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Did you know the average lifespan of a lawnmower is only about three years? That is, unless your teenager uses it, grinds the blade into a stump, strips the transmission, and basically trashes the thing. Only a couple of months after purchase too!
That's what happened to me. Thank goodness it wasn't an expensive riding mower, but a "store brand special" push mower.
If you want to keep your mower lasting for years, regular maintenance is the key. Oh, and maybe not letting your teen mow the lawn for you. (But, then again, isn't that why you had them in the first place?)