Bad lawn mower happenings

Tiff and I bought a riding mower last summer. We both knew it was going to drastically reduce the amount of work we had to do to keep the lawn looking decent (it's not possible to make our lawn look nice).

Three weeks ago I was mowing the lawn and the mower shut off on me. This didn't surprise me too much at the time; we had just replaced the battery a couple weeks before that and I was kind-of suspecting that the alternator was bad. I assumed the battery had died and there wasn't any spark left. After a fun time pushing it to the shed, I put it on the charger and finished mowing with the push-mower.

The next week I tried to start it - no go. I took the cover off the starter and noticed the gear was fully engaged. I didn't have time to work on it then so I push-mowed the lawn again.

Last week my Dad came by and pulled the starter off. He cleaned it up, it seemed to work fine, but it still wouldn't crank the mower. He took it into town to have a guy look at it.

Got the starter back today (there weren't any problems with it) and put it on, and the mower still wouldn't turn. Hmm. Wouldn't turn. As in, the starter can't turn the flywheel.

I check the oil, and there's just a tad bit at the bottom.

So, the current assumption is that the engine is seized. That pretty much means that its shot. Not a great feeling.

Of course, everyone knows to check the oil. My only excuses (which don't help me feel much better) are:

  1. I've had a super-cheap push-mower for 4 years and have never had to add any oil to it (yes, I actually check it).
  2. This mower didn't give me any indication it was burning oil or that it was low on oil.
  3. I've never owned a riding mower before.
  4. I'm not the only one who uses it.

Like I said, not very good excuses.

So, I hear Briggs & Stratton engines are kinda tough...