Monday, September 12, 2022


It was a beautiful weekend, temperatures were mild and humidity was very low.  There as a cool(ish) breeze and the grass...

...was definitely in need of mowing.  Remember, I hadn't mowed in two week since it rained Labor Day weekend.  The grass was pretty tall.  But then remember a couple of weeks ago, when I had the battery problem on the mower?  Well I didn't finish mowing then and so in some spots, it has been THREE weeks since the last mowing.  Like this:

No, Bill the Truck isn't sinking into the ground.  This is three weeks without mowing.  After our months long drought, it's back with a vengeance.

I stopped at the John Deere shop on my lunch break one afternoon and bought a battery.

It was fairly easy, and I always remember what my Dad taught me about changing batteries, everything off, key out of the ignition, black (negative) disconnected first, then red (positive), put the new battery in and do the reverse, red first and black last.

About ten minutes later, mission accomplished.  Reminder, wear gloves next time, ha!

I was having a great time on the Zen Machine.  I got the driveway done, some of the back and front, I moved the truck so I could mow where it was parked and then...the mower started acting up.  It would sputter and backfire and sounded like it was surging before finally dying.  The battery didn't appear to be the issue, it would start right up every time and was running the proper voltage when I tested it.

With no rain in the forecast, I just left the mower where it stopped.  You can see where I left much of the yard unmowed.  At least the driveway was done.

Here's the view from the porch.  I went over the higher parts with the mowing deck raised so it would take off the worst of it and then back over it with the regular mowing height.  It was going great like this until the mower decided to stop cooperating.

2nd Man and I think that the mower may be nearing the end of its life, or at least aging to the point where it's going to give us more and more problems.  We'll have to see how much this will end up costing.  If we can get it back up and running, maybe next year will be the time to get a new mower.

It's always something.

Goats rented to graze image via wikicommons

We just hope we get it back quickly or we might have to rent a herd of goats! 😂


  1. LOL! I vote for the herd of goats, but you will need a goat herder to keep them from eating what shouldn't be eaten!
    Hopefully you can get the mower to finish the job for this year and decide what you will do next year!

    1. That would be cool, ha!!! Yes, we're already looking but they are expen$ive for sure. If we can squeak through the rest of this season and part of next, that would be better.

  2. Things to check out on your mower............
    check the oil level. If it’s low, it can cause the engine to misfire. If the oil is dark or black, it’s time you change it.

    Old Fuel or the Wrong Fuel. ...
    Clogged or Dirty Air Filters. ...If the air filter is blocked, it can’t let enough air into the engine, which can cause the engine to misfire; make sure it’s clean and free of debris. If the air filter is dirty or clogged, you can clean it yourself by removing it from the mower and spraying it with a garden hose.

    Dirty Fuel Filters. ... may need to be replaced by checking its condition. If it’s dirty or clogged, then you’ll need to replace it. You can also check the manufacturer’s specifications for your riding lawn mower to see if there are any specific instructions on how to replace a fuel filter.

    If you need to replace the fuel filter, follow these steps:

    Remove the old filter from its mounting bracket and set it aside
    Remove the fuel line from the filter and set it aside
    Install the new fuel filter in its mounting bracket
    Reattach the fuel line to the filter
    Start your riding lawn mower and check for leaks or other problems
    A Bad Gas Cap. ...
    That Carburetor is FILTHY. ...
    Water in the Fuel Tank or Fuel Line. ...
    Check the Spark Plug. ...If the spark plug isn’t working properly, it can cause the engine to misfire. If this is the case with your riding lawn mower, you’ll need to replace the spark plug. You can usually tell if the spark plug is bad and needs to be replaced by checking its condition. If the electrodes (the metal contacts at the end of the plug) are dirty, burned, or corroded, the spark plug needs to be replaced.

    Your Carburetor Has Issues. The carburetor mixes the fuel and air before it’s
    injected into the engine, so if it’s not working properly, you may experience
    problems with your engine. You can usually tell if there’s a problem with the carburetor by checking its condition. If it’s dirty or corroded, then it needs to be replaced. You can also check the manufacturer’s specifications for your riding lawn mower to see if there are any specific instructions on how to replace a carburetor.

    1. I've done a few of those. Because of the fact that they just did the tuneup, they are going to check it out for free and if it's something they fixed or tuned up or missed, (i.e. unrelated to bad gas of course) they said they'd comp us the labor and we'd only have to pay for parts. We'll see. Stay tuned. It's been picked up and in their hands.

    2. Hopefully they will be able to fix the problem

    3. With all the property that you have to mow lawn tractors, they’re less powerful, slower and cut a smaller swath (maximum width: 30 in.). They are a good choice for smaller yards and limited storage space.
      Where as; Garden tractors are the heavy-duty models. Yes, they are more expensive but they are more of a heavy duty mower than a regular lawn mower.
      Zero turn mowers are much more expensive, but with the land that you have to mow it may be well worth the investment. They take a much larger cut and it wouldn't take as long to mow; especially on them Hot summer days.

    4. Not sure, I think ours is considered a garden tractor. It has a 54" mowing deck, the largest swath Deere makes short of a full sized tractor. It's got lots of HP so we've been good there. Hoping it's just a fuel issue and they get it running. We're thinking of getting new and bigger once we're out there so we just need to get this going just a bit longer.

      Oh and LOVE the zero turn mowers, they look so fun (definitely "zen" ha) we'll see what happens.

  3. How aggravating! Especially when you maintain it with yearly tune-ups. I think Colleen is right - it could be carburetor problems. Or you could have gotten some bad gas that dirtied up your gas tank or clogged the fuel line.
    I’ve had all of those problems over the years.
    Hoping it gets solved and it’s running again.

    1. Yeah, and the crazy thing is this year they did it in March and I only mowed like three times since then until now because of the drought. So not much time for anything bad to happen. We'll see. I wonder if bad gas too. Part of me wonders if they missed something or the suspicious part of me wonders if maybe they "say" they do something and didn't, ha. Once we have a garage with a concrete floor where I can do my own work, I will. Just hard to do it either in the little shed and can't really do much on the grass. Stay tuned!

  4. It is too soon to be buying new since that one is used so little. I would go for a deep checkup!

    1. Oh it's 10 years old and have hundreds of hours on it. It's definitely gotten used. We would hope they would last for 20 years or so but who knows, maybe they don't make em like they used to, ha. So far it seems maybe bad gas, possibly from sitting unused in the extreme heat we have had. We'll see!


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