In response to the made in China comment. On my third try at trying to purchase a craftsman weed whacker earlier this year (3-weed whackers broke in a matter of 5-days), I was informed by the Lawn & Garden manager at Sears in Gurnee Il, that most craftsman lawn & garden equipment is assembled in China. Perhaps he was wrong, but the quality of craftsman lawn & garden products seems to have declined exponentially in the last few years and it would be surprising to me if he was wrong. I would not buy a craftsman worm drive saw this past fall because not only was it made in China, it had a “NEW,” “hypotonic” way of lubricating & cooling the saw . . no oil needed. A closed system that is supposed to last . . sort of like that K46BA transaxle in my tractor that doesn’t need maintenance . . but does. I have now learned that these closed system’s only guarantee is that you are guaranteed you will buying a new one sooner rather than later. I do nothing with my tractor that isn’t called for in the operating instructions. Your question seems to indicate that if you are working the tractor hard, then these issues are explainable. However, I would address that by suggesting if the sales person at Sears had suggested that the tractor, even though advertised as a step above the usual residential tractor in quality and durability, might breakdown repeatedly over the course of 3-years if used “hard” while cutting less than an acre of grass, I might not have wanted to buy it. I’m just saying. Also, this was not my first rodeo, in that I have owned more than one craftsman tractor, my last one was 12-years old. Believe me, it pains me to see this kind of quality holding the craftsman name plate. I have a 27-year old Kenmore washing machine, but I fear I will never again be able to count on the craftsman & kenmore name like I used to. At this time, if someone is choosing to buy a craftsman lawn & garden gas operated implement, then they better set up a parts account right away. Based on poor design and cheap plastic parts, you will be breaking and losing parts before you know it. Lastly, it probably is not coincidental that Sears is no longer producing this version of the “higher quality than normal” residential tractor. The PYT (Professional Lawn Tractor) turned into the PGT (Professional Garden Tractor), and then it turned into the NAT (No-longer Available Tractor) . . perhaps it did not live up to its billing.