Common Lawn Mower Issues You Can Troubleshoot

A lawn mower is a vital and valuable tool to have in your home. Ideally, if you have large portions of grass that need some trimming, this machine is a must-have. Just like any other machine, lawn mowers experience several breakdowns and mechanical problems. You may encounter some issues when using the item.


Don't freak out when some issues emerge while using the mower. Don’t rush to a shop to buy a new one before knowing precisely what the problem is. It may be something simple that you can fix on your own. 


Below are some common Lawn mower issues you are likely to face while using a lawn mower. Before thinking of making a replacement, check out how you can fix the breakdown. It is also crucial to refer to the mower's user manual before starting with the fixing process.

Usual Forms of Lawn Mower Interruptions That You Can Fix

First, regular maintenance of the lawn mower increases its durability and efficiency. It is, therefore, ideal to frequently service your machine to avoid hitting a glitch when working.

  • Stuck or Hard to Pull Starter Rope

This is a common glitch that often happens to many lawn mowers. The main reason for the issue is because of the engine flywheel brake getting engaged. Before pulling the starter rope, make sure to bring the bar down to press against the handle. 

Alternatively, if the issue is not on the flywheel brake, check the performance of the lawn mower blade. To solve this issue, lay your lawn mower on a hard surface and turn off the engine. This process is to ensure that the engine and spark plug wire do not merge. Carefully clean the blades to get rid of any dirt that may be causing the rope to get stuck.

After cleaning, assemble the lawn mower and try starting it up by pulling the rope. If the issue persists, it is possible that several parts of the lawn mower may be faulty.  After several trials and failed tests, take the machine to a specialized lawn mower mechanic or manufacturer for further examination and repair.

  • Unable to Start Your Lawn Mower

Usually, when a lawn mower does not start, what comes to mind is the gas tank. When the gas tank is empty, it cannot start the machine. Frequently check the condition of the gas tank to ensure there is no leakage. If you find out the gas tank is the issue, consider replacing it urgently. 

In some cases, the gas tank may not be the issue, or your mower battery could be damaged. The mower mainly relies on gasoline or lawn mower batteries. Due to several reasons, the batteries may be faulty due to age or damage. At times, the quality of the battery is determined by the brand and model of the lawn mower. It is, therefore, ideal to research far and wide before purchasing a lawn mower. 

Dirty air filters may also play a role in restricting the mower from starting. Regular cleaning is a vital remedy in maintaining and protecting your lawn mower from further damages. To increase the mower's durability and convenience, replace its air filters. Regularly clean the dirty spark plugs and replace the old accessories. Make sure the fuel is effortlessly getting to the carburetor. Invest in a good quality fuel filter to protect the engine. 

  • Losing Power While at Work

Losing power in the middle of an activity is the most frustrating encounter. Several reasons may be causing the abrupt break of the mower. Mostly, the machine may stop if the air filter of the mower is dirty or broken.

At times, the height of the grass matters. When cutting long grass, the machine may stop working along the way. Dirty spark plug, blunt, bent, or dull blades may require replacement, sharpening, or cleaning. While working, lower the lawn mower deck to get rid of the clippings and debris. These are some of the vital maintenance practices to ensure your lawn mower lasts long. 

  • Smoke Rising

A cloud of smoke rising from your lawn mower may be scary. If your mower’s oil chamber is too full, you may have some smoke coming out of your engine. Sometimes when the oil chamber is leaking, the exhaust muffler may lead to smoke puffs. At times, when you see lighter-colored smoke, the mower heats up, or rundowns, it is time to get professional help.

  • Reduced Working Speed

The primary cause of a slow working lawn mower may be a damaged drive belt or a dislocation. Turn off the machine and examine the positioning or performance of the drive belt. If there is no possible damage to the item, consider reattaching the drive belt. 


Replacing the drive belt may be ideal if the accessory is damaged.  Alternatively, if the lawn mower has been working slower than usual, you may need to check the battery. A malfunctioning battery may cause several machine breakdowns.

  • Over Heating

It is common for a machine to overheat at times. Though the heating condition may persist, several reasons cause the effect. Many people usually resist checking the cause of overheating if the machine is still functioning well.


Frequent heating up of the machine may lead to damages. When you realize that your lawn mower is overheating, check if there is a build-up of grass that may be blocking the exhaust. The other aspect that may be causing overheating is the clogging of the cooling fins. Cooling fins are part of the engine cylinder's head. When the fins are clogged, it can lead to overheating. Make sure to regularly get rid of stuck leaves, long grass, and debris.

Unusual Vibration and Bumpy Lawn Mower

Bumpy lawn mower rides are a common problem that occur when the tool has inadequate oil. Checking the level of the oil regularly may help in reducing the bumpy barriers while working. On the other hand, you may be experiencing unusual or excessive vibration from your machine. 

This effect is due to bending blades. Clearing hard objects such as roots and rocks may damage the blades of your lawn mower. Consequently, a faulty drive belt may cause excessive vibration. 


Therefore, it is ideal to replace the mower's faulty pieces. The result is the smooth working of the machine. Other factors that may cause machine vibrations include loose bolts, immovable cutting deck, running engine, and loose mounting.

Safety Measures Before Starting the Troubleshooting Process

  • Avoid any flames that may come into contact with the machine; petrol or gasoline is highly flammable. 
  • Make sure you disconnect or remove the sparks that may lead to grass clumping under the deck.
  • Turn off any fuel tap and avoid overflowing petrol or gasoline. If you need to drain the engine, do it carefully by disconnecting the plug lead.

Final Verdict

You may find yourself with a faulty machine or one that stops functioning abruptly from time to time. Does this mean that you purchase a new one? Definitely not. Before making such a decision, perform a thorough check on your machine. It might be a simple default that you can effortlessly troubleshoot or fix. 


Make sure to refer to the manual to ensure you do not damage the lawn mower more. The above troubleshooting solution guide might help you solve the issues you are facing with your lawn mower. When you are not sure of the troubleshooting process, engage the services of a professional.

Leave a Reply