Lawn Mower Lexicon
When your gas-powered cutter isn't doing the job, diagnosing and fixing
the problem—or telling the mechanic what's wrong—is easy when you know what to look for
If hard to pull when handle is in start-up position, engine or blade adapter needs service.
Air Filter and Choke
Controls air mix in carburetor on some models. If engine won't start, slide open. After start, slide closed to run engine smoothly.
If mower doesn't start or it runs erratically, drain and refill tank with fresh gasoline and fuel stabilizer; clean out gas-cap vent.
Feeds fuel into carburetor. Push before pulling cord, but if engine fails to start, do not prime again—carburetor may be flooded. Wait about 5 minutes before pulling cord.
Oil Cap and Dipstick
Check oil level before starting. Change oil annually.
Spark Plug and Wire
Both need to be clean and connected for engine to run. For safety, always disconnect wire when servicing mower.
Cooling Fins and Wheel-Height Adjustment
Cooling fins act as the engine's radiator. Blow or scrape out debris if engine is overheating and stalling.
If mower is vibrating, check shaft and replace if it's bent.
Resharpen if it shreds grass tips or isn't mulching. Tighten, balance, or replace if mower vibrates excessively.