I purchased a self propelled Sears Craftsman lawn mower one years ago. That means, this is the second season I have used it. I paid $300 for this mower.
It is a model # 917.377842, 6.5HP Honda engine, and "features" easy height adjustment with one lever each for the front and back wheels (2 levers).
The steel levers slip into slots on the aluminum deck (can you see this train wreck coming?). Thus, after 1 1/2 seasons of adjusting the wheels for various conditions (wet - mow low, dry - mow high), the freaking levers no longer say in the aluminum slots because (are you listening, sears engineers?), steel tends to wear away aluminum, and now the slots are not able to contain the levers and the mower is constantly falling to it's lowest position, scalps the lawn, and what a mess that makes.
Guess what? One year warranty! The "helpful" sears service associate suggested I buy an extended warranty for this mower. The price? $ 300!
So, just into the second season, the options are to either buy a complete new deck (which will probably last another season or so), or buy a new mower.
I won't be buying anything from sears (it doesn't deserve capitalization) and now I realize that the name "craftsman" is Chinese for "cheap."
Too soon old, too late smart.
Monetary Loss: $300.