How to Replace a Starter Spring on a Lawn Mower?

Imagine this: you’re ready to tackle your weekend yard work, but your trusty lawn mower refuses to start. You pull the cord, but it feels limp and unresponsive. The culprit? A worn-out starter spring. While this may seem like a daunting repair, it’s often a simple fix that can be done with a few basic tools and some patience. This article will guide you through the process of replacing a starter spring on your lawn mower, ensuring your mower roars back to life in no time.

Understanding the Starter Spring

The starter spring is a crucial component in your lawn mower’s starting system. It’s a coiled spring housed within the recoil housing that stores energy when you pull the starter cord. This stored energy is then released, driving the engine’s flywheel to begin the combustion process. When the spring weakens or breaks, the cord feels loose and won’t provide enough tension to start the engine.

The Steps to Replace Your Lawn Mower Starter Spring

Replacing a starter spring involves taking apart the recoil housing, swapping the old spring for a new one, and reassembling everything. While the process might seem intimidating, it’s surprisingly straightforward. Follow these steps for a smooth and successful repair:

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Supplies

Before you begin, ensure you have the following items:

  • New starter spring: This can be purchased at most hardware stores or online. Make sure you get the correct spring for your specific lawn mower model.
  • Phillips head screwdriver: Used to remove screws from the recoil housing.
  • Flat head screwdriver: For prying open the recoil housing.
  • Needle-nose pliers: For manipulating the spring and holding small parts.
  • Safety glasses: Protect your eyes from flying debris.
  • Work gloves: Provide grip and protection for your hands.
  • Shop cloth: For wiping away dirt and grime.

Step 2: Disconnect the Spark Plug

Safety first! Before you start disassembling the recoil housing, disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting. This will also help ensure you don’t get shocked.

Step 3: Remove the Recoil Housing Cover

Locate the recoil housing cover, which is usually attached to the engine with a few screws. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove these screws. Once they’re out, gently pry the cover off the recoil housing. You might need to use a flat head screwdriver to help with this.

Step 4: Remove the Old Starter Spring

Important Note: Always work with the recoil housing in a safe, well-lit area. The spring is under tension and can potentially cause injury if released unexpectedly.

  • Locate the Spring: The starter spring is usually located within the recoil housing, attached to the recoil assembly.
  • Release the Tension: Use your needle-nose pliers to gently pull the spring away from its attachment points. Be careful not to pinch your fingers.
  • Remove the Spring: With the tension released, carefully remove the old starter spring from the recoil housing.

Step 5: Install the New Starter Spring

  • Attaching the Spring: Carefully position the new starter spring in the recoil housing. Ensure it’s correctly aligned with the attachment points.
  • Applying Tension: Using the needle-nose pliers, gently attach the spring to the attachment points. Be careful not to overstretch the spring.
  • Testing the Spring: Before reassembling the housing, test the spring’s functionality by pulling the starter cord. You should feel a smooth, consistent tension as you pull the cord.

Step 6: Reassemble the Recoil Housing

  • Attach the Cover: Carefully align the recoil housing cover and secure it with the screws you removed earlier.
  • Reconnecting the Spark Plug: Carefully reconnect the spark plug wire to the spark plug.

Troubleshooting Tips

If your lawn mower still doesn’t start after replacing the starter spring, there might be other issues:

  • Fuel Problems: Check if the fuel tank is full and the fuel lines are clear.
  • Air Filter: A dirty air filter can restrict airflow and prevent the engine from starting.
  • Spark Plug: A faulty spark plug can cause misfires and prevent the engine from running properly.

Maintaining Your Lawn Mower’s Starter Spring

To prevent premature wear and tear, there are some preventative measures you can take:

  • Regularly Inspect the Spring: Check the starter spring for signs of wear, such as rust, cracks, or fraying. Replace it if you notice any of these signs.
  • Proper Storage: Store your lawn mower in a clean and dry location to minimize rust and corrosion.
  • Avoid Pulling the Cord Excessively: Excessive pulling of the starter cord can stress the spring and shorten its lifespan.


Replacing a starter spring on your lawn mower is a straightforward task that can be done with minimal tools and some patience. By following these steps and troubleshooting any potential issues, you can get your lawn mower back in action quickly and efficiently. Remember, a well-maintained starter spring is crucial for reliable starting and smooth operation of your lawn mower. With proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy a healthy and happy lawn mowing experience for years to come.


What is a starter spring and why is it important?

A starter spring is a coiled spring that helps you start your lawnmower. It stores energy when you pull the starter rope, then releases that energy to crank the engine. A strong spring ensures the engine spins fast enough to start. If the spring is weak or broken, you might need to pull the rope several times to start the engine, or it might not start at all.

How do I know if my starter spring needs replacing?

You can tell if your starter spring needs replacing if the recoil starts to feel weak or if you notice the starter rope is not retracting back smoothly. You might also hear a clicking sound when you pull the rope. If your lawnmower is having trouble starting, the starter spring could be the culprit.

What tools will I need to replace the starter spring?

You will need a few basic tools to replace the starter spring. These include a Phillips screwdriver, a wrench, and a pair of pliers. You may also need a new starter spring and a new rope if the old one is worn or damaged.

How long will it take to replace a starter spring?

The time it takes to replace a starter spring will vary depending on your experience and the specific type of lawnmower you have. However, it is a relatively simple repair that can typically be completed in 30 minutes or less.

Can I replace the starter spring myself?

Yes, you can replace the starter spring yourself. It is a simple repair that can be done by most homeowners with basic mechanical skills. However, if you are not comfortable working with tools, it is best to take your lawnmower to a qualified repair technician.

What if I can’t find a new starter spring for my lawnmower?

If you can’t find a new starter spring for your lawnmower, you may be able to find a universal spring that will fit. You can also try contacting the manufacturer of your lawnmower to see if they sell replacement parts. If all else fails, you may have to replace the entire starter assembly.

What are some safety precautions I should take when replacing a starter spring?

When working on your lawnmower, it is important to take certain safety precautions. Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent the engine from starting accidentally. And never work on the lawnmower while it is running.

Leave a Comment