Troubleshooting lawn mower problems

With over 55 years of experience in providing customers from around the world with the best quality lawn mowers, we know a thing or two about troubleshooting common problems with lawn mowers.

I Haven't Used My Lawn Mower For A While, Why Won't It Start?

There are a number of things that can cause a non-starter. This varies depending on the power source of your lawn mower such as; petrol, electric or battery. Most often this issues comes down to how well the lawn mower has been maintained over the period of non-use. Here’s a few explanations and tips for next time:

The first thing you should do is check that there are no are no leaves, debris or twigs preventing the blades from turning; this can seriously affect the performance of the lawn mower.

Petrol Lawn Mowers

  • Petrol has been left in the tank for a long time - A petrol mower can have issues if the fuel has been left in the tank over winter. Old and stale fuel is the most common cause for not starting after long periods of time. 
  • Check the air filter - Air filters can get clogged quite easily which can harm the efficiency of your machine. A clogged air filter can also mean a carbon build up after repeated use, which can lead to damaging your spark plugs. It can also disturb the airflow going into the engine as if the engine cannot get enough oxygen it will struggle to ignite, which can affect the efficiency further down the line.

Electric And Battery Lawn Mowers

  • Check the health of cables and batteries – You will need to check the condition of the cable of your electric lawn mower. In addition to this some extension cables do not have the required amp-age to run an electric lawn mower. If your machine still won’t move, you will need to check the fuses or breakers in your home.
  • If you have a battery-powered lawn mower, be sure to check whether the battery is flat. If the battery has difficulty holding its charge, especially through winter, this could be a sign that it may need replacing. Ideally you shouldn’t store batteries in cold places like sheds as this can affect the battery life.
Flymo EasiGlide hover mower

Why Won't My Hover Mower Hover?

A hover mower works by creating a cushion of air underneath; making them easy to manoeuvre across the lawn. However, there are a number of common reasons that can stop the hover mower floating effortlessly across the lawn.

If the lawn feels spongy underfoot, this can be a result of thatch and moss, which can prevent it from hovering. This problem effectively sucks the mower down onto the lawn providing the opposite to the desired effect. To fix this you will need to scarify the lawn to remove all the moss and thatch.

Tipping a hover mower slightly to one side to allow the air to circulate under the cutting deck, helps provides the lift. If the lawn mower cannot get air underneath the machine it will feel very heavy, as the cushion of air isn’t powerful enough to get the most out of it.

In addition to this if there is a build up of grass cuttings between the fins on the impeller or underneath the hood this can also prevent the machine from hovering. This has a simple fix however as general care and maintenance can remedy this issue.

Why Is Smoke Coming From My Petrol Lawn Mower?

This can understandably be alarming however, it doesn't always mean it has a critical fault. Many of these causes won’t require you to search out the help of an expert straight away. You can often diagnose the issue by the colour of the smoke, and fix it before any major problems start.

1.White smoke
For petrol lawn mowers it is possible that the engine oil reservoir has been filled too high and the engine is burning off the excess, causing the white smoke. To prevent this from happening, make sure your oil is at the correct level.

2.Blue/white smoke 
White or blue smoke can occur if any fuel gets into the engine. If you have recently changed the oil or you mow on a gradient, this isn’t uncommon and can be completely harmless. You can solve this by restarting your lawn mower and allowing the excess oil to burn off. For future reference, you should check your manufacturer’s manual for advice on ways to reduce oil leaks.

3.Black smoke
If you are experiencing black smoke this can mean your lawn mower is “running rich”. This means, in effect, that it is burning off too much fuel. If your carburetor isn’t getting enough air then this can cause the black exhaust smoke. It is possible that a clogged air filter can be the main cause of this and is preventing air from getting through to the carburetor. Try replacing the filter and then running the lawn mower for a few minutes to see if this fixes the problem. If you are still experiencing the black smoke you may need to adjust the carburetor to increase the airflow.

Flymo lawnmower cutting lawn

Why Is My Lawn Mower Cutting Out?

1.Check the power
It may seem like an obvious one, but you should always check the lawn mower propulsion system is working. This can be as simple as the lawn mower having run out of fuel or battery, or with electric mowers, the cable coming out of the socket. Also check cables, fuses and breakers for electric mowers.

2.Cutting grass that is too long
Trimming too much grass in one go can cause the lawn mower to get bogged down which will make it stop. To combat this, raise the cutting height first before re-cutting it later at a lower height.

2.Grass box is full
Some lawn mowers will stop if the box gets too full. Empty the box then get back to it!

3.Check the air filter
A dirty air filter can cause a multitude of problems down the line so it is always advisable to not let it get too clogged up and replace it every so often.

4.Check spark plugs 
Issues can arise from misfiring spark plugs or carbon build-up. Dirty spark plugs can be a common cause for a petrol lawn mower cutting out so try thoroughly cleaning it, if this doesn't work, it will need replacing.

5.Remove any debris from the underside
To remove debris, make sure it is safe to do so and that the power is not connected. The lawn mower will not work to its full efficiency if the lawn mower’s deck is clogged up with debris.

We recommend repairs to only be carried out as directed by the instruction manual however, if you feel that there are still problems, you can contact our customer service team for advice,