How to Fix or Replace a Lawn Mower Pull Cord That is Stuck or Broken?

A stuck or broken pull cord makes your lawn mower un-operational, and this is frustrating. To understand how to go about this situation, it is first essential to know the pull cord’s function.

A pull cord rotates the hub that connects the crankshaft, and this makes the blade spin. It also connects the carburetor, mower spark plug, and the motor, all at the same time. These things then together start the mower.

However, if your pull cord is stuck or broken, then your mower comes to a standstill. Do not worry because we are here to hand you a solution to fix a lawn mower pull cord that is stuck.

The article lays down the steps to fix or replace a lawn mower pull cord easily and all by yourself.

What Causes the Lawn Mower Pull Cord to get Stuck?

What Causes the Lawn Mower Pull Cord to stuck

Before we take you through the process of fixing or replacing the lawn mower pull cord, here are the reasons that can cause them to get stuck or broken.

  • Lawn mowers usually use an automated brake feature which is controlled by a lever that is attached to the handle of the mower. To pull the cord, you need to press the handle downwards. If the cord gets stuck, check the automatic brake to see if or not it is working correctly.
  • Dirt could cause the lawn mower blade area to get stuck. For this, tilt the lawn mower on its side and check the blade area. If you notice any blockage, clean it.
  • At times the mower starter clutch seizes because of the rusted ball bearing inside the clutch. Fix this issue and the pull cord will start working freely.

The first two issues can be easily identified and rectified.
However, when the mower starter clutch gets seized, you will need to repair it.

Here are the Steps to Follow

  • Move the lawn mower to an even surface and unplug the spark plug.
  • From the mower handle, remove the pull cord.
  • Unscrew 3 or 4 of the screws that hold the starter assembly and the mower.
  • Tap the starter clutch cap and remove the cap and the assembly of the starter clutch.
  • Clean the bearing rust using steel wool of a fine grade. Else this may damage the bearing. The bearing pocket and the shaft should be adequately cleaned as well.
  • Before you reassemble the bearing, make sure to recoil the starter cord in the starter spring of the mower.
  • Spray a little bit of oil at the center of the starter clutch to let the bearing move freely. Place the bearing in its pocket and replace the screw and the cap to their original position. Now tighten the screws well.

Precautions to Save Your Lawn Mower Pull Cord From Frequent Repairs

  • Choose a pool cord that doubles the distance between the handle and the motor housing.
  • Mow the grass only when dry.
  • The lawn should be free of small tree branches and stones before you mow.
  • Clean the mower after each mowing session. Regular maintenance enhances durability letting you stay free from repairs.

When it be May be Necessary to Replace the Lawn Mower pull Cord

Repairing the pull cord may not always work. There could be times when you may have to replace the stuck or broken pull cord.

  • When the pull cord does not return properly to the housing
  • When the pull cord is either damaged or broken
  • When the pull cord gets stuck in the housing and does not come out.

Steps to Replace Lawn Mower Pull Cord

Tearing or breaking of the lawn mower pull cord is inevitable. The replacement may be the only option in some cases to get your lawn mower to start functioning again. Before we lay down the steps, here are the significant parts of the pull cord. Knowing the various parts lets you work efficiently.

  • Handle
  • Starter pull rope
  • Pulley
  • Recoil spring

Here are the Equipment that you Will Need to Replace the Lawn Mower Pull Cord

  • Screwdriver
  • New pull rope
  • Lighter
  • Wrench
  • Hand gloves
  • Needle nose pliers

Follow these Steps to Replace the Lawn Mower Pull Cord

  • Move the lawn mower to a flat surface and wear hand gloves for protection.
  • Find the power cord and disconnect it from the battery. This will save you from getting electrified.
  • Find the 3 screws that are attached to the rewind housing of the mower. Use a wrench or a screwdriver to remove the screws.
  • Hit the rewind housing lightly to open it. Find the broken ropes knotted edge and hold it tight using pliers and then pull it out. The edge from where you pull the broken rope should be used to insert the new rope. The new rope can be found at any engine repair shop or hardware store.
  • Take the new rope, tie a knot on one of its ends and enter the new rope in the same place as the old rope. Make sure to be careful of the rewinds innerspring. Rotate it in the correct direction around the pulley and then fasten the rope. Move the pulley until you feel the resistance.
  • Rotate the pulley until the rewind housing pores and the pulleys pellets lie in the same position. Insert a screwdriver through the body’s hole of the pulley to not let the pulley rotate in the opposite direction.
  • Insert the rope through the rewind housing hole and tie a knot. Heat the rope using a lighter and pull it tight before you return it to its previous position.
  • Now remove the screwdriver allowing the rope to fasten to the wheel. Return everything back to its previous position and if there is any extra rope, then cut it off.
  • Replace the rewind housing carefully to its original position, reinstall the previously removed screws using a wrench and a screwdriver and then tighten the screws.
  • In the final step, reconnect the power cord and the battery. Turn on the lawn mower and check to ensure that everything is working right.

Cautions to bear When Replacing the Lawn Mower Pull Cord

  • Before you begin the replacement, specify a place to keep the screws to save yourself from the hassle of losing them.
  • Be careful when removing the screwdriver from the innerspring not to let the finger stick on the spring.
  • Refer to the user’s manual to guide you on the best ways to replace the pull cord and to save you from making costly mistakes.

If the lawn mower pull cord is stuck or broken then your mower will not be able to cut grass until you fix the issue. While this may seem to be a huge problem it usually is not. Even if the recoil spring is broken you will not need to spend more than 30 minutes on the repair.


We have guided you through the fixing and replacing steps of the lawn mower pull cord. Follow these steps carefully, and it should be a cakewalk to rectify the problem and get your lawn mower up and running in no time.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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