LM2100SP Self Propelled gearbox/transmission LOUDER than when new

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We bought the LM2100SP back in late April of 2019 along with a trimmer, edger, and blower for all our Florida lawn care needs.  Up until recently the mower has developed a very noisy transmission.  I hadn't used the mower for a few weeks (wife mowed the lawn) but when I took it out yesterday I noticed the self propelled action seemed a lot louder and "gravellier" sounding, as if the gearbox is failing.  In my experience, any time a gearbox gets louder is cause for alarm.  I called Ego Service (Saturday on Labor Day weekend, thank you for the call back) and she initiated the warranty at my local Home Depot, which I'll bring it in today.  What I'm disappointed about is we're only about 10-12 mows total on this mower and it's already failing.  I'm also not looking forward to paying a lawn service a few hundred bucks to take care of my lawn while HD is conducting the repair.  Based on internet research they'll have it for over a month.  Has anyone else had this issue?  I've also discovered Ego recently changed the gearbox on the newer model LM2012SP (the one with the iPhone on the box).  This tells me there's a problem with the old one.  I'll update this thread with my experience as things progress.  
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Matt

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Posted 2 months ago

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Oregon Mike, Champion

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Official Response
Another thing that's been discussed here on the forum is you go buy another mower. You then have up to 90 days to use it before you need to return it to HD. Return it to HD within the 90 days for a refund and you've gotten a free loaner while your mower was out for repair. 
Food for thought.
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Prairiedog

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Don't over think the cause. Companies are always innovating and changing products to make them what they think is *better* not just to correct defects. Besides, there are a million reasons on the user side why it could break or fail. Turning wrong could have stripped the gears, mowing over an obstacle could have thrown the alignment off, mice could have chewed through something, falling or tipping over could have banged it up; heck floods, hurricanes, plagues of frogs are all threats to their well-being once they leave the safety of the factory. Do what Mike said. easy.
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MICHAEL D RIDDLE

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I have the very same problem. And after two weeks of noise the self propelled unit died.
I have been using mine as a push mower because of the pathetic turnaround time. I plan to return it at the end of the mowing season. I've also seen reports about updated drive units.
I’m pretty sure mice didn’t cause the problem. Very disappointed with the product.
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Prairiedog

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No, maybe not mice, but they can do wicked damage. They took out my vehicles and my ice mowers several times, and the reason I'm with Ego now. My point is a common cause of drive failure is mishandling turns or any number of user issues. My drives are both perfectly fine on my mowers after 3 years now. Not saying there wasn't a bad production lot out there, just saying just because there was an update doesn't mean every mower ever produced has a bad transmission which the OP implied.
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MICHAEL D RIDDLE

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Based on a lot of comments I would say that failure of the SP unit is a known fault. My mower was just about 18 months old when it failed.
(Edited)
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bloomz

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You're right Michael that it is the most common complaint here....but I'm quite certain that those problems represent a VERY TINY number of total users.
Do what Oregon Mike said, grab another one and return within 90 days - don't pay a lawn service.
(Edited)
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Matt

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Thanks for all the replies fellas.  It ain't mice, I assure you this.  I'm a mechanical engineer.  Not bragging here, just making a point that I understand a thing or two about mechanical systems.  When a differential gets hot and starts making noise after a short time, it's a mechanical failure within the allotted MTBF (mean time between failure) of the unit itself.  Every car has a differential.  In fact, tons of them all over the vehicle depending on type and make.  Do they start making noise after a few months since new?  

This differential says it's made by General Transmissions, and doesn't have any indicating marks for part number other than patent pending numbers.  There's numerical marks in the molding of the plastic indicating it was made in 9 or 10 of 2016.  And it's definitely a differential style drive.  Both wheels can spin independently without spinning the wheel on the opposite side, but if you spin the input shaft both wheels spin together.  Why this is required on walk behind mower is beyond me...  It's not like it matters if the inside wheel spins over the grass while turning.  Watch this video for more info:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOgoejxzF8c

I really like the idea of buying a new one, then returning it within the 90 days.  It's not the most ethical thing to do but Ego put me in this position.  
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Dave .

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I went several years with a noisy transmission.  Then one day it just quit so I took it to HD which sent it from Calif to Arizona for repair.  It came back about a month later not fixed.  Still grinding but it ran.  I called EGO which sent me a replacement mower in 7 days.  I see nothing unethical about getting a "loaner" from HD while the tortuously long repair process plays out.  There are a few high and mighty types who will argue that point but that's their hang-up.
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Matthew

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I think it is ethical, knowing the issue of time and season, I don’t see it unethical at all. If the mower worked like you need it to, and EGO/HD could get it fixed in shorter time you would not have to do it that way.
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bloomz

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You're absolutely right about that last paragraph.  If they had a service option to match the popularity of these products it would be different, but we all know being without a mower during mowing season for a month or more is not an option.  It's all up to them to expand their service centers, or not.  But "purchasing" a loaner is a good workaround.

One would really think they could put out a service manual and parts availability for the many mower repair shops that exist?  It can't be rocket science and would improve satisfaction by eliminating this ridiculous repair times that a few experience.  I believe that to be the only MAJOR complaint I've read repeatedly, and it is ridiculous to take so long.

This situation has apparently not gotten any better in the 3 years since I bought mine, luckily I haven't had to avail myself of it - yet.

But - looking forward to mowing my lawn today, and I never said that with my Gas mower.  And that's huge.
(Edited)
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Dave .

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I would have been HAPPY to repair my mower if EGO would have provided the parts.  I think it's ridiculous that instead of that, it had to be sent out of state for about a month, and to top it off, come back unrepaired.  Not only that, but mine came back with the battery light staying on whenever the battery was installed.
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bloomz

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So, even the repair station they use in Timbuktu isn't that good.

Ego is fully aware of this problem and have done nothing I know of about it in over 3 years.

I wonder if this situation has been reflected in the Home Depot glowing reviews?
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James White

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I can't even get EGO to call me back to discuss my problem or to know where to send it in warranty work.  Jim White
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szwoopp, Champion

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Their phone system went down yesterday. 
They were closed Monday for the holiday.

I am sure they are backed up and playing catch up right now.

Give them a chance - they usually do a great job and take good care of their customers.
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Matt

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Just wanted to give a quick update.  I'll be mowing the lawn one last time this weekend then bringing it to Home Depot for the warranty work.  For what it's worth, I've done a LOT more research on this topic.  The drive motor is what's making the noise, not the differential.  It's an 895 frame DC motor and gets 48 VDC at wide open self-propelled speeds.  Further research tells me there is no 48VDC rated 895 frame motors in the world. All the ones I could find are only 24VDC rated max.  This explains the premature failures, and also why only some people have the issue.  I walk fast when I mow the lawn so it's "throttle" is WFO.  If others walk slow the motor will last much longer.  

My Home Depot/Ego Warranty experience will dictate how I deal with mowing my lawn during the repairs.  I'll update after the drop off takes place.  
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szwoopp, Champion

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Do everything you can to convince your local repair department to handle the repair themselves and not send it off.  Good luck
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Matt

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Just wanted to update this.  Home Depot finally called me after four weeks and told me their tech couldn't tell what was wrong and they needed more information...

So, I explained to them the same thing that went into my initial report.  Now I get to see if it'll be another four weeks before I get the mower back.  

I tried doing the honorable thing by NOT buying their mower only to use it for a month and we went with a veteran owned lawn service but if I don't have my mower back in a week that's exactly what I'm going to do.  

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Matt

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Another Update:

I grew irritated that I didn't hear back from Home Depot so yesterday I just called them.  Apparently the tech now agrees the drive motor is failing and they're gonna replace it.  The problem is it's 10-15 days out from being in their hands, then add another week or so before the work is done, and a few days to ship it back to me.  

The problem here is I'm going on deployment in two weeks.  When this all started (over a month ago I dropped it off with HD)  I'd hoped it would be resolved by now.  My wife can't deal with this.  She can't pick the unit up from HD, and even if they helped her load it are they gonna follow her to our home to help unload it?  Not to mention, every week is $20 our of our income to have our lawn cared for...  

HD suggested I call EGO to explain the situation.  She said maybe they can expedite the drive motor so they can repair it sooner, or maybe they might even send us a new mower.  Either way, I'm calling them today to explain my concerns.