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How to Replace a Lawnmower Pull Cord, step by step

With perfect weather, you plan to go out to give your lawn a nice trim. You use a push mower that has never let you down in all these years. But as soon as you pull the lawnmower’s cord to start the engine, it breaks. The other end is spinning back into the starter assembly. You are not the only one with this problem. It occurs more frequently with older lawnmowers, and in most cases, you have to replace the pull cord. Fortunately, it’s not a difficult job and will not take more than an hour, depending on your experience. Your machine will be up and running again soon.

How to replace a lawnmower pull cord, step by step:

  • Step 1: Get the correct replacement cord.
  • Step 2: Remove the starter assembly
  • Step 3: Detach the damaged pull cord
  • Step 4: Replace the damaged pull rope with a new one.
  • Step 5: Reassemble the components of the lawnmower

There are a few steps that are required to replace the pull cord. However, these steps can differ from model to model. The main task for all models is to reach the pulley within the starter assembly. The pull cord can break down when it’s old or when it’s stuck in the pulley.

This blog post gives you an in-depth explanation of how to fix and replace the pull cord on your lawnmower.

Replacing a lawnmower pull cord, step-by-step:

The entire procedure for replacing a pull cord is detailed below in the form of several steps.

● Step 1: Gather the tools and correct replacement cord

Before we can remove the pull cord, you need to ensure that you have the equipment and materials required for the job. The most important thing is the replacement pull cord. Make sure it suits your lawnmower model. Check the user manual for more information about the part number. If you can not find it, use google to find the correct part.

-Tools required:

It would be best if you had the following equipment at your disposal to help you with the process:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench set
  • Pliers

-Required materials:

Just a few materials are needed to complete the work, which is as follows:

  • New cord
  • Match stick

● Step 2: Unscrew the starter setup

Step 2.1. Location of the pull cord:

The pull cord is attached to the lawnmower’s starter disk. But, first of all, we need to find the starter disk on the lawnmower.

– Step 2.2. Remove the plastic cap:

A lawnmower typically has a plastic cover covering its engine. Loosen the screws holding this plastic cover and remove the plastic cover.

– Step 2.3. Remove the gas tank:

After the plastic cover has been removed successfully, the next step is to take the gas tank out. Loosen the four screws securing the gas tank from the top and the fifth screw from the gas tank’s bottom.

Remove the screw at the bottom and turn the gas tank outwards instead of taking it off.

– Step 2.4. Remove the shroud of the engine:

The final step is to remove the whole engine shroud. Unscrew the bolts holding the engine and lift it off. Now you’ll see the whole starter disk to which the pull cord is connected.

● Step 3: Remove the pull rope

– Step 3.1. Cut the knot on the cord:

Turn the starter assembly over, and you’ll see the old pull cord. Remove the knot on the rope with the aid of pliers.

– Step 3.2. Take out the old pull string:

Take out the old pull string, but be careful because it causes strain on the starter pull cord, and you don’t want to break the starter spring.

-Step 3.3.  Rewind the pulley spring:

If the old pull cord has been removed, rewind the pulley spring in the anticlockwise direction and confirm that the starter spring is not broken. If the spring is broken, you can refer to our article on “How to fix pull cord spring.”

-Step 3.4.  Rotate the pulley in a counter-clockwise direction:

After you have finished inspecting the spring, rotate the pulley in the anticlockwise direction and give it some five rounds.

This step should be done so that the hole on the pulley and the starter housing hole are aligned.

– Step 3.5. Secure the pulley:

The final step is to secure the pulley in this position by putting the screwdriver inside the starter housing. It also keeps you away from unintentional injury as the pulley carries a huge amount of tension at the moment.

● Step 4.  Replace the old pull string with the new one

– Length of the cord:

Many lawnmowers use a size five or a size six cord. However, it is suggested that you calculate your old pull cord’s length and purchase the new rope of the same size and length as prescribed by the manufacturer for your specific model number.

– Step 4.1. Connect the cord to the pull handle:

You need to loop the rope through the pull handle once you have bought the new pull cord.

  • Burn the rope end: Burn one of the ends of the rope with the match stick’s aid and give it a little twist. This step keeps the rope from wearing out.
  • Tie a knot: Now, move this end of the rope through the pull handle and tie a knot to keep the rope from slipping out of it.

– Step 4.2. Connect the new pull cord to the starter housing:

  • Burn the rope’s other end: Take the other end of the rope and burn it with a match stick. Try twisting it so that it forms a pointed end.
  • Connect the string to the starter housing: Pass this pointed end through the starter housing opening. At this end of the rope, tie a knot to keep it from escaping the starter housing.
  • Wind the pull rope: Now remove the screwdriver and let the pulley wind the rope back fully.

● Step 5: Reassemble the components of the lawnmower

We know that after this hectic job, you might be a little tired. But don’t worry, the main job is done, and all you need to do now is reassemble the mower’s parts.

– Step 5.1. To reinstall the engine shroud:

Reassemble the engine shroud by tightening the bolts that keep the shroud in place.

– Step 5.2. Attach the gas tank:

Drive the gas tank back in, tighten the screws at the top and the screws at the bottom of the gas tank with the help of the screwdriver.

– Step 5.3. Connect the plastic cover of the engine:

The final step is to bring the plastic cover back in place by tightening the bolts.

Related Questions:

1. How long is the lawnmower cord supposed to be?

The length of the lawnmower cord depends on the model of the lawnmower. The important thing about the pull cord’s size is that it should not be too thick. It is because a thick pull cord would not rewind around the pulley easily.

Typically, 5, 5.5, or 6 size pull ropes are used.

2. What’s the function of a pull cord?

The pull cord is just like a key, as in the case of a car, since it allows the lawnmower to start. The pull cord is wound around a pulley inside the lawnmower engine. When you pull the cord, the pull cord rotates, and the piston moves. The result is a spark that starts the lawnmower.

3. How to reduce the length of the pull cord?

Often a pull cord of the desired length is not available on the market. Then you need to cut it to the size you want. To do this, first put a mark on this rope according to the length required and then cut the end using a pair of scissors.

Next, using a match stick, burn the end of the rope, just cut and twist it. This step is done to keep the rope from wearing out at that end.

4. Why is my cord stuck?

There are several causes for the pull cord to get stuck. Some of the are listed under:

  • Old grass or debris can be trapped inside the starter pulley.
  • Damaged recoil spring
  • Impaired pull cord

-1. Old grass or debris caught inside the pulley:

Often there’s a build-up of dirt and grass inside the starter pulley. To remove this debris and grass, you need to open the lawnmower’s starter housing by following the steps described above and then clear the debris by using a screwdriver.

-2. Damaged recoil spring:

This problem is rare, but the recoil spring within the starter housing may be broken in some situations. It would be best if you inspected the starter housing, in this case, to figure out the issue.

-3. Impaired pull cord:

A lawnmower that has been in use for a very long time has a high risk of getting its pull cord damaged. You can refer to the article above to fix this issue.

Final Remarks:

The pull cord of a lawnmower is one of the parts of a lawnmower that you need to start it. Without it, you will have a hard time start your lawnmower and cut the grass in your backyard. To repair the pull cord, one must enter the starter housing inside the lawnmower engine. The above article is a step-by-step guide for fixing the pull cord. During the procedure described above, wear some safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself from accidental injury. The cord uses a spring with a lot of force to retract itself. You do not want to get something in your eye if the spring suddenly breaks or gets loose. Regularly check the pull cord for damage, so you can replace it before it breaks.

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  1. Connie Cook says:

    Is there a specific type of pull cord that works best for lawnmowers?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Connie, the best type of pull cord for lawnmowers is one that matches the size and length specified by the manufacturer for your specific model. Hope this helps!

  2. Salvador Holmes says:

    Are there any common mistakes to avoid when replacing a pull cord on a lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Salvador, make sure to carefully follow the steps outlined on the blog post when replacing the pull cord. Safety first! Happy mowing!

  3. Logan Cook says:

    Is it common for lawnmower pull cords to break?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Logan, it is common for lawnmower pull cords to break, especially in older models. You can easily replace it following the steps outlined in the blog post. Hope this helps!

  4. Ryan Mendoza says:

    Great instructions, I feel confident to try replacing the pull cord myself now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Ryan! I’m glad the instructions helped. You got this – replacing the pull cord on your lawnmower will be a breeze. Good luck!

  5. Ian Morrison says:

    Thank you for providing such clear steps on how to replace a lawnmower pull cord.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Ian, I’m glad you found the steps helpful for replacing your lawnmower pull cord. Happy mowing!

  6. Isaiah Bell says:

    What are some signs that indicate the pull cord on a lawnmower needs replacing?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Isaiah, signs that the pull cord on a lawnmower needs replacing include fraying or breaking. When it does, follow the steps outlined in the blog post to replace it quickly.

  7. Allan Weaver says:

    My lawnmower cord broke recently, this tutorial is very helpful.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Allan! I’m glad the tutorial was helpful in replacing your lawnmower cord. Let me know if you have any more questions. Happy mowing!

  8. Joanne Roberts says:

    What safety precautions should one take while replacing a lawnmower pull cord?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Joanne. Safety precautions include wearing gloves and safety glasses to protect your eyes from potential injury. Always make sure the lawnmower is off and cool before attempting any repairs.

  9. David Sutton says:

    Very detailed explanation, makes the process look easy.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, David! I’m glad you found the explanation helpful. Hope it makes the process easier for you as well.

  10. Monica Dixon says:

    Can a beginner in DIY tasks successfully replace a lawnmower pull cord?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, a beginner can successfully replace a lawnmower pull cord by following the step-by-step instructions outlined in the blog post. Good luck with your DIY task!

  11. Sylvia Bates says:

    How often should the pull cord on a lawnmower be checked for damage?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Sylvia. The pull cord on a lawnmower should be checked for damage every few months to ensure it’s in good condition. Replace it as needed to avoid any issues.

  12. Avery Harvey says:

    So glad I found this article, my lawnmower cord broke last week.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the article helpful! Best of luck with replacing the pull cord on your lawnmower – you’ll have it up and running in no time!

  13. Ritthy Lynch says:

    I didn’t realize it was possible to replace the pull cord on a lawnmower, this is enlightening.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Ritthy! I’m glad you found the information enlightening. Let me know if you have any other questions or need further assistance. Happy mowing!

  14. Leah Shelton says:

    I never knew how to replace a pull cord until now, thanks for the detailed steps.

  15. Benjamin Reyes says:

    Reading this article makes me feel like a DIY pro, I might give it a shot.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Benjamin! Go ahead and give it a try, you got this! Remember to gather the tools and correct replacement cord before starting. Good luck!

  16. William Schmidt says:

    Thank you for the informative article, I feel more confident in handling lawnmower repairs now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, William! I’m glad you found the article helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need further assistance with lawnmower repairs.

  17. Steven Lewis says:

    How does a pull cord work in starting a lawnmower engine?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Steven, the pull cord on a lawnmower is connected to a pulley inside the engine. When you pull the cord, it rotates the pulley and starts the engine. Check out my blog post for step-by-step instructions on how to replace it.

  18. Same Scott says:

    I’m impressed by the straightforward instructions, it seems doable now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Same Scott! I’m glad you found the instructions helpful. Good luck with replacing your lawnmower pull cord!

  19. Jeremy Ramos says:

    Is there a way to prevent the pull cord on a lawnmower from breaking frequently?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Jeremy, to prevent your lawnmower’s pull cord from breaking frequently, make sure to replace it with the correct size and length cord. Follow the step-by-step guide provided in the blog post to ensure a successful replacement.

  20. Bobby Mcdonalid says:

    I appreciate the detailed breakdown of each step in the process.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Bobby! I’m glad you found the step-by-step breakdown helpful. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy mowing!

  21. Hannah Johnston says:

    This article is overly detailed for such a simple task. The step-by-step instructions are unnecessary and could be consolidated for a more straightforward guide.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Hannah. I appreciate your perspective. The detailed instructions are provided to ensure all readers can successfully complete the task.