Spring: Time for lawn mower maintenance


By John North



As the long winter days dwindle and your yard starts to thaw, now may be a prime time to get your lawn mower inspected by a professional. Whether you need a simple service, such as an oil change, or a tune-up or your lawn mower blades sharpened, you need to find a trustworthy lawn mower repairman.

Over the last year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) recorded almost 21,000 inquiries about lawn mower repair companies in North America. Locally, almost 300 inquiries were made to the BBB about this industry.

BBB offers these tips to ensure you find a reliable lawn mower repair company:

• Ask friends and family where they take their lawn mower equipment. If they’re happy with who they use, most likely you will be, too.

• Research companies. Consider reputation and years of service.

• Get several quotes and don’t settle for the lowest price.

• Make sure the repairman and other employees are knowledgeable, helpful and professional. Bad service over the phone will give you an indication of service you’ll be given on lawn equipment.

• Visit the shop. Most repair shops will have some amount of dirt and grease. However, they should be organized and have clean waiting places for customers.

• Check your warranty. If your lawn equipment is still under warranty, repairs most likely must be done at an authorized shop.

• Look for a lawn mower repair shop specializing in your equipment’s make or model. Shops specializing in certain equipment will have the latest training, parts and equipment.

• Look for the BBB logo and/or seal on trucks, the website and at the physical location.

• Get everything in writing, including an itemized estimate of repairs and when your work will be completed. Ask if repairs are guaranteed and for a detailed printout of parts and labor costs.

• Ask the lawn mower repair company to go over the work completed. Don’t be afraid to ask for the old parts back or ask additional questions.

Remember, lawn mower repair shops recommend that engine oil be changed yearly. Also change your air filter, spark plugs once a year and sharpen your lawn mower blades twice a year or when needed. Be sure to empty the gas tank in the fall when grass no longer needs to be cut. Unused gas left in a mower over the winter can get stale, gumming up the carburetor and inviting rust.

If you have any questions regarding lawn mower repair companies, you can always get help from BBB, such as a list of BBB-accredited companies and business profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call 800-776-5301.

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By John North

The writer is the president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley.

The writer is the president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and Miami Valley.