Lawn Mower String not Pulling? (Easy Solution)

Have you ever been in a situation whereby you have tried to start your push lawn mower and it simply won’t just start? Well I have and trust me, I panicked!

Without doubt, the first thought that came into my head was engine failure. However, I also thought about how much I would be set back in order to replace the engine and it pushed me to figure out the root of the cause. It is very important to note that whenever the pull rope of your lawn mower is stuck it doesn’t necessarily mean that your engine has failed. It could either be grass clippings or debris that have accumulated in the cutting deck which makes it difficult for the blades to spin or the recoil starter is faulty.

The good news is that this shouldn’t be a reason to panic as you can easily fix such problems and get back to mowing your lawn. If this is the case, then it is pretty easy to fix your lawn mower. All you have to do is basically wash the under part of the lawn mower that consists of the cutting deck. Once you are done washing it you should wipe the blades with a clean cloth and let it dry up completely. After going through all these steps you’ll be rest assured that your lawn mower will fire up again like brand new once you pull the pull string.



Accumulation of debris and grass clippings in the cutting deck

Simply clean the cutting deck with water and wipe the blades with a clean cloth.

Lack of oil

Top up the oil until the recommended level of the push mower.

Faulty recoil starter

Replace the starter spring with a new spring.

Engaged flywheel brake

You just release the brake and the mower will be back to operating as normal.

What makes the pull string difficult to pull

Lack of oil

Without doubt, the engine is one of the most important parts of your lawn mower. In order for the engine to run efficiently, the internals of the engine need to be lubricated throughout. If you fail to put the recommended amount of engine oil in your lawn mower it may eventually lead to engine failure. However, the pistons may freeze sometimes especially in the morning when it is very cold. If this is the case, you should first check the level of engine oil on the dipstick. Depending on the level of engine oil, you are supposed to top up a bit of oil in the lawn mower and make sure you don’t overfill it. This will enable the pistons to move freely again and you will be able to efficiently start the mower by pulling the pull string.

Faulty recoil starter

Some push mowers are very notorious for having a problem with their recoil starters which makes it very challenging to start it using the pull string. This starter usually consists of a spring hub which enables the crankshaft and blades to turn the moment you pull the pull string. Unfortunately, this spring that holds the recoil starter together may break which will affect the normal operations of the recoil starter. There is no shortcut when it comes to fixing this problem as you will just have to replace this spring in the event that it breaks. The good news is that replacing the spring of this recoil starter is not difficult as you can even do it by yourself at home. For sure, your lawn mower will be able to switch on the moment you pull the pull cord.

Flywheel brake is engaged

Your lawn mower has to be operating properly for it to switch on over and over again efficiently. The flywheel is also another very important part in the engine of your lawn mower as it is the one that keeps the crankshaft spinning. Your push mower won’t start even when you pull the string several times if the flywheel brake is still engaged or if it is broken. Well, hoping it’s not the latter because a new flywheel can be quite costly. The first thing that you should do is check whether the brake is engaged and if it is, you simply release the brake and voila! You’ll be good to go. Pull the string and head out to your lawn to cut grass with a smile on your face.


It is clear that the pull string may be hard to pull when these four factors affect your lawn mower. Therefore, you should always be keen whenever you try to start your push mower. I’m pretty sure that now you are fully aware of what to do in the event that you experience any of this problems with your lawn mower.


Can you start a push mower without a pull cord?

No, it is not possible to switch on a push mower without its pulling cord. Especially if it was designed to be switched on using the pull string.

What can I do in order to use less effort to start my push mower?

You should remove the spark plug which helps to drain excess oil in the engine and switch on your push mower. This will enable you to pull the string with less effort.

Leave a Comment