Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

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bigtex
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Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by bigtex »

Do any bogleheads have any experience with costs for push mower repair and whether this is worthwhile vs just buying a new one for $400- $500?

My current honda push mower, 15 years old, has the following problems which are all unrelated to the engine itself which still runs amazing:

1. Self propelled broken, im fine with just using it as a push mower with no self propelled
2. both rear wheels need replacing - can this be done where they spin freely and don't bind with the self propel gears that used to work?
3. Need new pull start cord - works as it, but needs to be rewound / sprung to be more effective
4. Need replacement bolt for one area on the handle for security

Considering these repairs, am I better off just buying new or would a small repair shop be able to fix me up for 100- 200?

I just hate trashing a piece of equipment that has such a strong engine and really nice cutting. Lawn looks great after mowing, but these repairs must be done soon or new mower purchased.

Any thoughts suggestions?
Smoke
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Smoke »

After 15 yrs, I wouldn't put 200 into a mower that will cost 500 new. It cost you $33 per yr, is a new machine worth $33 per year to you?
Keep it for a backup or to cut bad areas, or sell it, or perhaps the local dealer will take it in trade.
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regularguy455
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by regularguy455 »

If you’re willing to put in the effort you could fix all of these issues for little cost. If you don’t want to, sell it and buy a new one. Simple as that.
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Kenkat
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Kenkat »

The wheels, start cord and bolt are all easy fixes if you can do them yourself. The self propelled depends on what is wrong. I repaired the self propelled on my 15 year old mower but the problem was just that the cable that activated the drive had rusted and would no longer engage. I just replaced the cable. But, if the problem is with the drive transmission components, it might not be worth fixing.
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anon_investor
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by anon_investor »

Sounds like your mower had its run. I would just get a new one, especially since it will likely come with a multi-year warranty, so you will not have to worry about replacement costs for a number of years.

Additionally, with a 15 year old mower, what is to say that something else will not break down after you have already invested $200 to fix the existing issues?
MI_bogle
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by MI_bogle »

Personally, I'd sell it on Craigslist for 25 or 50 bucks and go buy a new one

You got your money's worth. There's someone out there with the skill and desire to buy it for cheap, fix it, and use it for a few more years. Let them deal with the hassle and get yourself a new one!
Laundry_Service
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Laundry_Service »

I just replaced a pull start cord on mine and I think it was $12 shipped on amazon and a 3 minute job. Wheels are probably cheap and easy along with the missing bolt. Pull off the cover and see if the self propulsion belt came off or is broken.

I prefer repairing things if it isn't going to cost much and I can learn something along the way.
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fortfun
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by fortfun »

Maybe see if there is a local shop that will give you $50 for this mower toward a new mower. They would likely have the parts on hand to fix and resell used for $100. Sadly, not too many mom and pop shops left any longer.
neilpilot
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by neilpilot »

Sorry to hear your Honda has so many issues. I bought my Honda mower in 1986 (not a misprint) and it's still going strong. It's needed only oil changes, new blades, a wire stitch to repair the grass catcher, and rear wheel replacement. The wheel replacement is extremely easy.
TonyDAntonio
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by TonyDAntonio »

If you like fixing stuff yourself fix it otherwise, and this is my own personal preference, buy one of the new battery powered ones. My neighbor has one and it looks great. I can't wait for my old Craftsman gas mower to stop working.
onourway
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by onourway »

None of these are really that big of a deal - even the drive system may be an easy repair if you haven't looked in to it yet.

If you have a small engine repair shop around, I bet this is $100-150 in repairs. And fixed, it'll be worth $150+, so it's about a wash.

If you were going to buy new, I would seriously consider battery electric. They've come a long ways and are much more pleasant to use.
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Craigslist it. List the things it needs and put in a statement that tells buyers that you've had it with lawn mowers and just don't want to deal with it. DIY people eat that stuff up. I sold a wood chipper with an engine that had such low compression that I had to dump oil into the spark plug hole just to hold enough compression to start it. I described exactly that and a guy bought it, knowing that he'd be able to rebuild the engine himself. I bought that thing used and sold it for more than I paid for it after 2 years of hard use, including having a tree fall on it, which the buyer pointed out, laughing about it.
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jharkin
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by jharkin »

As others have mentioned, the handle bolt and pull cord are really easy DIY fixes. New wheels shouldn't be hard either but it depends on how they are attached. The self propel mechanism is thing that may be a pain - some are serviceable, but some require you to replace the entire transmission/axle assembly which can cost a good % of a new machine.

If it where a Troy Built/Snapper/MTD mower Id say get new one no question. A Honda otherwise running well and not rusted out may be worth fixing.
Buckeye Chuck
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Buckeye Chuck »

See if A shop can get you an estimate. If too high buy the new Honda mower model which is fantastic. Craigs list the old one.
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Watty
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Watty »

One problem with getting these fixed at a lawnmower shop is that they are likely very busy now so it could take a long time to get it back from the shop.

As others have said most of the things on your list are easy DIY repairs.

You can likely find Youtube videos that will show you how to do most of them.

That said 15 years is a good run for a lawn mower.

I would keep using it for a few more weeks while you research new lawnmowers and then buy one when they go on sale when they are clearing out the summer inventory.
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TexasPE
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by TexasPE »

onourway wrote: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:07 am None of these are really that big of a deal - even the drive system may be an easy repair if you haven't looked in to it yet.
+1

I vote for trying the repairs yourself. This book

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Engines-Ou ... merReviews

would be helpful and give you the confidence to proceed. Replacement wheels (4) are available for $35 on Amazon or eBay (search using your model number). As mentioned, the drive may be a simple cable adjustment - search the Internet for a PDF of the owner's manual - my Honda mower explains the adjustment there. Youtube probably has one or more videos to show you how it is done. If the missing bolt has a 'twin', take it off and visit a hardware for a correctly-sized replacement.

Two adjustable wrenches and a replacement bolt should be all the tools required.

Good luck!
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onourway
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by onourway »

TexasPE wrote: Fri Jul 26, 2019 11:00 am
would be helpful and give you the confidence to proceed. Replacement wheels (4) are available for $35 on Amazon or eBay (search using your model number). As mentioned, the drive may be a simple cable adjustment - search the Internet for a PDF of the owner's manual - my Honda mower explains the adjustment there. Youtube probably has one or more videos to show you how it is done. If the missing bolt has a 'twin', take it off and visit a hardware for a correctly-sized replacement.

Two adjustable wrenches and a replacement bolt should be all the tools required.

Good luck!
Yes, I should have noted I had a Honda mower for 10+ years that I let go with a 'broken' drive system for way too long. When I finally looked at it closely it was a 30-second cable adjustment...
JBeck
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by JBeck »

Your mower although still fixable has reached its end of life period

It will not be cost effective to repair, I'd buy a new mower
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whodidntante
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by whodidntante »

You are considering spending more on repairs than the mower would be worth repaired. That doesn't make sense.

Get a new mower. See if you can get a few bucks for the old one on Facebook marketplace. If not, take that puppy to the dump.
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bigtex
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by bigtex »

If I go the new route, would I be getting the same quality product as these old hondas? Or have they cheapened them down where it probably wont last as long as the good quality of the old days?
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

I would price out the parts to at least see what would cost to repair. Might be inexpensive, might not. If you really don't want to fix the self-propelled issue, the other repairs seem simple, and probably would be fairly cheap.

The Honda small engines are great. I have one on my pressure washer, and my generator. Great quality, that's why they last.

A quick scan at Home Depot shows the cheapest Honda self-propelled lawn mowers is $399.00. Even the cheapest Honda push mower is $349.00.

I would be willing to keep a couple of hundred dollars in my pocket by fixing.

My dad had an old Gravely self-propelled mower he bought at an auction, and was using many for many years after I left home. It was at least 30 years old when he sold his house and moved into a condo.

Some people are eager to replace repairable equipment, certainly a first-world issue.

Broken Man 1999
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plantingourpennies
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by plantingourpennies »

I have a honda hr214 and a honda hr215, from the mid and late 1980's, respectively. I love them, and restored the hr214 about 9 years ago, but will soon be buying a battery powered mower.

Gas mowers, especially old ones, emit massive amounts of greenhouse gasses. Some of this has to do with the design of the engine, but it's also because they don't have catalytic converters. Statistics vary, but one gas mower run for an hour can emit as much as 11 to 40 late model cars over the same time period-it's massive! Here is a link with citations that give a deeper explanation-https://cleanairyardcare.ca/sustainabil ... tal-facts/

I love these old mowers, and before I found out how much they pollute I'd have encouraged you to fix it. Knowing what we know now, it's time to go battery powered-the options are really quite good unless you're a commercial operator.
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TierArtz
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by TierArtz »

If I go the new route, would I be getting the same quality product as these old hondas? Or have they cheapened them down where it probably wont last as long as the good quality of the old days?
I've been pushing a mower for 50 years, and attempt easy fixes (enabled by YouTube). My present mower, purchased in 2011, was my first Honda. I love it and have not had to do anything to it except sharpen blades, change the oil and spark plug, and clean/replace the air filters.

In short, a Honda mower built 8 years ago is of excellent quality. I purchased the commercial grade push mower without the self-propel feature to avoid problems and provide a better work-out (model HRC216PDA; current MSRP $769). It is the model I see local landscapers using. It's used on the grass portion of an acre-lot (probably 1/2 acre of Bermuda plus all the organic gradue/trimmings I can blow on to it from the rest.)
Topic Author
bigtex
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by bigtex »

What are your thoughts on this one if I went electric? https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-20-in ... /304597920

I need good power still in case I let the lawn get sort of long in between mowings. Would this one be likely to bog down with high grass?
onourway
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by onourway »

bigtex wrote: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:03 pm What are your thoughts on this one if I went electric? https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-20-in ... /304597920

I need good power still in case I let the lawn get sort of long in between mowings. Would this one be likely to bog down with high grass?
I would spend a bit more. People love the Ego models. I really like my Echo. I would consider the other big names, Snapper, etc.
carolinaman
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by carolinaman »

I would replace it. You got long useful life from the mower. I would put money into a 15 year old mower with the problems you cite. I had a 20 year old lawn boy that was still running strong. One of the self propelled wheels' tread fell apart. Try as I might, I could not find a replacement part. You may experience the same if you try to repair yours. I bought a Honda self propelled mower 2 years ago at the end of the mowing season and got it for $400. It is the best mower I have had in 50+ years of mowing.
Helo80
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by Helo80 »

Replace. You got 15 years of use out of the last one and new mowers are not prohibitively expensive. Honda is still the leader in small engines.
BIGal
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

Post by BIGal »

I would agree with those that suggest replacement with a new Honda mower. If you are not comfortable with doing the repairs yourself and may not have the necessary tools to do the job, buy a new one an be done with it.
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Re: Worthwhile to repair Honda Push Mower or buy new?

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[This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum. -- Moderator oldcomputerguy]
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