Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) self propel motor failure & repair report

After four months of ownership, around 40 hours of usage, the self propel motor unit on my Ego 21″ Self-propelled electric lawnmower (Model LM2100SP) failed. Before this failure I was very happy with its performance, and although it was repaired under warranty, the procedure took longer than I think was reasonable.

Ever since I purchased the mower, I have been monitoring the Ego community forums, and I knew that reaching a customer support representative would sometimes take extended hold times, and I had heard that taking a mower to Home Depot for repair could be an extended procedure, so when my self propel motor failed, I was relatively well prepared on how to handle the situation.

August 29th, 2017 – The self propel motor fails. I finish mowing my front lawn pushing the mower by hand (which makes me realize that paying extra for the model with the self propel motor was the right choice.)

August 30th, 2017 Time to call customer support. After re-charging the battery, and letting the mower sit overnight to cool, I tested it again (yep, still no motion) and then called Ego customer support early in the morning (to avoid a long wait on hold.). I only had to wait a few minutes on hold, and then a helpful customer support representative walked me through a few simple questions (yes, my mower blade would turn on and spin, so the battery was good, and the folding handle interlocks were correctly latched, etc…) to verify that the drive motor had actually failed.  After that, she “made a note in my file” and told me to take it to Home Depot.

What I wish she had told me: 1. Home depot will charge you a $20 deposit, just to look at the mower (and you authorize up to $150 worth of repairs upon drop-off). They will refund this deposit to you if the work is covered under warranty (mine was).  2. You can only take the mower to a Home Depot that has a tool rental / repair clinic (call first to check). 3. The Home Depot repair clinic doesn’t have their own EGO batteries for testing, so be sure to leave your battery in the mower. [This makes sense in hindsight, but I was hesitant to leave 7.5 AH battery that costs $400 to replace at HD, so this required me to make a second trip back to HD with the battery a few days later.]

Also, after talking with her I received an email from Ego that stated my “case had been closed” (this is the case associated with the phone call to Ego only…but the wording of the message didn’t inspire confidence.)

Because I had heard horror stories about the Home Depot repair clinic taking a long time to repair EGO mowers, I made sure I called them every week to check on the status of my mower, just to make sure it hadn’t fallen into any cracks. I also posted an update every Monday on the ego customer forums, which may have also helped things behind the scenes.

Sep 18th 2017: They are still checking on the mower, but the HD technician felt that they could repair it locally instead of shipping the mower to Atlanta.

Sep 25th 2017: In progress, waiting on a part which usually takes a week or two (presumably the motor/gearbox unit).

October 2nd 2017: HD is still waiting on the part.  [After this update to the Ego community forum, April from EGO said that they were tracking the shipment and that the part should be arriving at the HD store within a few days.]

October 9th 2017: HD claims to still be waiting on the part.  [I mentioned this on the Ego community forum.]

Finally, on Thursday night (Oct 11th), Home Depot calls me to tell me the mower is ready for pickup. Because the home depot with the repair clinic  is 12 miles away from me, I delay pickup until Saturday.

So, it took Home Depot / Ego about five weeks to get my mower repaired, and this was with me keeping on top of Home Depot and making sure that Ego knew what was happening at each step. Reading several other reports on the ego community forum makes me believe that my experience was actually on the faster side of things, as 8-10 week delays are not unheard of if the mower gets shipped to Atlanta for repairs.  I paid $180 to a lawncare company and took a break from mowing my yard, but there are at least three other options to keep mowing if you find yourself in this situation.

Take advantage of Home Depot’s 90 day return policy

Many others in the Ego forums have bought another Ego lawnmower and used it while theirs was in for repair, returning it under HD’s 90 day return policy once their mower was repaired. I felt that this action would be ethically questionable, but after waiting five weeks for HD to repair my mower, my ethical resolve is beginning to weaken, and should the mower fail again, I will seriously consider this option.

Buy a second mower

I did consider buying a second Ego mower (and keeping it), mostly as a way to purchase a second 7.5 Ah battery (it is almost as cheap to buy the battery and mower together as to buy just the battery, plus you get a “hot spare” mower). Other than the fact that you have to store the 2nd mower, this does have certain advantages. If one mower fails, you can just switch over to using the second mower while the first is in for repair. And, you get the advantage of having twice as many batteries and chargers.  Unfortunately,  at the time Home Depot was not offering the same $50 discount on the mower as when I initially purchased mine, otherwise I may have done this.  [My wife points out the questionable logic of using the failure of a product to justify the purchase of a duplicate of the same product…]

Burn hydrocarbons

Of course, you could also buy a cheap used gas mower and several gallons of gas for less than the $180 that I paid for lawn care service, and probably be able to resell it at almost the same price you paid when finished.

Final Recommendation

Due to the fact that my self propel motor failed after 4 months of ownership, combined with a 5 week repair time, I can’t recommend the EGO electric mower to everyone. At least with a gas mower your options for repair are numerous and much faster. However, if you have decided that you will be going with an electric mower, I still think that the Ego line has the best performance. (I have also posted a review of the mower.) I also own the hand-held leaf blower and chainsaw from their Power+ line, and have been quite happy with them.

Update:
The new self propel unit installed by Home Depot  failed again (after 9 more months of usage) but I’m much happier with how Ego handled the warranty repair (via a direct replacement), which you can read about here.

2nd Update: Ego has started to produce updated 21″ SP models that have a new self propel unit that matches the one found in their dual battery (premium) mowers. Look for a picture of a phone on the box (see this video for details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtLkT5X4MQw )

3rd Update: My self propel unit failed a 3rd time, but this time the replacement I got looks different, so I think I may have the new model now!

43 thoughts on “Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) self propel motor failure & repair report

  1. Pingback: Ego 21″ Self Propelled 56 volt Power plus lawnmower review | Jay's Technical Talk

  2. Outstanding description of the same problem that just happened to me. I will follow his advise. Fortunately I’ve keep my old Honda mower, that can limp along until the Ego 21 is repaired.

    thank you so much, great description and advise.

  3. Good summation–in my case I was able to talk HD into swapping out the broken mower for a new one. I have not tried to the new one yet-hopefully it will be fine.

  4. Did you happen to notice any “warning signs” before the motor failed? I purchased mine in June of 2017, used it several times during the summer/early fall 2017 mowing season, pulled it out for the first mow of 2018 in early May, and noticed that the motor sounds a bit off, not sure how to describe the sound, but it seems to me like it needs some grease/oil in the gears, like they’re rusty or something. (sorry, wish I were better with words). Also, it seems to run slower (in terms of movement, the blade seems no different than when it was new.) Could be nothing, or my imagination, but I feel if I keep using it, it will soon fail completely, and that “feeling” led me to search to see if others had experienced the same issues.

    • I don’t remember any warning signs before it stopped working. It was powering along fine, I released the handle and pivoted the mower to a new direction, and when I pushed it back in nothing happened. It MIGHT have slowed down right near the end before I released the handle, but if it did it was only for a second before the total failure.

  5. I have some input on this thread that, as a Home Depot repair technician can help shed some light on the repair procedures. Some repairs can take as little as a single day, while others can take weeks or even months. The reason? We have a “batting order” that we must follow concerning all repairs in the store. In the tool rental department, we have to work on fleet (rental) equipment first, customer-owned equipment comes next, and finally, store-owned (returned equipment). There are a million factors that can determine your repair time, not just a few but I will list some common ones. If you bring something in for repair during a “busy” season, chances are there are a lot of fleet/rental units that need repaired before your unit can even be touched. There may be several other customer owned units in for repair that were brought in before yours. Usually we try our very best to give you some sort of lead time as to when we will be able to evaluate your unit and, should the need arise, how long it might take if it has to be sent to the main repair center for extensive repairs. Most HD Tool Rentals only have 1 repair technician. This person is solely responsible for maintaining hundreds of fleet/rental units, as well as, customer owned and store owned units. It may not be the best situation for the customer at all times but we do our best to take care of them in the timeliest manner possible. We only charge $18.95 evaluation fee that is refunded if the tool is covered under warranty. The maximum repair limit without contacting customers for approval is $100, not $150 as stated above. I just wanted to give a little further insight as to the repair process because I feel the original poster was a bit misleading and did not know all of the factors involved in a single repair. As for mowers, I would personally never buy an electric mower period. The best buys are anything with a Honda engine! Disclaimer: NOTHING SAID HERE REPRESENTS THE HOME DEPOT

    • Thanks for your explanatory comment. I’m sure that the service technicians work hard and do good work given the constraints they are under. (I don’t believe I ever talked with the actual Tech, just the front desk guys.) I’m relatively sure that the paperwork I signed (Orlando FL) said up to $150 without approval, but I could be mistaken and perhaps it was only $100.

      • I am also a repair tech at the home depot, in Golden, Colorado, and while I am sure not all Home Depot’s do this, at my store, we don’t agree with the policy of you authorizing $100 at the time of check in, so we cross that part out, and call everyone with the estimate before ordering any parts.

  6. Well, I can’t help but add my experience(s) as well. My self propel motoer died after just 6 lawn mowing uses. It gave no hint of failure, it was working fine one second and the next nothing. It required a 2.5 hr. wait for Ego cust. srvc. to call back. I had to take it to a HD with tool rental/repair. I dropped it off and two weeks later called to find out the good/bad news. They had to send it out to AZ for repair and it left on 5/30. On 6/28, I called the HD repair number Ego provided to check on it. “Still in transit” I was told! How can it be still in transit for 4 weeks I asked? I was to find out the next day that it had been lost in transit and that I was to be given a HD money card for the amount paid. The good news is that it’s now $100 less than I paid. The bad news is that I have to decide whether it’s a really bad mower or my typical consumer karma at work. Also, I’d put a high-lift bagging blade on it for $20 and it was on it when I turned it in. They are supposed to compensate me but we’ll see.
    Also, the warranty manager at HD in Atlanta, GA., admitted that they need to find a better way to keep track of these when they ship them for repair! Ya think!!
    So, now I ave to decide……..give it another try or take my $$ and buy a Honda.

  7. I had a similar situation with a couple of twists – My complaint (albeit not as well documented):
    After one season of satisfactory performance, the throttle on my self propelled mower is stuck at 100%. I have a hilly yard and this issue results in an unevenly mowed lawn and a poor overall mowing experience. When I first called EGO, I was told to take it into Home Depot for service and warned by EGO rep that I may be told by HD that it may be 4-6 weeks. He said that it usually would not actually take this long and I should call EGO back if HD holds to that timeline. When I called back in to EGO, I was told that 4-6 weeks is an accurate estimation and expectation of service timeline. When I complained about experience and service lead time, I was told my case would be “escalated” to which I received a confirmation email. I subsequently received a call from HD saying that they were not equipped to fix the issue and my mower would need to be sent out of state where I would now have to wait 9 weeks to get my mower back. I’ve had very few issues w/my previous mowers and when I did, had reasonable repair lead times. What do I do for nine weeks? I didn’t pay $500 for a mower to pay someone else to cut my lawn. I feel that if EGO is going to sell a product nationally, there should be an adequate service network in place.
    Post update: when I picked up my (not repaired) lawn mower, The console was not properly screwed back in and as a result of not noticing this right away, I lost at least one screw. I submitted this review on EGO’s community website which, after EGO reviewed and required editing, was accepted, confirmed and subsequently removed. Also, although I have a case # and documentation, my account is showing no cases when I log in.

  8. Pingback: Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) 2nd self propel motor failure & repair report | Jay's Technical Talk

  9. Hello all.
    I purchased a Power+ 21″ Self-Propelled Mower with 7.5Ah battery and rapid charger
    Product:
    NLM04170317392
    and, the same thing. worked for a season then the self-propelled started to only work in slow mode. I did all the recommended lubrication, battery’s (I have 2) both work in my other EGO products and both draw the same results in the mower.
    EGO said to bring it back to Home Depot for repair. I did. After paying the next door neighbor over a $120 to mow my lawn for 6 weeks. Yes, 6 weeks!
    The mower came back still not repaired. Same issue. This is nuts. I’m on hold with them now for 26 minutes so far. I’ll keep you updated

  10. Update from May 28th 2019 at 8:52 am…..

    So I had EGO on the phone and explained the issue AND the lack of repair issue I had at Home Depot. They checked out out while I was on hold then came back and said the were sending me out a new mower. Said I should have it within a week to 10 days.

    I’m satisfied with EGO.

  11. I’ve had my EGO Self-propelled mower for a year now and the self-propelled function is stuck on the fastest speed. After hearing the nightmares of trying to get it fixed I will probably just live with it and push it. Too bad though because it really is a nice mower and better than gas.

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I use the fastest speed for my lawn (it’s a big lawn) but agree that it’s a quite brisk walk and some people may not want that much exercise! My suspicion is the issue is with the sensor in the handle of the mower (or a broken wire?) and it might be easier to fix than a full Self Propel unit failure. You may consider taking it in for repair in the winter when it’s not the mowing season depending upon your location.

  12. Pingback: Ego 21″ mower (LM2100SP) 3rd self propel motor failure & repair report | Jay's Technical Talk

  13. Same experience as the first gentleman so expertly described. Took mower to HD after continued failure to start (50 mile round trip) . . Had for 4 weeks , HD statement found nothing wrong. Got it home….did not start. Called ego support and to their credit sent me new mower . Love product ,but something must be done for better repair service ….more locations and less time for repair. Can’t have a mower down for 6-8/weeks at height of cutting season. Control panel Parts must be more durable. If replacement mower does not give me at least three years , I am done

    • I am unaware of any 3rd parties that sell Ego replacement parts, but I believe they do have some authorized service centers. I would suggest you contact Ego customer support directly to ask about parts availability.

  14. After reading the above comments, I’m not even going to try. It’s going to the curb and going back to gas. I’m stuck on slow speed and don’t have time for this crap. I had reservations about it when I went to purchase the mower. Well, lesson learned. Anybody can work on a gas mower!!

  15. I bought a reconditioned Ego 21″ self propelled 3 weeks ago I cannot get through to customer service because of the corona virus , the self propelled will only work on high speed no matter where I put the speed lever ( slow or fast ) can anyone help or should I just return the mower.

  16. I’m an elderly lady who thought the self propelled Ego mower would be ideal so I bought it last week. It starts no problem but the blade does not spin. After reading all these complaints, I’m returning it today. I don’t even want to try and troubleshoot then have the same issue down the road.

  17. Hi,
    I just wonder, if the self propell break, you can still push it right? So if some one doesn’t want to go to process of fixing the self propell , they can use it till the cutting season over then send it off.
    Is it possible?

    • Yes, the SP model works just fine as a push mower even when the self propel feature fails (it doesn’t really add extra drag, just doesn’t move the mower…) I’ve mowed my lawn a few times in “push only mode” which made me really appreciate the self propel feature ;>

  18. I wish I had read this before buying mine. I just failed today and is out of warranty. So I embark on the same course as you all. Wish me luck. I have been very happy up to this point with this mower and I got is so that I could lower my carbon footprint. So now I have to find someone to mow my yard in the meantime. Thank you for a very concise and thorough description of your experiences.

  19. Self propel feature went out last mow and also out of warranty. I’m not going to bother having it fixed base on others experience. Back to a gas model.

  20. I’m in the same boat. The self propel stopped propelling today, and this after really liking the mower. I just got it in March, and it is a great mower when it goes. I managed to finish the last bit of the yard by pushing the mower, but I’m too old and it’s too hot out there to push the thing. It is lighter than my last gas self-propelled mower, but not light enough for an old guy like me. I called the helpline number but it just went to a recording.

  21. Update: EGO returned my call today. They listened to the problem and are shipping me a replacement mower. That is about as good as it can get.

  22. Just made the call to EGO and while waiting for call back found this blog post. My LM2100SP is stuck on slow speed and no throttle control when engaged. I always thought this self propelled drive felt (and looked) kind of flimsy. Glad I went through the hassle of registering all my EGO stuff.

    • That is probably an issue with the handle based speed control lever, and not the self propel unit itself. But it will require a service call to fix….

      • I left a call back request and they didn’t call back. I took the screws out the handle to see if I could see anything obvious. The green plastic handle is mating up with the rheostat ok and even when I turn the rheostat directly by hand the speed won’t change. I didn’t want to get too crazy unsoldering the rheostat to check it because what’s the point if I can’t get parts. I don’t like how this is going with this delay in even reaching customer service. Supposedly EGO is going to Lowe’s and what am I supposed to do if I got it at HD? I paid this crazy price for this mower and I only have used it for where the lawn tractor can’t get. So it’s very lightly used. Oh boy.

        • Call early in the day and wait on hold, don’t trust the callback option. (May be a break in the wire, but if it’s under warranty, you want them to fix it for you….)

          • Still can’t reach them. But I noticed if I retract the handle to a certain spot, I have full control of speed. Fully extended slow only. As I push handle about halfway down, I have full control. Even at it’s minimum. I’d say there is a wire either pinched or broken inside the insulation. When I took the upper console apart yesterday, I could see how the insulation looks pinched from the slit that’s cut out to stow the wire. But it didn’t look like it would have been cut all the way through. I’m thinking it’s in the wiremold or at the junction in the middle of the handle assy.

          • It’s in the wiremold or whatever the black plastic sheathing is called. When I bend it around the speed works as it should. And now, the blades won’t turn. This is pissing me off.

  23. Out of the clear blue, I had the same problem come up today while mowing … all of a sudden the mower would go so full speed and sometimes come back to the set point. The mower is about 4 years old and has been flawless up to this point. After reviewing this thread, I took the upper console apart and found the conductors running across the width of it to the potentiometer about as tight as a banjo string. Everything appeared intact but seriously stressed. I spliced in some additional conductor on the three wires but that did not relieve the problem. As stated by JPD, positioning the collapsible handle in certain spots seemed to remedy the problem. I concur that probably one of the three small conductor that go to the potentiometer is most likely broken someplace in the wiring harness and finding the “sweet spot” on the handle position allows for continuity to be restored in that conductor. I also disassembled the interlock switch assembly at the point where the handle collapses. Nothing was obviously cut or broken but the two multi wire conductors had some very dramatic dents in them due to the tight space and lack of any slack.

    Rather that attempt to replace the entire wiring harness, I elected to fully extend the handle and then securely tie wrap the wiring harness to the handle arm. It now runs at the set speed and the speed is fully controllable, at least for now. It is a bit of an inconvenience to have to store the mower with the handle extended but I can handle that much better than a runaway speed control!

    We will see how long this fix holds up. I have always been a little skeptical of the rather extreme flexing of the wiring harness that has to occur when collapsing the handle.

  24. Another update: So the replacement mower got here on 5 August 2020, only 6 days after talking to them. I was pleased. They said to call them so they could schedule the return pickup, which I did, and I left a message. Then, after a couple of days, to expedite the process, I went ahead and called FedEx to schedule the pickup myself. I didn’t like having that giant package sitting around on the porch. It was picked up on the 11th, so I have a replacement mower and I hope it works longer. Of course, this is August in Texas and it is going to be 101°F today…the grass isn’t growing and I’m not mowing.

  25. I took off the handle cover and a small spring jumped out at me. I think it goes under the green button but I’m not sure. Anybody have the manual. It’s NOT the spring that’s on the self-propel engage. Thanks!!

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