Most of my life I have avoided diving too deeply into things mechanical, at least when it comes to household chores. Mowing the lawn is such a chore. When I bought my first house, I was given a hand-me-down push mower. It was very hard to push and did not cut very well. In hindsight, I think the previous owner had also followed the ten year maintenance rule of thumb. Since then, I have had a series of lawnmowers that each ran for 8-10 years with no maintenance.
No surprise, then, when my ten year old gas mower failed to start last week. My first thought was to buy a replacement. But it is still early in the summer and hard to find a good sale. Perhaps, I thought, I can fix this thing and at least use it for a few more months. I dug out the manual.