How To Replace A Pull String On A Lawn Mower

How To Replace A Pull String On A Lawn Mower?

5 minutes

A pull string is a way of starting the engine of a push mower. You cannot start the engine if you have a broken pull string. The pull cord generates tension on the starter pulley. When released, the pulley swings back and kick starts the engine. Pull cords wear off due to extensive usage. So, you may need to replace it with a newer one.

However, knowing how to replace a pull string on a lawn mower is necessary for mower maintenance. As it is a significant section of the machine, you must change it when it is faulty or dull.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the procedure for changing a pull string on a lawnmower. 

Let us get started!

How To Replace A Pull String On A Lawn Mower?

A pull string needs a replacement in many scenarios. For instance, there can be a broken cord, a frayed one, or a shorter one. In all of these cases, you’ll need to replace the pull string on your lawn mower.

Without a pull string, the starter module will not work, thus the engine will not start.

To replace the cord, follow the steps below:


Turn off the engine. Place the lawn mower on a flat surface. Let the engine cool if you were using it recently. It’s best to wear hand gloves for safety.

Step 1

First, you need to take a socket and unthread the bolts on the starter module. Unplug the cord wire from the mower’s handle and remove the starter assembly.

Step 2

If there is a broken cord, remove it from the starter. 

In another case, if the cord is not broken but is frayed, then you need to pull the whole string out of the starter assembly to look for a frayed rope.

It will generate tension on the pulley when you pull out the cords. So, hold the rotating part while gradually removing the old string. Otherwise, it will swing back and may hurt your hands in the process.

Once you get to the end, use a screwdriver to lock the pulley in the starter housing.  

Step 3

Now, remove the cord from the pulley. You can either untie it or cut the end to unlock it from the pulley hole. We would suggest cutting the cord, it’s the best for an instant outcome. After cutting, remove the wire altogether from the starter assembly.

Step 4

The next step is removing the string from the handle. Cut the rope off from the pulling handle. Now take out the replacement cable.

Step 5

Wind up the starter pulley as far as it goes. Carefully hold the pulley so that it does not swing back. Once you reach the endpoint while winding it up, rotate the pulley a bit to match the hole on the starter housing and the pulley. Lock the pulley with the starter housing using a screwdriver. 

Step 6

Now pass one end of the replacement cable through the holes, make sure that they are aligned. Then tie a knot on the end of the string. There is a pocket on the starter pulley’s rotating disk. It is there to hold the pull-string knot in place. So, place the knot on the pocket of the starter pulley.  

Step 7

Hold the rope firmly and remove the screwdriver from the assembly. Slowly release the cord and allow it to coil back on the pulley. You don’t have to let all the rope get coiled inside. Tie a temporary knot to lock the string once you have about 18 inches of cord left.

Step 8

Now, place the other end of the cord on the starter handle. Also, make a knot here to hold the rope on the handle. Then remove the temporary knot that you used to lock the rope on the starter handle.

Step 9

Finally, mount the whole starter module back onto the lawn mower. Place the bolts and tighten them up. Pull the string’s end handle, then place and lock the string on the holder of the mower’s handle. 

So, this is the full guide on how to change the pull string on a lawn mower. The process is simple; you just need to be careful throughout the process. It’s as simple as that.

After you finish with the installation, lubricate the coil on the starter assembly. It will ensure a smooth rotation.

Replace The String On A Lawn Mower

Why Do You Need To Replace The String On A Lawn Mower?

There are three primary reasons for the replacement of a mower string. You can get any one of them.

Broken String

A broken string is a worst-case scenario with a lawn mower.

The machine will not start without the starter module. And the starter module will not run without a string. So, a broken cord requires an immediate replacement to get the mower back to work.

Frayed String

A frayed end is the earliest sign of a broken string. A frayed end can break off anytime. So replacement is necessary. So, keep a regular check, then you can identify a faulty cord.

Short string

Sometimes, you may need to cut the end of the string due to frayed parts or other issues. Eventually, the overall length of the rope will decrease to a level where it will block the starter pulley’s rotation.

If the starter pulley cannot rotate enough, it will not start the engine. So the replacement is necessary in this case as well.

How Does A Starter Module Work?

When you pull the string on the starter module, it winds up a spring coil inside the starter assembly. The coil then stores a good amount of kinetic energy and when you release the pull cord the kinetic energy is released as an instantaneous rotary motion. This is because there is a connection between the engine and the starter module, so this rotation jumpstarts the engine.

To sum up:

Proper maintenance of a lawn mower is necessary to keep it in okay condition. A pull string is something that brings this machine’s engines to life. So, you can understand how important it is to the system as a whole.

Like all other mower components that need replacement after prolonged use, the pull string requires a change when it breaks or becomes dull. However, we aimed to discuss the procedure here as explicitly as possible.

So, here is our method on how to replace a pull string on a lawn mower. This method will come in handy at some point if you own a push lawn mower. 

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!