How to repair a lawn mower rope

Updated February 21, 2017

Lawnmowers, such as those that you push, are started by pulling on a starter cord or rope. Ropes on a lawnmower can get old and worn, which can lead to snapping or breaking over time. When the rope on your lawnmower breaks, it needs to be fixed. This can be done by installing a new rope for the starter cord. You will first need to purchase the new rope to install on the mower.

Locate the bolts or screws that are used to secure the starter pulley housing. Remove any bolts with the socket wrench and any screws with the screwdriver.

Lift the housing off of the mower and locate the starter pulley. This can be attached to the mower shaft or attached to the underside of the housing.

Cut the old starter cord or rope off of the starter pulley with the utility knife.

Open the new package for starter cord and measure out about 8 or 9 feet or cord. Use a tape measure to find the length of the cord. Cut the cord at the needed length with the utility knife.

Heat up the cut end of the cord with the lighter to remove the frayed ends. Alternatively, you can wrap the end of the cord with electrical tape.

Thread the end of the starter cord into the starter pulley and tie a knot at the end. The knot will keep the cord from coming out of the pulley.

Loop the starter cord around the starter pulley one or two times. Insert the other end of the cord through the hole in the pulley.

Set the housing back on the mower and secure it with the bolts or screws.

Pull the starter cord to make sure that it will recoil back around the starter pulley.

Run the starter cord through the loop on the side of the mower handle. Connect the end of the starter cord to a pull handle to complete the project.


Looping the starter cord around the pulley will allow you to pull the cord so it can recoil around the starter pulley.


Do not spin the pulley to wind the starter cord.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Utility knife
  • Starter cord
  • Tape measure
  • Lighter
  • Electrical tape
  • Pull handle
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About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.