Why Is My Lawn Mower...?

Why Is My Lawn Mower…?

Your lawn mower is usually a pretty reliable piece of equipment, but there are some common problems that may arise from time to time. The good news is that, for the most part, you can deal with these problems at home or at worst, by taking the mower to a professional. In this guide, I’ll be addressing some of the common things that people always ask me about their lawn mowers.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Not Starting?

Why Is My Petrol Mower Not Starting?

There could be a variety of different reasons that your lawn mower may not start, but this largely depends on the type of mower you are using.

Petrol Mowers

It might seem like the most obvious thing on the planet, but your petrol mower simply may not be starting because of a lack of fuel in the tank. So, before you do anything else, just check that it is topped up.

If it is topped up, you must also consider how long the petrol has been sitting in the tank. Any longer than 30 days and it will start to go bad, which can affect the performance of your petrol lawn mower. In this case, you will need to drain the fuel and replace it with fresh petrol. Preservatives and fuel stabilisers can be added to prolong the life of the fuel throughout the growing season.

However, there are other things that could be causing issues for your petrol lawn mower including a loose, disconnected or dirty spark plug. You may need to clean this or replace it. There could also be similar problems with the air filter which may be too dirty to work or could need replacing.

Your fuel filter may also be to blame as when this becomes blocked, it prevents petrol from actually reaching the engine and you’re then left with a mower that won’t fire up.

Another simple fix is to ensure that the height adjustment is not set too low, so then blade can turn freely for the starting process. Simply raise the height of the mower, or tilt the mower backwards when starting.

Electric Mowers

Why Is My Lawn Mower Not Starting

Just like with your petrol mower, it’s worth checking the most obvious things first, so be sure that you haven’t forgotten to plug the mower in and switch on the power. Even if you know that you have, it is possible for the cord to come out when pulled.

There could also be a problem with the electricity supply, such as a power outage, or a blown fuse somewhere in the system.

If all of the above looks to be in order then you may find that your lawn mower motor has overheated. Modern mowers have a safety feature that prevents them from starting up when they get too hot, so leave it to cool down for a while and try again. To avoid overheating, try not to force your mower to work too hard. Doing things like cutting too long grass could cause it to quickly overheat.

Cordless Mowers

Again, I have to point out that the most obvious reason your cordless lawn mower isn’t starting is because the battery is not charged. Even if you charged it after the last use, it is possible for the battery to drain while in storage. It is uncommon for it to totally die, but in the wrong conditions, this can happen. Most batteries will have a button that can be pressed to confirm how much charge they have left.

Avoid storing batteries in the cordless lawn mower and make sure that they are not stored in extreme temperatures. Not only could this cause them to drain more quickly, but it will shorten their overall lifespan.

Ensure the battery is fully inserted into the mower, this can usually be confirmed by hearing a “click” sound. Also if your lawn mower takes two batteries, both will need to be inserted so that the correct voltage is supplied to the mower.

If you look near the battery compartment of your cordless mower, you will notice that there is a little safety key. Your mower will not start unless this is turned or inserted correctly, so make sure it has been activated prior to use.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Not Collecting?

Most lawn mowers come with a cut and collect option where the clippings are deposited into a collection bag or box. Some others will deposit through a chute to the side or back of the machine but in any case, sometimes things can become blocked, and this will prevent your mower from collecting the clippings. It may sound obvious, but if your mower has a mulching plug, ensure it is removed and not inserted if you want the grass clippings to be collected. Some mowers will have the mulching plug already inserted when purchased from new, so something to check prior to use.

One of the most common causes of this is when you attempt to cut wet grass or grass that is too long. Clippings will quickly accumulate under the deck and clog any outlets. To solve this problem, you will need to shut off the power and clean the underside of the deck.

When you’re done, it’s worth adjusting the cutting height so that it is more suitable for the length of the grass. It may be frustrating and more time consuming, but it’s better to cut a little, then reduce the cutting height and take off a little more as this will better prevent clogging. When you have finished using your mower, make sure to give it a quick clean before putting it away.

If your lawn mower has a fabric grass collection bag, this can become clogged with clippings which in turn reduces air flow. As a result, the machine cannot ‘suck’ the clippings in effectively and may stop collecting.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Smoking?

Why Is My Lawn Mower Smoking?

When your petrol lawn mower starts kicking out smoke, it can feel like an emergency but for the most part, it isn’t all that much of a serious problem.

One of the most common reasons that a lawn mower would start smoking is if the oil chamber is overfilled. This would cause oil to leak into other parts of the machine including the exhaust muffler. When this happens, your mower will need to burn this off and that results in smoke.

If you are certain that this is not what is happening, you may wish to take your lawn mower to a professional who will check it over and diagnose any problems.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Battery Not Charging?

If you have left your lawn mower battery charging but nothing has happened, it could be something simple like having forgotten to switch the power on. However, it might also be that the battery has run its course. Lithium-ion batteries do not last forever and after a few years, you will need to replace them as the cells inside the battery stop being able to absorb energy. Naturally the length of time any lithium-ion battery will last will depend on its usage and the number of times it has been charged.

Also consider that your battery may not be at fault, but the charger is not working correctly. Also check that the battery is inserted correctly and fully into the charger, as this will also prevent it from charging.

Why Is My Petrol Lawn Mower Recoil Cord Hard To Pull?

You will notice a part on your mower called the flywheel brake. This is the bit on the handle that you release to stop the engine. If this is engaged, then it will be much more difficult for you to use the recoil pull cord, so check this as a first port of call.

If that is not the issue, then it could be that your blade and deck are clogged. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of cleaning your mower after every use, but if you haven’t, now is a good time to do it.

Make sure the mower is on a flat surface and that the spark plug wires are disconnected. You can then tilt your mower back and clear out any debris which should fix the problem. If your petrol mower is fitted with a handy hose wash port, then simply connect your garden hose and clean the deck after each mow.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Hard To Push?

Why Is My Lawn Mower Hard To Push?

A common reason that you might be finding it difficult to push your lawn mower is that the grass is too long for it to handle. The easiest way to fix this is to switch off the power and increase the cutting height. This should make it easier to move. If you still need to cut more, you can make one pass and then lower the height, finishing the job.

You may also find that the wheels have become clogged with dry grass, especially if you neglected to clean the mower after the last use. You’ll simply need to disconnect the power and give the deck and wheels a good clean before trying again.

Remember, a large collection box filled with damp grass is also going to make the mower heavier and more difficult to push. Either switch to a mulching mode or empty the grass collection box more frequently.

If your mower has the option of self-propulsion, then ensure that this is engaged.

Why Is My Lawn Mower Not Cutting The Grass Consistently And Cleanly?

Your mower blade needs to be sharp and undamaged if you want it to perform at its best. If the mower is not creating a consistent cut, this could be because the blade has sustained some damage. Give it the once over and perform any maintenance such as sharpening or even replacing the blade, if needed.

If the blade is not the issue, it could be that the mower deck has become clogged with old clippings. As before, you will need to cut off the power to the machine and clean it out before continuing to use it. Another reason for a poor cut is when you are trying to cut too much of the length of the grass in one go. This will slow the blade and provide a poor and inconsistent cut quality. Not only will your grass not be cut sharply, but also it is not healthy for your lawn, always stick to the recommended 1/3 rule.


Hopefully this article will answer some of the questions you may have regarding your lawn mower. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me in the comments section below, I will be happy to help.

I know I have mentioned a number of functions and features in this article. If you would like to find out what mower is best suited to your needs, you can use my lawn mower selection tool on this link https://easylawnmowing.co.uk/find-the-perfect-lawn-mower/.


Lawnmower Product Expert, Reviewer and Author at EasyLawnMowing.co.uk | 01284 615144 | info@easylawnmowing.co.uk | Website | + posts

As a seasoned expert in the field of garden power tools, I have dedicated over a decade to working with and reviewing a wide variety of lawn mowers. My extensive experience has allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the benefits and limitations of different types of mowers and garden tools.

Over the years, I have honed my skills in writing informative articles and creating helpful videos for various blogs and publications. This has given me the ability to not only recognise what makes a good lawn mower, but also to help you choose the perfect garden tool for your specific needs and requirements.

With my wealth of knowledge and expertise, I am confident that I can provide you with valuable insights and recommendations when it comes to selecting the right lawn mower for your lawn. So, whether you're looking for a battery cordless, electric, petrol, or robotic mower, you can trust in my expertise to guide you towards the best option for your garden.

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