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.

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




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.

Why should I buy a Honda Lawn Mower?

That is a very good question and when you compare Honda lawn mowers with other brands, the reasons become pretty obvious.

The biggest reason in my opinion is quality. You are going to pay a little more for a Honda lawn mower, but I have seen them come into my small engine repair shop that are more than 20 years old. You won’t see many other brands that will come even close to lasting that long.

Honda starts out with a very dependable engine. Their self-propelled and push mowers typically use a GCV type engine in 160 or 190cc. This is plenty of power to mow your lawn and pull the mower up hills easily. As long as you keep the oil changed and do the required maintenance, these engines are pretty bulletproof.

The decks on a Honda are either steel or plastic. Both of these are pretty rugged and the steel decks will almost never rust through. As long as you keep the deck scraped of the wet grass buildup, rust will not be a big issue.

The controls are pretty intuitive and are built fairly well. They require some lubrication and maintenance and the cables will go bad in them just like any other self-propelled or push mower.

Drive systems are a big one and Honda spares no expense here. They use steel on steel gears instead of a steel drive gear and a plastic mating one on the drive wheel like a lot of competitors.

Honda uses a Twin Blade system on some of their mowers. This cuts the grass very fine and helps to mulch it as well. This is another plus to a good looking lawn.

All in all, Honda puts quality in every aspect of their lawn mowers and it is money well spent to keep your yard looking great.

My Lawn Mower Runs For a Few Seconds and Dies

This could happen with a push mower, self-propelled or riding lawn mower. It doesn’t matter what kind of engine it has on it or the brand. What matters is that the engine is not getting the fuel it needs to continue to run. It will have enough fuel to run for a brief time but then it will die.

This problem with your lawn mower runs for a few second and dies normally occurs in the springtime when you first start the lawn mower. The carburetor is usually the culprit that causes these problems and the fuel that was left inside of it has gelled up and plugs up the ports inside it.

You will need a professional lawn mower mechanic to resolve this issue for you because the carburetor will need to taken apart and cleaned. This is not a job for someone that is not familiar with or have worked on carburetors before. It has many different ports that you must need to know how to clean and where they are located.

You can find a lawn mower repair professional at our Locations page to help resolve my lawn mower runs for a few seconds and dies problem.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Will Not Move Backwards

This is a common problem with self-propelled lawn mowers. Over time the mower does not want to go in reverse and the wheels lock up and you must drag it in reverse.

Let’s think about the environment that a mower operates in for a minute. It is a dirty and dusty one and this dirt and dust permeates everything. The dust will enter into the rear drive axle of a lawn mower and begin to build up inside it. This dirt becomes a grinding paste that wears on the plastic inserts in the wheels. It will also build up inside the spring loaded key that is located on the axle and prevent it from moving.

So as the dirt and dust build up, it freezes the mechanisms that allow the wheels to move in reverse and that is often the issue.

You can pull the wheels off the mower and see if you can clean the axle and drive mechanism to see if it helps, but most of the time you have to remove the axle assembly and replace parts.

If you need a self-propelled lawn mower repair shop in your area, visit our locations page for assistance.


The Pull Cord on My Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Won’t Move

It does happen on occasion when your pull cord doesn’t move and it seems locked up. The pull starter could be bad or the engine carburetor could be leaking fuel down into the cylinder and hydro locking it up.

You can try to remove the spark plug and gently pull on the starter rope to see if it clears the fuel from the cylinder. Make sure to place a rag over the cylinder head to catch any gas that may spill out of it.

Also check to be sure that something is not interfering with the lawn mower blade that would keep it from spinning such as a tree branch or rock.

Check the oil. If it is very low, it is possible that the engine has locked up due to low engine oil and it could be ruined. If you don’t see any oil on the dipstick, that could mean the end of that lawn mower.

Now would be a good time to take your Self-Propelled lawn mower to a lawn mower mechanic to have it professionally checked out. You can find one on our locations page.

My Push Lawn Mower Leaks Oil


An oil leak can be a serious problem for your push lawn mower. If too much oil leaks from the engine, it could damage the crankshaft and connecting rod. To avoid that damage, let’s look at a few areas to see if we can determine where the leak is coming from.

If the oil is on the deck in the front of the engine, chances are it is coming from a valve cover gasket or the head gasket. It could also be seeping from the crankcase gasket.

If the oil is coming from the side of the engine, it could be the crankcase breather is leaking or the crankcase gasket is seeping.

If the oil is leaking down from the top of the engine, the seal or bearing surface is worn out at the top of the crankshaft.

If the oil is leaking from the bottom of the engine, the seal or bearing surface is worn out at the bottom of the crankshaft.

In each of these cases, the leak can usually be repaired. If the leak is on the top of the engine, it might not be possible to repair it if the crankcase is worn and oil is leaking by it.

On older Tecumseh engines, the crankcase breather is on the top of the engine and that can be replaced to stop the leak.

Visit our locations page to find a push mower mechanic in your area.

Finding and stopping the oil leak on your push mower is the only way to save your valuable engine.



My Self Propelled Lawn Mower Won’t Move

Are you pushing the bar in or pulling on it and the mower will either not move at all or will move very slowly?

This problem happens when the drive belt breaks, it is worn out or the transmission has broken or the wheels or their drive gears are worn out or broke. Each of these can be systematically troubleshot to determine what the problem may be.

One of the first things to try is to start the mower and raise the drive wheels off the ground and engage the drive handle. If the wheels turn, you know that the drive system is working but not well enough to pull the lawn mower. This is normally a worn out belt or the belt has come off of the pulley.

If the wheels do not move, then the transmission could be bad, the drive wheel gear slots could be worn out or the drive gears could be broken. This will require pulling the wheels off to inspect the gears on both the wheels and gears.

If they appear to be fine, then it will be time to call a Self Propelled lawn mower repair professional. Visit our locations page for an office near you.