Lawn Mower Sputters When Blades Are Engaged

Lawn mowers can be finicky, sometimes causing weird noises or completely malfunctioning. The joy of owning a lawn mower involves completely understanding the functioning dynamics. Sometimes the most common problems are easily avoidable one-time issues, while others result in more in-depth evaluations. A sputtering lawn mower can mean a few things, especially when the blades are engaged.

In this article, you’ll be able to identify the causes of a sputtering lawn mower and how to fix it.

My Lawn Mower Sputters When Blades are Engaged

Lawn Mower Sputters When Blades Are Engaged

Is your lawn mower making strange noises resulting in difficulty identifying where the problem occurs? Let’s look at what sputtering is and what could be causing it. 

The mechanics of every basic lawn mower are the same, consisting of wheels, a blade deck, an engine, a pulley system, and a handle system to operate. The problems of a sputtering machine are most likely to be sounding from the engine compartment or the deck. 

More often than not, your lawn mower’s sputtering problem is likely a malfunction within the motor. This could cause your lawn mower to lose power while cutting. 

Find the Culprit & Fix It

Lawn Mower Sputters When Blades Are Engaged

Now that you know where your handy tool could have the problem stopping it from reaching peak performance, it is time to assess what is causing the endless sputtering when the blades are engaged. 

Check the Deck

Occasionally, problems will occur within the deck from direct contact with the lawn. For example, if you mow wet grass, a clog may form down inside the mower. 

First, turn off the mower and tilt it so you can access it underneath. Remove all wet grass clippings stuck to the deck and around the blades. Then turn the mower back on to check for the sound. If this fixes the issue, it is safe to say mowing a wet lawn is not the best idea.

Check the Fuel and Its Level

Often, when a mower has a low fuel level and is almost empty, it will begin to sputter endlessly until all fuel burns. Mowing with a low fuel amount will cause your fuel level to move around, making it harder for the engine to extract the fuel for combustion. 

Old fuel can result in sputtering as it becomes of lesser quality for the mower. Filtering the gasoline out and refilling the tank with new fuel can help your mower operate perfectly on the first pull. 

As well as checking the fuel’s quality, you should make sure you are always using the correct grade of gasoline recommended by the manufacturer. Wrong fuel will result in mechanical issues.

Check the Belt

Every mower requires the right belt to function effortlessly. When these belts become old and worn out, problems like sputtering can occur. To check your belt, turn off the mower and lower the deck to its lowest position so you can access the belt from all angles. If it appears worn or offset, readjust it or replace the belt altogether. 

Check your machine’s Manual for correct parts and procedures for replacement. 

Check the Filters

Filters help keep the airflow and fuel flow steady in the machine. It is not uncommon to find lawn mowers with beyond dirty filters. Machines will show signs of struggle when the filter becomes too dirty and old. Mowing with a dirty filter is like sitting next to an air vent that has been covered in dust and other particles. The air will not flow successfully, resulting in poor air circulation. 

If your air or fuel filter appears to be dirty and is reusable, clean it! If it is a one-time air filter, replace it!

Washing the filter with warm water and dish soap can alleviate the clog. Always allow enough time for the filter to completely dry out before placing it back in the machine. Once the filter maintenance is done, turn your mower on and see if the problem has been resolved.