How Does A Lawn Mower Throttle Cable Work?

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So, how does a lawn mower throttle cable work? That’s exactly what you are going to learn in this article, and more!

Your lawn mower’s throttle cable is the component that controls the speed of your engine. It is used to start the engine, and controls how fast the mower’s blades move when you are mowing your lawn. 

Although it is a very small part, it determines how your mower functions whenever you pull it. In many popular lawn mowers today, the throttle cable is usually connected to the carburetor’s intake valve.

If you notice that your lawn mower doesn’t respond or the engine dies down when you use the throttle, something might be wrong with the throttle cable. On the other hand, when your lawn mower throttle cable is working at its best, you are going to have an amazing experience working on your lawn with your lawn mower.

Where is the Throttle Cable Located on My Lawn Mower?

In case you are new to lawn mowers or just curious about where to find the throttle cable on a lawn mower. The throttle cable of a modern push lawn mower is usually found connected to the carburetor’s intake butterfly valve. 

Your mower’s carburetor is what supplies the combustion engine with the gasoline-air mixture. The amount of this mixture supplied to the engine is what determines how fast the blades will move.

Since the throttle cable is connected to the intake valve of the carburetor, it controls the amount of gasoline-air mixture supplied to the engine whenever you pull it.

Does Every Lawn Mower Have a Throttle Cable?

No, not all lawn mowers have the throttle cable. Most modern push lawn mowers have an automatic throttle, and so don’t require the throttle cable.

The mower’s engine automatically throttles itself depending on the task at hand. For instance, when you are working on wet grass, or grassy hilly terrain, the valve automatically increases the output of the engine to match the work difficulty.

However, you can still find manual throttle in some lawn mowers today, especially the older models. If you aren’t sure which of these types you should choose for your lawn, you will have to consider your preferences and budget.

Can the Throttle Cable Ever Go Bad?

Like every other part of the lawn mower, the throttle cable can go bad. This can happen due to poor maintenance of the mower. When dirt is regularly left to accumulate around the throttle, it can cause the cable to rust on the inside part.

Also, the throttle cable can go bad due to wear and tear. In fact, this is usually the cause of bad or broken throttle cable in most lawn mowers. As you use your mower over time and the cable constantly comes under pressure, it begins to wear out or get stretched. This often results in breakage of the throttle cable.

A bad or broken throttle cable, however, might prevent your lawn mower’s engine from starting. And most times, it will cause a delayed response from the throttle.

What is the Solution for a Bad Lawn Mower Throttle Cable?

There are a couple of things you can do when your throttle starts showing symptoms that the cable is bad. First thing is to diagnose what exactly is wrong with the cable. Then, you can apply an appropriate remedy to fix the problem.

Broken cable

If the throttle cable is broken, you won’t have any other option than to replace it. Replacing a broken throttle cable is, however, not a big deal. The procedure is pretty simple and you can always get a new cable online or at the nearest hardware shop for a token.

You can check our post on “how to fix a broken throttle cable” to get a hang of the procedure. In the post, we highlighted the step-by-step approach to change your broken throttle cable, without any technical experience.

Broken z-tip

Sometimes, the throttle cable may break at the z-tip and not anywhere else on the throttle cable. If that is the case, you don’t need to replace the entire throttle cable. Simply getting a new z-tip will fix the issue.

Stuck cable

If you notice your engine is not responding well to the throttle control, yet not broken, it might be that it’s stuck somewhere. This usually happens when dirt has entered the outer tube or when the inner part of the cable is getting rust.

Spraying some WD-40 on the cable a couple of times could fix that. But if this won’t resolve the problem – even after spraying WD-40 on it, then you may need to consider replacing the throttle cable at once.

Do You Throttle All the Way Down Before Turning Off the Engine?

Well, this completely depends on the type of lawn mower you’ve got. Most mowers would require that you throttle at low idle for about 30 seconds before shutting down. In fact, if there is no specific recommendation about this in your mower’s manual, we will suggest that you throttle low before turning off the engine.

Nevertheless, push mower engines are shut off at full throttle since these lawn mowers have no throttle control. Additionally, some engines like Kohler would also require you to shut down the engine at full throttle because of the design of the carburetor. If such mowers are shut down at idle low throttle, it will cause after-fire.

Can Exposure to the Elements Damage My Lawn Mower Throttle Cable?

Whether it is too much heat, too much cold, or moisture, poor weather conditions are no friend to a mower and its components. So if you don’t have good storage for your lawn mower, chances are that it will be exposed to the elements.

This can also have effects on your throttle cable. It can cause it to rust on the inside part, hence resulting in malfunctioning of the lawn mower’s throttle, and the mower as a whole.  

Is Running At Full Throttle Bad for My Battery?

Contrary to the belief of most people, running your lawn mower at full throttle doesn’t have negative effects on the battery. In fact, it preserves the health of the battery. Some batteries are designed in such a way that they don’t begin to charge until they have reached a certain RPM. In that case, you will want to rev up your engine to get your battery to charge sooner enough.

Final Note

Even though the throttle cable is one of the smallest parts of a lawn mower, it plays a critical role in the effective running of the mower. It controls the speed of the engine and also determines how fast the blades will move. When the cable is bad – usually due to wear and tear, it can cause your mower to stop working, and so will need to be replaced immediately.

Replacing a broken throttle cable is not difficult. It is something you can do even without any technical experience. However, one way to preserve the health of the cable is to properly store your lawn mower away from the elements. Too much cold, heat, or moisture is not good for your lawn mower and its components, including the throttle cable.

Have you learned anything valuable at all? Don’t go without checking some of our other posts to know the best ways to use and maintain your lawn mower.