How to Replace the Pull Cord on a Lawn Mower


The pull cord on a push mower suffers from abuse each mowing season. The wear and tear of the jerking motion will damage the cord little by little until one day it simply snaps. When the cord has given its last performance, a simple replacement can be found at your local garden center or do-it-yourself store. Take a piece of the old cord with you to make sure you are purchasing a cord of the same size.

Step 1

Unscrew the starter housing from the mower. Remove the gas tank if needed to reach the starter housing screws.

Step 2

Cut 10 feet of new cord. Any excess can be trimmed once the cord is installed. It is always better to have too much than too little.

Step 3

Remove the old cord from the cord pulley, located inside the starter housing. Discard the old cord.

Step 4

Put one end of the new cord into the pulley and knot the end. Secure the knot and the frayed cord ends with electrical tape.

Step 5

Wrap the cord around the pulley twice, pulling it snug but not tight.

Step 6

Draw the end of the cord through the hole on the starter housing. Reinstall the starter housing on the mower and screw into place.

Step 7

Pull the cord and position it at a comfortable height on the handle of the mower. Loop the cord through the guide on the handle. Secure the T-handle to the cord. Push the cord through the hole in the handle and squeeze the staple on the handle shut with pliers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Disable the mower before beginning maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Electrical tape
  • Pliers


  • Cockeyed: How to Replace the Starter Cord on a Lawnmower
  • This Old House: Lawn Mower Pull Rope
Keywords: pull cord, mower pull cord, mower starter cord

About this Author

Christina Wheeler has been a professional freelance writer since 2007. She lends her expertise in animal care, gardening and home improvement to online publications such as Garden Guides and eHow. Wheeler studied business management at Ohio University.