What Type of Oil Should I use in My Lawn Mower?

Oil is the lifeblood of any engine and an oil change is the most important thing to do for your lawn mower.

You always want to use the type and viscosity of oil that the engine manufacturer recommends and this information can be found in the engine owner’s manual. But, you do not always have one of these if you purchased the lawn mower secondhand.

As a general rule, most small engines use SAE30 conventional motor oil. Conventional means that it is made from crude oil. Synthetic oils use different chemicals to create these lubricants.

More recently, engine makers have been moving to 10W30 engine oils. Honda is one of those companies that requires it in most of their lawn mowers.

Synthetic oils are far superior than conventional motor oils and once the engine has had its first required oil change, it is fine to switch it over to synthetics. Synthetic oils do not create sludge, have better lubricating properties and provide less friction for your engine. They are more expensive, but that added expense is worth the price of protecting your lawn mowers engine.

If you need help changing your lawn mowers engine and don’t want to tackle that job, visit our Locations page for a shop near you.


My Lawn Mower Runs for a While and Then Quits

This is a fairly common problem on push, self-propelled and riding lawn mowers. It can also be one that is hard to troubleshoot because there are several different things that can cause this problem in the first place.

You can check some easy things like the fuel cap for proper venting. If you take the cap off after the mower quits and you hear a whooshing of air, the cap is not venting as it should. Replace it with a new one or try to clean out the vent hole and see if that solves the problem.

The electrical portion is also another part that can cause your lawn mower to quit. The ignition coil, spark plug or associated wiring are all potential culprits.

It could also be the quantity of oil in a riding lawn mower. If the oil level is too low, if it is equipped with a low oil switch, it can shut down the engine to prevent any damage.

If you need professional help diagnosing your lawn mowers problem, visit our Locations page for a lawn mower repair shop near you.

My Lawn Mower Just Died in the Yard

Two questions come to mind.

  1. Did it die like you just flipped a switch?
  2. Did it chug, cough and then die?

If it is the first question, then most likely you have an electrical issue and most likely an ignition system problem. Most likely just putting in a new spark plug will not resolve the problem but it is an inexpensive first step to resolve the problem.

If the lawn mower chugged, coughed and then died, you have a fuel system problem or an internal component problem. This requires more in-depth troubleshooting to determine what the problem is. But check the air filter to see if it is clogged and if so, replace it and test the mower. You could also start it without the air filter to see if that was the problem. Just try to not let any debris such as grass clippings get into the carburetor.

If these simple fixes don’t solve the problem with your lawn mower dying in your yard, professional help is in order and you can find a lawn mower repair professional in your area by visiting our Locations page for assistance.

My Lawn Mower Jerks the Pull Cord Out of My Hand

This is a dangerous condition and can easily cut your hand or worse, break a bone in it. Do not continue to try and pull start the lawn mower until you have it checked out by a lawn mower repair professional.

Now you are probably wondering why this happens in the first place right? Well, most of the time it happens because you have hit something with the blade or someone has been working on the engine internals and did not set the timing up right on the cam.

When you hit something or have a blade strike as it is called in the industry, it will cause the shear key in the flywheel to move or “shear” as it is designed to do. When this flywheel key shears, it causes the timing of the ignition firing to be off a number of degrees. When the spark plug fires at the wrong time, it will cause the piston to move violently in the downward motion and the pull cord is still trying to move the piston in the upward position.

The result is the force you feel when the pull cord is whipped out of your hand and the handle slams into the engine cover.

So it is wise to get your lawn mower checked out by a professional that can diagnose the problem and repair it so you have a safe to operate mower once again.

Visit our Locations page for a lawn mower shop near you.

How To Find a Great Lawn Mower Repair Shop

Great lawn mower repair shops are getting harder to find. The older generations have retired and closed down their independent shops and younger people are not entering this line of work in great numbers.

So, how do you find a great lawn mower repair shop today?

Google is going to be your best friend when you do your searching. By using search terms such as “lawn mower repair Louisville KY”, this will get you some results that you can then narrow your criteria.

Review each of their websites and look for engine manufacturer certifications such as “Briggs and Stratton Master Service Technician” or “Honda Engines Master Service Technician”. Follow that up by checking reviews on Google if they have a business listing on the right side of the page. Check the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any negative complaints and how those were handled by the business.


Don’t forget about Facebook! If the business has a page there, check their reviews as well.

Good shops are going to be busy as word gets around, people will flock to them. Expect to have some wait time such as 1-2 weeks as a norm. Calling and rushing them to get the work done will only have negative results for you, so let them do their work. It’s only grass, it can wait.

Why Should I Hire a Certified Technician To Repair My Lawn Mower?

With the ever increasing technology that is being delivered in today’s lawn mowers, the technicians that repair them must be well educated to that technology. Fuel injection is now working its way down to riding lawn mowers and will soon be on smaller mowers such as self-propelled machines.

Electronic Fuel Injection requires a different set of tools and equipment t repair them. A computer, software and cabling plus the knowledge to use those new tools is mandatory to repair these machines. In fact, many shops don’t have those tools and are unable to properly troubleshoot them.

The leading engine manufacturers such as Briggs and Stratton, Honda, Kawasaki and Kohler all have EFI controlled engines. These engine builders all have their own unique certifications.

Briggs & Stratton – Master Service Technician

Honda – Master Service Technician

Kawasaki – Kawasaki Engine Certified

Kohler – Expert Level Certified

These are the top level certifications and with them comes a great deal of knowledge and experience working on the engines.

By hiring a Certified Technician to work on your lawn mower, you will have the best trained individual with experience in their field to ensure the repairs are done properly and accurately.

Do you need a professional lawn mower repair shop in your area? Click here to find one Lawn Mower Repair Shop




How To Winterize Your Lawn Mower

It’s that time of the year when the lawn mowing is winding down and it is time to put it away. I know some of you are glad to be through with mowing while others find it as a way to relax and get away from the world for a while.

To make your lawn mower last as long as possible, your end of season storage procedure will help extend its life so let’s get started.

1. Clean the entire lawn mower. If you have a leaf blower or air compressor, open the hood and blow out all the grass and dirt. Next blow all the grass clippings, sticks and leaves off the mower deck. Lift up the seat and then blow the dirt from under it and off the transmission as well.

2. Clean and scrape the deck. If the blades need sharpening, now is a good time to accomplish this.

3. Fill the tires to their proper pressures. For most riders that is 10psi at the rear and 15 in the front.

4. Grease all the fittings for the steering, wheels and deck.

5. Check the deck and drive belts for wear, cracking or splitting and replace as necessary.

6. Change the air and fuel filters.

7. Put fuel stabilizer in the tank and mix according to the directions.

8. Clean the battery terminals and apply battery terminal protector.

9. Start the engine and let it warm up.

10. Change the oil and filter.

Now your lawn mower will be ready for next spring and it should start and run great. If you have a battery tender, it’s a good idea to put the battery on it so it will provide a trickle charge all winter long.

Happy Mowing!

One Drive Wheel Stopped Turning on My Self-Propelled Lawn Mower


Today’s self-propelled lawn mowers either have steel or plastic drive gears. The steel gears never seem to wear out but their spring loaded woodruf keys that are on the axle can rest and stick in place. When this happens, one side or both can stop working.

If you have a plastic drive gear on the wheel, it can wear out and stop pulling the drive wheel.

In either case the drive wheels will need to be removed and the drive system inspected. While you are at it, inspect the drive belt for wear. If it is loose or rides deep in the groove, it is time for a replacement.

Carefully inspect the drive gears to make sure they are not missing any teeth or are worn out. Grass clippings can also get into them and fill the grooves between the teeth. Clean them out good and replace any worn parts. Also check the drive shaft on models that use the spring and woodruf key. Clean out the slots and ensure everything is dry and free of grease and dirt.

If this project is more than you want to tackle, visit our Locations page for a self-propelled lawn mower repair shop near you.

My Lawn Mower Blades Wear Out Quickly

Lawn mower blades normally last a long time and if yours are wearing out quickly, there are probably some external factors that you might not think about.

My first question is, are you cutting your grass when it has dew on it or is wet from rain? Water is very tough on lawn mower blades. Water is a solid and when the blade hits it, it quickly dulls the blade and begins to wear it out. Wait until the grass dries before you mow each time and this will place a lot less wear on those lawn mower blades.

Do you have tough grasses in your area? If you live in the south, this could be your problem. Thick lush grass will quickly wear out those lawn mower blades as well. Try cutting it more frequently or change to a different blade that is designed to handle these types of grasses. Better quality steel is the answer here.

Is there a lot of sand in your lawn? Sand is the big killer of lawn mower blades. You can upgrade to a better grade steel, but the sand is going to continue to wear out those blades.

For help selecting a lawn mower blade in your area, visit our Locations page for a small engine repair shop near you.


The Pull the Cord on my Lawn Mower Won’t Move

Are you trying to pull the cord to start your lawn mower and it just won’t budge? You try to yank on it and it is just stuck?

It could be something very simple that is causing this problem or something a little more in-depth.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you are pulling down on the Safety Brake Cable. If the brake is engaged, it makes it much harder to pull the starter rope.

If that doesn’t do the trick, remove the spark plug boot from the spark plug and check to see if a stick or rock is not bound up in the blade.

Still a problem? Remove the dipstick, wipe it off and then re-check the oil level. If it is very low or you don’t see any on the dipstick, the engine could be seized up due to a lack of oil.

The other possibility but it is not likely is that the pull starter itself is bad. You will have to remove it to test it.

If you need help with your pull cord on your lawn mower, visit our Locations page for a lawn mower repair shop near you.