I have recently purchased a used Toro 6.5 hp front drive self-propelled lawn mower. The pull cord seems to be stuck in the retracted position and will not release, preventing the mower from starting.
Experienced gardeners share their insights in answering this question :
1) Common problem when a mower sits for several weeks at a time between mowing;
check for extra grass debris to be glogged between the blade and the mower shell.

2) If the mower has a ‘bail’ or ‘zone’ control handle;
this releases a brake mechanism on the flywheel to allow it to rotate, and after it is running, releasing the lever will ‘kill’ the engine.

NOTE* when transporting a push mower in the trunk of a car, try to keep the mower as level as possible.

*extra note when mower has been transported in the back of a car;
sometimes the mower is placed in a trunk at such a severe angle that the oil from the crankcase is forced around the rings and sits on top of the piston so that when you try to pull the rope you have a ‘hydra’ lock. (that is when a liquid is between the piston and the spark plug) You cannot compress a liquid, so the rope appears stuck.

If this happens, remove the spark plug (make sure the loose plug wire is fastened away from any combustable that comes out of the spark plug hole *** AND THERE WILL BE A HUGE STREAM OF OIL AND GASOLINE, SO BE PREPARED TO CLEAN UP A MESS ***
pull as normal until fluid is dispelled from internal engine
clean or replace the spark plug
a few more pulls (no choke required) and you are up and going

How to Identify and Fix Common Gardening Problems ?

We provide a variety of viewpoints on how to identify and fix common gardening problems. Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced gardeners :

There are two very common causes for a lawn mower pull cord not catching. These include: Broken or Worn Pawls, or a. Damaged Pulley.
Replacing a ripcord on your lawn mower is a quick and relatively straightforward job most homeowners can tackle. It takes less than an hour and you probably won`t spend more than $20 on parts if you have the basic tools you need to do the job.
The Pull Cord Handle

Pull cord handle often breaks as the handle can sometimes fly loose during the starting procedure. The problem is, the cord may retract back inside the mower. This will require removing the pull start housing to re-tension the spring and fit the new handle.

Recoil start

When the rope`s grip is pulled, the rope uncoils, tensions the spring, engages the clutch and turns the crankshaft, spinning it to crank or start the engine before the end of the pull stroke. The running of the engine then disengages the clutch.

When a lawn mower engine seizes, it means that the pistons have become stuck in the cylinder and the engine will no longer turn over. This can be caused by a lack of lubrication, a foreign object stuck in the engine, or the engine being exposed to extreme temperatures.

Discover Relevant Questions and Answers for Your Specific Issue

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

My toro lawnmower (brand new) it doesn’t start.\r\…
ANSWER : The drive shaft might just need to be oiled. Turn the mower over and locate the drive shaft, where it goes from the mower’s blade up into the body of the mower. Lubricate the area of the shaft that disappears into the body with WD-40 or another lubricant, then turn the blade by hand (be careful!) and squirt some more oil.Eventually the blade should become easier to turn, and then your pull cord should extend without getting stuck. Good luck!

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I can’t start it because the pull cord is stuck and it happened after I installed a new blade.
ANSWER : If the recoil assembly has three screws holding it in place, remove them, lift the recoil assembly off and see if it works off the mower. If it does, reassemble.

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10 year old Toro 2017 lawnmower, suddenly stopped while cutting grass. Oil quite low. Cannot pull cord more l than few inches.
ANSWER : When you pull the cord does it hit a hard stop and not go any further or does it get really difficult?

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The float on my Tecumseh lawn mower engine is stuck and gas pours out every time I pull the starter cord how do I get at it to clear it.
ANSWER : Take your carb off , then take off the float bowl and see what is going on inside float bowl. Check your float for pin hole it also could be filled with fuel and not floating.(worst case)

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My toro sel propelled lawn mover is not starting the cord is hard to pull
ANSWER : You probably have grass or other debris caught up on the drive shaft. Turn the mower over, and where the drive shaft (that the blade rides on) disappears into the mower, squirt some WD-40. Make sure to go around the circumference of the shaft.

Then turn the blade by hand (carefully — you might want to wear thick gloves) and apply some more WD-40. The blade should become easier to turn, which will allow your pull cord to be pulled all the way out.

If the cord pulls farther than it did before but still not far enough, repeat the procedure and apply more WD-40 or oil.

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Cannot pull the cord more than 6 inches to start Toro lawn mower.
ANSWER : Hi Patti, If you can not pull the cord more that what you said, try removing the spark plug and see if that makes a difference, if not, leave the spark plug out to prevent accidental starting, raise up the front of the mower and see if you can turn the blade if not…it only gets worse from there. If you can’t turn the blade from under the mower, the engine is more that likely seized up, sorry

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ANSWER : I bet it got over heated and shut off? That happems often to me when the grass is to long and wet!! When it cools down it will start again right?

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How do I replace broken pull start cord? – RTO Toro Lawn Boy 21in Insight Series Steel Deck Mower
ANSWER : There are screws holding the top of the mower on, you should be able to remove those and lift them to get access to the cord. From there it is easy. just put new cord back the opposite of the way you removed it, making sure that you get it wrapped the correct direction. you can get a cord anywhere they sell mowers.

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