The weather’s nice and you’re ready get outside and cut the grass. But after a long winter’s storage you’ve discovered a problem with your Greenworks lawn mower. Let’s go over the most common problems owners run into, and how you can fix them quickly.
Problem 1: The mower won’t start
The most obvious reasons why a mower won’t start is lack of power. If you’ve plugged in the cord or inserted the battery, put in the key (not all models have keys), pushed the button, and nothing happens, there are just a few reasons why.
The battery is dead
Put the battery into the charger and see if the light is green. Lithium-Ion batteries maintain most of their charge for a long time in storage, but if you put it away nearly empty, it may need a recharge. (Prolong its life by charging it just to 50% before storing it.)
Greenworks batteries last up to about 2,000 charges and have a 2-year warranty. If your battery is more than three years old, or if it has been exposed to extreme heat (like the dashboard of a car in the summer), it may not be performing the way it did when it was new. High temperatures kill the battery, and could make it leak or explode.
If you have access to another Greenworks battery, try swapping it with your old one to see if the mower starts, and also if your charger is working properly.
The power is off or the cord has a problem
If you have a corded electrical mower, see if the outlet you’re using is working. Sometimes the power gets shut off or a breaker has tripped. Test the outlet with a different electrical appliance.
Check the extension cord for wear. Test it with a different electrical appliance, too, to see if power runs through it properly, or if it has a short. Try to start the mower with a different extension cord. Make sure the wire has the correct gauge (see below for more information).
The starter switch is broken or defective
Once in a while the starter will have failed. If the two prior steps of checking the battery and charger and cord and outlet aren’t resolving your problem, it’s time to call for help. Greenworks has a toll-free helpline: 1-888-909-6757, or 1-888-90WORKS.
Problem 2: The mower vibrates and makes weird noises
These are not noisy gas lawn mowers, so if your mower is shaking and making unusual noises, turn it off. Unplug it or take out the battery. Then tip it on its side and take a look underneath.
The blade is damaged
The blade could be unbalanced if it was sharpened too much on one edge. Remove the blade. Buy a cheap little conical plastic balancer at a lawn and garden center and lay the blade onto it. That makes it easy to see if you’ve sharpened it correctly. (You can also hang the blade on a nail through the center hole.) If one side hangs lower than the other, your blade is out of balance. You can file or grind the edge that hangs lower until the blade hangs level.
The blade may be incorrectly mounted. Check the orientation in case someone mounted it upside down.
Worst case scenario is that the blade is bent or badly dinged up enough that you’ll need to buy a new one.
The motor shaft is bent
If the blade looks okay, see if the motor shaft looks damaged. If that’s the case, it’s time to call Greenworks or a lawn mower mechanic for help. This is a rather rare problem if you don’t usually run over rocks, branches, tools, or toys while you’re mowing. Give the blade a closer look if you know you haven’t been maltreating your mower.
Problem 3: The mower is not cutting or mulching well
There are a few things that can cause your mower to behave badly. Not enough electrical power, dull blades, very tall grass, and wet conditions are some of the challenges you might face.
If you’ve not had to do much with extension cords and power tools, you might not know that you need increasingly thicker wires to carry enough electricity over longer distances. If your cord can’t get enough electricity to your mower, your mower will not work properly.
For example, the Greenworks 21” electric mower requires 13A of current. If you have a tiny yard, you can use a 50-foot cord with 16-gauge wire. But if you use a 100’ cord, you’ll want 14-gauge. The maximum cord length they recommend using is 150’ of 12-gauge wire. It sounds backward, but the smaller the gauge number (AWG), the thicker the wire is.
All work and no sharpening will have your lawn mower tearing out the grass instead of cutting it. Use a metal file to hone the cutting edges every couple of weeks, or at least once a month if you have a small lawn. You can also use a grinder, but take it slow if you don’t have a lot of practice sharpening blades.
It’s easier if you have a second blade so you can swap them. One goes into the shop for sharpening while you mow with the other.
The ground is too soft or wet
Mother Nature doesn’t always consult our schedules, so the ground may be too wet for you to mow when you have time to do it. Wet grass will stick to the underside of the deck and the mower won’t mulch nicely. If it’s not mulching at all, you may have forgotten to insert the mulch plug.
Soft, muddy ground or a full bag of clippings will make the mower much harder to push. If you can put off mowing till the yard dries, your grass and your back will thank you. If you absolutely must cut the lawn, raise the height of the deck and see if that helps.
Greenworks mowers are best-sellers partly because they are easy to use and maintain. Keep the battery charged, check your extension cord, sharpen your blade, and give the underside of your mower a good cleaning once a month and before storing it for the winter. Happy Mowing!