How to Replace Lawn Mower Pull Cord: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to replace lawn mower pull cord

Tired of dealing with a stubborn lawn mower that won’t start? One of the most common culprits is a frayed or broken pull cord. Fortunately, replacing a pull cord is a relatively simple task that can save you time and money. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or just looking to learn a new skill, this blog post is here to guide you through the process step by step.

So, grab your tools and let’s get started on replacing that pesky pull cord. But before we delve into the details, let’s tackle a few burning questions you may have. Why is the pull cord important? How do you know if it needs replacing? And perhaps most importantly, how can you prevent it from breaking again in the future? Let’s find out!

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools

If you’re experiencing issues with your lawn mower’s pull cord, don’t worry! Replacing it can be a simple process if you have the right tools. The first step is gathering all the necessary equipment. You’ll need a socket set, pliers, a new pull cord, and a replacement handle if yours is damaged.

These tools will help you remove the old pull cord and install the new one. Once you have everything you need, you’ll be ready to tackle the task of replacing the lawn mower’s pull cord. So grab your tools and let’s get started!

Examples: socket wrench, pliers, screwdriver

When it comes to tackling DIY projects or fixing things around the house, having the right tools is essential. One of the most common tools you’ll need is a socket wrench. This handy tool allows you to tighten or loosen bolts and nuts with ease.

It consists of a handle and a socket head that fits over the fastener. Another useful tool to have in your toolbox is a pair of pliers. Pliers are versatile and can be used for a variety of tasks, such as gripping or bending wires, cutting through materials, or holding objects in place.

Lastly, a screwdriver is a must-have tool for any homeowner. Whether you’re assembling furniture, fixing appliances, or installing new hardware, a good set of screwdrivers will come in handy. From flathead to Phillips head, having a variety of screwdrivers will allow you to tackle any project that comes your way.

So, before you start any DIY project, make sure you gather the necessary tools, including a socket wrench, pliers, and a screwdriver, to ensure you have everything you need to get the job done.

how to replace lawn mower pull cord

Step 2: Disconnect the spark plug

After you have safely tilted your lawn mower to the side, it’s time to move on to the next step: disconnecting the spark plug. This is an important safety measure to take before you start working on replacing the pull cord. By disconnecting the spark plug, you are ensuring that there is no chance of the engine starting up unintentionally while you are working on it.

To do this, locate the spark plug wire, which is usually a thick black wire that leads to the spark plug. Gently pull on the boot of the wire to detach it from the spark plug. Keep in mind that the spark plug wire may be tightly connected, so you may need to use some force.

Once the wire is disconnected, you can proceed with replacing the pull cord. Taking this simple step will help prevent any accidents and keep you safe while working on your lawn mower.

Examples: safety precaution, preventing accidental startup

To prevent accidental startup and ensure safety, one important step is to disconnect the spark plug. The spark plug provides the ignition for the engine, so by disconnecting it, you eliminate the possibility of the engine starting up unexpectedly. This is especially crucial when working on machinery or equipment that has the potential to cause harm if it starts up suddenly.

Imagine you’re working on a lawnmower and need to access the blade for maintenance. If the spark plug is still connected and you accidentally turn the blade, it could start the engine and pose a serious risk to your safety. By disconnecting the spark plug, you effectively cut off the source of ignition and prevent any accidental startup.

Step 3: Remove the starter assembly

Now that you have removed the lawn mower’s spark plug, it’s time to move on to the next step in replacing the pull cord – removing the starter assembly. The starter assembly is the part of the lawn mower that houses the recoil mechanism, which is what helps you start the engine. To access it, you will need to first locate the screws or bolts that are holding it in place.

These screws or bolts are usually located on the top or side of the starter assembly. Once you have located them, use a screwdriver or socket wrench to remove them. As you remove the screws or bolts, be sure to keep them in a safe place so that you don’t lose them.

Once all of the screws or bolts have been removed, carefully lift the starter assembly off of the lawn mower. Be mindful not to damage any wires or other parts of the lawn mower as you do so. With the starter assembly removed, you can now move on to the next step of replacing the pull cord and getting your lawn mower up and running again.

Examples: locating the assembly, using the socket wrench

“Removing the starter assembly from your car may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little know-how, you can tackle it with confidence. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of locating the assembly and using a socket wrench to remove it. First, you’ll need to locate the starter assembly, which is typically located on the lower side of the engine.

It’s important to note that the exact location may vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, so consult your owner’s manual or do a quick online search for your specific car. Once you’ve located the assembly, it’s time to grab your socket wrench. This tool is essential for removing the bolts that hold the starter assembly in place.

Make sure you have the correct size socket to fit the bolts on your particular assembly. Then, insert the socket onto the bolt and turn it counterclockwise to loosen and remove the bolt. Repeat this step for all of the bolts holding the starter assembly in place.

Once all of the bolts are removed, carefully detach the assembly from the engine and set it aside. Congratulations, you’ve successfully removed the starter assembly from your car!”

Step 4: Replace the pull cord

So, you’ve finally decided to tackle the dreaded task of replacing your lawn mower pull cord. Don’t worry, it’s actually not as difficult as it may seem. With a few simple steps, you’ll have your mower up and running in no time.

First, you’ll want to make sure your lawn mower is turned off and remove the spark plug wire to ensure your safety. Next, you’ll need to locate the pull cord assembly on your mower. This is usually located on the top of the engine and may be covered by a plastic housing.

Once you’ve located it, remove any screws or bolts that are holding the housing in place and carefully remove it. Now that you have access to the pull cord assembly, you’ll need to remove the old pull cord. This can be done by unwinding it from the spool that it is wrapped around.

Sometimes, the cord may be knotted or jammed, so you may need to use a pair of pliers or a screwdriver to help loosen it. Once the old cord is removed, you’ll want to inspect the spool for any damage or wear and tear. If necessary, replace the spool as well.

With the old cord removed and the spool inspected, it’s time to install the new pull cord. Start by feeding the new cord through the hole in the housing and into the spool. Make sure to leave enough cord hanging out of the housing so that you can easily grasp it.

Once the cord is in place, you’ll want to wind it around the spool in a clockwise direction. Keep winding until you have enough tension on the cord to allow for a smooth pull. Finally, it’s time to reassemble the pull cord assembly and test your mower.

Examples: securing the new cord, following the manufacturer’s instructions

“replace the pull cord”

Step 5: Reassemble the starter assembly

Now that you have replaced the broken pull cord on your lawn mower, it’s time to reassemble the starter assembly. Start by taking the pulley and spring, and inserting the end of the new pull cord through the hole in the pulley. Make sure to pull the cord all the way through so that it is firmly attached to the pulley.

Next, wind the pulley in the direction indicated by the arrows until it becomes tight. This will tension the spring and allow it to recoil when the cord is pulled. Once the pulley is fully wound, use a screwdriver or other tool to hold it in place.

Now, carefully thread the other end of the pull cord through the hole in the starter housing and tie it into a secure knot. Release the pulley and allow it to slowly unwind, ensuring that the pull cord retracts smoothly. Finally, reattach the starter assembly to the engine and give the pull cord a test to make sure everything is working properly.

Congratulations, you have successfully replaced the pull cord on your lawn mower!

Examples: aligning the assembly, using screwdriver and pliers

To reassemble the starter assembly, you’ll need to align the various components and use a screwdriver and pliers. This step can be a little tricky, but with the right tools and a little patience, you’ll have your starter assembly back together in no time. Start by lining up the holes on the starter housing with the holes on the starter motor.

Make sure everything is properly aligned before proceeding. Once the housing and motor are properly aligned, insert the screws and tighten them down using a screwdriver. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the threads.

Next, you’ll want to reconnect any wires or cables that were disconnected earlier. This may involve using pliers to secure connectors or terminals. Make sure to double-check all connections to ensure proper contact and avoid any potential electrical issues.

Once all the components are securely in place, give everything a final once-over to make sure nothing is loose or out of alignment. If everything looks good, it’s time to test the reassembled starter assembly. Remember, reassembling the starter assembly can be a bit challenging, so don’t be afraid to take your time and ask for help if needed.

Following these steps should help you get your starter assembly back in working order and get you back on the road in no time.

Step 6: Reconnect the spark plug

Once you have successfully wound the new pull cord onto the recoil starter of your lawn mower, it is time to reconnect the spark plug. This step is crucial in ensuring that your lawn mower will start up and run smoothly. Reconnecting the spark plug is a relatively simple process.

Begin by removing the spark plug boot from the spark plug, which can usually be done by hand or with a pair of pliers. Next, use a socket wrench or spark plug socket to loosen and remove the spark plug. Inspect the spark plug to make sure it is in good condition and not fouled with dirt or debris.

If the spark plug is dirty or worn, it may need to be replaced. Once you have verified that the spark plug is in good condition, carefully thread it back into place, using the spark plug socket and wrench to tighten it securely. Finally, reattach the spark plug boot by firmly pushing it onto the spark plug until it is fully seated.

Congratulations! You have successfully replaced the pull cord on your lawn mower and reconnected the spark plug. Now, it’s time to test your handy work by giving the pull cord a gentle tug to start your lawn mower. With proper maintenance and care, your lawn mower will be ready to tackle any grassy task that comes its way!

Examples: ensuring snug fit, preventing accidental startup

Step 6 in the process of reconnecting a spark plug is a crucial one. It involves ensuring a snug fit and preventing any accidental startup. The spark plug plays a vital role in igniting the fuel inside the combustion chamber, so it’s important that it is properly installed.

Start by removing any residue or debris from the plug and cylinder head. Then, carefully thread the spark plug into the cylinder head by hand to avoid cross-threading. Once it is snug, use a torque wrench to tighten it to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage the threads. Finally, reattach the spark plug wire to the plug, making sure it is securely in place. By following these steps, you can ensure that your spark plug is properly connected and ready to perform its important job.


In conclusion, replacing a lawn mower pull cord is like performing delicate surgery on a grass-loving robot. It requires a steady hand, a dash of patience, and a touch of wit. Think of it as giving your lawn mower a stylish new haircut – it may take a little effort, but the end result is worth it.

So, grab your tools, put on your favorite gardening hat, and get ready to give that cord the honorable replacement it deserves. Remember, a well-functioning pull cord is the secret weapon to a perfectly manicured lawn. Happy mowing, my fellow grass gurus!”


How do I replace a lawn mower pull cord?
To replace a lawn mower pull cord, start by removing the top cover of the mower. Then, locate the recoil assembly and unwind the existing cord. Next, thread the new cord through the eyelet of the recoil assembly and tie a knot to secure it. Finally, wind the cord onto the recoil assembly, making sure it is tightly wound, and reattach the top cover of the mower.

What tools do I need to replace a lawn mower pull cord?
To replace a lawn mower pull cord, you will need a socket or wrench to remove the top cover of the mower, a pair of pliers to unwind the existing cord, and a new pull cord to replace the old one.

Is it difficult to replace a lawn mower pull cord?
While it may require some basic mechanical skills, replacing a lawn mower pull cord is not generally considered difficult. By following the proper steps and precautions, most individuals can successfully replace a pull cord on their own.

How often should I replace my lawn mower pull cord?
There is no specific timeframe for when a lawn mower pull cord needs to be replaced. However, signs that it may be time for a replacement include fraying, breakage, or excessive wear and tear.

Can I replace a lawn mower pull cord without professional help?
Yes, it is possible to replace a lawn mower pull cord without professional help. By following proper instructions and taking necessary safety precautions, most individuals can successfully replace a pull cord on their own.

Where can I purchase a replacement pull cord for my lawn mower?
Replacement pull cords for lawn mowers can often be found at hardware stores, large retail stores that sell lawn equipment, or online. It is important to ensure that the replacement cord is compatible with your specific mower model.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when replacing a lawn mower pull cord?
Some common mistakes to avoid when replacing a lawn mower pull cord include not properly securing the cord to the recoil assembly, over-tightening or under-tightening the cord, and not properly aligning the top cover of the mower when reattaching it. It is important to carefully follow the instructions provided for your specific mower model to avoid these mistakes.

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