Although regular maintenance can help to prevent problems and can also make your lawn mower last longer, the usual wear and tear that your mower is subjected to every day can lead to occasional problems.

Here's an overview of a few of the most common mower faults together with advice on how to fix them yourself.

The starter cord is stuck or is difficult to pull

This is a common fault that is often caused when the engine flywheel brake is accidentally still engaged. Make sure that you pull the handle right down before pulling the cord.

The problem can also occur if the mower blade is clogged up with dried grass clippings. To solve the problem, move the mower onto a hard surface and turn it upside down to expose the blade. Turn off the power to the mower and carefully remove the dried-on clippings. This should solve the problem.

Power is suddenly lost during mowing

Losing power during mowing is something that happens frequently to landscapers and it's infuriating when it does. There are a number of causes for loss of power including:

  • grubby air filter that requires replacement or cleaning
  • blade set too low for the length of grass you're cutting – raise the blade to cure the problem
  • the blades are bent or dull – sharpen the blades or replace bent ones
  • dirty spark plugs that need cleaning or replacement
  • a build-up of debris and grass clippings around the blade – clean the underside of the mower

If you need new plugs or an air filter, these can be obtained from mower repair shops or spare mower parts suppliers.

The mower starts smoking

Although it can be alarming when your mower begins to emit smoke, the causes and solutions are usually pretty straightforward.

A smoking mower is usually the result of an overfull oil chamber or a leak of oil into the exhaust muffler, which can happen when you tilt the mower over, for example, when mowing a sloping piece of land. This black smoke is caused simply by the oil burning off while the engine is still hot.

However, if the smoke is light in colour and the mower keeps cutting out, this indicates a more serious problem that should be investigated by a professional mower repair technician.

In conclusion

Many common mower faults can be repaired quickly and easily on a DIY basis. However, for more advice and guidance on how to keep your mower running smoothly, ask your local mower repair shop for help.