From what year is my lawnmower? How can I estimate its age?

Lawnmowers are amazing machines maintaining the beauty of your lawn. They cut, trim, and have no problem with rough grass, adding grace to your lawn. They work hard throughout their lives, but their performance may dwindle as they age. Depending on a mower’s age, its parts may lose their optimum performance with the years. Knowing the age of your lawnmower is good to know when you are buying a second-hand mower. Or you try to sell yours. Also, by estimating the year your mower is from, you can check whether its parts are available in the market or not. This article will take you through some basic factors on how to find or approximate your lawnmower’s age.

From what year is my lawnmower? How can I estimate its age?

Most lawnmowers will have a serial number with the brand, model, and manufacturer date. If you can not find it and you still have the manufacturer’s manual for your lawnmower, you can check the date published on it. If you do not have the manual, you can try to use google and search for your lawnmower brand and type if possible. Check the images, and try to find one that matches yours as closely as possible. Often that can lead you to the years where this particular model was sold. Similarly, you could try a site like eBay or another second-hand website to find a similar model. If that also does not work, you can check the lawnmower components, as they indicate from around year your lawnmower is from.

Just like all machines, lawnmowers age with time, and so do their components. Generally, the lawnmowers last a good eight to ten years if properly cared for. Some large riding mowers may even last as long as 15-20 years. The individual components sometimes last lesser. The engine and gas tank are specially designed to last the same duration. Still, they may require changing after 7-8 years if they are worked rashly and aggressively. By checking the working condition of the components, predict the mower’s age.

This article will help what to look for when examining the different lawnmower parts to find your machine’s age.

● Check the body’s condition.

The first thing to analyze is the mower’s body. As a helpful tip, use a grading system out of ten for the parts you check. For instance, examine the mower’s body kit, driving handle, seat, steering wheel, or mower’s platform. Check for scratches, rust, and leather conditions and rate it on a scale of 10 from a neutral point of view by comparing it to the brand new version. If the score’s total is less than 70 percent, the mower is more than 5 years of age.

This is not an accurate method, but it surely is a good approximation method for a common person. An expert will be better able to judge it much better.

● Check the lawnmower blades and oil tank.

Next, inspect the lawnmower blades. As a golden rule, it is highly recommended to sharpen the lawnmower blades after 30-40 hours of use because their overuse and roughness affect the whole machinery. If you average 40-60 hours as an annual mowing average, the blades will have to be sharpened roughly 2-3 times in two years. Also, the blades should be sharpened a maximum of 5-6 times. So, if you notice that the mower’s blades are new, you can imagine it to be more than 4-5 years old. If their surface seems scratched and the rest of the body seems fine, they are less than 4 years old.

The oil tank also gives you an indication of how old your lawnmower is. Its external condition scratches on the tank, and the presence of rust will give away its age. The gas tank’s cap is usually metallic, so if you notice minor rust around it, your mower is most likely to be 3 years old. If the rust is excessive and extends to the gas tank (metallic ones), it must be more than 7 years of age. This is again a good estimation.

● Carburetor coding and condition.

There is a code imprinted on the carburetor’s body next to the throttle lever in many mowers. It clearly defines the age of your mower. You just have to be able to read and interpret it to estimate the mower’s age. Sturdier built than gas tanks, carburetors show no rust in the first 5 years of their service life. After that, you can judge the level of rust to calculate the mower’s age. Minor rust adds 1-2 years of life. Severe rusting means 3-4 years of life in the 5 years. Reading the carburetor’s code is similar to that of the engine; it will be taught next.

● The Engine age and model coding for different lawnmower brands

The engines are built very much resistant to factors like rust and moisture. You will have to open up the components to examine the condition of each. Or, you can use the engine code that is imprinted on each engine. This is also known as motor code. We will teach you to locate and read this code for different lawnmower brands.

 1. Craftsman mowers:

Craftsman mowers have labels with a serial number and date imprinted on them. This tag is usually located in a secure area on, beneath, or near the riding mower seat. Just note down the first six numbers of the mower’s serial tag. The first two numbers are the mower’s manufacturing month, the second two numbers indicate the manufacturing day, and the third two will indicate the year of manufacturing.

2. Murray lawnmowers:

On the Murray lawnmower, these stickers are found in the mower’s backside or under the riding lawn mower’s seat or in the middle of the push mowers’ deck. Check each as the coding has changed over the years.

Note down the first four numerals to determine the Murray mower age. The first single number is the mower’s manufacturing year. The last three numbers indicate the manufacturing day of that specified year.  For example, if the code is “3222,” the mower was produced in 2003 on the 222nd day of that year. The date code could also indicate 1993 if the model is quite old. The coding style is specific for both cases. In the case of Murray lawnmowers, we have two kinds; pre-2001 mowers have a five-digit tag followed by a dash and a single-digit number. And the Post-2001 Murray models have a five- or six-digit model number with no dash/hyphen. If the model number is hyphenated, the date code, for example, will indicate 1993 rather than 2003.

3. John Deere Lawnmower:

For John Deere’s lawnmower, you have to look at the bottom left-hand corner near the left tire to locate the identification serial number. A metal plate attached to the mower’s frame gives you the mower’s model and serial tag. These stickers or labels may be located under the hood or along the front side of older models.

Note down your lawn mower’s model, and serial number since both deliver the information needed to figure out your lawn mower’s age. Model numbers range from two to four numerals. In contrast, serial numbers range from six to 11 digits with a two-letter prefix, dependent on your lawn mower’s age.

4. Briggs and Stratton lawnmower:

Search for the serial tag on the Briggs and Stratton lawnmower. This sticker is found on the front of the mower engine directly above the spark plugs. In some latest models, it may lie between the overhead valve symbol and the air cleaner. It may be stamped on the sheet metal above the muffler, either to the left or right side.

The first two numbers are the mower’s manufacturing month, the second two numbers indicate the manufacturing day, and the third two will indicate the year of manufacturing.

Tip: Place a paper sheet over the worn or unseen (by the naked eye) identification labels and rub with a pencil with a soft hand just to take an imprint of the numbers. Use this tip if the numbers deteriorate with time.

Frequently asked questions:

1. What to do with old parts of the lawnmower?  

Since the lawnmower is made of mostly metal and plastic parts, your old lawn mowercan be recycled. Even the rubber tires and some tubing or cable sleeves can be taken to your local recycling center. The best way to reuse your lawn mower blades is to turn them into. This can be a knife for protection, for chopping, or a simple backyard knife. You can use them for electrolysis purposes too.

2. How to find the model number on push lawnmowers?

The lawnmower engine model number is generally the number stamped into metal directly on your engine for push mowers. Some push lawnmower engines come with a cover or “hood.” So, you might have to remove them to see the code. The code may also be present in other locations like beneath the seat, along with the engine, or over some specially fit metal plate. Check each place starting from the engine.

3. How long should a Craftsman riding mower last?

A typical Craftsman mower that’s well maintained will last 1500 hours plus. This, in other words, refers to the age of 15-20 years of service life. A riding mower that’s meticulously maintained will last 20 plus years, however.

Final remarks:

A lawnmower is the secret behind the beauty and aesthetic looks of most lawns. However, it requires proper maintenance and cleaning to keep it in good shape. As it ages, its work performance might get affected too. If you want to sell or buy one, it is good to know the age of the mower. Also to find suitable spareparts it can help to know the manufacturing year. In this article, we have explained the methods of reading the serial code on the mower. Besides, by checking the condition of different parts, you can also get an indication of the mower’s age.

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