Lawn mower string jammed. CleanMyMac Review

CleanMyMac Review

When the IBM PC was new, I served as the president of the San Francisco PC User Group for three years. That’s how I met PCMag’s editorial team, who brought me on board in 1986. In the years since that fateful meeting, I’ve become PCMag’s expert on security, privacy, and identity protection, putting antivirus tools, security suites, and all kinds of security software through their paces.

The Bottom Line

CleanMyMac has an unusual, colorful user interface and a wide range of tools to clean and tune your Mac. It removes malware with no fanfare, but it lacks features found in competitors and the independent labs don’t vouch for it.

PCMag editors select and review products independently. If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn commissions, which help support our testing.


  • Fast install
  • Quick malware scan
  • Vulnerability scanner
  • Effective cleanup and tune-up tools
  • Colorful, cheerful user interface

CleanMyMac Specs

Most antivirus companies that publish macOS antivirus tools started with Windows security products. Not Kyiv-based MacPaw, which makes CleanMyMac. CleanMyMac is thoroughly Mac-focused, combining antivirus protection with a broad range of features to clean and tune your Mac. The cleanup features are effective and truly useful. The core antivirus visibly does its job, but it lacks some standard features and doesn’t have any lab test results.

By contrast, Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac and Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac hold perfect scores from AV-Test, and Bitdefender adds a perfect score from AV-Comparatives. Norton is a cross-platform security suite that includes a no-limits VPN and 50GB of storage for your (Windows) online backups. Bitdefender also packs a VPN, ransomware protection, and a few other bonuses. Neither does as much to clean up and speed up your Mac as CleanMyMac does, but these two are our Editors’ Choice antivirus picks for the Mac.

Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. See how we test. (Opens in a new window)

Note that CleanMyMac’s online description clearly states that it fights off malware, adware, ransomware, and all other ‘wares’ specific to macOS. I’m evaluating this program as an antivirus utility for Macs, one that happens to have a big collection of bonus tools to clean and tune your Mac. A review focused on the cleanup side might well take a different approach.

How Much Does CleanMyMac Cost?

A one-year one-Mac subscription for CleanMyMac costs 39.95, the same (or nearly so) as Bitdefender, ESET, Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac, and Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus for Mac. After that, it gets confusing. The list price for a two-device CleanMyMac subscription is 79.90, and for five devices it goes up to a whopping 199.75. But those are cut by a volume discount (always active) and a daily coupon discount. Ignoring the coupon discount, you pay 59.95 for two licenses after the volume discount, about the same as F-Secure Safe for Mac. A five-device subscription will run you 89.95. Once you get past the discount confusion, CleanMyMac’s pricing is in line with the competition.

Total Defense Essential Anti-Virus for Mac

Intego Mac Internet Security

Webroot Antivirus for Mac

Avast, Avira, and AVG are free, which is handy if you didn’t budget for Mac antivirus. At the other end of the price spectrum, Norton lists at 104.99 per year to protect five devices. That sounds high, but Norton is a full-scale, cross-platform security suite. In addition, that price gets you five licenses for Norton’s VPN and 50GB of online storage for your backups.

Like Sophos Home Premium for Mac, CleanMyMac requires a macOS version of at least High Sierra (10.13). That should be an easy requirement to meet, given how simple Apple makes staying up to date. Some competitors require even more recent versions. Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac, for example, supports the current version and the two previous ones, meaning Ventura (13), Monterey (12), and Big Sur (11).

Some Mac users are stuck using an old macOS version, perhaps due to antiquated hardware. Don’t worry; protection is still available. For example, ProtectWorks AntiVirus for Mac supports versions back to Snow Leopard (10.6), and Intego Mac Internet Security works with Mavericks (10.9) or later.

Getting Started With CleanMyMac

CleanMyMac uses the super-simple style of Mac app installation; you just drag its icon to Applications. I finished the process by executing the program and activating it with my installation code. The program launched right away into a quick review of features, with musical accompaniment.

CleanMyMac doesn’t fall back on the typical off-white or dark gray background. Rather, its various pages use gradient-fill backgrounds of many bold colors. The main page has a lavender background with a welcome message and a Scan button.

Down the left, you find a list of all the feature pages, organized into categories: Cleanup, Protection, Speed, Applications, and Files. Clicking the Scan button on this page runs a Smart Scan, meaning it scans for junk files, takes a quick look for malware, and checks for ways to speed up your Mac. That scan finished in just over a minute. I took the program’s advice and ran a Deep Scan, but even that scan took no longer than two minutes. CleanMyMac also advised me to purge unneeded files to save space. The explanatory page warns that this process is time-consuming, but it didn’t take more than another minute or two on my test system.

No Lab Results

For my Windows antivirus reviews I closely track the regular reports from four antivirus testing labs around the world: AV-Comparatives, AV-Test, MRG-Effitas (Opens in a new window). and SE Labs (Opens in a new window). Two of these (AV-Test and AV-Comparatives (Opens in a new window) ) also put macOS antivirus tools to the test. When I first started reporting on macOS antivirus, I selected only antivirus apps that appeared in results from at least one lab. At present, two-thirds of the macOS antivirus tools I track don’t show up in test results from either lab. CleanMyMac is one of those.

At the other extreme, about a quarter of the apps appear in results from both labs. Avast One for Mac, AVG, Bitdefender, and Trend Micro earn perfect scores from both. MacKeeper and Norton only participate with AV-Test Institute (Opens in a new window). but that lab gives both a perfect score in its latest look at the app.

MacPaw’s MoonLock antivirus engine doesn’t go totally ignored by certification sites. Opswat awarded it gold certification, meaning it’s compatible with business-level control systems. But it doesn’t reach the Platinum level the way Avira Free Antivirus for Mac, Bitdefender, Trend Micro, and a few others do. At that level, Opswat vouches both for compatibility and effectiveness.

The MoonLock web page (Opens in a new window) reports that MoonLock achieves 93.3% protection in a private test by AV-Test. This isn’t directly comparable to other scores, since it wasn’t tested simultaneously and doesn’t have scores for Performance and Usability. However, had an antivirus reached that score in the latest public test it would have received 1.5 of 6 possible points for protection. That’s not entirely bad, since this kind of test gives antivirus makers detailed information about how they can improve their products.

Limited Hands-On Testing

It’s common for Mac-centric antivirus tools to detect Windows malware as well. Naturally, malware designed for Windows won’t run on a Mac. This is a precaution to ensure the Mac doesn’t become a carrier. Total Defense, G Data, and Avast perform especially well against Windows malware in my testing, eliminating 97%, 96%, and 95% of the samples respectively.

CleanMyMac doesn’t promise to remove Windows malware, but I ran my usual test regardless. I copied my Windows malware collection, more than 60 samples, to a thumb drive, then connected that drive to the Mac. At the time of my last review, CleanMyMac did nothing, even when I copied the files to the desktop and ran an on-demand scan. This time around, CleanMyMac asked for permission to scan the thumb drive and got right to work. It didn’t produce a report, nor did it display any notifications. But when I checked, almost three-quarters of the samples had vanished. I repeated this test, with the same result.

Proceeding with my investigation, I went to the feature check pages (Opens in a new window) provided by AMTSO, the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization. Here I downloaded the EICAR test file (Opens in a new window). a small, simple, harmless file that almost every antivirus company has agreed to detect as malware, for testing purposes. When I last tested CleanMyMac, its scan detected the EICAR file. This time around, the file vanished without any notification. I asked my MacPaw contact whether there was a log I could check, a quarantine list, or some way to verify that CleanMyMac actually did the job.

According to my contact, “Moonlock Engine entirely deletes malware, and they no longer exist on the device. No footprints. Logs are not available for users.” However, she showed me how to bring up an overview panel that would display the elimination of malware in real-time. Running the test again gave me proof that CleanMyMac was doing its job, and that the malware didn’t just happen to evaporate.

A feature found in many macOS antivirus utilities is the ability to steer the user’s browser away from malware-hosting websites. Most of them accomplish this using browser extensions, though a few do their work below the browser level. This feature almost always includes detection of phishing sites, fraudulent sites that try to steal your passwords. I don’t have the resources to find websites specifically hosting macOS malware, but phishing is platform-agnostic, as is my phishing protection test.

However, CleanMyMac doesn’t offer this feature. The program’s documentation notes that modern browsers have protection against malicious and fraudulent sites built in, which is true. ClamXAV, MacKeeper, and Malwarebytes for Mac Premium take a similar position.

In my hands-on testing, though, I find that the best Mac-centric antivirus apps outperform the browser built-ins, sometimes by quite a bit. In their respective latest tests, Avast and Trend Micro managed a perfect 100% score while Bitdefender and AVG came in at 99%. They all outscored the browser built-ins, by amounts ranging from under 10% to over 50%.

CleanMyMac Privacy Protection

Under the Protection category in the left-rail menu, you find Malware Removal and Privacy. The latter doesn’t reference any strong protection against attacks on your privacy and personal information, though. It doesn’t actively block advertising trackers and other trackers, it doesn’t seek your personal information on the dark web, nor does it remove your personal data from data aggregator websites.

Just what does CleanMyMac do for your privacy? For one, it clears traces of your browsing history from popular browsers Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Admittedly, it does a thorough job. In addition to the expected clearing of history and cookies, it sweeps clean such items as Autofill data, saved passwords, and download history. It can also clear recently used file lists from Finder and Wi-Fi networks that your Mac remembers. The privacy scan simply reports these findings without marking any for deletion. It’s up to you to choose which ones get wiped.

There’s one more category of privacy data that’s not quite like the rest. CleanMyMac scans for apps that have specific permissions such as access to the camera, documents folder, and microphone. Many apps, including CleanMyMac itself, legitimately need these permissions to function, so you shouldn’t just wildly delete permissions. On the other hand, if you revoke something that an app requires to function, it will simply ask you again to grant that permission when needed.

Related Features

CleanMyMac’s application features don’t all relate directly to security, but the Updater is definitely important. Malicious coders pore over popular applications, seeking security holes that they can exploit. The creators of those applications work hard to patch those security holes and push out updated software. But until you install those security updates, your Mac remains vulnerable. It’s true that macOS defaults to a rather robust automated update system. This scan didn’t find any unpatched apps on my test system.

Uninstalling applications doesn’t improve your security, but decluttering is Smart. CleanMyMac promises to perform a thorough uninstall of any apps you choose for removal, without any leftovers. Speaking of leftovers, it also finds bits and pieces left over from imperfect uninstalls. My test Mac had a dozen or so of them, including files from Avast, McAfee AntiVirus Plus for Mac, and Bitdefender. Crusty old antivirus files can interfere with installing a newer antivirus, so getting rid of them is a big plus.

That leaves the Extensions scanner. As you use your Mac, you can wind up installing all kinds of widgets, plug-ins, and other extensions. CleanMyMac scans for and reports on extensions to Spotlight, Safari, and Preferences, as well as internet plug-ins. My Mac is used strictly for testing, but it still had one unfamiliar Spotlight plugin. Have a look at the list, and feel free to remove any that you’re not using.

CleanMyMac Assistant

This program has so many features, you might not even get around to using them all. That’s where the Assistant comes in. Each time you finish a process such as clearing up uninstall leftovers or scanning for malware, the Assistant slides in suggesting other actions you could take, things like uninstalling unused apps, running an optimization scan, or performing maintenance tasks. It reminds me, to an extent, of the AutoPilot feature in Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac. In both cases, the app prompts you to make full use of its features.

If you click to fully open the Assistant, it shows more suggestions and also displays stats about the app’s successes across the bottom. At any time, you can bring up the Assistant (or dismiss it) by clicking a link at the top right.

Cleanup and Speedup Features

CleanMyMac is the name, and indeed it does much more than clean away malware. A full collection of cleanup and speedup features should expand your free disk space and get your Mac running at its most efficient.

In the Cleanup category, it cleans System Junk and Mail Attachments and empties the Trash. The System Junk scan is self-explanatory; it also runs as part of the recommended Smart Scan. By default, it performs “Smart selection,” choosing which items can be deleted without consequences. You can also dig into its findings and mark more items for deletion, things like downloaded files (all of them or just some), unused disk image files, and file versions saved by data editing programs.

One unusual choice is titled Universal Binaries. The associated page explains that to support both Intel hardware and Apple’s own processors, developers must pack two different binaries into each program. CleanMyMac offers to purge the one that doesn’t match your hardware. I’ve never seen an antivirus offer this. It shows MacPaw’s developers have a seriously deep understanding of macOS and Mac hardware.

The Mail Attachments scan checks for unnecessary local copies of messages and attached files associated with the Mail app. You can clear these local copies without causing trouble—Mail will just download them again if needed. Finally, CleanMyMac can empty the trash, and not just the main Trash but trash bins associated with specific apps such as the photo library.

Some files are clearly junk, like old cache files and temporary files. Other files require your consideration as to whether they’re necessary or worthy of removal. In the Files menu category, CleanMyMac offers three features: Space Lens, Large Old Files, and Shredder. Space Lens maps file usage on your Mac, showing folders in circles whose size matches the amount of space used. You can use this feature to delete unwanted files if you wish. In testing, I found that almost every folder was protected against deletion due to the presence of essential system files.

You’ll get the most benefit by deleting files that are both unnecessary and large. That’s where the Large Old files scan comes in. And unlike Space Lens, it doesn’t report on system files. Deleting one or two “whales” with this tool could save you a lot of disk space.

What if the file you want to delete is super sensitive? Your code for a world-dominating AI, perhaps, or the stolen specs for a methane micro-laser? Simply deleting a file can leave data on your disk that’s subject to recovery with forensic software. If you want to make sure the NSA can’t find traces of a deleted file, use the Shredder.

In testing, I found that this component offered two choices, Remove Immediately and Remove Securely. The choice is almost hidden, next to the Shred button. A little research revealed that Remove Immediately, the default performs ordinary file deletion with the added ability to delete files locked by Finder or another program. If you want to hide all your traces, overwriting data before deleting files and folders, you must choose Remove Securely.

That leaves the Speed category, populated by Optimization and Maintenance. The Optimization tool aims to regain computing power for your Mac by ending unnecessary processes. You can take control of programs that automatically launch every time you log in, kill applications that are hung, and consider whether you need apps listed as heavy resource consumers.

The list of Launch Agents isn’t quite as easy to grasp. CleanMyMac calls them “satellite applications” and notes that “in some cases you may consider removing or disabling them.” I was surprised to find several items related to no-longer-present tools from Vipre and NordLocker. I thought I cleaned up those leftovers with the Uninstaller tool.

The Maintenance tool simply offers nine scripts that perform maintenance tasks on your Mac: Free Up RAM; Free Up Purgeable Space; Run Maintenance Scripts; Flush DNS Cache; Speed Up Mail; Reindex Spotlight; Repair Disk Permissions; Time Machine Snapshot Thinning; Verify and Repair disks. Selecting each script gets you a description and, in some cases, advice on when to use it. Several include warnings that the process is lengthy. Don’t just check them all off and hit Run unless you’re prepared to leave the Mac alone for a while.

Just one more thing (as Columbo would say). On several occasions, I encountered a link to try Gemini, an app designed to save space by eliminating duplicate files. The suggestion to try Gemini also appeared as the final advice pane in the Assistant. Gemini (19.95 per year) turns out to be a separate purchase from MacPaw, which seems odd. I haven’t seen duplicate searching as a feature in many macOS security tools, but various Windows-based programs such as Avira Prime and TotalAV Antivirus Pro simply lump duplicate removal in with other cleanup features.

I loaded up the free trial, just to have a look. It seems very thorough. Naturally, it asked for permission to view files in my Documents, Downloads, and other folders. But it also asked to connect with photos and music in the Cloud. Its detection includes both true duplicates and files that are just similar, much like the similar feature in Norton. For example, it found four rather different screenshots of the same program. The framework for each was the same, but the background and text were quite different. I was impressed that Gemini recognized the connection. It’s a clever tool, just not related to security.

A Pretty Cleanup Tool

With its colorful backgrounds and attractive pages, CleanMyMac is a lot better looking than the average macOS antivirus. It also boasts a wide range of truly useful features for tuning and cleaning your Mac. And unlike in previous tests, I verified that it works as an antivirus. However, the labs don’t test it, and it doesn’t offer phishing protection, a security feature found in most competitors. Pick this one if you’re more interested in tuning up your Mac, with malware protection as a bonus.

lawn, mower, string, jammed, cleanmymac, review

Our Editors’ Choice picks for macOS antivirus come with substantial proof of their abilities. Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac earned perfect scores from two labs and Norton 360 Deluxe for Mac earned one perfect score. They also achieved excellent scores in our hands-on tests. Bitdefender costs about the same as CleanMyMac. Norton costs more but gives you five security suite licenses, five VPN licenses, and 50GB of online storage for your backups. Unless your FOCUS is system cleanup rather than security, one of these will be a better choice.

Help! My Lawn Mower Pull Cord Is Not Catching | Here Is How To Fix It Fast!

Lawn mowers are widely used in various settings, including fields, lawns, and gardens, for cutting, trimming, or mowing the grass. They help ensure that the grass grows to the appropriate height and remains well-groomed. In addition, these useful machines help individuals save money and time when cutting the grass. Read this article to know why lawn mower pull cord not catching.

Like any other machine, lawn mowers are susceptible to breaking down occasionally. This is a very aggravating situation, and it is made even worse when it takes place during the active growth period of your lawn. For instance, a pull cord not catching is a common problem many lawn mower owners face from time to time. If the pull cord on your lawn mower is not catching, nothing will happen, and your lawn mower will not start.

This issue manifests itself more frequently in older lawn mowers that have been through a lot in their lives. However, the cause behind such a problem can often be easily identified and resolved. For instance, the most likely reason the mower’s pull cord won’t catch and start is a broken pulley system or worn pawls. In contrast, other probable causes include a broken recoil spring or a damaged pull cord.

lawn, mower, string, jammed, cleanmymac, review

Read this article to learn more. I will explain why the cord on your lawnmower won’t pull, and then I will provide a few possible solutions to the problem.

Lawn Mower Recoil Starter Assembly

If the pull cord on your lawn mower is not catching, you’ll need to learn the mechanism that controls it in order to figure out the issue and fix it easily. In either case, a full replacement starter assembly will normally cost about thirty dollars.

And the repair is a simple do-it-yourself job that takes only a few minutes to complete. So, let’s go ahead and learn about the different parts of a lawn mower starter assembly.

These components are crankshaft adapter, engaging pawls, flywheel pawl receiver, flywheel receiver, handle, paul spring, pull assembly housing, pull cord, pulley, and pulley cover, pulley recoil spring, and starter housing.

Also, remember that occasionally the problem can be easily fixed, such as when the handle or pull cord breaks. In this case, all that needs to be done is to replace the pull cord or the handle, which is a task that everyone can perform on their own.

However, there are several other issues as well that could be the problem. There is no need to worry, though. Each of these also has a solution that is not overly complicated.

Can You Fix The Pull Cord Issue Yourself?

If you are handy and enjoy dealing with different mechanical components, it should not be too difficult or expensive for you to replace all or a portion of the pull cord on your lawn mower. However, in order to do this, you should be familiar with the make and model of your lawn mower. After that, you can conduct a search on the internet for the brand of your mower, the model number, and the recoil\starter assembly.

How Does The Pull Cord Work?

The only component of the starting mechanism in a lawn mower that can be seen from the outside is the starter rope or pull cord. However, on the interior of your mower, the rope pulls a series of levers and pulleys to start the engine. When you tug the pull cord on your lawn mower to start the engine, the pull cord activates the start mechanism, which rotates the engine at speed sufficient enough to ignite the combustion module.

Starter Rope Pulls On The Pulley System

Inside, the pull cord is wound around the pulley system. This is what makes it possible to withdraw the starter rope before it can retract back into the mower. In walk-behind mowers, the pulley system is located underneath the lid that is present at the very top of the machine. Whereas the middle of the pulley has a recoil spring.

lawn, mower, string, jammed, cleanmymac, review

Pulley System Has A Recoil Spring

The recoil spring will extend as it is turned, and then it will snap back into place when the movement is stopped. This action immediately retracts the pull cord, enabling you to tug on the pull cord repeatedly in a short time.

Recoil System Operates The Flywheel

Next, the flywheel of the mower is powered by the recoil mechanism. The starter is located above the flywheel, which is situated in close proximity to the crankshaft. Here, magnets are attached to the exterior of the mower’s flywheel, where they produce magnetic energy when the wheel turns. Sparks of extremely high voltage will eventually be emitted from the magnets once they have accumulated sufficient power.

Pawls Catch The Spinning Flywheel

Like the flywheel, the pulley is also attached to the pawls of the lawn mower. Pawls are essentially wings of plastic that rotate as a result of gravitation forces, which assist in catching the flywheels and creating even faster spins.

Next, Crankshaft Moves The Piston

The crankshaft rotates in sync with the flywheel. When the mower’s crankshaft rotates, it assists the piston in moving back and forth, which pushes additional fuel and air mixture inside the combustion chamber of the lawn mower. In the event that this whole mechanism is unable to spin quickly enough, the engine will not start.

Things To Consider Before Repair

If your lawn mower does not have a significant problem, it is not recommended that you throw away your mower and immediately go out and get a replacement mower. Disassembling and reassembling the starter assembly on a lawn mower is easy and rather simple. Additionally, it is worth repairing, and the starter assembly of a walk-behind mower can be replaced by anyone, even those with no mechanical aptitude.

Having said that, I always recommend taking pictures of each stage so you can recall where everything went. However, if the thought of doing this work by yourself makes you feel anxious or overwhelmed, you have a few choices:

  • You can Investigate the possibility that the warranty still applies to your mower.
  • Make contact with a local shop that fixes tiny engines.

Possible Causes Of A Pull Cord Not Catching

Now that you have learned how the lawn mower pull cord works, you will be better able to understand the common failure points and how you can fix them.

Damaged Or Broken Pull Cord

If the pull cord is frayed, damaged, or broken, the starter recoil will not spin, and as a result, neither will the crankshaft adaptor. The casing for the pull assembly will need to be removed to replace the pull cord. Here is how to do it:

  • Take the starter housing off your mower.
  • Cut the new line to match the old.
  • To prevent the pulley from retracting, lock its spokes with a screwdriver.
  • Disconnect the previous starter cord.
  • Replacement rope should be fed through the pulley and knotted.
  • Attach the pull handle to the string and double-knot it.
  • Let the pulley retract after removing the screwdriver.
  • Put the assembly back together in the starting housing.

Broken Pull Cord Handle

Pull cord handles frequently break due to the handle’s potential to become dislodged during the starting procedure. The danger is that the cord might wind itself back up inside the mower at any moment. To deal with this issue, the housing for the pull starter will need to be removed so that the spring can be re-tensioned and the new handle can be installed.

Damaged Pulley System

The recoil spring and the pull cord rope are both kept in the pulley attached to the mower. In addition to stashing it, the pull rope will be directed and fed by the pulley as it works. Unfortunately, pulleys are often made of plastic, which makes them susceptible to cracking.

Pulling a rope around a broken or fractured pulley will be difficult because of the resistance. In the event that the pulley fails to function properly or becomes jammed, the starter mechanism will not operate. Here is how to fix it:

  • First of all, disconnect the spark plug.
  • Take out the rope, secure the pulley, and recoil spring with a screwdriver.
  • Next, free the screwdriver after removing the string to let the spring’s tension recover.
  • To release the pulley, remove the center bolt and friction pulley.
  • Now line the new pulley with the mower’s housing post.
  • Tighten the recoil spring by rotating the pulley.
  • Let go of the screwdriver, and the rope will coil up gradually.
  • After that, reassemble the mower and try to turn on your mower.

Broken Pulley Recoil Spring

Following a pull, the pulley recoil spring is what brings the rope back into its original position. The spring is located in the middle of the pulley and is secured to a socket that is located on the housing for the pulling assembly. Therefore, the pull assembly housing and the pulley will need to be removed before the spring can be changed.

Typically, the spring is replaced with the pulley. It is because working with the spring is quite challenging. Also, obtaining a full pulley assembly does not add much additional expense. So, purchasing and replacing the full assembly is usually the best action.

Damaged Pulley Pawls

In most lawn mower models, the pawls are made of plastic; however, some also use metal. Pulling the starter cord causes a centrifugal force that causes them to fly outwards. Pawls are used to interact with the flywheel receiver, which is often a metal cup attached to the flywheel.

If the flywheel receiver is worn, the pawls won’t be able to engage, and the engine won’t start. So, also check the condition of the flywheel receiver. Here is how you can do it:

  • Remove the spark plug.
  • To see the assembly, remove the starter housing.
  • To release the pawls, unscrew the central bolt and cap.
  • Check the pawls for damage or overuse by removing them.
  • If needed, replace with new pawls.
  • Next, replace the lid and holding bolt.
  • Replace the starter assembly and pull the cord to start your mower.

Other Issues Which Won’t Let The Pull Cord Catch

The problems with the pull cord system of a lawn mower are caused by a variety of factors, the most prevalent of which are described above; however, they are not the only ones.

Damaged Flywheel Receiver

The pawl receiver on the flywheel is a metal cup fastened to the flywheel. When the pulley pawls finally make contact with the receiver, the couple forms, and the engine begins to turn over. If they get damaged, the machine will not start. However, flywheel receivers usually do not cause much trouble in a lawn mower.

Broken Pulley Cover

Most pulley covers are fabricated from plastic, which means they are susceptible to cracking due to normal use. To replace something like this, you will need to take apart the housing for the pulling assembly, but not the pulley itself.

Final Thoughts

If your mower breaks down, it does not necessarily indicate that you will have to spend significant money fixing it. When you are familiar with the various components and how they operate, it is relatively easier to pinpoint where the issue is located. Worn or damaged pawls are the most common cause of a lawnmower pull cord not catching.

If your lawnmower is experiencing this issue, you can get to the bottom of the problem by following the instructions that have been outlined above. However, if you are unsure of your ability to work with mechanical components, it is always best to have a professional come in and look at the machine for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my lawn mower cord not pulling?

Your cord is not pulling because one of the flywheel starting assembly’s components has failed due to wear and tear from frequent use. over, sometimes as the pull cord is being rewound, it will cross over itself. If this occurs, it may become difficult to pull.

How do you fix loose lawn mower string?

When the recoil spring on a lawn mower has lost its tension, the pull cord on the mower will become loose. To resolve this matter, you will need to take apart the pulling assembly and give it a few turns to tighten it. Alternatively, the spring could be replaced.

How do you reset the pull cord on a lawn mower?

In order to reset the spring on a lawn mower, it is typically necessary to disconnect the hub from the starter cover. To accomplish this, you will need to take the cord out. After that, thread the new line through the old one and secure it with a basic knot.

lawn, mower, string, jammed, cleanmymac, review

What causes a lawnmower engine to lock up?

It is possible for the piston to become frozen if you fail to replenish oil in the crankcase of your lawn mower. You might be able to liberate the piston of your lawn mower by removing the spark plug and then manually rocking the blade.

Can a seized lawn mower be fixed?

Most of the time, it’s very simple to dislodge a stuck lawn mower engine, but occasionally, you’re left with no choice except to repair the engine or replace it.

Sources for Further Reading

The 10 Steps of Lawn Mower Maintenance – Alabama Cooperative Extension System

How To Fix A Lawnmower: 5 Common Problems

Lawnmower won’t start? While some lawnmower problems are preventable, others are inevitable.

It is important to learn how the mower works and how to fix a lawnmower at home. Always consult the owner’s manual for any mower before attempting repairs at home. If the mower is under warranty, consult the manufacturer before trying to figure out how to fix a lawnmower at home.

Common Problems And Lawnmower Troubleshooting Tips

Fortunately, it is easy to learn small engine repair and basic lawnmower repair when it comes to simple issues. Most problems can be remedied with a few tools, replacement lawnmower parts, and patience. To save money, always use these lawn mower repair tips for fixing a lawnmower at home before running out to buy a new mower.

The Starter Rope Is Stuck Or Is Hard To Pull

This problem is usually caused by the engagement of the engine flywheel brake. Check to see if the flywheel brake is pressing against the handle before pulling the rope again. When the flywheel brake is not the issue and the problem persists, check the lawnmower blade.

A rope that is stuck or hard to pull may be caused by the blade dragging on the ground or by clippings getting stuck to the blade. To address this issue, place the mower on a hard surface. Make sure the engine is shut off and the spark plug wire is not engaged. Carefully clean the bottom side of the blade to remove any clippings or dirt, put the mower back into position and try pulling the cord again. If the problem persists, one or more lawnmower parts may not be functioning correctly and will need to be repaired. Consult the owner’s manual or search online for repair guides for the specific model and brand of mower.

The Lawnmower Loses Power While Moving

At some point in time, nearly every lawnmower owner will be pushing the mower along and suddenly hear it sputter as the engine stops.

  • One of the most common causes is a dirty filter. Use the owner’s manual to determine where the filter is. Remove the filter and clean it. If the filter is very dirty it may need to be replaced. This is one of the most inexpensive lawnmower parts to replace.
  • If the filter is not the issue, compare the height of the grass to the mower’s cutting height setting. If the grass is tall, adjust the cutting height accordingly.
  • Another way to fix lawn mower power issues is to clean the blade. Refer to the owner’s manual and use the manufacturers instructions to clean the mower blade.
  • If this does not fix the issue, check the spark plug. Many people are able to quickly repair their lawn mowers by cleaning or replacing a spark plug. Spark plugs are also affordable mower parts that are sold online or in home improvement stores.

The Lawnmower Starts Smoking

This is one of the most startling issues to encounter – most people assume that the engine is about to die or blow up. However, this problem is usually not very serious. The engine often smokes when the chamber that holds oil is too full. Check the chamber to see if this is the issue. Another problem may be a leak in the oil chamber. If the mower leans to one side while mowing on a slope, the oil may leak out onto the muffler and cause the smoking. When the mower’s engine is off and has cooled, inspect the oil chamber area for leaks. The issue may be that the cap is not on tight enough. If the part must be replaced, it may be easier to look for the part online than to search for it in stores.

In rarer cases, the smoke may be a sign of a serious issue. If the smoke is white or very light in color and the mower does not run continuously, it is time to have a professional repair company look at the mower.

The Lawnmower Will Not Start

The first step in learning to repair lawn mower starting issues is to check the gas tank. An empty gas tank is the most common cause of a lawnmower not starting. Mower owners who are diligent about keeping their tanks full should still check the tank to see if there is a leak. If the tank is empty but should not be, inspect the outside of the tank for leaks. Replacement tanks can be found using an online lawnmower parts site.

Remember, in order to keep your fuel fresh if you’re going to be storing your lawnmower, use STA-BIL® Storage. It will keep your fuel fresh for 12 months and help protect the fuel tank from the effects of ethanol gas. Also, if there is a shut off valve for the gas lines, by all means, use it.

If the gas tank is not the issue because the mower runs on a battery, check the battery for signs of damage. Lawnmower batteries may also lose their ability to hold a charge as they age. Look for replacement lawnmower batteries if the battery needs to be replaced. Lawnmower batteries vary in price depending on the brand and model of mower.

Another important step in learning how to fix a lawnmower that will not start is checking the spark plugs. If they are dirty, clean them thoroughly. Reconnect them if they are loose. Old spark plugs should be replaced with new ones. If the fuel is not getting to the engine, knock on the carburetor’s side to help the gas flow again. If this does not fix lawn mower issues of this nature, look for a new fuel filter online.

The Lawnmower Loses Speed

When a lawnmower slows down considerably, the issue is usually a dislocated or damaged drive belt. This part is located in the motor casing. Consult the owner’s manual to verify the location. With the mower turned off, inspect the drive belt. If the belt is loose but not damaged, reattach it. If it is damaged, replacement belts are usually easy to find online from a lawnmower parts site. A new belt should repair lawn mower issues of this type. If the lawnmower runs on batteries, check the battery. Some lawnmower batteries may cause this issue if they malfunction, however, it is not common for lawnmower batteries to slow a mower’s speed.

How To Prevent Lawnmower Problems

Knowing how to repair a lawnmower at home saves time and money. The easiest way to avoid frequent problems is to maintain the mower. Follow these simple tips to keep the mower in good condition:

– Always use the correct type of replacement lawnmower parts. – Clean the blade regularly. Make sure to pull the plug so there is no chance that the blades can move while you’re cleaning them. – Oil any moving parts when needed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. – Change the oil as recommended. – Use the correct type of fuel. – Recharge lawnmower batteries according to instructions but avoid overcharging them. – Store the mower in a cool, dry and covered space when it is not in use. – Have the mower serviced as recommended by the manufacturer or warranty.

Lawn Mower Starter Cord Won’t Pull

Craftsman 6.0 horsepower 22 side discharge lawn mower won’t start: The starter rope simply makes half a turn only. It sounds (metal touching sound at half turn) like something blocking the starter rope from turning in the flywheel.

The manual suggests this could be Engine flywheel brake is on when control bar is released. And I followed its suggested solution, Depress control bar to upper handle before pulling starter rope. But it doesn’t work at all.

Note: the mower was fine and it refused to allow its starter rope to be pulled again after the engine automatically stopped while mowing. Please help.


Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had a mower that would only pull half way one day, after I had just used it. Turns out the rope was off track on the wheel. We had to remove the cover to find this out and re-align the rope. Works fine now. (05/11/2005)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I just had this happen to me and it turns out that the blade was clogged up by the grass, which was very long and thick. Just cleared out the stoppage and it worked again. That’s all that was needed in my case. (05/22/2005)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Honda rope change is a serious action and challenge. (05/31/2005)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Try to remove the shroud. If it is a Briggs, it will be three 3/8 bolts. Move the flywheel (the thing on top with fins) by hand or with a screwdriver or pry bar. Make sure you safely disconnect the spark plug lead first! It should hopefully free up. if you hear a clunking sound about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way around in revolution you might listen carefully to determine if you have a serious thrown rod (metal on metal sounding clunk) or crankshaft inside the block (engine).

If it does turn freely, you know you have an ordeal with the starter assembly. Take it to a repair shop. If the flywheel turns but is sluggish perhaps you have collected debris amongst the external blade, flywheel, etc. Usually it is line. If it is still sluggish take it to the shop. Another thing you could try at home is to (again disconnect the spark plug lead) and turn the mower blade by hand to determine if you have a broken flywheel key or something more serious.

Before diving into something major do yourself a favor and take it to a repair shop! Hope this helped some. (03/11/2006)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Thanks for the tips. This definitely helped me with the problems that I was facing. (05/20/2006)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

I had the same problem and it was the plastic inserts that catch the wheel when you pull the rope. They’re easy to replace and cost very little (even for the entire set-up). Simply take off the top plastic cover/s then the three little bolts on top and flip the tank assembly toward the handle (watch the gas line).

Remove the four bolts that hold the metal housing and flip it over to see the pull assembly. If you unscrew the center bolt it lifts off to see two plastic parts the wing out when you pull the rope. This will allow you to pull out the coil so be careful. If you need parts MandD mower has great prices. (11/10/2007)

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

Great suggestions here. This all helped me fix my Briggs push mower. In my case, the starter rope would move when disconnected. The fly wheel would not. I looked under my mower and the blade housing was bent and preventing the blade from turning. Thank you all for the help. Back in business with my old, cheap push mower. (08/16/2008)


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

Archive: Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won’t Pull

I purchased a new lawn mower the end of July this year. I’ve mowed my lawn approximately 6 times. I went out today to mow.


Ask a Question Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Question: Lawn Mower Woes: Starter Cord Won’t Pull?

Recently I bought a new Briggs and Stratton 550 series push mower. I pulled it out, assembled it, put oil and gas in, and primed it. When I went to pull the starter cord, it wouldn’t budge. Advice? Anything I missed? I followed the owners manual word for word.


If you’ve mowed before and then have problems pulling the cord to get it started, it could be that your mower needs cleaned from underneath where the blade turns. When mowing damp grass, it tends to cake around the bottom and it dries up making it hard for the blade to turn which locks up the pulling cord.

Turn your mower sideways and see if it needs cleaning. Scrape off all dried up grass, then try to start up as usual. Should do the trick. Good Luck! Handy-Mama

I recently bought a Troy Bilt self propelled mower, model TB210. I experienced a similar problem, followed the assembly and set up instructions and the starter cord would come out about 5 inches and not budge. No knots in the cord, and I was holding the blade control bar against the upper handle, as instructed. I checked the blades and realized that I did not extend the handle bar as much as I needed to. There was still about six inches of handle bar extending into the rotating blade area and it was preventing me from pulling the starter cord out fully. Once I readjusted the ends of the handle bar I had no problem.

Question: Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck?

My Craftsman 6.0 mower pull cord is stuck. I’ve checked gas, oil, spark plug, and blade. Everything is good on those, but the blade won’t turn by hand. What options do I have, or should I take it to a shop?


You might try spraying a little WD-40 on whatever part(s) you think are stuck. If that fails, then you’ll probably have to take it to the shop.

The rope sometimes gets stuck on the coil winding mechanism underneath. In this case, you need to take it apart, get a new rope and put the whole thing back together.

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