How to Repair a Push Mower Pull String – A Step-by-Step Guide

Introduction: The Agony of a Broken Pull String

Mowing the lawn is a chore that many of us take for granted until our trusty push mower refuses to start. When the pull string breaks, it can be a frustrating and time-consuming setback. However, with the right tools and a little know-how, you can easily repair your mower’s pull string and get back to maintaining your lawn in no time.

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Understanding the Pull String Mechanism

The pull string is a vital component of a push mower’s starting system. When you pull the string, it activates a mechanism that engages the engine’s flywheel, starting the combustion process. The pull string consists of a cord, a spring, and a starter cup that engages with the flywheel.

Diagnosing a Broken Pull String

If your push mower fails to start, check the pull string. If it feels loose, slides freely, or has visible damage, it is likely broken. Replacing a broken pull string is a simple repair that you can do yourself.

Step-by-Step Pull String Repair

Materials you’ll need:

  • Replacement pull string
  • Tension spring
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench

Step 1: Remove the Safety Key and Spark Plug

Before beginning any repairs, remove the safety key and disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starting.

Step 2: Access the Pull Starter

Locate the pull starter assembly on the side of the mower, typically covered by a housing. Remove the housing screws using a Phillips screwdriver to expose the pull starter mechanism.

Step 3: Remove and Replace the Spring

Use an adjustable wrench to grip the starter cup, and pull it away from the engine. This will release the tension spring. Remove the old spring and replace it with a new one.

Step 4: Attach the New Pull String

Loop one end of the new pull string around the starter cup and tie a secure knot. Feed the other end of the string through the hole on the starter housing.

Step 5: Reassemble the Starter

Insert the starter cup back into the engine, ensuring that the pull string is aligned with the pull starter mechanism. Gently wind the starter cup in clockwise to tighten the spring.

Step 6: Adjust the String Tension

Once the starter cup is in place, pull the string to check its tension. It should have a smooth, consistent pull. Adjust the tension by twisting the starter cup clockwise or counterclockwise as needed.

Step 7: Secure the Pull String

Tie a knot or install a knot cover on the free end of the pull string to prevent it from coming loose. Replace the pull starter housing and tighten the screws.

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Troubleshooting Tips and Expert Advice

  • Use the correct type of pull string: Pull strings are available in different diameters and lengths. Make sure to select the one that is specifically designed for your model of mower.
  • Wind the starter cup correctly: Turning the starter cup counterclockwise can damage the spring. Always wind it in a clockwise direction.
  • Check for other issues: If the pull string repair does not solve the starting problem, check other components such as the spark plug, air filter, and fuel system.


Q: Why does my pull string break?
A: Pull strings can break due to wear and tear, excessive force, or improper handling.

Q: Can I use any type of string to replace the pull string?
A: No, it is important to use a pull string that is specifically designed for lawn mowers. Regular string can fray or break easily.

Q: How often should I replace the pull string?
A: Replace the pull string when it shows signs of damage or wear. Regular maintenance and inspection can help extend its lifespan.

How To Fix A Push Mower Pull String


Fixing a broken push mower pull string is a simple and straightforward repair that can be done in a matter of minutes. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily get your mower back up and running in no time. Remember to always use the proper materials and techniques, and consult a qualified mechanic if you encounter any difficulties.

Are you ready to tackle your push mower pull string repair? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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