How to Repair a Lawn Mower Pull Cord

Do you need help getting your lawn mower started? It might be the pull cord! Pull cords can break, fray, get jammed, or stop working.

Lawn mower pull cords eventually break, wear out, and must be replaced. This can make starting a lawn or garden maintenance job an irritating task. But with the proper equipment and instructions, replacing your broken pull cord is easy.

How to Repair a Lawn Mower Pull Cord

In this article, we’ll explain the steps needed to replace a damaged lawn mower pull cord – from selecting the right replacement parts for your unique mower to diagnosing why it broke in the first place and understanding how correct installation will ensure better performance.

By using these tips on how to repair a lawn mower pull cord, you’ll be able to efficiently repair your own machine without calling in an expensive professional!

What Will You Need?

Before you begin, you must ensure you have the correct replacement parts. Generally, these include:

  1. A new pull cord of the appropriate length and diameter
  2. Replacement handle
  3. Screwdriver

You must also ensure access to a vice, vise grips, lubricating oil, pliers, hammer, and chisel. You can replace your pull cord once you have gathered all these items.

10 Easy Steps on How to Repair a Lawn Mower Pull Cord

Step 1: Remove the Old Pull Cord

The first step is to remove the old pull cord from your lawn mower. Start by loosening the screws and securing the metal handle with a screwdriver, then gently slide it off. Next, carefully unwind any remaining cord until it comes free from the mower. Be careful not to let any pieces slip into the engine or other parts of the machine, as this could cause further damage.

First Step is to Remove the Old Pull Cord

Step 2: Inspect the Recoil

The recoil is the device that houses the new pull cord and is usually located at the back of your lawn mower. Inspect it to make sure there are no visible signs of damage, corrosion, or wear. If so, you should replace this part before continuing with the repair.

Step 3: Fit New Handle

Fit a new handle to the end of your replacement pull cord by gripping it into a vice. Make sure that it’s secure, then use pliers to twist two wires together until they’re tightly bound. Finally, wrap electrical tape around both ends for extra security.

Step 4: Thread Replacement Pull Cord

Thread one end of the replacement pull cord into the recoil housing. Be careful not to let it get tangled up as you go, and ensure that it is fitted properly before continuing. As you pull it through, make sure to use lubricating oil to help prevent any future wear and tear on the cord.

Step 5: Secure Cord

Once you have threaded the new pull cord, use a hammer and chisel to secure it by gently tapping the top of the housing with both tools. If it doesn’t seem secure, repeat the process until you’re sure the cord is secure. Watch for signs of wear or damage while you’re doing this. When finished, check to make sure that the cord isn’t coming loose.

Step 6: Reassemble Parts

Reassemble all parts of your lawn mower, including any screws or other fasteners you may have removed during disassembly. Make sure everything is tightened securely before moving on to the next step. Be careful not to overtighten, as this could cause damage to the parts or even render them useless. Because of this, it is important to use a torque wrench if you have one available.

Reassemble All Parts of Your Lawn Mower

Step 7: Lubricate Mechanism

Add lubricating oil to the recoil mechanism so that it will work smoothly and efficiently. This will also help to prevent future damage from occurring. Remember that the oil should be changed regularly to ensure a longer-lasting performance. Additionally, be sure to use the correct type of lubricant for your specific lawn mower model.

Step 8: Install New Handle

Install the new handle onto the end of your pull cord using a screwdriver. Make sure that it is fitted securely before continuing. You can also use vise grips to ensure the handle is securely affixed. This is an important step, as the handle must be secure in order to avoid accidents when starting your lawn mower.

Step 9: Test Pull Cord

Test out your new pull cord by pulling it slowly several times to ensure everything works properly. If you experience any difficulties, repeat steps 5-8 until they are resolved. Ensure that the cord is not too tight or too loose. Generally, it should have some give but not be too loose.

Step 10: Take Care of Your Lawn Mower

Finally, take care of your lawn mower in order to ensure its long-term performance and reliability. Regularly check for any signs of wear or tear, clean out debris from within the engine, and keep the blades sharp. Maintenance is key to keeping your lawn mower running smoothly and efficiently.

Regularly Check for Any Signs of Wear

By following these instructions on repairing a lawn mower pull cord, you should be able to easily replace your broken or worn-out part and get back to mowing the lawn in no time!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

1. Connect the Spark Plug Properly: Ensure it is properly connected to its lead wire and placed correctly in the cylinder before attempting to repair the pull cord. If not, the cord will be more stressed than it should be.

2. Check for Dirt and Debris: Ensure the cylinder is free of dirt, grass clippings, or other debris to prevent any potential problems with the pull cord. Ensuring the air filter is clean and in good condition is also important.

3. Lubricate the Rope: Apply lubricant to both ends of the rope before attempting to repair it. This will help make the rope more pliable and easier to work with.

4. Know When to Replace: If the pull cord is frayed or worn down, it may be best to replace it instead of trying to repair it. As it is a critical part of the lawn mower, it is best to replace it if there are any signs of wear and tear.

5. Test the Lawn Mower: After replacing or repairing the pull cord, test out your lawn mower in a safe environment to ensure everything is working properly. Carefully pull the cord a few times and listen to ensure it runs smoothly. If there are any issues, make sure to address them before using the lawn mower out in the yard.

With these tips, you should have no problem learning to repair a lawn mower pull cord. Remember to be safe, take your time, and use the right tools for the job. With some patience and effort, you can get your lawn mowing quickly!

6 Things You Should Avoid

1. Attempting Repair Without the Proper Tools: Ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials before attempting to repair your lawn mower pull cord. Improper tools or a lack of knowledge can lead to further damage and expensive repairs.

2. Working Without Proper Safety Equipment: Always ensure you have the right safety gear (gloves, goggles, etc.) before attempting any repair job. This will protect your eyes and hands from any accidental cuts or scrapes.

Ensure You Have the Right Safety Gear
3. Using Too Much Force When Threading the Pull Cord: Threading the pull cord requires a delicate touch; be careful not to use too much force as this could potentially damage the rope or even render it useless.

4. Pulling With Too Much Force: Be gentle when pulling on the cord after installation; too much force can cause damage to the rope and even break it if not done correctly.

5. Not Lubricating the Rope: Use a good quality lubricant on both ends of the pull cord before installation. This will help ensure that it works smoothly and efficiently for longer periods of time.

6. Not Testing the Lawn Mower After Repair: Always test the lawn mower by slowly pulling on the cord several times after installation. This will ensure that everything is working properly and there are no issues before use.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can easily repair your lawn mower pull cord with minimal effort and cost! Remember to be safe, take your time, and use the right tools for the job – you’ll be back up and running in no time!

How Do Pull Cords Work?

Pull cords work by using a system of pulleys and springs to store energy; when the cord is pulled, it releases this stored energy which causes the engine to turn over.

The rope itself is usually made from nylon or polypropylene and is designed to be sturdy and long-lasting. It’s important to note that due to their design, pull cords can become worn down over time and eventually may need replacing.

Springs to Store Energy

With regular maintenance and proper care, however, you should be able to extend the life of your pull cord significantly! So if you’re looking for an easy way to keep your lawn mower running smoothly, remember that properly maintaining your pull cord is essential!

Can I Start Mower Without Pull Cord?

You should only attempt to start the mower with a pull cord. Pull cords are essential for starting the engine and must be connected securely before turning on the motor. In addition, pulling too hard on the cord can cause it to break or become damaged. To avoid potential issues, always connect the pull cord firmly and gently pull gently when starting your lawnmower.

Additionally, if your pull cord is not functioning properly and you cannot start the mower, it is best to take it to a professional for repairs. Attempting any DIY repairs without proper knowledge or experience can lead to more serious damage, which could be expensive to repair.

In summary, do not attempt to start the mower without a pull cord, as this could cause irreparable damage to the engine. Instead, always use caution and follow the abovementioned steps for a successful repair.

In conclusion, repairing a lawn mower pull cord can be done quickly and easily with some basic knowledge of how these parts work together.

Why is My Pull Cord Not Working?

If you have attempted to repair your pull cord, but it is still not working, there could be several reasons for this. First, ensure the spark plug is properly connected and placed in the cylinder before attempting to repair the pull cord. Additionally, check for any debris or dirt within the engine, as these can prevent the cord from being pulled easily.

Another thing to consider is whether or not the cord is too tight or loose; if either of these is present, adjust accordingly and try again. Finally, ensure that you have applied lubricant to both ends of the rope before attempting to repair it, as this will help ensure that it works smoothly and efficiently. If none address your issue, take your mower to a professional.

Ensure the Spark Plug

If you follow the tips outlined above, you should have no problem learning how to repair a lawn mower pull cord. Remember that maintenance is key, and always be sure to use caution and the correct tools when attempting any repairs. With some patience and effort, you can get your lawn in shape quickly!


Repairing your lawn mower pull cord can save you time and money and is a great skill to learn. Consider familiarizing yourself with the different tools and materials required so you’ll be ready to go whenever your mower might need maintenance in the future. Not only is this an economical option, but it also gives you a sense of pride knowing you can repair your lawn equipment.

Furthermore, it’s incredibly convenient not to worry about scheduling service visits or returning defective items; instead, you can simply roll up your sleeves and take care of it yourself. With newfound confidence and understanding after this tutorial, your lawnmower should be as good as new in no time!

Hopefully, the article on how to repair a lawn mower pull cord has been useful and informative. Thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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