Lawn Mower Is Bogging Down – Why? How To Fix?

Red lawn mower with a full bag of grass clippings, situated in a field of uncut grass with yellow flowers, indicative of a mowing task.

A mower bogging down is considered an issue that arises when cutting grass in a yard or on a plantation where one has grown grass for commercial purposes. While it often looks serious, the solution is usually quite easy. It might only need minor repairs, specific maintenance criteria, and the proper ways to use the lawnmower.

Many people have experienced bogging down, especially when going uphill. Most of the time, a mower can bog down if it has issues with the engine’s power system, whereby the blades flop to cut the grass.

This article will show you Some common Causes And Solutions To Bogging Down;

1. The Engine May Have Overheated

This is mainly a result of grass clippings that are formed during the mowing process as they may lodge between the cooling fins found in combustion engines. The lodging of the dust and grass clippings causes an obstruction and prevents generated warmth evasion of engines. This leads to the engine becoming too hot and overheating, thus having a problem working as required.

Due to the strain that the mower undergoes while pushing through the grass, it bogs down and might even die.

How To Fix It?

  • The mower should be allowed to cool down, although the problem might arise again after a few minutes of mowing.
  • Repairs and replacements of the engine to deal with the bogging down effectively. For example, you can give the plastic shroud that covers the engine top a thorough cleaning as this will help remove the debris trapped during mowing.

2. Air Leakages

The right mixture of air and gasoline is essential for a small engine to run smoothly. If the engine happens to have air leaks, it will suck in more air leading to a disruption in the air to gasoline ratio. The motor sometimes depicts massive interference with fuel fusion amounts, causing bogging down of the mower.

These air leaks are caused by small gaps between components and are known to widen as the mower moves and engines get heated up.

How To Fix It?

  • Tightening the bolts that hold the carburetor in place and not forgetting bolts that hold together the motor. This will ensure that the mower runs without any developing problems due to air leakages or loose bolts.

3. The Spark Plug May Have Problems

Spark plugs are known to happen in instances in which it is firing electrodes. These two electrodes must have a gap set between them so the spark can burn the fusion that is needed to motorize the mower. Bogging down occurs when the gap is too wide; thus, a lawnmower loses its efficiency and effectiveness.

A damaged plug may also be another cause of this spark plug problem.

Long mowing hours, which cause carbon build-up, is yet another reason that can cause a spark plug in a lawn mower.

How To Fix It?

  • The wide gap can be reset and adjusted to the right sizes, which do not interfere with air and gasoline mixtures.
  • The damaged plugs must be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Cleaning of the carbon fouled spark plugs, which reduces the effect of heating the lawnmower.

4. The Engine May Have Compression Issues

As it is well known, engines have valves that need clearances once in a while. This process requires highly trained professionals or deep experience in engines and engine repairs. The valves are expected to close tightly, which enables the mower to operate well.

The valves open, and this prevents the cases of bogging down from happening.

How To Fix It?

  • Adjust and repair the internal components of the engine, such as the valves. It is highly recommended that one consults some experienced or trained person specialized in small-engine repair for the services.
  • Otherwise, one can also carry out the whole repair activity by dismantling the motor system and examining its parts. Then making proper adjustments, such as ensuring the valves face the right direction.
  • You may also need to examine the push rods for any impaired parts that may be preventing a compact seal from forming within the cylinder.

5. Problems On The Carburetors Sticky Choke

A lawnmower consists of a carburetor that has many components. The use of a sticky choke provides the engine with a gasoline mixture to start it up. However, there are some guidelines on how the choke operates.

If the choke sticks shut, this will lead to the engine running poorly due to bogging down and hence has to be controlled.

How To Fix?

  • Cleaning the choke manually and its linkages is also another possible way of freeing up the carburetor.
  • Replacing the choke is also essential for proper carburetor operation if all the other ways fail.
Person operating an orange and black lawn mower over a neatly trimmed lawn, showcasing effective lawn maintenance.

6. Mowing On A Hilly Area May Be An Issue

Hilly areas are usually associated with bumpiness, which is true. Mowers sometimes tend to hesitate or die when one hits a bump. For example, this could be a possible reason for bogging in a hard and bumpy yard. The dirt and corrosion in such areas may also make the mower lose power as it’s going uphill.  The blades could also slow down as it gets coated by the grass or other build-up in that area, making it more difficult for the motor to turn them.

This may not be faced when mowing on level ground as it is on the counterpart uphill or slopes.

How To Fix?

  • In such areas, one can mow the yard on the highest setting. The sharpening of the blade is also ideal and thus advised.
  • Mowing on the areas that your lawnmower is capable of since one cannot go beyond the capacity of the mower.
  • Clean the mower’s air engine and remove obstructions from the blades that may be slowing the motor down. Make sure you do this regularly.

7. Cutting Thick Grass May Also Cause A Mower To Bog Down

For a relatively old lawnmower, some rough times are expected while running it. However, a smooth run during the operation is usually expected from a newly purchased mower. This might be due to some lousy engine parts or insufficient fuel making it to the air mixtures. Excessive dirt and grass can also clog the air filter system or the cooling fins, leading to power loss and hence bogging down the mower under load.

The fuel system also gets clogged with excessive dirt.

How To Fix?

  • Replace the old fuel with new fuel by cleaning off the carburetor and changing gas.
  • Clear all the dirt from the cooling fins.
  • Replace the fuel filter with a new one to have free-flowing fuel in the carburetor.
  • Check if the fuel cap is clogged. If it is clogged, have it cleaned professionally or by yourself.


As much as these bogging-down problems may occur, the solutions exceed the challenges. Thus, maintaining and constantly checking mowers will keep mowers in excellent condition for a longer period of time, even during mowing.

In the case of total failure, however, calling a professional to solve it would be the right step to avoid creating more damage than there was already.

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