Common Lawn Mower Problems

Written by timothy sexton
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Common Lawn Mower Problems
Several common lawnmower problems can be traced to a dirty air filter, bad fuel mix or a clogged muffler. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Lawnmowers are bound to cause you trouble sooner or later. Sometimes it may be the mower's fault as it begins the slowly roll down the hill into obsolescence. Other problems with your mower may be entirely the fault of your yard, and some problems with your mower can even be blamed on operator error.

Mower Won't Start

A lawnmower that won't start at all is a common problem with this small engine appliance. The first thing you want to do with a mower that won't start is ensure that the control is set to the correct setting. See that the starter cord or rewind spring isn't broken. A less common cause of a mower not starting at all is a clogged muffler.

Less Powerful Operation

If the mower starts but doesn't seem to be producing the power you've come to expect, look for a dirty air filter and replace or clean as needed. Clear the fuel tank caps with a toothpick if the vents are blocked. A possible reason for lack of energy is that the fuel got contaminated or wasn't mixed correctly. Drain the fuel tank and refuel the mower.


A mower that overheats can be caused by a variety of things. First, examine the air filter to see if it is dirty or clogged. Clean the engine cooling fins with a wire brush. You may also need to drain the fuel tank and refill with a better mixture eventuality. A remote possibility is that the flywheel has become damaged or the engine has gone faulty, in which case you need to have the mower serviced.

Excessive Vibrations

An excessively vibrating lawnmower often means that the housing fastener has come loose. Simply tighten the fasteners if this is the case. Another reason for vibration is that the blade has got unbalanced or has been damaged during use. Balance the blade, and replace it if it is damaged. A clogged muffler can sometimes lead to heavy vibration as can a damaged flywheel.

Loss of Self-Propulsion

If the self-propelling mechanism has ceased working, inspect the drive belt for damage and replace if necessary. The wheel drive control or cable can become faulty and cause this problem. If the mechanism itself is faulty, take the mower in for servicing.

Erratic Operation

An erratically operating lawnmower has a host of problems that you must troubleshoot individually. Start by seeing that the air filter isn't dirty or the fuel tank cap vents are not blocked. Contaminated oil or incorrectly mixed fuel can also lead to a mower that stalls regularly. The carburettor may not be properly adjusted, the muffler may have become clogged or the flywheel may have become damaged. All of these can lead to an erratic performance by your lawnmower.

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