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10 Things to Check When Buying a Used Lawn Mower

lawn mowers for sale

Here at Binkley & Hurst, within our farm equipment product offering, we feature the very best in new residential and commercial lawn tractors. When you’re considering where to buy a used lawn mower, we’re also your source for high quality used lawn and garden equipment trade-ins including John Deere, Cub Cadet and Simplicity garden tractors.


When you’re comparing shopping between our inventory and other used riding lawn mowers for sale, here in this article, we will equip you with the questions to ask and the key things to check when buying a used lawn tractor or mower.



  • When was it initially purchased? (How old is it?)
  • How frequently was it used? (Home owner or commercial use?)
  • How was it stored?
  • Why is it being sold? (Why was it traded?)
  • Are the maintenance receipts available?
  • Is there any form of warranty on the unit?
  • Is there any financing available?
  • Will you service the unit for me going forward?
  • Will it work safely for my type of use? (Steep slopes, rough or wet ground)
  • Is there an owners/service manual with the unit?




The engine should start within a few seconds on the first try and idle smoothly. It shouldn’t smoke or stall. 



Be wary of wobbly wheels or tires with worn down treads or cracks.


Exterior Body Condition 

Check the side and top of the deck for wear, dents or holes. The more wear you see, the more intensely the mower has been used. Is the plastic faded or the metal rusted? These may indicate how the unit was stored.


Mowing/Cutting Deck

The deck should be level, which you can check through a mowing demonstration to ensure the blades cut evenly. A dull blade can easily be sharpened but steer clear of blades that have large nicks or are bent. Running the mower deck at low engine speed can show evidence of bent shafts or bad bearings if exceive vibration is observed.


Condition of Battery, Belts and Wiring

While all of these elements can be replaced, it’s helpful to get a sense of how urgent the need may be when considering the price the seller is requesting for the used lawn tractor or mower. Check belts carefully for uneven wear or signs of fibers/plys beginning to occur. Make sure that drive pulleys and idlers are properly aligned. 


Air Filter

A clean air filter is an indication of how often the mower has been serviced. If it’s dirty, make sure it hasn’t been pulling dirt into the engine by inspecting behind the air filter. If you find the area behind the filter is packed with dirt, it’s an indication that the engine has taken in a lot of that dirt as well and could result in a shorter engine life.



Low levels of fluids could be a sign of leaks or neglect. Thick engine oil is an indicator that the lawn tractor or mower’s lubrication systems haven’t been consistently serviced.



When evaluating used equipment for sale, a test-drive is just as important as if you were buying a used car. So when evaluating a used unit, make sure to test the brakes and steering mechanisms for proper and safe functionality. 


Safety Features

Check to make sure the blades stop running if you leave the seat. Some mowers also stop their blades from running when driving in reverse. Make sure the mower’s safety features are in complete working order. 


Maintenance History

The maintenance history of a used lawn tractor is a significant indicator of its potential future lifespan. These are the maintenance steps that should always be taken: 

  1. Check the oil before starting the mower (every time!). 
  2. Clean the air filter after 2-3 mowings. 
  3. Perform a yearly tune up including an oil change, complete lubrication, blade sharpening, checking pneumatic tire preure and replacing spark plugs and the air filter.


things to consider when buying used lawn mower



Is the used lawn tractor or mower compatible with the attachments you need? In addition to standard lawn mowing, many riding mowers can be adapted with attachments allowing the spreading of seed, collecting of gra clippings and leaves, lawn aeration and even snow removal. 


Do you have adequate storage space for your mower? On larger lawn tractors, the width of the cutting deck may exceed the width of some storage space entrances. 


Which transmiion type is right for your needs? There are three types of transmiions to consider when evaluating lawnmowers for sale: 

  1. Manual Transmiion: The most affordable but can be challenging to use on lawns that require frequent turning or have hills. 
  2. Automatic Transmiion: Provides simpler operation and a smoother ride.
  3. Hydrostatic Transmiion: Works similarly to an automatic transmiion but instead of using belts to transfer power from the engine to the wheels of your lawn mower, uses fluid, which provides the smoothest ride, requires le maintenance and offers the greatest durability. 

Which type of transmiion is best for you may depend on your budget, experience as an operator, the number of years you need the equipment to last and the layout or steepne of the area you need to mow.



Second hand lawn mowers require routine maintenance to provide you with the greatest return on your investment. 

At Binkley & Hurst, we have certified expert technicians you can count on to keep your equipment operational and minimize your downtime. Visit our website to learn more about our service plans then stop by any of our locations in Lititz, PA; Richland, PA; Kennedyville, MD; Harrisonburg, VA; Dayton, VA; or Seaford, DE to be personally guided by one of our knowledgeable team members.



For more than 75 years, we’ve served valuable Customers throughout the mid-Atlantic region. We highly value the many long-term relationships which God has directed to us. We are committed to wise stewardship of all of our resources and look forward to providing premium products and supportive services to each one of our valued Customers, who entrust us with relationship.

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