Yard Work
5 min
Yard Work
5 min
February 23, 2021

5 Tips for Troubleshooting your Lawn Mower

Christian Huhn

One of the most essential pieces of landscaping equipment a homeowner can have is a lawn mower. To avoid any major setbacks or repairs to your lawn mower, make sure to read and understand the owner's manual, that should be provided during the initial purchase. However, having an understanding of small engine repairs will greatly help you with any potential challenges your lawn mower may present. To get the most out of your lawn mower, use these tips for fixing a lawn mower at home. 

Tip #1: The Starter Rope is not Working

This is one of the most common lawn mower problems homeowners face. This problem is usually caused by issues with the engine flywheel brake. Make sure you check to see if the flywheel brake is pressing against the handle before pulling the rope again. If starter rope is still not pulling properly, check the lawn mower blade. 

Many times the starter rope is stuck because the lawn mower blade is dragging on the ground or by the clippings getting stuck in the blade. To fix this yourself, place the lawn mower on a hard, even surface (make sure the mower is off and the spark plug wire is not engaged). Clean the bottom side of the mower blade to remove any unwanted dirt or grass clippings. Once you have cleaned the mower, turn it over and test the mower’s starter rope. 

Tip #2: Lawn Mower has Inconsistent Power while Working

A common problem many lawn mower owners run into is while they are working and moving the mower, the engine begins to sputter and stop. This lack of consistent power can be caused by a dirty filter. Once you have located the filter, remove it and clean it. If the filter is too dirty, you may need to replace it. Luckily, the lawn mower filter is one of the most common and inexpensive parts to replace.

If the filter doesn’t appear to be the problem, you can inspect the spark plug. Inconsistent power can be solved by cleaning or replacing the spark plug. Much like the filter, replacing the spark plug is both affordable and available in most home improvement stores.

Tip #3: Lawn Mower Starts to Overheat and Smoke

This can be the most alarming of issues for lawn mower owners, while most people assume that the engine is on the brink of collapse, the problem is not that serious. If your engine is smoking, it may mean that the chamber has too much gas in it. Once you’ve checked the gas chamber for overflowing gas, make sure you check for any leaks that could be contributing to the smoking engine. 

If the gas chamber is working fine, then the problem may be more serious than imagined. If the smoke is white or light in color, it may be time to take your lawn mower to a professional repair company. 

Tip #4: Lawn Mower is not Starting

If your lawn mower is not starting, make sure that you have enough gas in the mower to run properly. While most mower owners stay on top of their gas levels, it is still important to check to make sure that there aren’t any major leaks. If the tank is full and leak-free, check your mower battery for any signs of damage or age. Many times lawn mower batteries may also lose their ability to hold a charge as they age. If your battery is showing signs of damage, look to replace lawnmower batteries.

It is also important to keep in mind to check your spark plugs. If they are loose, make sure you reconnect them and if they are dirty, make sure you clean them thoroughly. As we discussed earlier, replacement spark plugs can be found in your average hardware store or through online channels. 

Tip #5: The Lawn Mower Loses Speed

If your lawn mower is losing speed while you’re using it, the issue may be a dislocated drive belt. To inspect your drive belt, make sure you have your mower turned off. Then make sure the belt is loose but not damaged, reattach it. If your drive belt is damaged beyond repair, then a new drive belt should alleviate this type of problem.

Photo by Phinehas Adams on Unsplash

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