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Common Lawnmower Faults - and How to Fix Them

Within our advice centre we have many articles on how to replace the parts that are most common to suffer from faults on your lawn mower. However would you know what to do if it was more than a replacement belt or blade?

Luckily this article will run you through some of the more common faults your lawnmower may encounter, and these simple fixes could help bring your trusty lawn cutting machine back to performing at 100% again in no time!

Safety First! Please make sure your appliance is switched off before beginning any maintenance work.

Electric Mower Not Starting

Q: The Lawnmower Won't Turn On?

A: It could be that the on/off switch has become faulty, replace the on/off switch or contact a qualified repairer.

Q: My Mower Has A Thermal Cut-Out Fitted, Is It Activated?

A: To test simply reset or wait a few minutes for automatic reset to occur.

Q: My Lawnmower Has No Power?

A: Have you checked the plug's fuse, wiring and mains supply for faults?

Q: My Blade Is Not Moving?

A: With the power off, turn the mower over and check to see if the blade is jammed, if so proceed to free the blade and clean the area.

Q: Could The Motor Assembly Have Become Faulty?

A: This is a possibility, but to check and for repairs you would need to contact a qualified repairer.

Electric Lawnmower Not Hovering

A fault that you may find with your hover mower is that it doesn't do as the name suggests...hover! Here are a few tips on how to get your mower floating again.

  • Tilt the mower slightly, as this will allow the air underneath to circulate which will hopefully provide adequate lift - if this has not been successful the mower may feel heavy when used.
  • If there is a build up of thatch and moss then the machine may begin to be sucked down, preventing it from hovering. A simple remedy is to scarify the lawn.

Scarifying the lawn: Working in one direction, then at right angles after the initial sweep, use a spring-tined rake over the lawn - and dig into the top level of soil.

  • Check for grass cuttings under the hood, as this can also prevent the mower from hovering. Simply give it a clean under the hood and between the fins on the impeller.

Electric Lawnmower Has Poor Floatation

When your mower is not floating correctly, then these simple to follow steps below are sure to help.

  • Disconnect the lawnmower from the mains power supply.
  • Opening up the hood and giving the underside a good clean can help, along with the fan blades.
  • Raise your blades to a higher height of cut.

If after performing the steps above then please contact a qualified engineer.

Petrol Mower Not Starting

Q: I've Gone To Start My Mower But Nothing Is Happening?

A: Check your fuel level, as you may have no fuel. Also open the fuel tank and look for any signs of dirt and grit. It is always worth draining the tank before the start of a new season. You should always consult your manual for specific instructions.

Q: The Fuel Tank Seems Ok - Why Else Is My Lawnmower Not Starting?

A: Is the fuel valve in the correct position? Ensure the fuel valve is turned on and not in the off position.

Q: After Checking The Above It’s Still Not Starting - What Else Have You Got For Me eSpares?

A: Because of previous maintenance and age; the carburettor could have become blocked or faulty. We definitely recommend contacting a qualified repairer for this one!

Q: When I Start The Lawnmower There Is No Spark?

A: Unfortunately, it's recommended to seek the help of a qualified repairer.

Grass Isn't Being Cut

Q:The Blades Spinning, So Why Isn't My Grass Getting Cut?

A: Check your blades height, it may be set too high. On most machines such as Flymos the spacers can be removed. On other machines - such as a Qualcast cylinder mower - you need to adjust the screws to lower or to heighten the blade.

eSpares Top Tip: With the lawn mower turned over, check to see if the underside is clogged with old grass cuttings, and remove them if present.

Q: My Lawn Looking Tatty And Not Trimmed?

A: With the machine off, turn it over and check the blade. Like any kind of blade they become worn over time, and this weakens their cutting performance. You can either sharpen the blade - using the correct sharpening tools and our guide - or simply replace the old blade with a shiny new one.

Q: The Blade Is The Correct Height And The Blade Is Super Sharp - What Now, Why Am I Unable To Cut The Grass?

A: Have you had some rain recently? Or are you cutting in the early morning? When the grass is too wet your blades will not be able to cut efficiently. Wait till the grass becomes dry before proceeding to cut your lawn. Unfortunately you can’t control the weather, so if the rain is persistent you might simply have to head inside and make a cuppa and wait for it all to blow over.

Q: I’ve Raised The Blade, But The Lawn Is Not Looking So Good - What's Wrong And What Can I Do?

A: Unfortunately when left too long the grass will continue to grow, and maybe even at the highest setting your mower won't be able do its job. If you have found this issue, what you need to do is use a strimmer to shorten the grass to a more manageable length.

Uneven Cutting

Q: After Cutting My Lawn I’ve Noticed That It's Now Looking A Little Uneven?

A: A blunt, twisted or unbalanced blade can leave your grass looking lopsided, so we recommend sharpening and rebalancing the blade, you can see more in our guide here.

eSpares Top Tip: With the power off, turn the mower over and check for dried clippings and dirt, if any are found then give the underside a good clean out.

Motor Cutting Out

Q: My Mower Has A Thermal Cut-Out Fitted - Is It Activated?
A: To test simply reset or wait a few minutes for automatic reset to occur.

Q: My Mower Seems To Be Getting Very Hot - What's Happening?

A: sounds like the motor is overheating, clear any blocked vents and clean the motor. Also check the cooling fan, as if broken then the motor can overheat and it’ll shut off. If it is damaged you can replace it here.

Exhausting Black Smoke

Q: I'm Seeing A Lot Of Black Smoke From The Exhaust - Should I Be Concerned?

A: There are a few issues that could be causing black smoke:

  • If the air filters are blocked, these will need cleaning and replacing if they are in disrepair.
  • Check your fuel mixture screw and adjust it accordingly.
  • Check your oil levels, if you have too much oil you’ll have to drain some - this should help stop the black smoke.
  • Not as common as the above faults - but if the piston rings are faulty then we recommend seeking help from a qualified repairer.

Engine Idle

Q: The Idle Noise Is Not Normal - What Can You Suggest?

A: Check the fuel mixture, and adjust the screw accordingly. Alternatively turn your attention to the air filter, if it is clogged or blocked they’ll need cleaning and maybe even replacing.

So there you have it, you hopefully now have an understanding of the most common faults a lawnmower can experience - and having even the most basic knowledge to be able to repair the problem, you should find that your favourite and trusted mower can keep cutting for seasons to come!

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