I have a 2005 John Deere 115 19 HP automatic riding mower. After leaving it in the garage all winter, I started the mower, drove it about 50 yards, and engaged the blade. It went about 20 feet, made a loud boom, and has not started since.
I had a lawn mower repair guy come out who said that the engine was "gone". He didn't do really anything as far as I could tell other than listen to it and spin the top of the engine. He said the engine shouldn't spin like that.
He said he would do research and see about options on a replacement. He said it was going to be $450.00 US for a "Short Block", and he would charge an additional $200 US for labor. He said that he would just bolt my existing parts (starter, muffler, etc.) to the short block and it would be fixed.
My question is whether or not I should put $650.00 US into a John Deere mower which is almost 10 years old and that I paid about 1,300.00 US for when I bought it brand new. As far as I can tell, it will cost me about $1800.00 US for a similar replacement. I'm really not sure if this "short block" solution is common and a good option.
Is it worth the repair costs, or should I just buy a new one?