How to fix lawn mower pull cord stuck? Causes And Fixes

Fixing a lawn mower pull cord stuck is a common problem many homeowners face at some point. Whether you are trying to get your mower ready for spring lawn care or want to keep it running smoothly, understanding the cause of an issue with the pull cord and how to fix it can be a huge help. 

In this blog post, we will look at what might cause the lawn mowers pull cord to become stuck and then discuss some simple fixes that anyone can do and when you should call professional help. Learn more about troubleshooting and fixing your lawnmower’s pull cord.

Main Causes and How To Fix pull cord on lawn mower stuck:

Is your lawn mower pull cord stuck? We’re to help. A stuck pull cable on a lawnmower may result from improper maintenance or engine wear and tear. Common causes of a stuck pull cord include:

  • Debris buildup in the engine
  • Broken or worn-out spark plug
  • A stuck hub on the crankshaft
  • Bent crankshaft due to overworking the engine
  • Hydro-locked engine
  • Clogged fuel lines

Equipment needed:

For performing these fixes, you may need some tools and supplies. These include:

  • Ratchet set
  • Compression tester
  • Replacement parts if necessary
  • Oil
  • Grease
  • Cleaning supplies such as rags and brushes

● Step 1. Inspect for blade obstruction:

Ensuring the consistent performance of your lawn mower means taking proactive steps to prevent blades from getting stuck with debris and other materials. If you witness a situation when the blade has become immovable, it is strongly advised that you shut down your machine as soon as possible. This is because a lack of rotation between the blade and mower deck can impede the operation of your pull cord, which is necessary to start the engine. Therefore, address any issues related to this obstruction promptly to avoid developing more serious problems.

– Fix: Tilt the lawnmower to dislodge the obstruction:

Ensuring your pull cord operates correctly will keep your trusty mower in top shape. To ensure this:

  1. Tilt the machine with the air filter pointing upwards to free the blades from debris.
  2. Disconnect the spark plug cable to ensure the engine doesn’t start on its own.
  3. Check for debris, grass and branches that may be caught between the debris curtain and blade – if so, remove them if possible.
  4. Once these steps are completed, reconnect the spark plug and tilt the mower back onto its side – this should fix any issue with the pull cord!

● Step 2. Check and fix the recoil starter:

The recoil starter provides power to the engine when you pull on its cord. If worn out or damaged, it can cause your lawn mower pull cord to be stuck. To check this:

  1. Remove the recoil starter and inspect it visually to see if anything needs replacing.
  2. If so, use a socket wrench to carefully undo the bolts and replace it with a new ones.
  3. If not, inspect the other components of the starter, such as cables, springs and pulleys, to see if they need replacing.

– Fix: Remove the lawnmower housing to view the starter:

If there is still a problem with the starter, removing the whole mower housing may be necessary to inspect the parts more closely. To do this, lift the mower and unscrew the bolts. This will give you easier access to the recoil starter, which should help you identify any problems preventing your mower from starting.

Once you have identified the issue with the starter, replace any necessary parts that are worn out and reconnect everything before testing it out to see if it works properly.

Replacing the recoil starter:

If the steps above don’t fix your problem, you may need to replace the entire recoil starter. First, remove the mower housing and unscrew the bolts holding it. Then disconnect all the cables attached to it and remove the old starter. Finally, insert a new one and reconnect all cables and bolts to finish the job.

Once you have done this, please test it by pulling on the cord a few times to ensure everything is working correctly all else fails, contact an experienced mechanic who can help diagnose and fix your issue.

Note: Please review your owner’s manual before attempting any of these steps, as the instructions may vary depending on your model. Also, always use protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses when handling any engine-related components. 

● Step  3. Check for hydro-locking:

Hydro-locking of the engine is a situation when oil passing from the crankcase into the cylinder case. The highly viscous fluid jams the moving parts and prevents the engine from starting. To check for hydro-locking, remove the spark plug to see if any oil is present and then use a compression tester to measure the cylinder pressure. If it is lower than usual, this might indicate that hydro-locking has occurred. 

Hydro-locking normally occurs when you have tilted the mower upside down while running it. To correctly identify if a mower is hydro-locked, first, disconnect the spark plug and wire and secure the blade brake at the handle of your machine before taking off its blower housing. 

Finally, turn over your engine manually to check for any obstructions – then reinstall the blower assembly when complete.

– Fix: Remove the spark plug & pull the rope:

To fix this, start by removing the spark plug and its wire. Having a dry cloth nearby is essential as we want to protect the area from oil that may spurt out of the engine when you try to pull the rope. Pull it several times, and you will see oil being thrown out from the spark plug hole. When that stops, reattach the spark plug and its wire before you try pulling again. If your engine starts after that, it might run erratically and create some white smoke due to residual oil burning off. As long as this continues for a short duration, there is no need for concern; your engine will soon start running smoothly once all the oil has been burnt.

Note: To avoid the hydro-locking of your engine in the future, we suggested that you should contact the owner’s manual regarding the tilt instructions.

● Step 4. Engine seizure:

While diagnosing for hydro-locking, you might notice that the engine is seized up and won’t turn over. This could be due to a lack of regular maintenance or using low-quality fuel for your mower. In this case, the only solution is to replace the engine with a new one.

Note: It is essential to read your owner’s manual before attempting maintenance or repair tasks on your engine. Additionally, have an experienced mechanic look at your mower if you need clarification on fixing it yourself.

– Fix: Spraying lubricant in the plug’s hole:

If you’re dealing with a lawnmower that has engine-related issues, it can sometimes feel like a hopeless cause. However, fortunately, there are some ways to try and troubleshoot the problem. Specifically, you can fix a stuck cylinder by spraying a lubricant in the spark plug’s hole andthen turning the blades with the spark plug fixed back on. Taking all necessary safety precautions and wearing protective gloves while dealing with the blades is essential. Of course, if, even after attempting these techniques, you find that the engine seizure still can’t be fixed, you don’t have any choice other than to buy a new lawnmower.


  • Try to choose a pool cord that doubles the length of the distance between the lawnmower motor housing and the handle.
  • Consider purchasing cords with thicker insulation that can withstand heat and direct sunlight. Also, buy an extension cord reel or holder to keep the cord coiled up and off the ground when not used. This will help protect it from damage, such as being cut by a lawnmower blade.
  • Always mow the lawn when the grasses are dry. 
  • Before mowing, keep the lawn free from stones, sticks, or other debris. This will help to avoid accidents and damage to the extension cord. 
  • Clean the mower after each mowing. Regular maintenance of the blades will help the mower work efficiently and reduce damage to the extension cord. 
  • Ensure the cords are unplugged from both ends before moving or storing them.
  • Always check for general wear and tear on extension cords, even new ones. If there are any fraying or exposed wires, replace them immediately.

Related Questions:

What main causes a push mower to lock up?

The most important thing to keep your engine running smoothly is to prevent lock-up. If your mower has been neglected or stayed in wet conditions for some time, it’s essential also to check the engine oil level. If there isn’t enough, you should remove the spark plug and add a lubricant to the engine to help it run again. Then put on some safety gloves and spin the blades a few times. With this simple trick, oftentimes, you can bypass any major motor problems that could arise from leaving it unsteady for too long.

Why is my pull cord stuck?

If your pull cord refuses to cooperate, there could be a few reasons. Whether it’s simply grass or debris that needs cleaning out of the way or something as serious as an issue with your recoil starter – these are potential culprits preventing you from getting on with whatever project made need starting up!

Why is my lawnmower not starting?

 Following factors might be causing this problem:

  • Spark plug: A worn-out or damaged spark plug
  • Carburetor: Deposits formed in the carburetor can clog its jets.
  • Air filter: It might have been dirty due to the accumulated derbis and dust.
  • Flywheel key: Key lock the shaft with fly wheel. A broken flywheel key might not be providing sufficient power from the engine
  • Fuel: An entirely empty fuel tank can also be a problem.
  • Battery: If the battery voltage is low, the ignition won’t occur.
  • Starter motor: A bad starter motor can also cause starting problems for riding lawnmower engines.

Final Words:

When the pull cord from your mower is stuck, or you’re dealing with engine-related issues, it is essential to take the necessary safety precautions and wear protective gloves while attempting maintenance or repair tasks. Also, consult your owner’s manual for recommended procedures and, if needed, have an experienced mechanic look at your lawnmower. With some basic knowledge and skills, frequently, you can attempt to bypass significant motor problems. However, if all else fails, it may be necessary to buy a new lawnmower. 

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