Should I Buy a Fuel Injected or Carburetor Riding Lawn Mower?

Well, it has arrived. The first EFI riding lawn mower has been debuted by Cub Cadet. The XT-1 LT46″ EFI FAB is now at your local big box store such as Home Depot and your local Cub Cadet dealerships.

To view the EFI Version Cub Cadet EFI

With a price tag of $1999.00, it is $300 more than it’s carbureted version which is not a lot of money for the performance gains you will receive. Better starting, more power, better throttle response, better fuel economy and you won’t have plugged up carburetor jets to deal with anymore.

To view the carburetor version is the Cub Cadet XT-1 LT46″

EFI or Electronic Fuel Injection has been around since the 1980’s on automobiles and it has finally been installed on the riding mowers. It has been on larger Zero Turn mowers for some time now and will slowly trickle down to the smaller machines such as self-propelled and push mowers in time.

All of this is great, but it also adds a whole new level of complexity to the lawn mower and more expensive parts. When an EFI engine goes down, the days of changing a spark plug to fix it are long gone. In order to troubleshoot it, you must have expensive test cables and software to hook up to the engine harness and read the fault codes and engine data in real time. This software is not available to the general public and at this time is limited to the dealership level. What that means is you will have to take your mower to the dealership or have them come and haul it off for repairs.

Here is the bad news. In the good old days of the carburetor, if the fuel pump was bad and needed replaced, you could get away with a $30 fuel pump plus labor bill and be on your way. With EFI there will be diagnostic time that will be billed, labor and of course parts to replaced. For instance if just the fuel pump goes out on your EFI machine, you are looking at a $200 just for the fuel pump part. EFI parts are expensive compared to a carbureted machine.

And there are also many different parts to an EFI system. You have a computer, an oxygen sensor, fuel pump, fuel injectors, high pressure fuel lines and a variety of sensors on the engine to monitor it’s condition. Again, these are all expensive parts to replace and if one of them goes bad, it affects the entire engine and can easily shut it down.

Fuel Injection is not going away and the more the EPA pushes for more air quality standards on small engines, the faster implementation will roll out. You can still buy many machines with a carburetor on them and that will last for some time but not forever. Parts for carbureted mowers will be available for a good while as well.

The question to consider is this. Do I have the money to pay for an expensive repair on an EFI equipped riding lawn mower or should I buy one with a carburetor and still be able to work on it and not have as expensive repairs if it breaks down?

Then dig in and do your research on these two popular websites:

Consumer Reports

Popular Mechanics and then enter your mower info in the search area.

And after you do your research and check the reviews, then you can make an informed decision on should I buy a fuel injected or carburetor riding lawn mower.