How To Replace The Pull Cord On Your Lawn Mower

Today you’re going to learn how to replace the pull cord on your lawn mower.

This is an easy fix that takes 10 – 20 minutes.

Below you’ll find an 8 step-guide (with a 4 minute video) which should get your lawn mower working today.

Quick Step By Step Guide: How To Replace Your Lawn Mower Pull Cord

The first thing to do is head to your local home improvement store and get a replacement starter cord. Depending on your mower you may need to buy the entire starter cord assembly with the rope already installed. Others you can buy and replace just the cord.

  1. Get started by removing the pull string starter assembly from the motor. This is the round structure where your pull string is coiled up. Use a ratchet to undo the bolts.
  2. With the starter assembly removed fully uncoil the starter rope. This will put tension on the pulley (as it is meant to quickly pull the rope back in). So be sure to put a screwdriver between the pulley and plastic starter assembly so it doesn’t pull the rope back in – it is locked in place.
  3. Now untie or cut the knot holding the cord in place and fully remove it from the pulley. Also, on the other end, remove the rope from the handle.
  4. Now it’s time to install the new starter cord. To do this make sure the hole in the pulley for the cord lines up with the hole in the starter assembly so it fits through both easily. Don’t forget to lock-off the pulley with a screwdriver so it doesn’t move.
  5. Put the starter cord through the holes and tie a knot to lock in place at the pulley.
  6. Remove the screwdriver and slowly allow the pulley to coil up the rope.
  7. Once fully wound up make sure to allow about 1-foot on the handle side. Tie a temporary knot in the cord on the outside of the starter assembly so you can fix the starter rope into the handle.
  8. Now you are ready to fix the starter assembly – with the new cord – back onto the motor.
  9. Done!

Watch This Video for Visual Instructions:

Now let’s go into more detail about lawn mower pull cords and how to use it so you may never even need to replace it.

What Is A Pull Cord And What Is Its Function In The Lawn Mower?

The pull cord on a lawn mower is also called the starter cord or starter rope. It is a long, thin rope that is attached to the engine of the lawn mower. The other end of the rope is typically wound around a handle, making it easy to grip. To start the lawn mower, you simply need to pull the rope until the engine is running. The pull cord is an essential part of the starting process for most types of lawn mowers.

However, it is worth noting that some newer models have eliminated the need for a pull cord by incorporating electric starters. For those who are accustomed to using a pull cord to start their lawn mower, this may seem like a strange change. However, it can actually be quite convenient, especially if you have difficulty pulling on the cord or if your lawn mower is particularly stubborn. Overall, the pull cord is an important component of most lawn mowers, and it plays a vital role in getting your lawn mower up and running.

How To Replace The Pull Cord On Your Lawn Mower

Replacing the damaged or worn down pull cord on your lawn mower is a simple task that you can do at home in about 10 minutes.

Get The Right Tools For The Job

Before you begin, it is important to gather the right tools for the job.

You will need:

  • A screwdriver
  • A wrench or ratchet set
  • A new pull cord

Remove Starter Cord Assembly

The starter cord assembly is the assembly the rope is coiled up in. Remove it by using your wrench or ratchet. Once removed flip it over and pull the rope out. Pulling the rope out will put the pulley under tension (so it will want to rotate back to its original position). Lock it into place with a screw driver through it and the plastic assembly. Remove the old rope.

Start Winding The New Cord Around The Pulley

Once you have removed the broken rope, you can start winding the new one around the pulley in the same direction. Be sure to leave enough slack so that you can easily grip the end of the cord when it’s time to start the engine.

If you follow the steps outlined above, you should have no trouble replacing the broken recoil spring on your lawn mower. With a little time and effort, you can do this simple repair yourself and avoid having to take your lawn mower to a mechanic. As always, be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to replace the pull cord on your particular model of lawn mower.

Does The Pull Cord Require Any Maintenance?

Now that you know how to replace the pull cord on your lawn mower, it’s important to learn how to properly maintain it. With a little care, you can extend the life of your pull cord and avoid having to replace it again in the future.

Here are a few tips for maintaining your lawn mower pull cord:

  • Regularly inspect the cord for signs of wear and tear. If you notice any fraying or damage, be sure to replace the cord as soon as possible.
  • After each use, be sure to clean the cord and pulley with a cloth or brush. This will remove any debris that could cause the cord to wear down prematurely.
  • If your lawn mower is stored outdoors, be sure to cover the pull handle to protect it from the elements.

Do All Types Of Lawn Mowers Have A Pull Cord In Them?

The pull cord is a common feature on most types of lawn mowers, but there are a few exceptions. Electric and battery-powered models do not have a pull cord, and they are started with the push of a button instead. However, the vast majority of lawn mowers still use a pull cord to start the gas engine.

In addition to starting the engine, the starter pulley is also used to activate the lawn mower’s self-propel system. This feature is found on many gas-powered models and allows you to mow your lawn with ease.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, it is important to know how to replace the pull cord on your lawn mower and how to properly maintain it. With a little care, you can extend the life of your pull cord and avoid having to replace it again in the future. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can keep your lawn mower running smooth for years to come.

Further Reading

  1. Have a look at our used lawn mower buying guide. Buying used will be the best value for money
  2. Check out our 7 lawn mower safety tips to avoid an accident when mowing.
  3. Learn how to start your gas lawn mower the right way.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager (NALP) and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit,, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.