How to Start a Lawn Mower When the Hand Pull Is Stuck

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Pull-cord problems are common with lawn mowers. You may be tempted, when you are trying to correct the problem, to try to overpower the problem with force--but that is a sure way to damage the mower or injure your arm. There are a few techniques you can try to solve the issue. If the pull-cord problem still keeps the mower from starting, you may need to replace the recoil spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawnmower
  • Spray lubricant

Step 1

Apply some spray lubricant to the cord and slowly pull the cord in and out, working the spray lubricant into the compartment. Repeat the procedure a few times.

Step 2

Extend the rope (if the rope won't completely retract). Loosen the motor-blowing bolts, have the rope extended, and strike the housing with the palm of your hand, The rope should retract if misalignment was the problem. Tighten the motor-blowing screws. If the rope does not retract, the recoil spring should be replaced. This is a touchy area. You likely should bring it to your repair shop if you haven't fixed a recoil spring before. A lot of damage can be caused if you make a mistake when trying to repair it yourself, costing you hundreds of dollars.

Step 3

Replace the spring coil if the rope goes limp.

Step 4

Check under your mower for a bent blade.

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Tips & Warnings

  • Reference the owner's manual for additional troubleshooting methods.
  • Always keep the area clear of bystanders and children when working on and running equipment.
  • Always wear eye protection, gloves and appropriate clothing.
  • Always turn the mower off and remove the spark plug when working on or near the area of the blades or any part of the mower.

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