I bought a Toro LX460 in summer 2006 from Home Depot. After 8 hours use the mower belt fell off and when I went to replace it I found it was so rounded I could no longer tell the pulley engaging face. Home Depot refused to honor the warranty explaining that ‘a belt is a wear item’. I paid $120 dollars to replace the belt and a pulley sheave and mount that was bent apparently by their storefront display cable. I’m sorry folks, twigs don’t indent pulley sheaves like Home Depot also claimed!
When I got the mower back with assurances that it was fixed and tested I found the HD contract mechanic had tried to replace the tensioner spring with a screen door spring, had cross-threaded the spring mount bolts, left the retention stud and sleeve and washer on the deck along with his own wrenches (how bright is that?) He therefore could not possibly have ‘run tested it’ as claimed. I sent it back a second time with a Xerox of the LX460 deck parts diagram, the parts he left out and his own tools in a plastic bag and politely explained by note how to properly put it together.
I got back the mower with the hood keyed as he apparently took offense at being told how to do his job. The mower was still not fixed correctly. Having paid for the repair, I simply asked Home Depot to order the parts so I could fix it myself. After another six weeks’ wait I went back and they didn’t know who I even was or where the order forms went. I ordered the parts elsewhere and fixed it myself in spite of having paid so much to have the repair done for me.
The next spring, at only 16 hours (because I couldn’t use it nearly all summer) the carb began to smoke. I had to pay for a full rebuild and was told again that this is not warranty but ‘routine spring maintenance’. The belt again wore out. This time I scanned the Web and learned that Toro had a recall all along so I was able to get the second belt repair under warranty.
By now the rear tire was always flat, the cheap plastic parking brake would release unexpectedly, the trim around the hour meter fell off, the cheap paper strip to mark engine speed peeled, one headlight stopped working (a tricky repair since they use aluminum foil not metal for the reflector cage) and the underside of the plastic hood was abrading away due to lack of proper spacer mounts. The ‘quick-disconnect’ mower deck would fall off spontaneously so I had to drill through the mount studs and put clip pins through them to even be able to mow at all. The mower smoked black clouds on starting and used oil.
After eight trailer trips with my mower for the four major repairs the mower belt began to slip off again and the tensioner spring snapped off and so I did what I should have done all along – I took the mower to our farm mechanic out in the country. He showed me that the burning oil came from Toro not securing a vent tube into the muffler… some putty sealed and solved that. And he pointed out that Toro had used the cheapest belts possible hence the main drive belt had twenty major cracks by 100 hours use and their third replacement deck belt was already marginally serviceable.
He replaced all with high quality belts (wider, thicker and with more internal threads) and slimed the tires to stay inflated. Don’t deal with Home Depot (You can do it WITHOUT their help) and don’t deal with Toro for non-commercial products because they apparently lay awake at night thinking about how they can sell cheaper and cheaper made crap.