How to Fix a Lawn Mower Whose Cord is Stuck?

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Do you own a lawn and love trimming it from time to time? Then you must have a lawn mower. A lawn mower helps you deal with uneven growth in your lawn and cut off the unwanted weeds that act as blackspots for your lawn.

However, no matter how sturdily built and robust a lawn mower is, there are a few problems you can never avoid. It could be either engine seizures during winters or problems with a start-up.

When we talk about problems during start-up, it straightaway leads us to deal with issues with the cord of the lawn mower. There are chances for the cord of the lawn mower to be stuck.

So, if you are struggling with fixing your lawn mower whose cord is stuck, you must first know why this mishap can occur. Well, there could be numerous ways in which the lawnmower cord stuck, and it gets a bit challenging to identify the main problem.

Why May Your Cord Get Stuck, and How to Fix it?

Hence, here we have come to your rescue with a huge list of solutions to fix your lawn mower. You can find various tips and tricks to fix the cord (with pictures) and all possible ways your lawn mower might face issues due to a stuck cord.

1. The Working Mechanism of The Pull Cord

The Working Mechanism of The Pull Cord
Image Source: angi

To understand how a stuck cord can cause problems while starting your lawn mower, you must know how a pull cord works in the first place. The pull cord connects to the crankshaft via a hub attached to the lawn mower blade.

As you pull the cord, all the connected parts start a spinning motion. The spinning crankshaft works in sync with the spark plug and the combustion chamber, thus finally starting the engine. On the other hand, a motor connected to the hub of the cord works towards recoiling and retracting it every time you pull it.

Hence, the complete starting mechanism gets disturbed if anything goes wrong with pulling the cord.

2. Defective Lawn Mower Parts

Defective Lawn Mower Parts
Image Source: istockphoto

If the parts associated with starting a lawn mower do not work properly, it could be a major reason for the cord being stuck. This problem arises mainly with old lawn mowers that have been used for years without proper maintenance.

The defective lawn mower parts are the flywheel brake, recoil spring, distorted crankshaft, chipped blade, etc.

  • A broken flywheel brake poses difficulties in starting the lawn mower as it needs to be released to do the same.
  • The start-up process relies solely on the cord if the recoil spring does not work effectively. Hence, you need to put immense force to pull the cord and start the lawn mower.
  • A distorted crankshaft also makes the cord difficult to pull. This problem is usually known as hydro locking. It can also occur due to oil spills as far as the exhaust area is concerned.
  • A chipped blade multiplies the stress level on your mower, and the cord becomes hard to pull.

Hence, the only way out of these issues, if they are the reason behind your lawn mower not getting started, is proper maintenance and replacement of the defective parts.

Also Read: Start a Lawn Mower with a Bad Starter

3. Incorrect Form of Pulling The Cord

Incorrect Form of Pulling The Cord
Image Source: lawnchick

It could be another reason your lawn mower will not start due to a stuck pull cord. You might be pulling the cord incorrectly. Hence, first, you must learn the right technique for pulling the cord, which eventually comes from practice and experience.

Here is a smart method that you can try. You can hold the cord with the hand you find most comfortable and keep the other on the mower’s handle. While you pull the cord with agility with one hand, you must push the lawn mower away from you with the other.

It is an effective way to make the most out of the force you apply while starting the lawn mower. Consequently, a stuck cord would not be a problem.

4. Height Issues With The Lawn Mower

 Height Issues With The Lawn Mower
Image Source: thespruce

Lawn mowers come with adjustable height features. You can adjust the lawn mower’s height depending on the grass you want to cut. However, an improper lawn mower height can also be a reason behind a stuck cord and start failures.

If you lower the height of the lawn mower to a great extent, the blades might get clogged due to the heavy growth of grass on your lawn. It makes it harder to pull the cord and start the mower.

Hence, you must be smart enough to adjust the height of your lawn mower to ensure easy starts. The best way to achieve this is by raising the height of the mower enough to start it easily and then lowering it later as per the degree of cut you desire.

5. Improper Cord Handles

Improper Cord Handles
Image Source: thrivingyard

Cord handles decide how well the force you apply goes into starting the lawn mower. So, if you do not have proper cord handles to maximize the force applied and pull the cord easily, you will face difficulties during start-up.

Some cord handles bound your hand movements. So, no matter how much energy you use, most of it goes in vain. T-shaped handles are an example of it. However, cord handles, usually round, allow full movement of your hands. It is best to utilize your energy to start the mower.

Hence, you must opt for cord handles that follow this mechanism and feel comfortable in your hands. In this way, you can fix the stuck cord easily.

6. Pulling Tools

Pulling Tools
Image Source: thisoldhouse

Pulling tools can help you fix your lawn mower with a stuck cord. They make the process easier and prevent shoulder injuries while starting a lawn mower. So you must use efficient pulling tools, such as a pull starter, to make your life much easier.

Also Read: Gardening Tools to Save Money

Start-Up Problems Despite The Extra Effort?

Sometimes you pull the cord of your lawn mower with the maximum force you can apply and cannot start. In such cases, you must look for other factors that could affect the start-up mechanism of your lawn mower. Otherwise, your extra effort would go in vain if you barked the wrong tree.

So, here are the problems your lawn mower might face if you are struggling with starting it.

1. Dysfunctional Spark Plugs

Dysfunctional Spark Plugs
Image Source: statestreetautorepair

Spark plugs play a vital role in starting your lawn mower. So, if the spark plugs of your lawn mower are not in proper condition and do not function well, there are high chances you will face issues while starting the mower.

It will create a problem even if you pull the cord hard enough. Hence, you must ensure you use spark plugs that are good in quality and durable. Not only the quality of the spark plugs but also the way you install them matters.

Tightly screwed spark plugs are more likely to poke you while starting your lawn mower. Hence, you must check how you have installed them. If everything seems well and good, you can try cleaning the spark plugs of any deposition. It should fix your lawn mower.

2. The Inefficiency of The Valves

The Inefficiency of The Valves
Image Source: youtube/mygiguser

If the problem persists despite checking the spark plugs, you might need to look the other way round. It could be the nuisance created by inefficient valves of your lawn mower. The valves are usually dysfunctional if you do not maintain your lawn mower properly.

You should first check the overhead valve as it is a major cause of problems during the start-up of your lawn mower. Also, you might want to check the installation of the valves. If the valves are not set up properly, it can be another reason for your lawn mower to be stuck.

3. Running Out of Gas

Insufficient fuel is one of the most neglected factors that could cause hindrance in starting your lawn mower even if you pull the cord hard enough. Before you turn on the mower, be sure you have enough gas.

If you run out of gas and start the mower, you could damage it to a great extent. Hence, you must fill your fuel tank and then attempt to start your lawn mower.

Sometimes, your fuel tank may be full, yet your mower will not start. It could be due to unchanged fuel for a long period. Hence, you must change the fuel and try starting the machine again.

4. Recommendations

Though you might be able to fix your lawn mower with a stuck cord as of now, you might face similar issues in the future. Hence, you must avoid such circumstances as the cord being stuck and the lawn mower not starting. So here are some recommendations for the same so your lawn mower stays in good condition.

  • You must take proper care of your lawn mower regularly and maintain it for enhanced durability.
  • You must clean your lawn mower every time you finish mowing your lawn.
  • You must look for stuck stones and branches in the lawn mower and try to avoid rough terrain.
  • You must opt for a lawn mower cord with a doubled length compared to the distance between the motor housing and the handle.
  • You must not mow the lawn when the grass is wet.

Check Out These Mower: Best Lawn Mower For Small Yard


Q1. What equipment do I need to fix the lawn mower?

Ans. It depends on the intensity of the problem with your lawn mower. In most cases of a stuck pull cord, you need basic equipment, such as a pair of safety gloves, rags, wrenches, and a screwdriver.

Q2. What possible reasons for a lawn mower to be locked up?

Ans. Lawn mower lockups can occur due to the piston getting stuck. It, in turn, may be due to improper storage facilities of the lawn mower, such as wet conditions and unchanged engine oil for a long time. You can overcome it by removing the spark plug and lubricating the engine.

Q3. What could be other reasons besides a stuck cord for the lawn mower not getting started?

Ans. Other reasons to consider besides a stuck cord are an empty fuel tank, dysfunctional starter motor, low voltage battery, damaged spark plug, deposited carburetor, accumulated air filter, broken flywheel, etc.


A lawn mower failing to start due to a stuck pull cord is a common problem all lawn people face. As there could be numerous reasons behind your inability to pull the cord, there are several ways to fix your lawn mower. Hence, you can try out all these possible ways and fix your lawn mower.

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