How To Fix A Lawnmower: 5 Common Problems

Repair your lawnmower at home with STABIL and these 5 small engine repair tips. Lawnmower won’t start? While some lawnmower problems are preventable, others are inevitable.

It is important to learn how the mower works and how to fix a lawnmower at home. Always consult the owner’s manual for any mower before attempting repairs at home. If the mower is under warranty, consult the manufacturer before trying to figure out how to fix a lawnmower at home.

5 Common Problems And Lawnmower Troubleshooting Tips

Fortunately, it is easy to learn small engine repair and basic lawnmower repair when it comes to simple issues. Most problems can be remedied with a few tools, replacement lawnmower parts and patience. To save money, always use these lawn mower repair tips for fixing a lawnmower at home before running out to buy a new mower.

1. The Starter Rope Is Stuck Or Is Hard To Pull

This problem is usually caused by the engagement of the engine flywheel brake. Check to see if the flywheel brake is pressing against the handle before pulling the rope again. When the flywheel brake is not the issue and the problem persists, check the lawnmower blade.

A rope that is stuck or hard to pull may be caused by the blade dragging on the ground or by clippings getting stuck to the blade. To address this issue, place the mower on a hard surface. Make sure the engine is shut off and the spark plug wire is not engaged. Carefully clean the bottom side of the blade to remove any clippings or dirt, put the mower back into position and try pulling the cord again. If the problem persists, one or more lawnmower parts may not be functioning correctly and will need to be repaired. Consult the owner’s manual or search online for repair guides for the specific model and brand of mower.

2. The Lawnmower Loses Power While Moving

At some point in time, nearly every lawnmower owner will be pushing the mower along and suddenly hear it sputter as the engine stops.

  • One of the most common causes is a dirty filter. Use the owner’s manual to determine where the filter is. Remove the filter and clean it. If the filter is very dirty it may need to be replaced. This is one of the most inexpensive lawnmower parts to replace.
  • If the filter is not the issue, compare the height of the grass to the mower’s cutting height setting. If the grass is tall, adjust the cutting height accordingly.
  • Another way to fix lawn mower power issues is to clean the blade. Refer to the owner’s manual and use the manufacturers instructions to clean the mower blade.
  • If this does not fix the issue, check the spark plug. Many people are able to quickly repair their lawn mowers by cleaning or replacing a spark plug. Spark plugs are also affordable mower parts that are sold online or in home improvement stores.

3. The Lawnmower Starts Smoking

Prevent lawnmore repairs. Be sure to use STABIL 360 Performance Small Engine Fuel Stabilizer regularly. This is one of the most startling issues to encounter – most people assume that the engine is about to die or blow up. However, this problem is usually not very serious. The engine often smokes when the chamber that holds oil is too full. Check the chamber to see if this is the issue. Another problem may be a leak in the oil chamber. If the mower leans to one side while mowing on a slope, the oil may leak out onto the muffler and cause the smoking. When the mower’s engine is off and has cooled, inspect the oil chamber area for leaks. The issue may be that the cap is not on tight enough. If the part must be replaced, it may be easier to look for the part online than to search for it in stores.

In rarer cases, the smoke may be a sign of a serious issue. If the smoke is white or very light in color and the mower does not run continuously, it is time to have a professional repair company look at the mower.

4. The Lawnmower Will Not Start

The first step in learning to repair lawn mower starting issues is to check the gas tank. An empty gas tank is the most common cause of a lawnmower not starting. Mower owners who are diligent about keeping their tanks full should still check the tank to see if there is a leak. If the tank is empty but should not be, inspect the outside of the tank for leaks. Replacement tanks can be found using an online lawnmower parts site.

Remember, in order to keep your fuel fresh if you’re going to be storing your lawnmower, use STA-BIL® Storage. It will keep your fuel fresh for 12 months and help protect the fuel tank from the effects of ethanol gas. Also, if there is a shut off valve for the gas lines, by all means use it.

Using STABIL Storage for outdoor power equipment helps prevent small engine and lawnmower repairs in the spring and summer. If the gas tank is not the issue because the mower runs on a battery, check the battery for signs of damage. Lawnmower batteries may also lose their ability to hold a charge as they age. Look for replacement lawnmower batteries if the battery needs to be replaced. Lawnmower batteries vary in price depending on the brand and model of mower.

Another important step in learning how to fix a lawnmower that will not start is checking the spark plugs. If they are dirty, clean them thoroughly. Reconnect them if they are loose. Old spark plugs should be replaced with new ones. If the fuel is not getting to the engine, knock on the carburetor’s side to help the gas flow again. If this does not fix lawn mower issues of this nature, look for a new fuel filter online.

5. The Lawnmower Loses Speed

When a lawnmower slows down considerably, the issue is usually a dislocated or damaged drive belt. This part is located in the motor casing. Consult the owner’s manual to verify the location. With the mower turned off, inspect the drive belt. If the belt is loose but not damaged, reattach it. If it is damaged, replacement belts are usually easy to find online from a lawnmower parts site. A new belt should repair lawn mower issues of this type. If the lawnmower runs on batteries, check the battery. Some lawnmower batteries may cause this issue if they malfunction, however, it is not common for lawnmower batteries to slow a mower’s speed.

How To Prevent Lawnmower Problems

Knowing how to repair a lawnmower at home saves time and money. The easiest way to avoid frequent problems is to maintain the mower. Follow these simple tips to keep the mower in good condition:

– Always use the correct type of replacement lawnmower parts.
– Clean the blade regularly. Make sure to pull the plug so there is no chance that the blades can move while you’re cleaning them.
– Oil any moving parts when needed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
– Change the oil as recommended.
– Use the correct type of fuel.
– Recharge lawnmower batteries according to instructions but avoid overcharging them.
– Store the mower in a cool, dry and covered space when it is not in use.
– Have the mower serviced as recommended by the manufacturer or warranty.

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2 Comments
  • lawnmower sputters when level with ground.If deck is raised by pushing down on lawnmower handle motor regains speed.what could be possible solution to this problem.has full tank of gas.

    • There are many reasons as to why this may be happening. From trying to cut grass that may be too tall to mechanical failure. Before taking it to a mechanic, I would recommend inspecting the blade, filter, making sure that belt is the right size or in good shape, check the safety switch (if any), and see if there is any damage that may be visible.