How to fix a lawnmower pull cord that is stuck, step by step. Lawnmower starter rope

I Can’t Pull My Lawnmower Cord Hard Enough – What To Do?

Getting a lawnmower to start can be hard. Some people don’t have enough strength to pull the cord and get the blades moving. Others aren’t in good physical health, so pulling the cable has become much harder. Sometimes, the mower won’t start even when strong people are pulling on the cord. Luckily, there are many different methods you can use to make it easier for you to pull your lawnmower’s cord and get the machine working.

Along with making sure the mower is in working order, you can also adjust height settings, so it is easier to start. Other than that, making sure that you are using the correct form while pulling the cord is crucial. If all else fails, you can buy a better pull cord handle, or a specialized pull starter tool.

In the remainder of this article, I’ll list and discuss various troubleshooting tips if you can’t pull your mower’s cord or if successfully pulling the cable doesn’t start the mower’s engine.

If You Can’t Pull Your Mower’s Cord Hard Enough

The following are a few things you can do to easily start your mower if you can’t get your cord to pull hard enough:

Check Out the Mower’s Parts

Sometimes, a lawnmower will become impossible to start after you’ve used it for many years. This quite often occurs because a part of the mower isn’t working correctly.

To start the mower, you need to release the flywheel brake; if this part is broken, the mower won’t start. Other parts, such as a chipped blade, can put more stress on the mower, making it harder to use and making the cord harder to pull.

A small piece not working correctly, such as the recoil spring, can shift the burden onto the cord, requiring large amounts of energy to get the mower going.

Some common issues that can lead to a cord being harder to pull are hydro locking. which usually occurs because of oil spilling into the exhaust area, and a misshapen crankshaft. The misshapen shaft can generally be detected due to the noise it makes.

The off-ness of the shape causes the cord to be hard to pull. In such cases, it is best to replace the crankshaft to make the lawnmower easier to start.

Find Better Cord Handles

Most lawn mowers have cord handles that are in a “T” shape. These handles tend to restrict the amount of energy you can use from your hand; this makes it so that when you pull on the cord, a lot of energy gets wasted.

To make maximum use of your energy from pulling the cable, you need a handle that allows for greater use of the hand.

A popular choice is a ball or other round design that will fit into the palm of your hand. These handles can be bought at hardware shops or stores that sell lawnmowers. Such handles will make it easier to pull the lawnmower’s cord.

Use Tools for Easier Pull

For those who are suffering from a medical condition and can’t pull the lawnmower cord any harder, special tools can be used to make it easier to pull the cord. Tools like a pull starter make it effortless to pull on lawnmower cords.

The hand of the cable is attached to the mechanism, which then pulls the cord up and down repeatedly until the lawnmower starts. The device also works for other cord activated machines such as a leaf blower and edger.

This is the ultimate tool to use if you are unable to pull the cord and don’t see yourself becoming strong enough to pull it anytime soon. The device is also a good pick for those that need to protect their shoulders from injury. However, the tool costs roughly 300, so it is a costlier alternative to pulling on the lawnmower cord or starting it by other means.

Adjust the Height of the Lawn Mower

A typical lawnmower problem that can make it challenging to start the machine with a pulling cord is the height of the mower from the ground. The height of a lawnmower is adjustable, allowing consumers to decide how tall they want their grass to be.

However, if you want your lawn short but start your lawnmower in tall grass, the grass height will get caught in the blades and make it harder to start the mower.

lawnmower, pull, cord, stuck, step

To make pulling the cord easier, shift the lawnmower height up to start the machine, then lower it back down to your desired grass height to begin cutting.

Use The Correct Form To Start Up Your Mower

Using the correct form to start up your mower can make things a lot easier.

Here’s a trick I learned over the years: Grab on to the mower’s handle with your off-hand, while holding the cord in your main hand. Now, quickly pull on the cord while at the same time pushing the mower away with your off-hand.

If done correctly, this can nearly double the amount of force you can put into starting your mower. It takes a bit of practice to get it right, but once you master it things will be much easier.

lawnmower, pull, cord, stuck, step

Ask Someone For Help

When I was younger, me and my mom had a lot of trouble starting up our old lawn mower.

We managed to start it with team effort – she would hold onto the mower’s handle, while I used my full body weight to kinda “jump into” the pulling move, eventually starting up the mower.

This is not optimal by any means, but it can work fine if you are out of ideas.

If All Else Fails—Build Up Your Arm Muscles

If you’re still struggling to pull the lawnmower cord due to strength alone, it could be a good idea to consider building up the arm muscle to pull the cord more easily. You can do this in multiple ways.

Lots of gyms have specific machines that are designed to build muscle in the same places in the arms that are necessary for pulling a lawnmower cord.

If you can’t make it to the gym, you can just pull out the spark plug in the lawnmower and practice pulling ; taking out the spark plug keeps you from wasting gas in starting the mower up.

If Your Mower Still Won’t Start After Pulling the Cord Hard Enough

In some cases, it may be that you are pulling your lawnmower’s cord hard enough—it’s just that something is preventing the machine from starting at all. Here are a few final troubleshooting tips to try in these situations:

Check the Spark Plug

The kind of spark plug you have in your lawnmower can determine whether you can start the mower or not. Spark plugs that are old or don’t function well make it harder for the engine to start.

This usually results in the person using the lawnmower needing extra muscle to get the machine running.

Make sure that you invest in good spark plugs that will hold up well over time. NGK spark plugs are high quality and perform well in most situations.

Be careful while installing the new spark plug. Plugs that are screwed in too tight don’t work correctly, rendering the lawnmower unusable.

If your spark plugs seem to be in good shape, they may only need to be cleaned of any residue on them that could be preventing a spark from happening.

Check the Valves

Valves that are not adequately looked after usually lead to problems with starting lawnmowers.

In fact, valves that aren’t set up correctly in the first place will make it nearly impossible to start the machine. The valve usually causing the trouble is the overhead valve.

Make Sure There’s Enough Gas

While keeping a full tank of fuel in your lawnmower seems like a given, a lot of people forget to fill the tank after mowing their lawns. For a lawnmower to be able to start, it needs to have fuel for the engine to run on.

While the addition of fuel is a rather obvious step, it’s essential to recognize that forgetting the fuel can cause lots of problems for the lawnmower. Trying to start a mower without gas multiple times is likely to damage the mower.

In addition, if you’ve been using the same fuel in your mower for months, the problem could be that it simply needs to be replaced with fresh gas.

In Conclusion

A lawn mower’s cord can be difficult to pull for a variety of reasons. If the cable is hard to pull because something is wrong with a lawnmower part, it is best to fix the piece to make pulling the cord easier. If you are unable to pull the cable due to a lack of physical strength, there are multiple ways you can make it easier to pull the cord.

lawnmower, pull, cord, stuck, step

These ways include adjusting the lawnmower to better suit your needs as well as buying special tools to make starting the lawnmower easier. You can also make starting the mower easier by simply working on becoming stronger.

However, don’t rule out that you could be pulling your mower’s cord hard enough and that there could be something wrong with your mower that’s making it difficult to start at all. By following the above troubleshooting tips, you can get your mower started and going in no time.

Hi! I’m Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I’ve created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!

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Have you ever pulled on the starter cord to get your mower started, but the rope snaps? Or perhaps it pulls all the way out and doesn’t rewind by itself. Either way, it’s clear the pull cord is.

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One of the most common features of most gas-powered push mowers is the cord or rope that you use to get it started. But why do they have pull cords rather than some other starting mechanism? The.

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How to fix a lawnmower pull cord that is stuck, step by step

You have finally decided to take your lawnmower out to give your grass a nice, elegant look. Just as you try to pull the starter rope on your handle, it seems badly jammed. You don’t want to damage your cable, so you stop pulling it right away. You can’t resume your mowing unless you fix the pull cord. Luckily, fixing isn’t a lengthy procedure and can be performed in less than an hour. There can be several reasons for a stuck pull cord, and we shall investigate those causes separately in this blog post.

How to fix a lawnmower pull cord that is stuck, step by step:

  • Step 1: To start, inspect your blade for any stuck strands of grass or debris. Remove them as they cause the pull cord to get stuck.
  • Step 2: Open the blower housing and inspect the recoil starter. If it appears damaged, you need to replace it.
  • Step 3: Check if the engine is hydro-locked, remove the spark plug and pull the rope repeatedly to restart the engine.
  • Step 4: Inspect if there’s some structural failure in the engine, such as a bent crankshaft.

The pull cord on a lawnmower is connected to a hub that spins the crankshaft of your mower’s engine, thus causing the blades to turn. At the same time, the engine draws an air-fuel mixture from the carburetor. The firing of the spark plug initiates the ignition. Hence, your engine starts over. If there are obstructions within the mower blades or the engine’s starter hub, you won’t pull the starter cord.

If you are looking for an elaborated description of the fixes mentioned above, you should stay tuned to this blog post as we shall provide you with insight regarding the pull cord-related problems.

Causes and fixes of a stuck pull cord on a lawnmower:

A stuck pull cord on a lawnmower may be an outcome of various issues. We shall address them one by one as mentioned below:

Equipment needed:

For performing these fixes, you don’t need sophisticated equipment. Just make sure you have a screwdriver, wrench set, a rag, and a pair of safety gloves at your disposal.

Step 1. Inspect for blade obstruction:

You may often witness a situation when the blade gets stuck with debris or any branch. This condition prevents It from spinning due to obstruction between the blade and the mower deck. As said before, the pull cord is responsible for spinning the mower blades that eventually start the engine. Hence, blades not able to spin mean that the cord cannot be pulled.

– Fix: Tilt the mower to dislodge the obstruction:

To free the blades from any debris caught, you should tilt it over first. However, you should do that with your air filter pointing upwards. It is better to remove the spark plug cable so that the engine doesn’t start over. Now check if debris, grass, or a branch getting stuck between the debris curtain and the blade prevents the blades from spinning. If it does, you should remove it. Putting the spark plug back on and tilting the mower back shall now fix your problem with the pull cord.

Step 2. Check and fix the recoil starter:

If there isn’t any debris preventing the blades from spinning, then the chances are that your recoil starter might be damaged. For such walk-behind lawnmowers, the recoil starter is easy to find and replace.

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

The recoil starter is situated under the blower housing. Before doing anything, ensure that the spark plug wire is removed. Also, release the starter cable or the pull cord from the mower handle. Now, remove the screws securing the blower housing.

Check the recoil starter for any damage. Check whether it can spin by pulling the starter cable right near to it. Also, see if it is free from any debris or obstruction that may prevent it from spinning. If the cable appears tangled, you should rewind it.

How to easily fix a lawnmower pull start cord

Replacing the recoil starter:

Replacing a recoil starter is seldom difficult. To perform the replacement, remove the recoil starter guard. Next, use a screwdriver to remove the tabs connecting it to the blower housing.

Remove the old starter and add the identical one to its place in the tabs. Reinstall the guard and attach the blower housing back onto the mower.

Note: Please make sure that you go through your owner’s manual to search and purchase the recoil starter precisely in accordance with your device’s model number.

Step 3. Check for hydro-locking:

Hydro-locking of the engine is a condition when oil escapes from the crankcase into the cylinder casing. The high viscous fluid jams the cylinder, thus preventing it from sliding and thus rotating the crankshaft. Hydro-locking generally occurs when you have tilted the mower upside down with the air filter pointing downwards. If you’ve heard about this for the first time, then don’t worry as the remedy to this problem isn’t much difficult.

But first, you need to diagnose whether the problem actually is hydro-locking or not. To check for this, remove the spark plug and the spark plug wire. Clamp the control bar at the mower handle to release the blade brake. With the blower housing removed, manually rotate the starter cup to see if the engine turns. If it turns, reinstall the blower housing.

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

To fix this, make sure that the spark plug is removed along with its wire. Place a dry cloth near the spark plug hole since we will spray the oil out of the engine. Try to start your engine by pulling the rope several times. You shall notice oil being thrown out of the spark plug hole.

When the oil has stopped spraying out, reattach the spark plug and connect the wire back to the plug. Pull the rope again to see if the engine starts. When the engine starts, it might run erratically and throw out some white smoke. That is due to it being burning oil remnants along with the fuel. It shall start running smoothly once the oil has been completely burnt away.

Note: To prevent the hydro-locking of your engine in the future, we recommend that you should consult the owner’s manual regarding the tilt instructions. Generally, for most walk-behind mowers, tilting the deck with the air filter pointing up is the way to go.

Step 4. Engine seizure:

While diagnosing for hydro-locking, if the engine’s starter cup doesn’t turn at all, it indicates your engine’s serious problem. This condition means that the engine has either encountered a bent crankshaft or a stuck piston.

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

Although engine related faults can seldom be repaired, some ways of fixing a stuck cylinder involve spraying a lubricant in the spark plug hole and turning the blades with the spark plug fixed back on. Don’t forget to wear gloves while dealing with the blades. If the engine seizure can’t be fixed, then you don’t have any choice other than to buy a new lawnmower.

Related Questions:

What causes a push mower to lock up?

If the mower has been sitting in wet conditions for a long time or haven’t replenished the engine oil, the piston can get stuck, and the engine can lock up. To prevent this lock-up, you need to remove the spark plug and add the lubricant from the hole into the engine. Afterward, put the spark plug back on and rotate the mower blades with the safety gloves on. This remedy shall help you in cranking up your dead engine.

Why is my pull cord stuck?

If you see that your pull cord is stuck, a few reasons might make this happen. For one, the development of grass or debris needs to be removed to allow the pull cord to work again. You might also have an issue with your recoil starter, which may be broken.

Why is my lawnmower not starting?

If you can’t start your lawnmower, the chances are that the following factors might be causing this problem:

  • Spark plug: A worn out or damaged spark plug
  • Carburetor: Deposits formed in the carburetor that can clog its jets.
  • Air filter: The air filter might have been dirty due to the accumulated dust.
  • Flywheel key: A broken flywheel key might not be delivering enough power from the engine
  • Fuel: An empty fuel tank can also be a problem.
  • Battery: If the battery voltage is down, the ignition won’t occur.
  • Starter motor: For riding lawnmower engines, a bad starter motor can also cause starting problems.

Final Remarks:

When the pull cord from your lawnmower is stuck, it means you can not start. There can be several reasons why this happens. This blog post helps you check the various causes and help you fix them. If you look at the multiple reasons, you will notice that proper maintenance is not always the cause, but it will prevent many problems. It will ensure a long and relatively trouble-free usage for many years to come.

How to Replace Pull Cord on Lawn Mower – Easy Guide

Do you have a lawn mower that won’t start because the pull cord is broken or missing? Don’t worry; it’s a common problem, and we can show you how to fix it! In this easy guide, we will walk you through the steps of how to replace the pull cord on your lawn mower’s small engine. It’s a job that can be done in just a few minutes and doesn’t require special tools or skills. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Remove Starter from Mower

Before you can repair the pull cord, you’ll need to remove the starter from the lawn mower. Begin by locating the mounting bolts that hold the starter in place. Then remove the mounting bolts and carefully lift the recoil assembly up and away from the lawn mower.

Step 2: Remove Broken Pull Cord from Starter

Once you have the starter removed, locate the broken pull cord. Carefully remove it from the starter housing.

Step 3: Measure Broken Cord (both Pieces) – Cut New Rope and Burn Ends

Measure the length of both pieces of the broken cord. Cut a new piece of rope the same length as both pieces combined to ensure you get the correct length, and burn the ends of the rope.

Burning the rope ends will prevent fraying and ensure your new pull cord is secure when you replace it.

Step 4: Wind Spring Counter Clockwise to Put Load on Spring. Hold in Place

When rewinding the starter, it’s important to wind the coil spring counterclockwise. This will load the spring and help keep the pull cord tight once you change it. Hold the spring in place with one hand while winding with the other.

Step 5: Line up Hole on Starter Housing and Rope Rotor

Line up the hole in the starter cord housing with the rope rotor hole. This is where you will insert the rope.

Step 6: Insert New Cord Into Hole on Starter Housing and Rope Rotor. Tie Knot

Once the holes are aligned, insert the new cord into the starter housing and rope rotor, also called the starter pulley. Tie a knot at the rope’s end to secure it in place. Keep a tight hold on the rope rotor to keep it from sucking the rope back in completely.

Step 7: Holding Rope – Release Spring to Pull Rope In

Once the rope has been inserted and secured, you can release the spring. This will pull the rope in and wrap it around the rotor. Keep a tight hold on the rope to prevent it from being sucked in completely.

Step 8: Insert Rope Into Starter Handle and Tie Knot

Once the rope has been rewound, insert the outside end into the pull handle. Tie a double knot at the end to secure it in place. The knotted end will keep the rope from pulling out of the handle.

Step 9: Pull Rope Handle to Check the For Proper Recoil

Pull on the rope handle to check for proper recoil. If it doesn’t recoil properly, try rewinding the spring and adjusting how much rope is pulled in.

Step 10: Reinstall Starter on Mower.

Once the pull cord works properly, you can re-install the starter onto the mower. Make sure all mounting bolts are tight and double-check how the pull cord works again for good measure.

And there you have it! Now you know how to fix a broken or missing pull cord on your lawn mower.

If you follow these steps correctly, you can get back to smooth-running and healthy lawn maintenance in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size Is Mower Pull Rope?

When you need to replace lawn mower pull cord make sure you use the correct size. Most lawn mower pull cord ranges from #4.5 to #6.5 rope diameters.

Is It Hard to Replace Pull Cord on Lawn Mower?

Starter rope on a lawn mower is not difficult to do. Anyone can easily replace the starter rope of a pull cord assembly if they know how. Refer to the ten steps above to replace the pull cord on a lawn mower.

How Do You Fix a Limp Pull Cord?

A lawnmower pull cord can sometimes not recoil all the way back into a starter and appear limp. If this happens, it means that the recoil spring is not strong enough to pull the cord back into the starter. Try rewinding the recoil spring and adjusting how much rope is pulled in. Either that or cut off excessive rope if the lawnmower pull cord is too long.

What Kind of Rope Is Lawn Mower Pull Cord?

Most rope used in a lawn mower starter assembly is made of nylon. Nylon is a durable and flexible material that can withstand extreme temperatures and heavy loads without breaking or fraying. It’s also relatively easy to find and replace.

Are all lawn mower pull cords the same?

No, all pull cords are not the same. Depending on the size of the engine and the way the rope is mounted, the rope can be different. A larger engine like a Honda GX390 will require a larger diameter rope than a Honda GC160. Check your manual and replace the pull cord with the size specified.

How do you fix a pull cord that won’t retract?

If the pull cord does not retract and recoil properly, there are a few things that you can do. First, check if the rope is frayed and replace it if necessary.

Second, ensure the spring is wound properly to pull the rope back in and that the assembly does not have worn pawls. If the pawls are plastic and worn, they will need to be replaced with new pawls before the repair can be completed. Some engines use metal components for the pawls and are less likely to get damaged or worn.

Third, check how taut the rope is and adjust how much it recoils into the assembly. Finally, check how tight the starter housing screws are. If they are loose, re-tighten them for proper recoil repair.

How do I fix my lawn mower pull cord not retracting?

If your lawn mower pull cord does not retract properly, the first step is to check how tight the starter housing screws are. If they are loose, re-tighten them. Next, check how taut the rope is and how much it is drawn into the assembly.

Adjust as necessary if needed, and then rewind the spring. Finally, check for frayed rope or worn parts, and replace any damaged ones. Following these steps should help to get your pull cord retracting properly.

Wrapping Up

Replacing the pull cord in a lawn mower is an easy task that can make all the difference in keeping your lawn healthy and looking great. Just make sure to follow the steps and use the right size rope for your mower.

The proper diameter and length of the starter cord can be determined by measuring the old cord. The starter cord replacement process should take 20 minutes or less, and you are back to cutting your grass.

You can return to mowing with a working pull cord in no time.

As a shop owner, I can say this with 100% confidence. A new lawn mower can have a broken recoil rope, just like an old lawn mower. A new mower is no immune to a broken rope. It is important to know how to fix this issue to save you money by not having to take your mower to a repair shop.

Also, the same principles apply to repairing a recoil rope on all equipment, like a leaf blower or chainsaw.

Most homeowners never think about the starting rope until it breaks. Replacing the recoil cord on an engine can be pretty easy and should be done during your annual equipment tune-up to avoid any equipment downtime.

I have been part of the chainsaw and outdoor power equipment business in one way or the other for over 35 years. There are not many things that I have not seen in the business. From repairs, sales, equipment operation, and safety I can help you with your questions.

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Lawn Mower Pull Cord Hard to Pull: Causes and How To Fix It

Having a lawn mower pull cord hard to pull is not an uncommon issue in this mechanical device, and it is worrisome if you have already tried your best to start your lawn mower through its pull cord but did not succeed.

You may consider this a major problem because when your lawn mower does not start, it means that it is not in perfect condition. However, in this article, you will understand that you just have to do a few minor adjustments and it would be an easy fix.

Let’s start to figure out the possible issues that is causing your lawn mower to have problems affecting its pull cord.

Why Is Your Lawn Mower Pull Cord Hard To Pull?

Your lawn mower pull cord hard to pull is because of the way you pull the cord, the area where your mower is located when you are trying to start it, because it has a blade obstruction, or because of a starter mechanism-related issue.

– Wrong Way of Pulling

Pulling the pull cord should be straight away from the mower, and if you are doing it in any other way, then it could cause a problem. It is possible that you are just adding friction when you are pulling the cord without being attentive to the direction your hand is going.

– Having a Blade Obstruction

Blade obstruction occurs when something is blocking or stopping the blade from moving and makes your pull cord hard to pull. This issue commonly occurs when there is small debris lodged between the blade and the mower deck or when you are starting your lawn mower in the yard.

The height of the grass in your lawn might be causing an obstruction and creating resistance when you make your mower start.

– Broken Handle and Cord

The moment your mower pull cord becomes harder to pull, the handle and cord are the first things you should observe. A damaged handle and cord would make it hard for you to pull, especially because some lawn mower owners just try to reattach a broken cord and put up with a damaged handle.

Remember that it is best to replace the parts with new ones if your mower handle and the cord are already damaged.

– Hydro Locked

The hydro lock happens when a lot of oil spills into the exhaust area. The engine oil blocks the engine, and it affects the piston by preventing it from moving. This will result in the oil going on the piston as it has nowhere to go, and most of the time, this makes it hard to pull the cord.

To diagnose this issue, you have to detach the spark plug. After doing that, start the engine. As you remove the engine pressure that was released by the spark plug. it will make it easier to pull the starter rope. You will also notice that there is oil and fuel being ejected out of the hole where the spark plug is located when you try to pull the cord.

How Can You Fix It?

To fix your lawn mower pull cord that is hard to pull, you can try improving your way of pulling, removing any blade obstructions, changing the lawn mower handle and cord, or fixing the hydro lock.

These methods will help you fix the mower in no time.

Now that you know the possible reasons that could be causing this issue, you are better equipped to fix your lawn mower pull cord that is hard to pull.

– Improving Your Way of Pulling

Observe your lawn mower and observe the direction in which the rope comes out of the recoil starter. Then, go into a position where you can pull the starter rope without adding resistance. This way, you would end up having a smooth and easy pull.

Here’s an additional technique: brace the mower in its place using your off-hand while your main hand pulls the cord. This action will make sure that as you pull, the energy that you are releasing would apply to the rope alone and not to the mower.

– Removing Blade Obstruction

The next time you start your mower’s engine, observe the length of the grass where your mower is sitting, and compare it to your mower’s height. If you see that the blades of grass can create an obstruction, then try moving your lawn mower to your driveway or any flat surface where the blade can turn freely to prevent the starter rope from becoming hard to pull.

How to replace the rope on a lawn mower or generator recoil. It’s easy, if you Ask the Mower Guy.

Here’s another tip: try lifting the front part of the lawn mower before pulling out the starter cord, and it will be easier to pull.

– Changing the Handle and Cord

As soon as you discover that the handle and cord are broken, replace them immediately as they are essential components for your lawn mower start engine.

Changing this part requires plenty of steps, so we have below a step-by-step guide on how you can carry it out.

  • Detach the engine cover: Using a socket wrench, detach the bolt that stabilizes the engine cover.
  • Detach the Recoil House: Once you have removed the engine cover, lift it up and set it aside.
  • Tie a Knot in the Cord: In the next step, hold the cord and tie a knot in it. The purpose of this knot is to prevent the cord from returning back into the recoil house in case you accidentally let go of it.
  • Cut the Cord: Disrupt the starter handle, and set it aside using a pair of scissors. Be careful not to cut off the knot while cutting the cord.
  • Pull out The Cord: Pull the entire length of cord in the housing until there is none left.
  • Clamp the Recoil Hub: By this time, get the C-clamp. Use it to keep the fully extended cord in place, and put it on the starter. Make sure that it is tightened just right to prevent damaging the starter.
  • Remove the Old Cord: In the interior of the starter hub, you will see the end of the cord that has a knot, take a hold of it, and pull the cord out of the interior.
  • Engage the New Cord in the Starter Hub: Put on the new cord throughout the house, and keep in mind that its length should match that of your old cord.
  • Tie the New Cord in the Starter Hub: With the brand-new cord in hand, look for the inside end of the cord, and tie a firm knot on it. Make sure to cut the excess cord in the knot using your scissors.
  • Engage and Tie the New Cord to the Handle: After tying a knot, engage the cord through the handle and tie a knot at its end.
  • Remove the Clamp: Hold the cord close to the starter hub. Expect the recoil spring to draw back the cord into the housing as you remove the clamp, so get a firm grip on it.
  • Push in the Cord and Test: Release the cord slowly, and let the recoil spring take it in. Once it is done, do a test run by pulling the handle and letting the spring take back the cord.
  • Reattach the Recoil: If everything is perfectly fine with the cord, the last step is to reattach the recoil back into your mower and give it a try again.

– Fixing the Hydro Lock

Actually, you are halfway through the process of fixing the hydro lock as you inspect the engine by removing the spark plug. Another thing you have to do is to remove the oil from the engine by removing the spark plug, covering its area, pulling the starter rope, spraying an engine starter, installing the spark plug, and then trying to start the engine.


Having a lawn mower pull cord that is hard to pull is an uncommon issue, but it is definitely an easy fix.

  • Use the right technique when pulling the cord.
  • Make sure that there are no obstructions before you start to pull the cord.
  • Make sure that the handle and cord are in good condition.
  • Fix the hydro lock as soon as you diagnose any issue.

While your lawn mower pull cord becomes hard to pull because of a variety of reasons, there are also a lot of ways for you to deal with it. With the problem solved, you can go back to maintaining your beautiful lawn in no time!

Lawn Mower Pull Cord Won’t Retract

You’ve just finished cutting the grass with your trusty lawnmower when you walk over to start it up again and pull on the starter cord, but nothing happens. What should you do?

When your lawn mower pull cord won’t retract, it may be due to a broken or jammed assembly, rusted ball bearings, and a damaged starter clutch or recoil mechanism. Easy fixes include replacing the broken, rusted, or damaged parts. Also, lubricating the moving parts may help solve these problems.

Read on to learn more about the problems that may cause your lawn mower’s pull cord to not retract, and easy fixes that may help.

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The Pull Cord Assembly Is Broken or Jammed

If the lawnmower pull cord is broken or jammed, it will not retract. In general, the pull cord assembly may do the following:

  • Break or get jammed due to a bent or broken pulley.
  • Have a bent or broken cord.
  • A slipped knot in the cord jams when the end comes through the hole in the housing.
  • Rust/corrosion from exposure to weather affecting metal components.

Here are some tell-tale signs of a broken or jammed pull cord assembly:

  • The pull cord is broken, or the pull cord is hanging loose but is not attached to any part of the mower.
  • The pulley does not rotate when you pull on the starter cord.
  • The starter grip rotates with the pulley, but no cord moves through it because there’s an obstruction in the housing, such as something blocking the passage of the cord.
  • The engine starts fine but stops running as soon as you release the handle or stop pulling on the cord.

How To Fix

To fix a broken pull cord, replace it with another similar-sized sturdy rope or leather cord. Make sure to knot it securely at both ends. If the pulley is bent or otherwise damaged, replace it. Have a professional repair any stripped teeth on the engine flywheel or replace it if necessary.

You could also disassemble the starter housing as far as needed to access what needs to be repaired or replaced.

As for corroded ball bearings, spray them with lubricating oil (WD-40 works well) and then work the pull cord until they loosen up again; otherwise, replace them entirely.

The Ball Bearings Have Rusted

If the ball bearings have rusted due to exposure to weather affecting metal components, the lawnmower pull cord won’t retract because the ball bearings in the starter clutch are frozen or rusted.

Here are five signs that your lawn mower’s ball bearings are rusted:

  • The starter cord doesn’t fully retract when you release it.
  • The starter cord pulls out slowly and reluctantly, even when you’re just trying to roll the mower around in place.
  • There’s a noticeable clicking or popping sound every time you pull the starter cord and try to start the engine.
  • You can hear and feel a gritty rustling noise coming from inside the lawn mower housing when you try to retract the starter cord by hand.
  • When you pull up on the starter cord, it barely moves at all. Or if it does move, then it moves only slightly but requires great effort.

How To Fix

For starters, try spraying them with lubricating oil, such as this highly effective, easy-to-apply, and moisture-displacing WD-40 Multi-Use Product with Smart STRAW (link to Amazon), and then working the pull cord until they free up again.

Also, you can try cleaning the rust/corrosion off of the ball bearings with steel wool or sandpaper to give them a fresh start. If these solutions don’t work, replace them entirely. As for the started clutch–check it for damage and replace it as necessary.

Additionally, ensure you always clean your mower to keep it in the best shape. Here’s a video that may help:

Thriving Yard aims to simplify the unnecessarily complex process of growing and maintaining a healthy, thriving lawn and garden. Unlike corporate website companies who write articles from an office overlooking a major city, the authors on this website live in small towns and regularly use many of the tips and recommendations provided in their own garden and lawn care. Read

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