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Question DetailsAsked on 5/1/2017

Mower stopped suddenly while cutting grass. The starter wont pull.

Worked fine week before. The grass was long, but mower didn't seem clogged.

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3 Answers


Sounds like a regular power mower, not a rider mower that you are talking about. If the starter won't pull, can be a jammed recoil clutch or jammed starter rope, but most of the time either grass cuttings or twig opr a toy or such jammed in underneath, or the sheet metal has been bent hitting a rock or because it was rusted out and is interfering with the blade.

Paying attention to turn it on its side so the fuel tank is down (so you don't dribble fuel over the engine), first disconnect the plug wire and jam it against metal so it is well grounded - usually into the slots of the head fins works well. Remember never to get your hands into the blade area when mowing the blade (which can make it start) - use a stick or string or piece of rope or such to turn the blade around, looking for blockages.

If the grass was damp, it can wad up around the inside of the housing and block the blade - if real long or tough variety sometimes wrap around the shaft above the blade (talking rotary mower here) or at ends of blade (on reel type) and jam so tight that the friction on the shaft prevents it from turning - cut away with a knife or unravel. Pieces of string or wire or plastic bag can also do the same thing - wrapping so tight on the shaft that it cannot turn.

Also look, while rotating the blade, for sticks, piece of metal, kid or dog toy, or bent mower housing prevent the blade from turning.

Otherwise - assuming you made sure it is not out of fuel or the choke did not accidentally get turned on, and that the plug wire is securely on the plug, could be electrical or carb or internal mechanical problem - for those sort of things probably beyond your repair abilitiy if you came here for ideas. Oops - you said it would not turn - so mechanical in the engine or jammed recoil clutch or sheave or cord would be my first guess if the bladeis not jammed. I can think of about 10-15 things which could fail or break, and about 5-6 of them could prevent it from turning.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD



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Answered 3 years ago by Member Services


One common cause I did not address - generally, the pull rope turns a pulley which is connected to the main shaft of the engine with a clutch. This pulley is commonly held in place by metal tabs on the pulley housing - these wear with use, and eventually the pulley can hop out of its proper place and jam against those tabs or the housing. With the plug wire offthe plug so it can't start, assuming the rope will not pull likeyou said, try using a screwdriver or such and see if the pulley is "free" - it should be able to move up and down a bit in the housing and maybe turn back and forth a small amoutn. If jammed tight, then likely the housing (with rope and pulley in it) needsto be taken off and the jam fixed.

Sometimes a rock or twig getting into the pulleuy or the sometimes screen covering on it can also cause a jam there.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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