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Ideally, your Mower Source lawn mower will run fine every time because you’ve been taking great care in properly maintaining it. But lawn mowers are mechanical objects with moving parts, and they’re not immune from running into the occasional problems. Because you’re both a dedicated reader and fan of Mower Source‘s high standard of quality, this post on how to troubleshoot basic problems is just for you.

Lawn Mower Won’t Start

There are several reasons for this problem, each listed below:

  • Spark Plug: It could be dirty, loose or not connected at all, so clean it, tighten it or connect it (damaged spark plugs need to be replaced).
  • Air Filter: Could be dirty, so give it a thorough cleaning.
  • Fuel: Is the tank full? Or is fuel not reaching the engine? Try tapping the side of the carburetor, filling the tank, or replacing the fuel filter.
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    Lawn Mower Mows Unevenly

    This is almost always one of two problems:

  • Dull Blades: Use a metallic file to sharpen them, take them in for a professional to do, or replace them if they’re really worn.
  • Unbalanced: Sometimes, grass may have built up on one side and needs emptying.
  • Lawn Mower Guzzles Gas

    Lawn mowers that use gas aren’t supposed to go through fuel like a thirsty V12 Hummer, so the culprit is usually a clogged air filter. Clean it thoroughly, or replace it if it’s more than a year old.



    Lawn Mower Suddenly Dies

    Uh-oh! You’re halfway through the lawn and it just quits on you. Here’s what to do:

  • Air Filter: If it’s clogged, your engine is getting suffocated and the filter either needs to be cleaned or replaced.
  • Spark Plug: Same as not starting at all, it may need to be cleaned, tightened, re-connected or replaced.
  • Grass: There could either be a build-up underneath that needs to be cleaned out, or the blades aren’t set high enough if you’re cutting tall grass.
  • Lawn Mower is Smoking

    It’s easy to freak out when you see smoke coming out of your lawn mower, but this isn’t usually a complicated problem. Just make sure to turn the switch off before troubleshooting.

  • Oil Compartment: There may be too much oil in there and it overflowed, or it could be burning because of the engine’s heat. It either needs to be drained or fill, so check the dipstick.
  • Spark Plug: This little bit is responsible for quite a bit in the lawn mower and in this case, it could be covered in oil. Use carburetor cleaner to clean it off.
  • Carburetor: Common issues are that it’s dirty or clogged, and common ways of solving this problem are to clean it or replace it.
  • Lawn Mower Starter Rope Requires the Strength of Hercules

    You pull and pull on that thing, and you may as well be solving geometric proofs for all the good it’s doing. Never fear, it’s usually one of these things:

  • Flywheel Brake: The bar needs to be pulled all the way down or or it just won’t roar to life.
  • Grass: Clogged-up grass in the undercarriage could be blocking the starting process, so scoop everything out and try again. Tip: It’s best to disengage the spark plug first and then empty the undercarriage on a hard surface.
  • Congratulations, you’re now a mini-pro at keeping your Mower Source mower going all the time! And if you don’t have a Mower Source lawn mower, then check out our selection right now. Any lawn mower you have your heart set on, it’ll come right to your doorstep with free shipping. And if you place an order between Monday to Friday before 1pm CST, we’ll ship it that very day!
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    Lawns are essentially plants, which means they need regular maintenance to look their best. An ignored lawn may be okay, but it’s highly unlikely. Instead, focusing on it — and focusing on it the right way — means you’re lawn can be happy, healthy and pretty. In this article, Mower Source takes a look at different ways of mowing your lawn to achieve a variety of looks.

    The Wrigley Field Cut

    What lawn is nicer to look at than a baseball field, and especially the one at Wrigley Field? While the overall ballpark has a lot of positive aesthetics going for it, its lawn is one of the biggest components. It’s comprised of mainly alternating stripes, but there’s also a faint cross hatch pattern on it, too.



    How to get the look: Straight lines are a must (alternate the direction on each stripe), but to get the striped look, you have to bend the grass blades in different directions. To do that, leave your grass on the long-ish side and weigh your lawn mower down with duct-taped barbells (to adequately bend the grass). The only tricky bit is maximizing on how much sun can reflect off the grass blades: the direction that gets the most sun on your lawn should be parallel to the sun. For example, if your lawn gets the west sun, mow stripes in east and west lines.


    Want to make your lawn look like a small crop circle? It’s a lot easier than you think. You do have to make a concerted effort to focus on straight lines (making them curved is a lot harder), but using landmarks in your yard helps a great deal. Tip: use a weed whacker on the outer edges before you begin, so that way you can get cleaner lines.

    How to get the look: Start in the middle of your lawn and move in outward concentric lines. Or, in less fancier terms, mow up one lawn mower width, turn, and repeat until you’ve done the whole lawn. Only turn in one direction.



    Quadruple Spiral

    If you’re looking for a big challenge but something that’ll make your lawn look really cool, give four spirals a go. It can get a bit tricky keeping track of all the turns (62) and straight lines, but outlining it faintly in chalk first can cut out a lot of that.

    How to get the look: Start on one edge and go from the middle spot. From there, you’ll be cutting into the first center of one spiral, mowing your way out of it and into the center of another spiral, and so on until you’ve done all four.



    Zig Zag Spiral

    This is an identical pattern to the Spiral, except there are zig zags mown into every line. The result — if done correctly — is a lawn that looks like a completed jigsaw puzzle, with each puzzle piece the same shape and size.

    How to get this look: Start in a corner (as opposed to the exact center as with the normal spiral), and turn your lawn mower 90 degrees every lawn mower width. Go from corner to corner in reverse concentric lines until you’ve reached the center.


    This looks like a tricky pattern to achieve, but that’s more illusion than actuality. If you don’t have a good eye for going at it with your lawn mower, outline the pattern first with chalk and then follow the lines.

    How to get the look: You’ll want to start in one corner, mow down the edge, stop halfway and then begin the labyrinth. It can be a little dizzying to complete, but the finished look is so worth it.



    You’re set with a number of different patterns you can mow your lawn with, so the only thing left is making sure you’ve got the right lawn mower. Check out Mower Source’s selection of lawn mowers to settle on the one that’s right for you, and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.
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    Mowing your lawn is simple, right? Not so much. Grass is a living, breathing organism, and has very specific requirements. For instance, cutting your grass too short can make your lawn look bald or patchy, while letting it go makes your property look like a scrapyard. The key is to find that happy medium where your grass looks healthy but isn’t overgrown, and Mower Source has all the answers.

    Mowing Height

    Different climates have different grasses, and each one demands a different height for optimal growth. At the most basic, grass and the height it should be cut can be divided into cool season height and warm season height (when it grows the most).

  • Cool Season Height: Grasses in this group include fescues and bluegrasses, and consist of four basic types—fine fescue (0.5 to 3″); tall fescue (1.5 to 4″); Kentucky bluegrass (0.75 to 3.5″); and perennial ryegrass (0.75 to 3″)
  • Warm Season Height: In this category, there’s a bit of a wider variety of grasses—Bermuda grass (0.5 to 2.5″); Buffalo grass (1.5 to 4″); Kikuyu grass (1 to 1.5″); St. Augustin grass (1 to 3″); and Zoysia (0.5 to 2″)
  • One tip to use if you have no idea what kind of grass you have and still want to get the height right is to cut no more than one-third of the leaf. The reasoning for this is so grass can grow at its optimal rate during its peak growing season. Cut more than that, and you’ll stunt the grass’s growth. Grass is a plant like any other, and cutting it the right amount will promote full, lush growth, while it can thin out and look patchy if you go too short.

    It’s not absolutely crucial to know what kind of grass you have, as you can tell by how fast or slow it’s growing, as well as the climate you live in. But one good thing about knowing exactly what kind of grass you have is you can Google its tallest recommended height. By staying within those parameters, you’ll ensure deep, healthy roots, which means the grass can hold onto water more easily and space out so weeds can’t grow as readily.



    Sharpen Those Blades

    It’s no good knowing the theory behind proper grass height if the goods don’t match that. The duller the blades, the more of a tendency they’ll have to just bend the grass blades instead of actually cutting them. Plus, dull blades making you feel like you’re working 10 times harder with a fraction of the result.

    Other tips to remember include:

  • Avoid cutting grass when it’s dewy or wet from rain. The weight of the rain will bend the grass blades down, leaving them with little contact with the blades of the lawn mower (re: you’ll end up driving over the grass and making little progress). Dry grass is super easy to cut.
  • If you start early in the day when it’s cooler, your lawn mower will thank you. Really hot temperatures (the hottest part of the day is around 4pm) are harder on your mower and make it work more strenuously. But take care not to cut first thing in the day, otherwise the morning dew can weigh the grass down.
  • Because mowing is a regular activity, taking place as frequently as every four or five days during peak growing season, ruts and compacted soil can easily occur. One of the best ways of avoiding this potential problem is to change your patterns, e.g. mow side to side one time, and then up and down the next.
  • Mowing the lawn doesn’t have to be a magic formula known to few, although there is a bit of an exact science to it. Now that you’re armed with everything you need to know about grass height and other tips, let Mower Source take care of the hardware. Our line of lawn mowers and accessories have something for everyone, and shipping is free to the lower 48 states.
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    Now that we can finally say goodbye to winter and usher in more pleasant weather, the question of what kind of lawn mower to get inevitably pops up. No two lawn mowers are alike, but nor should be. Each one performs differently according to what’s asked of it, and come in three basic forms: walk behind mowers, zero turn mowers, and riding mowers. In this article, Mower Source will take a look at each one so you can get an idea of which one is best for you.

    Walk Behind Mowers

    By far the most common kind of lawn mowers used by homeowners, walk behind mowers only require you to start it up and get going. They’re best for small- or medium-sized lawns, as their limited performance can’t handle really big jobs. They also come in three different varieties, with the pros and cons listed beside each:

  • Reel: There’s no engine, just a rotating blade that cuts grass as it moves. The maintenance only involves regularly sharpening the blades, but debris like twigs can jam it up.
  • Gas: What was once the most popular choice is now getting a little blackballed, because despite gas mowers providing extra power and freedom of use, their emissions are frowned down upon.
  • Electric: As long as you’re careful with not running over the cord, electric mowers get the job done just fine. While you’re limited in how far you can go before the cord won’t stretch any further, they’re quiet and easy to push.
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    Riding Mowers

    If you’ve got oodles and oodles of lawn (more than 3/4 of an acre) and really don’t relish the thought of pushing a lawn mower around for a few hours, a riding mower gets the job done more efficiently, and in less time. You can get them in one of three forms—rear engine, zero turn (more to come on this one), or tractor—with each one varying depending on what you need to do with it.

    Rear engine riding mowers are great to navigate large and narrow spaces, tackle small hills with a low center of gravity, and keep you comfortable. They don’t have a super powerful engine, so if you’re planning on really pushing it to the limits, you might find yourself a little out of luck.

    For bigger jobs, tractors are the ones for you. They’re a little slow, but it’s steady that wins the race, not speed. Tractor riding mowers are a little like tugboats: they’re kind of small, but have a lot of heart that lets them haul really heavy stuff behind them.



    Zero Turn Mowers

    These monsters are big, powerful, fast, and have great maneuverability. If you need to cover a lot of ground with thick grass and tight turns, zero turn riding mowers are the perfect ones for the job. They can be rather pricey, but the adage of “you get what you pay for” is particularly true here. Their two-handle steering mechanism has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s not steep and you’ll be able to go spinning in just about no time.

    Get an early start on spring and mowing your lawn with Mower Source’s selection of top name lawn mowers. We’ve got mowers for all different lawns and requirements, and each one comes with no shipping charges to the lower 48 states. Take a look now, and get your lawn looking great in no time.
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    Winter is finally over, an event that many of us thought would never come. The constant wallopings of snow, ice, and generally bleak weather not only set multiple records, but made winter feel like a weekend guest that had long overstayed its welcome. But every season must come to an end and winter finally seems like its packed up its bags, which means spring is here and it’s time to get your lawn mower ready for the warm and sunny weather.

    1. Do a General Walkaround First

    Your lawn mower has been sitting in the garage or shed for months, and it’s highly unlikely you looked at it a couple times a week to keep tabs on it. As much as we’d like to say it’d never happen, mice, squirrels, raccoons, and other unwelcome critters do find lawn mowers an excellent place to hole up during winter.

    Set your lawn mower out on your driveway and take a look at it. Are there remnants of animals’ homes, and have they left permanent evidence in the way of chewing, biting or urination? Is there rust on the body? Are any parts in need of repair or replacement? Now’s the perfect time to put an order in because in a few weeks, everybody will be calling in and the time it takes to receive a part will be greatly lengthened.



    2. Give it a Little Maintenance

    You don’t have to perform any great mechanical acts in the second step, only a few top ups. Start by changing the oil, as it’s been sitting in there for months without use. You can do this at home (just remember to recycle the oil), or you can take it in and have a professional whip it up in two seconds.

    Next up comes replacing the fuel. It’s tempting to leave a full tank in so you’re good to go, but after about 30 days, fuel starts to become unusable. Moisture has a tendency of creeping in, and the fuel and ethanol starts to separate. It’s just easier and safer—and cheap—to just start fresh.

    After that, take a look at the three filters (that probably need to be replaced):

  • Air Filter: The air filter is the one thing that stands between the inside gear and the, well, air. This isn’t a mandatory step, but your engine will sure run an awful lot smoother if you do replace it. (If you don’t want to replace it, vacuum it clean).
  • Fuel Filter: This tends to apply to larger lawn mowers, but yours may have a fuel filter, too. Your owner’s manual has the best and most specific tips for how to go about this, but a new fuel filter can boost your lawn mower’s performance.
  • Oil Filter: Just as with a fuel filter, an oil filter tends to be found on larger machines. But it doesn’t hurt to take a look to see if you’ve got one, and how clean or dirty it is.
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    3. Get a Little Edward Scissorhands on Your Lawn Mower

    It’s basic science: the sharper something is, the better it can cut something. If you’ve got dull lawn mower blades, you’ll veer more towards compressing the grass down instead of actually chopping off their little heads. Now, it is entirely possible to sharpen the blades at home, but it’s a pretty technical process and probably better left to someone who’s done it thousands of times and has the—pun intended—hands for it.

    4. Lubricate the Moving Parts

    Finally, the last step involves knowing that all moving parts will move as they’re supposed to, and not chafe dryly against each other. Some of the parts you’ll want to use a light-duty lubricant on include: wheel bearings, height adjusters, cables, and anything else the owner’s manual advises.

    Never lubricate anything that’ll touch the drive belt once you’ve got the lawn mower going.


    Now that the trees are growing back and grass is just as green on this side as it is on the other, it’s time to make sure you’re taking care of your lawn with one of Mower Source‘s top of the line lawn mowers. If you don’t have one, take a look at Mower Source’s selection now, and enjoy free shipping to the lower 48 states.