A push mower needs its strings pulled to start.
Usually, you only pull thrice and the engine starts without a hitch so you can get your work done. However, sometimes you notice a glitch and the usual three-string pulls don’t work as expected.
What could be the problem? Well, there are usually two reasons, which are not that serious and could be fixed easily.
The engine could be the problem with the recoiler start acting up.
If you have been oiling it regularly, then this should not happen, but you can still make a quick oil check to see whether the level has fallen below what is recommended.
On a rotary mower, the starting mechanism connects to the blades, and so a build-up of debris could cause this hitch. Again, this is something that you can fix fast without having to postpone your mowing session.
For the above problems, these quick fixes will work instantaneously so you can start your mower and get to work.
1. Check if Brake is engaged
If the mower is new and you are using it for the first time, then check the brake as some manufacturers engage it for safety.
You would have to disengage it to start the mower, which is quite a simple procedure.
2. Check the Level of Oil
Every new mower comes with a manual that tells you the recommended level of oil, and so you want to keep it at that all the time. If it runs out or goes below the level, then you will expect issues with your lawn mower.
It may even prevent it from starting.
If it runs out while the mower is still in operation, it could suffer damage that will need repairs before you can use it, but a cold mower makes it easy to free the piston and oil it for normal operation.
To check the level of oil, check the oil dipstick and add some if the crankcase is empty. Then, with a pair of leather gloves on, push the blades until they no longer feel stuck, and then pull your strings to start the mower.
3. Clean Underneath your Rotary Lawn Mower
When off season, you want to check underneath your rotary lawn mower and clean off the debris. Small rocks could have lodged themselves in the blade, preventing it from turning, and therefore unable to start.
If your mower has a brake lever, you want to depress it when pulling the started rope or the mower won’t start. That is of course, after checking that the underside is clear of any obstacles.
4. Too Much Oil
If you stored your mower standing on its front wheels or you overfilled it with oil, then it could seep into the piston cylinder and prevent it from moving. However much you pull, it won’t start until you remove get rid of the excess oil.
To do this, remove the spark plug to open the cylinder and pull out the cord. Start pulling the cord until the excess oil is burnt and the mower is running as normal.
It will smoke a lot while at it, but at least it will get rid of the excess oil.
More Serious Problems
These are not the only reason your starter is acting up. There could be more serious issues that could require the attention of a professional.
If your mower is well oiled but the pulley still won’t respond, then the problem could be with the starter itself.
The cord wraps itself 5-6 times inside the starter pulley, and it could be tangled too much to respond when pulled.
One other thing is the spring that allows the cord to retract.
If it is unseated, then it won’t connect with the pulley, and so you won’t be able to start your mower.
To fix this issue, you will have to disassemble the starter from the engine housing. When they are separated, you can then fix the cord and screw it back to try starting it.
If you still can’t start your mower even after checking the above, then it could signify a faulty engine.
Engines are ruined by poor storage – in moist places and failure to add oil, but only over prolonged periods of time. A failed engine has but one remedy: replacement.