How To Troubleshoot Lawn Mower Starting Problems

There are a variety of lawn mowers with different starting sequences, but the most troublesome have spring starters. If a lawn mower is no longer working, then it is probably a problem with the starter.

Problem solving is a quick and easy process that requires moderate knowledge of the skills to do it yourself. It can be achieved by following a logical sequence of steps.

Step 1 – Remove the rope

Put on the gloves and lay the mower on a large sheet. Pull the mower cord or cord, if it is damaged it will need to be replaced as it is vitally important to the starting sequence. If the rope or cable is not removed to the mower, the problem is likely spring. Remove the upper part of the mower to facilitate access to the working parts. Keep it in a safe place, as you will have to fix it again when you are done.


Step 2 – Replace the rope

Replacing the starter rope is a very simple and quick process. Make sure the old one is completely unbuttoned and removed. Take the spare rope and use the snap fittings to attach the rope to the spool. The old rope would have originally been tied or wound around the spool. Any good hardware store will explain the process when selling a new starter rope and can offer advice on the best rope to buy a specific lawn mower.

Step 3 – Examine the starter motor

Take the screwdriver and unscrew the main starting block from the mower. It should only be held in place with four or six screws. Once unzipped, just flip it over. Don’t worry about the starter rope or springs as these will stay in place. Remember to be polite, as this is the most integral part of the mower and the part that always turns it on.

Step 4 – Lubricate

Take the lubricant and apply it to the center spool. This can be easily identified as it will be the spool that holds the starter rope. Be generous with the lubricant and after application gently pull on the rope and make sure the starter pulls on the rope again. Flip the starter over and screw it back into place using the screws. Wipe up any excessive spills with an old rag to avoid possible slipping.

Step 5 – Check the springs

If the starter rope still won’t retract, the problem is most likely a bad spring. The springs are tightly tight, so removing them personally would be a bad idea. If this work is done incorrectly, the spring can trip and fly straight into the face, causing serious injury. If the starter motor does not start due to a spring problem, it is advisable to call in a professional engineer to come change the springs.

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