Janet D.
A

Rating
This is the second time that I've used their service. The first time was to get the lawnmower up and running after sitting unused for more than three (3) years with ethanol fuel in the tank. Try as I might, I could not get the lawnmower to run even using fresh gasoline and starting fluid. Took it over to Reel's on a Saturday afternoon. We arrived late (after they officially closed), but they were waiting for us. After documenting everything that I had done and the problems I had encountered, they did a quick check to make sure that there weren't any major problems with the ignition, engine, or the drive gears that might cost more than the lawnmower was worth (my choice) before accepting the unit for repair which was completed three days later at a very reasonable cost of $50.00 parts and labor.
After about two months worth of heavy use, the self-drive mechanism on the lawnmower started to drag then locked up. I took the unit back to Reel's and they removed the locked up wheel, fixed the lawnmower, and reassembled it in less than 30 minutes time. Cost was only $10 labor and parts.
Their's is best service that I have ever had for all the years of lawnmower maintenance/ownership bar none!
- Michele O.
A

Rating
Excellent service!!
Rockford Lawn Mower Repair Shops Provider Name Locked
came out the next day after I called. He called ahead of time to inform me as to what time he would arrive and he arrived when he said he would. He not only fixed it, but also showed me the trouble and explained why it happened. I found
Rockford Lawn Mower Repair Shops Provider Name Locked
to be honest, reliable, and never tried to oversell. This is a company you can trust. I would not hesitate to use this company again.
- Cathy B.

Lawn Mower Repair Shops in Rockford, IL

Companies below are listed in alphabetical order. To view top rated service providers along with reviews and ratings, Join Angie's List Now!

ANDERSON REFRIGERATION INC

4870 IL ROUTE 173
Poplar Grove

Budget Right Handyman

1000 N Taylor Ave
Oak Park

Cherry Valley Landscape Center

7711 Newburg Rd
Rockford

HAMMER'S SERVICE

2919 N MAIN ST
Rockford

LAWN MOWER SERVICE CENTER

2332 11th street corner of 23 th Avenue and 11 th
Rockford

New Life Arboricultural Services

1917 Hutchinson Ave SE

Nicholson Hardware

1131 2nd Ave
Rockford

Oregon Lawn & Farm

304 S 1st St
Oregon

RepairClinic.com Inc

48600 Michigan Ave

The Oak Crest Group, LLC.

641 Glacier Court
Roselle

TL's Small Engine Repair

7357 Sherland Rd
Rockton

ZANOCCO ACE HARDWARE CO

1605 N ALPINE RD
Rockford

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