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Lawn Mower Starter Cord Won't Pull

Category Lawn Mowers
If the pull cord on your mower gets stuck, you may be able to open up the mower and repair or replace it yourself. The other option is to find a repair shop. This is a guide about lawn mower starter cord won't pull.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 22, 2011

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.

By Silas

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August 2, 20120 found this helpful
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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

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April 28, 20130 found this helpful
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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.

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June 14, 20130 found this helpful

Thanks for the help! My problem was because the handles weren''t properly aligned. Once I pulled them up out of the way of the blade and adjusted them as instructed, voila, the lawnmower started.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 17, 2010

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?

By Vince from Richmond, VA

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June 19, 20100 found this helpful
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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.

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June 20, 20100 found this helpful
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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. I asked my DH and this is what he said. Good luck.

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Anonymous
October 5, 20120 found this helpful
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Thanks everyone for this thread. I just fixed my Toro mower after reading it. The pull was stuck, metal clank. While my attention had been focused on the motor and pull cord, the mower had actually picked up an old piece of rope which was tightly wound above the blade preventing it from turning..

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August 23, 20130 found this helpful

I have a Troy Bilt mower, model 12AJ836E011. The starter cord will pull out a few inches then stop. I can jerk it and it will come out a few more inches then stop again, etc., etc. I cleaned under the mower and that didn't help. I tried to remove the cover to see if there was anything lodged on the top, but it is held on by three screws, maybe. They don't look like Allen screws, because they are not octagon shaped, rather round - like rivets. How can I get the cover off? Or, what else can I look for to get this darned thing started. My neighbors are starting to make nasty comments about my lawn. lol

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By Kat

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January 19, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Extreme Caution note: FAILURE to disconnect the spark plug when turning the blade may cause the mower to start and cause serious injury especially for mowers that may not have safety devices to prevent accidental starting and subsequent injury from the blade.

Before attempting to clean underneath the mower or turn the blade for any reason, make sure to DISCONNECT the wire connected to the spark plug from the end of the spark plug, making sure none of the metal part touches the spark plug at any time. The end of the spark plug and wire may be very HOT if the engine has been running. Allow it to cool or remove it with pliers or gloves.

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May 28, 20130 found this helpful

I just bought a Craftsman lawn mower and I am trying to pull the rope and it's not coming out.

By Bharti

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are you holding down the safety bar while pulling the cord? Your manual should mention your problem under "trouble shooting".

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May 13, 20130 found this helpful

Please, is someone able to help me? 1 day ago I brought a second hand Honda self propelled lawn mower from eBay. I had been told it had recently had a service, (before the winter) and had full tank of petrol and oil. It took a few times to get going, but once going and I got the hang of starting it and using it it was working fine.

I then went over some longer wet grass and it cut out. I am now unable to pull the start cord out any more than a few inches. I checked the underneath and removed all wet grass that was clogging it, but I still can't pull the cord out or the blade to turn. I have removed the cover that holds the cord and when not attached to the mower the cord pulls fine. But whatever that is suppose to turn won't budge. I don't know where the spark plugs are or what to look for.

I am desperately wanting advice as to whether I should return it for refund of £100 or if it's worth while taking it somewhere to be fixed and the possible costs of getting it fixed. It looks well looked after. It has not been left outside or rusted. Please help!

By Charlene

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May 7, 20130 found this helpful

I ran over a piece of metal with my lawnmower and now the cord is stuck it won't pull out. The blade looks fine, but won't turn.

By Janie

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By 0 found this helpful
October 10, 2012

I have a Honda self-propelled lawn mower. At the end of last use, the self-propel stopped and it smelled like burned rubber. I checked the oil, which is fine, checked the blades, no blockage or build-up on inside of mower, and the belt looks fine (I thought the belt might be hung up on something or broken, but it looks O.K.) I can turn the blades manually with no problem. The spark plug is new. The cord is extremely difficult to pull and I can't get it all the way out. Also, when looking under the mower, what is the best way to tip the mower? Lift the front, or turn it on its side?

By Nutty Nana

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May 24, 20110 found this helpful

My starter cable is locked and I am unable to pull the chord to start my lawn mower. I noticed that the oil had dried up. I decided to fill it up with oil, but I need to unlock the jammed or locked starter cable. Even the blade below is stuck. Any suggestions, please?

By Chris

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June 17, 20100 found this helpful


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.

David Lee

Answers:

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)

By kidseatfree

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)

By Pete McDonnell

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

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

By sefira

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)

By bubbba mechanic

Lawn Mower Starter Rope Stuck

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

By MV

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)

By John

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)

By Clay

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August 15, 20080 found this helpful

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. I pulled the mower out of the shed and attempted to start it but the starter cord won't pull and the engine seems to be frozen. Any help would be appreciated.

Laura

Answers:

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

Look under your mower and see if any grass is blocking the blades. If so, carefully, with gloves, scrape it out. Spraying the blades off after mowing may help to prevent this. Also, check the gas to see if it's ready and check the oil too. I know, it seems petty, but really it's good to check these each time you mow. If that doesn't work, reference your user manual to make sure you're not missing anything. (08/22/2004)

By Nicole.

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

My husband recommends taking the spark plug out and then putting it back in again because it could be compression locked, although he says if you aren't sure how, to leave it and get help from someone who does. Or it could be because it needs oil, if it does a piston could burned into the engine block which is no good. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. He recommends checking the oil every time you use it. Samantha (08/22/2004)

By sammylew

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

The previous feedback is where I'd start. I'd remove the spark plug wire from the plug, then check to make sure the blade isn't obstructed in any way. You might see if you can turn it by hand a little but be aware that doing so with the plug wire connected could start the mower. While inspecting the underside of the mower, see if there is any evidence of an oil leak (around the shaft). Then check the oil. If everything checks out okay, read your warranty. If you bought it new in July any warranty should still apply. If it has been run low on oil or if the shaft is bent this may not be covered under warranty. Good luck! (08/25/2004)

By Alph

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

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)

By kidseatfree

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

There is a button that you press three time. There should be a label on it or around it. Then the machine starts when you pull the cord. (05/17/2008)

By pro

Lawnmower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

Take out plug, check oil, check to see if blade is tangled, or is the brake lever(safety stop on handle) pulling the brake cable all the way? I have found that to be a problem with many mowers-the cable gets stretched or broken and then the brake is stuck on. I have a bunch of mowers that work fine, that people must have thought were seized up. I just take the spring off and wire it open.
(06/07/2008)

By jesse

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April 22, 20110 found this helpful

I am having trouble with a pull type mower. The rope was added and I can't get the string to work.

By CCooley from Scottsbluff, NE

Answers:

Lawn Mower Woes: Starter Cord Won't Pull

Thank you. My lawnmower cord on my Briggs and Stratton lawnmower was not able to be pulled out. I turned the lawnmower over and the blade would not turn. The idea about turning the lawn mower over and seeing if anything was stuck in the blade was the perfect solution to fixing my cord that wouldn't pull out. You are awesome! My lawn mower has a bunch of leaves stuck in it because I use it to clean up my leaves in the Fall. Thanks again for saving me lots of money in repair bills and hassles. You are the best! (11/11/2010)

By Ginger J.

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

Last week my Briggs and Stratton push mower worked fine. This week I cannot pull the cord out far enough to start it. Can you point me in the right direction toward fixing it, please?

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May 10, 20100 found this helpful

I replaced the starter cord on my Troybilt lawn mower. It works perfectly until I re-bolt the cover, then it locks up and can't be pulled. Any ideas of what the problem is?

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April 23, 20090 found this helpful

I put my new Tubobilt lawn mower together. It started the first time I pulled the rope. Then, it stopped and the rope will not come back out.

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