A lawnmower can be a major investment whether if have a landscaping business or you simply want to maintain your own lawn. One of the top lawnmower brands available today is Toro. If you are considering a Toro lawnmower, then you will want to know how long they can last. You have come to the right place, I’m a mower mechanic and I’ve been fixing Toro mowers for years.
A well maintained and properly stored Toro walk-behind mower will typically last ten to twelve years and the larger Toro Zero-turn mower correctly maintained and stored may last between fifteen to twenty years.
In this post, you’ll learn how long you can expect both a Toro walk behind the mower and the larger Zero-turn mower to last. You’ll also learn common Toro issues and what you can do to help your Toro live longer.
Toro lawn mowers are manufactured by The Toro Company. Founded in 1914, The Toro Company originally manufactured tractors. However, in 1948, the company expanded into push lawnmowers. Today, The Toro Company manufacturers a variety of equipment from lawnmowers to snowblowers for both residential and commercial customers.
A properly maintained Toro walk-behind lawnmower may last ten to twelve years. And a Toro Zero-turn mower may last fifteen to twenty years. However, to realistically achieve this type of longevity a mower will require regular maintenance and must be stored indoors.
I have maintained a ton of Toro’s over the years and many of them are in the thirty-year plus range, I kid you not. So twenty years plus is very possible on both the Walk-behind Toro and the Zero-turn, but only if the proper care is taken.
Without proper maintenance and storage, a Toro lawnmower will have an expected lifespan of about five years.
So what type of care will make a Toro last twenty-plus years?
I cover exactly that in greater detail below but first, let’s take a look at what type of maintenance and repairs are typically required on A toro mower over a five-year period.
What Begins to Wear Out on Toro Mowers First?
If a Toro lawnmower is not properly maintained, then certain components and systems in the vehicle will begin to naturally break down. Here’s a look at what will last on a Toro lawnmower if it is not properly maintained.
First-year – No issues
Even if a Toro lawnmower is not maintained at all, there should be no issues with the product during its first year of operation. All components should continue to maintain their peak performance. That said I would encourage all new Toro owners to change their Toro engine oil after about ten hours of operation. It helps remove contaminants from the break-in period.
Regardless a mower should get at the very least an oil change and air filter cleaned out every season.
Second-year – Tires, Belts, and Hoses
Your Toro is still humming nicely but she’ll need a little extra care this season. In addition to an oil change and blade sharpening, your Toro mower should get a new spark plug, air filter, and fuel filter at the end of this season. You’ll need to run some belt inspections and check the cutting deck is level (zero-turn mowers)
In particular, it’s natural for tires to lose their pressure levels.
Third-year – Blades
If a Toro lawnmower is used heavily or you like to scalp the lawn, then it’s perfectly normal for the blade to become worn by the third year. This will cause issues when it comes to cutting and bagging. It’s also less efficient to cut with a blunt blade not to mention it damages your lawn. Dull blades tear the grass rather than cut it. The tearing action promotes disease and yellowing of the lawn.
As the mower got a full-service last season, it only requires an oil change, air filter cleanout, and carburetor bowl drain out. But the engine will require valve lash check and adjustment either this season or next depending on how she sounds.
Fourth-Year – Engine Components
By the end of this season, we’ll need to give her a complete service oil, spark plug, air filter, fuel filter, gas tank drain, carburetor bowl drain out. Blade sharpen and full inspection. Zero turns in particular will require an in-depth inspection of the belts.
While the drive belts generally last six to eight years the deck cutting belt may be close to needing replacing but as you can imagine this depends on how hard it’s been working.
A Zero-turn battery will if not maintained over the winter months begin to degrade and a battery may need replacing next year. Starter solenoids may begin to cause issues on the Zero-turn this season or next also.
Tips to Get the Most Life from a Toro Mower
30-year-old Customer Toro
If you want to get the longest possible lifespan from a Toro lawnmower and you now know twenty years plus is possible you’ll need to note the following:
A full tune-up every second year is advised. A full tune-up includes oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plug, fuel filter, inspection, blade sharpening, battery inspection, deck adjustment, tire pressure check, and clean down.
Be sure to clean the filter every twenty-five hours of operation and replace it every second season. The air filter is designed to prevent contaminants from entering the engine. While there are third-party filters available, it is highly recommended that you use OEM parts on your Toro. This video covers a tune-up for a walk-behind mower.
2). Add Fuel Stabilizer
Since a lawnmower is only used about once a week or once every two weeks, it is possible for the fuel to destabilize in the tank. That’s why it is important to include a fuel stabilizer in a Toro lawnmower. This will ensure proper operation over the long term and save you a ton of carburetor repairs. I covered mixing and adding gas stabilizers in this video.
3). Sharpen Blades
To promote healthy lawns and prevent unnecessary engine strain it is recommended that the Toro’s blades are sharpened every season or twice in the season if you mow more than twice a week. You can remove the blades yourself to sharpen them or you can hire a professional to get the job done. I’ve covered it here in this video.
4). Inspect Tires
Whether your Toro lawnmower has inflatable or non-inflatable tires, it is a good idea to inspect them once every two months to ensure that they are in proper working order. When it comes to inflatable tires, make sure that you check the air pressure.
5). Avoid Blade Strike
Be sure to check the lawn for debris or obstacles such as rocks, roots, masonry, toys, or any hard object that can encounter the blade. Impacts can damage the blade or destroy the engine.
6). Keep Mower Clean
Be sure to clean the exterior of the lawnmower but pay particular attention to the deck area. Wherever you have dried grass you have the possibility for corrosion. Decaying grass produces acid which combined with the moisture trapped in the grass creates the perfect conditions for rust. And rust kills more mowers than anything else.
Replacement decks are available but they are expensive, a little cleaning, especially before the winter hibernation really does prolong the life of a Toro. This video covers a few hacks for preventing deck rot.
More damage is done over the idle winter months than at any other time of the year. You have already learned the need to keep decaying grass away from the metal deck. Here are a few other top winterizing tips that will help your Toro go the distance.
- Thoroughly clean the mower
- Store indoors
- Coat mower with Teflon or WD40 to repel moisture
- Add gas stabilizer
- Use a battery maintainer (Zero-turn)
- Cover with a breathable sheet
I’ve covered the whole process here in the winterizing video.
Top Toro Lawnmower Models
If you are in the market for a Toro lawnmower, then you will want to become familiar with some of the brand’s top lawnmower models. Here are three Toro lawnmowers to consider:
1). Toro 21. Inch Briggs and Stratton Walk Behind Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
The Briggs & Stratton line of walk-behind self-propelled mowers from Toro is the company’s most popular model. This value-priced, well-built lawnmower is available in 21-inch and 22-inch blade sizes. The engine’s power is rated at 190cc.
2). Toro Timemaster 30-inch Personal Pace Mower
If you are looking for a larger and more powerful walk-behind lawnmower, then you will want to take a look at the Toro Timemaster 30-inch Personal Pace Mower. This mower is ideal for larger lawns. This model’s engine is rated at 223cc.
3). Toro Timecutter Zero Turn Mower
While Toro is better known for its walk-behind lawn mowers, they do offer several ride-on models. One top Toro riding lawn mower is the Toro Timecutter Zero Turn Mower. This model has a 42-inch blade and its engine is rated at 24.5 horsepower.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.