How to Fix a Self Propelled Lawn Mower

Self-propelled lawn mowers are some amazing tools and their advanced features make life a lot easier for us. But like any other tool, they can also malfunction and stop working properly, for no apparent reason.

When this happens, your first thought will be to take your self-propelled lawn mower to a specialist. That isn’t necessarily a bad approach but, as you probably know, a professional workshop will cost you a lot of time and money. Fortunately, you can avoid that. The following article will help you take the matter in your own hands and teach you how to fix a self propelled lawn mower by yourself.

The Mower Runs Poorly or Doesn’t Propel Anymore

This is one of the most common problem and it happens especially at the old mowers. However, this issue is very easy to fix and it usually has two causes:

  • The transmission cable is worn-out — The transmission cable will not last you forever and at a certain point, it will either seize up, and/or, break. Check the condition of your mower’s transmission cable and take a close at it. Verify if it’s properly connected and try to feel it. If the cable is damaged, you will notice that instantly. Also, the transmission cable needs to be properly attached. That means no loose spots. If there are any, make sure to tighten it or to take it off and attach it again. Most of the time this is the problem and it can be fixed in less than 10 minutes. If you put it back and your mower presents the same issue, then the cable must be really damaged. In this case, you have to replace it with a new one.
  • Gears and wheels are jammed. The gears and wheels are the most exposed parts of a lawn mower, and they can accumulate a lot of dirt and grass on the sides. That’s why, sometimes they tend to jam and the machinery won’t work at its maximum capacity anymore. Don’t worry! All you need to do is dismount them and clean / lubricate them with graphite or with a lubricant spray. After that, your mower should work just as new.

The Mower Won’t Start.

Like any other engine powered or electric machine, a self propelled lawn mower can often refuse to start, for no apparent reason. You shouldn’t despair, because most times, the problem is simpler than it looks.

Defective Spark Plug.

The spark plug is responsible for igniting the fuel in your mower’s engine. If it’s damaged or clogged, the engine won’t start. That’s why you need to pull the spark plug out and take a close look at it. If it’s cracked, you need to replace it with a new one. If it’s not, then the problem might not be from the spark plug but you should still clean it, just in case.

Faulty Power Cord

Normally, the electrical lawn mowers won’t break down so easily. If your electrical lawn mower doesn’t start, the problem might not be with the mower itself but with the power cord. Power cords are very prone to damage, and they often become cut and need replacing.

Try your mower with a different cable because in nine out of ten cases, that’s the problem.

Damaged or Bent Blade

The mower cuts poorly or makes too much noise. Most of the time, this problem is related to the blade’s state. The mower will start shaking and sometimes, it makes some irregular cuts in the grass. This issue may have two reasons:

In order to examine the blade, you have to detach it from the rest of the lawn mower. Make sure that you take a close look because, even the smallest irregularity might prevent the mower from cutting properly. If the blade is damaged, you will have to replace it with a new one. If it’s not, you sharpen it and put it back on.

Motor shaft If you sharpen the blade and your self-propelled lawn mower keeps running poorly, then the motor shaft might be affected. Remove the blade again, and once you did that, you will see the shaft.

The shaft has the role of connecting the blade with the engine and sometimes, it can bend. If that’s the case, you should take your self-propelled lawn mower to a specialized workshop.


With this article, you’ll no longer have to ask everybody, how to fix your self-propelled lawn mower. As you can see, most of these procedures are simple and require just a few minutes from your time. However, you shouldn’t rush it. Follow all the security measures and disconnect / unplug any power source of your lawn mower before starting to work on it.