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Why Is My Mower So Hard to Push?

A lawn mower is a machine used to cut grass and other growth on a lawn. It is typically powered by an internal combustion engine, but there are also battery-powered electric models.

The blade is pushed by the motor and rotates as it cuts the grass. A typical manual-powered lawn mower has one or more blades that rotate around a bar near the ground, which allows the operator to adjust the height of the cut. 

The rotating blades may be either fixed or revolving, and they either provide single cutting only, double cutting only, or mulching. 

Also, there is a self-propelled “walk-behind” lawn mower. This is a type of lawnmower that does not need to be pushed by the operator. 

The self-propelled lawnmower uses an engine powered by gas or electricity to move itself forward while cutting grass.

But these things get hard to use over time and sometimes they are very hard to push. There are a number of reasons why a lawn mower could be hard to push. 

The most common reasons being there being too much grass or mulch in the way, the handle is too high, the wheels are plugged with grass, it’s too heavy for you to push.

Find out these reasons in our article that show why a lawn mower can be hard to push.

Causes why lawn mower is hard to push

  1. The engine’s flywheel brake is engaged
  2. Worn drive belt
  3. Damaged pulley
  4. Damaged trans-axle
  5. Worn wheels
  6. Other minor causes

Engaged engine flywheel brake

The flywheel brake is a device attached to the flywheel of a machine. It is required for presses due to safety regulations. It also engages when the clutch has been disengaged. 

Engaged engine flywheel brake of a lawn mower
Engaged engine flywheel brake

When the brake is engaged, it stops the flywheel from turning so that it doesn’t accelerate too quickly and cause injury to workers around it.

The blade dragging on the ground is a major cause of lawn mower problems. The blade will have a hard time cutting the grass properly if it is dragging on the ground. 

The clippings can get stuck to the blade, making it hard for the engine to work and make a lawn mower so hard to push. 

You can fix this problem by bringing the bar down all the way and use an engaged engine flywheel brake. Fixing the engaged engine flywheel brake in a lawn mower is easy to do with these steps.

First, make sure there is nothing in the way of the blade and that it can rotate freely without any obstruction. Then make sure the engine is off and the spark plug wire is not engaged. 

Remove any clippings from around or near the blade area of your lawn mower to ensure you do not get cut when rotating them for sharpening. Then, put the mower back into position and try pulling the cord again.

A worn drive belt

Engines are designed to be lightweight and compact, and belts are used to transfer power. Some designs utilize chain drives or gear trains, but most use a single loop belt called the drive belt.

Worn drive belt of a lawn mower
Worn drive belt

The worn out belt might be the one that is making your lawn mower so hard to push because it breaks down tension that is needed to turn the blades. The way it works is by transferring engine power from the crankshaft pulley to the trans-axle. 

This type of belt is very similar in design to an automotive alternator belt, but has more tension due to its size. If this belt is too loose, it will not be able to transmit enough power to the mower.

The drive belt on your lawn mower is what connects the engine to the blade, and when it wears out, you can find yourself pushing much harder than you should be.

If you’re noticing that your lawnmower is becoming increasingly difficult to push, then it’s likely that your drive belt needs to be inspected at the beginning of every season. 

If the belt is beyond its lifespan, then you should have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. It should be changed every third or fourth year.

Damaged pulley

A pulley is a key component in a lawn mower. It makes it possible to use the power of the engine to push the mower over grass, and it is usually located right under the engine. The pulley can be made from either metal or plastic.

bad pulley of a lawn mower
Bad pulley

Many lawn mowers have a damaged pulley, which makes it hard for you to push them through your yard. The problem is caused by age and wear and tear, as well as poor quality components that are brittle over time. 

And sometimes direct hits can cause them to break. To prevent this from happening, make sure you inspect and replace your pulleys and belts at least once a season.

Faulty trans-axle

The trans-axle is a transmission, differential, and axle combined into one. It connects with a pulley fixed to the top of the mower and transmits power from the engine to the wheels that move your mower along. 

The axle runs through bearings at each side that help it rotate freely without any resistance. But if they are damaged, you will notice how difficult it is for your lawn mower to move because you will have to push harder on it.

The metal axles are generally much more durable than the plastic axles and last a lot longer before wearing out. While some axles are made of plastic, they break easily if not handled with care. 

A broken axle should be repaired or replaced if needed, because it could lead to an accident if you keep using it or damage your engine due to extra stress on the machinery.

Repairing Faulty trans-axle  of a lawn mower
Repairing Faulty trans-axle

Worn wheels

For a lawn mower to operate, the wheels must turn freely. When a wheel stops turning freely, it can lead to difficulty in pushing the lawn mower. It also causes the deck is lower in one side.

Lawn mowers are exposed to a number of environmental factors that can all negatively affect their operation. These include excessive heat or cold, dampness and dirt as well as dust and grit from the ground.

Worn bushings, low tread or broken hubs can make a lawn mower difficult to push. The tire may lose air pressure and the tire will have multiple cuts in or chunks missing. The lawn mower may also have a loss of traction going up hills.

In this case, the user should replace those worn parts before they put too much more strain on their lawn mower and damage them beyond repair. Replacing worn-out wheels can be a tough job if you are not used to doing it. Luckily, there are plenty of tutorials online for this task.

You can use the best quality electric lawn mower, that will last you a long time, and you’ll have fewer issues like this.

Some other causes why lawn mower is hard to push

Some lawn mowers are set at the wrong height for the lawn. If the cutting blade is dragging in the grass, it makes it hard to push. Problems with the grass catcher like, the grass catcher might be too full of cut grass, or the wheels might be set too low. Another cause might be the handlebar height position is not right.

The solution to these problems is simple. All you need to do is raise the blade of the mower so it cuts the grass below the surface level. You can also try cutting your lawn in different directions, or reduce the height of your blades if you live in an area where rain is common.


A lawn mower is a versatile piece of machine that is used to clear grasses easily. But these machines can cause problems during work. Such a problem is that a mower is hard to push for some time.

We have discussed some of the vital causes behind the scenario and also the solutions. Hope, our suggestion will help you. If you can’t fix the issues yourself, then feel free to get help from professionals.

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