March 1, 2015

Easy DIY lawn mower repairs

By Lyle Weischwill
Easy DIY lawn mower repairs.
Easy DIY lawn mower repairs.

I love a freshly mowed lawn. The crispness of the neatly cut grass and the sense of order it brings to my mind is extremely satisfying. However, the lawn mower always seems to break down just when I need it most. When that happens, I count on my skills and Sears PartsDirect’s wealth of knowledge to do most repairs myself.

These easy-to-do lawn mower repairs can help you, too, return a sense of order to your life and stop the evil eyes from neighbors wondering why your grass is so tall.

Up for more of a challenge or just want more information about your walk-behind lawn mower? Head over to our complete lawn mower repair help page, for everything from troubleshooting tips and repair guides to common parts and frequently asked questions.

Replacing a lawn mower blade

The blade on a lawn mower must be sharp and straight to cut grass evenly. If you hit a rock or other hard object when mowing, inspect the blade to see if it's bent or chipped; if so, replace it.

You can sharpen it yourself, but run the risk of taking off more on one side than the other, which throws the blade off balance. Even if you are a master sharpener, eventually the blade wears down and must be replaced.  

It's simple and quick to replace a mower blade, following the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower blade.

Replacing a lawn mower wheel

If a wheel on your lawn mower is damaged or is so worn down that the wheel slides instead of rolls, it's time to replace the lawn mower wheel. 

Replacing the wheel is an easy and quick job; just follow the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower wheel.

Replacing a lawn mower spark plug

The spark plug ignites the air and fuel mixture in the lawn mower's engine. Replace the spark plug every season or as often as directed in your owner's manual.  Also replace the spark plug if it's damaged or fouled, which can make it hard to start the mower or make the mower sputter.

You can install a new spark plug in minutes. See our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower spark plug for instructions.

Replacing a lawn mower drive belt

The drive belt on a lawn mower connects the engine to the gear case, which rotates and propels the mower forward. If the belt breaks or wears down, the mower won't move forward easily.

Replacing the drive belt on a mower is a fairly easy repair if you follow the instructions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower drive belt.

Replacing a lawn mower recoil starter

Pulling the rope on the recoil starter makes the crankshaft spin and starts the engine. If the crankshaft doesn't spin, the recoil starter is probably broken. On pre-2014 mowers, just getting to the recoil starter can be a hassle, but if your mower has an overhead valve engine produced after 2014, this repair is much easier to do. Our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower recoil starter on an OHV engine shows how simple the repair is.

Replacing a lawn mower carburetor

The carburetor mixes fuel with air and then sends the fuel mix into the engine cylinder where it combusts to drive the piston. If the carburetor is clogged or damaged, the engine either won't start, or it starts but run rough.

Fortunately, replacing the carburetor on your lawn mower is easy to do following the directions in our DIY repair guide How to replace a lawn mower carburetor.

Symptoms for gas walk-behind mowers

Choose a symptom to see related walk-behind mower repairs.

Main causes: uneven wheel height settings, damaged wheel, dull or damaged cutting blade
Main causes: damaged cutting blade, loose cutting blade, damaged flywheel key, engine needs tune up
Main causes: dirty carburetor, bad spark plug, clogged air filter, engine choke problems, clogged gas cap vent
Main causes: engine needs tune up, dirty or clogged carburetor, damaged flywheel key
Main causes: drive control cable failure, worn or broken drive belt, bad transmission, broken drive wheel
Main causes: stale gas, engine needs tune up, bad spark plug, dead battery, bad recoil starter, faulty safety switch, bad ignition coil

Repair guides for gas walk-behind mowers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your walk-behind lawn mower.

March 1, 2016
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a lawn mower blade

Check your lawn mower blade regularly and replaced it if it's bent or damaged.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a lawn mower ignition coil on an OHV engine

Replace the ignition coil if it isn't sending electric current to the spark plug when you pull the recoil starter rope.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a lawn mower flywheel key on a flathead engine

When you hit a hard object with your mower, the flywheel can shear to protect more expensive components. Learn how to replace this tiny but essential part.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

Articles and videos for gas walk-behind mowers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your walk-behind lawn mower.

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How to remove a lawn mower blade using a removal tool

By Lyle Weischwill

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