How To Turn Off A Lawn Mower
When a mower is working correctly, releasing the bail lever turns off the mower. If your mower doesn't have a bail lever, then the throttle lever doubles as the on off control.
However, a mower that just won't turn off is actually quite common, the solution is usually simple, but first we'll need to kill the engine.
So, how to turn off a lawn mower? The fastest way to turn off a mower that won't stop, is to remove the spark plug wire. The wire carries voltage so you'll need an insulated pliers. Other options include:
- Apply Full Choke
- Turn Off Gas Tap
Most mowers come with what's known as the dead mans lever, you may know it as the Bail lever and as you know you must hold it to start the mower and release it to shut it down.
Check out my easy to follow guide "How to start/stop a lawn mower". The dead mans lever doesn't give too much trouble, but if the wiring has come loose at the engine, the mower may not shut down.
Other mowers may simply have a cable operated lever to turn the mower on/off, these type controls are usually fitted to mowers that also have a blade engage control lever.
Anyway, I'll show you three options to shut off your mower and then we'll take a look at what could be causing the problem.
Shut Down The Engine
1 Apply Choke
Apply choke, this will cause the engine to stumble and stall eventually.
If you don't have a choke lever placing a clean cloth over the carburetor will have the same effect.
2 Turn Off Gas Tap
Not all mowers will have a gas tap, if you have one, it will be fitted to the gas line between the carburetor and the gas tank, or it will be part of the carburetor.
If you don't have a tap, you can stop fuel flowing to the carburetor by pinching the gas line with a pliers or vice grips.
The engine won't stop straight away, but it will stop after about a minute.
3 Pull Plug Wire
Using an insulated pliers, grip the plug by the boot and give it a twist and a pull.
The mower will move towards you if not secured, so be careful of the toes.
Why Won't The Engine Turn Off
- Cable out of adjustment
- Faulty flywheel brake
- Faulty on / off switch
Voltage passes down the plug wire through the plug and jumps the gap causing the spark.
If the coil is given a more direct path, it won't travel down the coil wire to the plug.
Turning the mower off gives the coil a shorter path, it does this by connecting a ground wire to the coil.
Lever On/Off Switch
The Bail lever is a common way to turn off a mower engine.
It has 4 components bail lever, cable, brake assembly and on/off switch.
Other mowers may have a throttle lever and stop start unit combined.
These type set ups will have a cable that will need adjustment from time to time.
When the bail lever is released or throttle lever set to stop, depending on which type you have, a brake is pressed against the flywheel and a direct ground path is given to the coil through a single wire.
This as you know stops the flow of volts to the spark plug.
The black switch seen here with single wire push on connector is the on/off switch.
Pictures show the flywheel brake assembly in the engine off and engine on positions.
How does a small engine kill switch work? The small engine kill switch sends the coil a direct path to ground. The stored voltage in the coil is then discharged, instead of firing the plug. To start the engine, the kill switch simply takes away the coil path to ground.
How do I start my lawn mower with a choke? First check the oil and make sure the gas is fresh.
- Check gas level
- Put choke full on
- Pull start engine
- When running, move choke to half
- After 30 seconds turn choke off