Is Your Lawn Mower Cord Stuck? Here’s How to Fix It!

You’re ready to tackle the overgrown lawn, but when you go to start your electric mower, the cord won’t budge. It’s stuck. Now what? A stuck lawn mower cord can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem. This article will guide you through the most common causes of stuck cords, provide step-by-step solutions to get your mower back in action, and offer tips for preventing this issue in the future.

Short Answer: A stuck lawn mower cord is usually caused by the cord becoming tangled around the mower’s housing, winding around the reel, or getting stuck in the blades. To free the cord, you’ll need to carefully untangle it, remove any obstructions, and in some cases, you might need to use a little lubricant.

Understanding Why Your Cord Gets Stuck

Before you jump into fixing the problem, it’s helpful to understand why your cord is getting stuck in the first place. Common causes include:

1. Tangled Cords

The most frequent reason for a stuck cord is simply tangled wires. As you mow, the cord can easily become wrapped around the mower housing, reel, or even the wheels. This tangle can prevent the cord from easily retracting.

2. Winding Around the Reel

Electric mowers often have a cord reel to keep the cord organized. If the reel itself isn’t working smoothly or the cord isn’t properly inserted, it can get stuck and refuse to retract.

3. Obstructions

Sometimes, debris like grass clippings, twigs, or even small rocks can get lodged in the cord’s path, preventing it from moving freely.

4. Damaged or Worn Cord

A damaged or worn cord can become brittle and more likely to snag or become entangled.

Solutions for a Stuck Cord

Once you’ve identified the reason for your stuck cord, here’s a step-by-step approach to get it back in working order:

1. Unwinding the Cord

  • Safety First: Always unplug the mower before attempting to free the cord.
  • Identify the Tangle: Carefully inspect the cord to determine where it’s tangled.
  • Gentle Untangling: Use your fingers to gently untangle the cord, working slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the wire.

2. Checking the Reel

  • Examine the Reel: Look for any signs of damage, debris, or binding.
  • Remove Obstructions: If you find any debris, carefully remove it.
  • Test the Reel: Try retracting the cord to see if the reel is moving freely.

3. Freeing the Cord from Obstructions

  • Inspect the Mower: Check around the blades, wheels, and housing for any objects that might be obstructing the cord.
  • Remove Obstructions: If you find debris, carefully remove it with your hands or a small tool.

4. Lubricating the Cord

  • Use a Lubricant: If the cord feels stiff or dry, you can try applying a small amount of lubricant (like WD-40) to the cord where it enters the mower.
  • Test After Application: Let the lubricant sit for a few minutes before attempting to retract the cord.

5. Inspecting for Damage

  • Examine the Cord: If the cord is visibly damaged or frayed, it’s important to replace it.
  • Safety First: A damaged cord can be a fire hazard, so it’s crucial to replace it with a new one.

Preventing a Stuck Cord in the Future

Here are some tips to help prevent a stuck cord from happening again:

1. Regular Cleaning

  • Maintain Your Mower: Clean your mower regularly after each use, removing grass clippings and debris.
  • Clear the Path: Make sure the area you’re mowing is clear of obstacles.

2. Proper Cord Management

  • Keep It Straight: Always try to keep the cord as straight as possible while mowing.
  • Use the Reel: Always use the cord reel and ensure the cord is inserted correctly.

3. Inspect the Cord

  • Check for Damage: Regularly inspect the cord for signs of wear or damage.
  • Replace as Needed: Replace a damaged cord immediately to prevent future problems.

Safety Precautions

Remember, safety is paramount when dealing with electrical equipment:

  • Unplug the Mower: Always unplug the mower from the power source before working on the cord.
  • Use Insulated Tools: If you need to use tools, make sure they are insulated to prevent electrical shocks.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you encounter any electrical issues or are unsure how to fix the problem, contact a qualified electrician.


A stuck lawn mower cord can be a real nuisance, but by understanding the common causes and following the steps outlined in this article, you can likely get your mower back in action. Remember to prioritize safety, inspect the cord regularly, and practice good cord management to prevent future issues. With a little care and attention, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth mowing experience.


Q1: What are the common reasons why a lawn mower cord might get stuck?

A: There are a few common culprits behind a stuck lawn mower cord. One is the cord becoming entangled with the mower’s blades or other moving parts, which can occur if the cord isn’t properly secured. Another reason is the cord getting caught in the mower’s housing or other components, such as the wheels or the handle. Finally, the cord could be damaged, creating a snag that prevents it from retracting smoothly.

Q2: How can I prevent my lawn mower cord from getting stuck in the first place?

A: The best defense against a stuck cord is a good offense. Before you start mowing, make sure your cord is properly secured to the designated cord hook or clip. Avoid dragging the cord behind the mower as you work, and be mindful of any potential obstructions that could catch the cord. Regularly inspect your cord for wear and tear, and replace any damaged sections promptly to minimize the risk of snags.

Q3: What should I do if I discover my lawn mower cord is stuck?

A: The first step is to stop the mower immediately and disconnect it from the power source. Once the mower is safely off, carefully inspect the cord to determine the cause of the jam. If it’s simply tangled, you can try to gently untangle it by hand. However, if the cord is caught in a moving part, you should refrain from trying to pull it free and instead seek professional assistance.

Q4: Can I use WD-40 to lubricate a stuck lawn mower cord?

A: While WD-40 can be helpful for loosening stuck parts, it’s not recommended for a lawn mower cord. Using WD-40 on the cord can make it slippery and more prone to slipping out of its clips or hooks. It can also potentially damage the cord’s insulation and create a safety hazard.

Q5: How can I tell if my lawn mower cord is damaged?

A: Inspect the cord for any visible signs of damage such as cuts, frayed wires, or exposed insulation. If you notice any damage, it’s best to replace the cord immediately. Continuing to use a damaged cord poses a significant electrical risk and should be avoided.

Q6: What should I do if I’m unable to fix a stuck lawn mower cord myself?

A: If you find yourself unable to free the cord or suspect damage, it’s essential to seek professional assistance. Contact a qualified electrician or lawn mower repair service for safe and effective troubleshooting. They have the expertise to handle the situation safely and can provide a proper fix for your stuck or damaged cord.

Q7: Is it safe to continue using a lawn mower with a damaged cord?

A: Absolutely not. Using a damaged cord poses a serious electrical risk. A compromised cord can lead to electrical shocks, sparking, and even fires. It’s crucial to replace any damaged cord promptly to ensure your safety and prevent potential hazards.

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