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Why Is Your Electric Lawn Mower Smoking? 10 Causes

Why Is Your Electric Lawn Mower Smoking? 10 Causes

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Are you mowing your lawn with an electric mower and noticing some smoke coming from the machine? It’s not just your lawn that’s in trouble – you could be doing damage to the mower, too. But why is your electric lawn mower smoking?

If your electric lawn mower is smoking, it could be due to an overheating motor. When the motor overheats, the insulation around the wires can break down, causing a short circuit. This can cause the wires to overheat and melt, emitting smoke.

This post will discuss ten potential causes of smoking electric lawnmowers. I’ll also give some tips on how to fix each problem so you can get back to mowing your lawn without any smoke. Read on to learn more!

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1. The Motor Is Overheating

One of the common reasons why an electric lawn mower is smoking is because it’s overheating. When an electric lawn mower overheats, the motor can start to smoke.

Some of the things that can cause the motor to overheat include:

  • The motor is dirty: Over time, the motor on an electric lawn mower can get dirty. This can happen if you don’t clean the underside of the mower deck regularly. When the motor gets too dirty, it can’t cool itself properly and will start to overheat.
  • Something is caught in the blades: If something is caught in the blades of your mower, it can cause the motor to overheat. Be sure to check the blades regularly and remove any debris that may be caught in them.
  • The grass is too tall: If the grass is too tall, it can put a strain on the motor. That can cause the motor to overheat and start smoking.
  • The mower is old: An electric lawn mower that’s starting to smoke may just be old. Over time, the parts in the motor can wear out and cause it to overheat.

Here are a few signs that your mower’s motor is overheating:

  • The mower’s blades stop spinning.
  • The mower starts to smell like it’s burning.
  • The mower starts smoking.

How To Fix

If the mower is smoking because the motor is overheating, you’ll need to take it to a repair shop. The technician will be able to diagnose the problem and fix it.

Besides taking it to a repair shop, there are a few things you can do to prevent the motor from overheating:

  • Clean the mower regularly: Be sure to clean the underside of the mower deck and the area around the blades.
  • Check the blades often: Remove any debris that may be caught in the blades.
  • Don’t let the grass get too tall: Cut the grass when it’s no taller than 3 inches (7.62 cm).

2. The Motor Is Worn Out

Another common reason your electric lawn mower is smoking is that the motor is worn out. Over time, the motor will wear down and eventually need to be replaced.

Here are a few signs that your mower’s motor is worn out:

  • The mower doesn’t run as well as it used to.
  • The mower starts to smoke.
  • You’ve had your mower for a while.

How To Fix

If the motor on your lawn mower is damaged, it will need to be replaced. However, before you replace the entire motor, you should take it to a professional to have it inspected. They may be able to repair the damage and save you some money in the long run.

Besides, a new motor is a big investment, so you want to be sure that it’s absolutely necessary before you make the purchase.

That said, here are a few tips to help you choose the right motor for your lawn mower:

  • Choose a motor with the same voltage as your old one.
  • Choose a motor with the same manufacturer as your old one.
  • Choose a motor with the same model number as your old one.
  • Check the owner’s manual for compatibility.

3. The Mower Is Overloaded

Another common reason for an electric lawn mower to start smoking is that it’s overloaded. When a mower is overloaded, it can cause the motor to overheat and start smoking.

Some of the things that can cause a mower to become overloaded include:

  • The grass is too tall: If the grass is too tall, it can put a strain on the motor. Try mowing the lawn more often so that the grass isn’t too tall when you do mow.
  • The blade is dull: A dull blade can also cause a mower to work harder than it should.
  • You’re going too fast: Mowing too quickly can also overload the motor. Slow down and take your time when mowing the lawn.

How To Fix

If your mower is smoking because it’s overloaded, consider these tips to prevent it from happening again:

  • Try mowing the lawn more often so that the grass isn’t too tall.
  • Sharpen the blades on your mower.
  • Slow down when you’re mowing the lawn. Take your time, and don’t try to hurry through it.

4. There’s a Short in the Wiring

Another reason why the mower may be smoking is that there’s a short in the wiring. This can happen if the wires are frayed or damaged in some way, causing an electrical current to arc between them.

The current can create a lot of heat, which can then cause the insulation on the wires to start burning. In addition, a short circuit can also damage the electrical components in the mower, causing them to fail.

How To Fix

If the wiring on your lawn mower is damaged, it’ll need to be repaired or replaced. That said, before you start tinkering with the wiring, it’s important to disconnect the mower from the power source.

Once the mower is disconnected, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the wiring. If you see any damage, such as frayed wires or exposed insulation, it will need to be repaired or replaced.
  2. Reattach any loose wires.
  3. If the wiring is damaged beyond repair, you’ll need to purchase new wiring and have it installed by a professional.

5. You Have Worn-Out Blades

Another common reason for an electric lawn mower to start smoking is worn-out blades. When the blades on your lawn mower are worn out, they can cause the motor to overwork, which can lead to it overheating and smoking.

Additional signs that your mower’s blades are worn out include:

  • The mower isn’t cutting the grass well.
  • The mower is leaving streaks in the grass.
  • The mower is making a lot of noise.

How To Fix

If the blades on your lawn mower are damaged, they’ll need to be replaced. That way, you can be sure that they’re sharp enough to cut the grass properly without straining the motor and causing the mower to smoke.

However, be sure to check the manufacturer’s website or the owner’s manual to find the correct blade size and type for your model of lawn mower.

6. The Deck Has Accumulated Grass and Debris

The deck of your lawnmower is an important part of the machine. It helps to deflect grass and debris away from the blades and motors, keeping them running smoothly (source). 

However, if you don’t clean the underside of the deck regularly, it can start to accumulate grass and debris. That can cause the motor to overheat and start smoking. In addition, it can make it difficult for the blades to spin properly, resulting in a less effective cut. 

Here are the typical signs that it’s time to clean your mower’s deck:

  • The deck is visibly dirty.
  • Grass and debris are accumulating on the underside of the deck.
  • The mower is leaving clumps of grass behind.
  • The mower is leaving a trail of debris behind.

How To Fix

If the deck on your lawn mower is dirty, it’s time to give it a good cleaning. As I mentioned, a build-up of grass and debris can cause the motor to overheat and smoke.

Here’s how you can clean your lawn mower deck:

  1. Switch off the mower and disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Tip the mower onto its side so that you can access the deck.
  3. Use a putty knife or a stiff brush to remove any built-up grass and debris.
  4. Use a hose to rinse off the deck and remove any remaining dirt.
  5. Allow the deck to dry completely before you use the mower again.

7. The Mower’s Belt Is Broken or Worn Out

Another common reason for an electric lawn mower to start smoking is a broken or worn-out belt. The belt is what drives the blades on the mower, so when it’s not working properly, it can cause the motor to overwork. That can lead to the motor overheating and smoking.

Additional signs that the belt may be the issue include:

  • The blades are not spinning.
  • The mower is making a squealing noise.
  • There is visible damage to the belt.

How To Fix

If the belt on your lawn mower is damaged, it’ll need to be replaced. The good news is that lawn mower belts are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right belt for your lawn mower:

  • Check the manufacturer’s website or the owner’s manual to find the correct belt size and type for your model of lawn mower.
  • Be sure to measure the old belt before you purchase a new one. That will ensure that you get the right size.
  • If possible, take the old belt with you when you go to purchase a new one so that you can compare them side by side.
  • If you’re unsure about which belt to purchase, ask a sales associate at the store for assistance.

Note: For the best results, ask a professional to help you install the new belt. That way, you can be sure that it’s installed correctly and won’t cause any damage to your lawn mower.

8. The Discharge Chute Is Blocked

The discharge chute on your lawn mower is responsible for directing the grass clippings away from the blades and out of the back of the mower. However, if the discharge chute becomes blocked, it can cause the grass to build up under the deck. That can lead to the motor overheating and smoking.

Here are a few signs that the discharge chute is blocked:

  • The grass isn’t being discharged from the back of the mower.
  • The engine is working harder than usual.
  • Grass is building up under the deck.

How To Fix

If the discharge chute on your lawn mower is clogged, it’s time to clear it out.

Here’s how you can clear a clogged discharge chute:

  1. Switch off the mower and disconnect it from the power source.
  2. Remove the discharge chute from the mower.
  3. Use a garden hose to rinse out the discharge chute and remove any built-up grass or debris.
  4. Reattach the discharge chute to the mower.

Caution: Be sure not to tear or damage the discharge chute while you’re clearing it out. Otherwise, you’ll need to replace it.

9. The Mower Is Old

Another potential reason why your mower is smoking is simply because it’s old. Like any other machine, lawn mowers have a lifespan. And after a certain amount of time, they just aren’t able to work as well as they used to. So if your mower is starting to smoke, it may be time for an upgrade.

That said, here are the tell-tale signs that your mower is on its last legs:

  • It’s hard to start.
  • It doesn’t run as smoothly as it used to.
  • It’s leaving clumps of grass behind.
  • It’s smoking.

That said, be sure to check out When To Replace a Lawn Mower (and How To Choose) for more information on how to tell if your mower is due for an upgrade. Besides, the article provides some great tips on how to choose the right lawn mower for your needs.

How To Fix

If your lawn mower is smoking and you can’t figure out why, or it’s just not working properly, it might be time to buy a new one.

While it’s certainly not the cheapest option, it will save you the hassle of trying to repair an old mower. Plus, you can be sure that a new mower will be more reliable and won’t cause any smoking problems.

When you’re shopping for a new electric lawn mower, be sure to read the reviews. That way, you can find one that’s right for your needs and won’t have any smoking issues.

In that case, a lot of folks have been pleased with the EGO Power+ LM2101 21-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower (link to Amazon). It provides up to 45 minutes of uninterrupted runtime and has a 21-inch cutting deck for a fast and efficient mow.

10. You’ve Been Mowing for Too Long

Finally, an electric lawn mower to start smoking if you’ve been mowing for too long. Remember, these machines are not built to run for hours on end. So if you’ve been mowing your lawn for an extended time, it’s not surprising that the motor would start to overheat and smoke.

How To Fix

If you’ve been mowing for a while and the motor starts to smoke, the best thing to do is to take a break. Turn off the mower and let it cool down for a few minutes. Once it’s cooled off, you can start mowing again.

That way, you can avoid damaging the motor and prolong the life of your mower. Besides, a little break can do you some good too.

Summary

An electric lawn mower can smoke due to many factors. A common cause is that the motor is overheating. However, there are a few other potential causes, such as a clogged discharge chute or old age.

If you’re having trouble with your lawn mower smoking, the best thing to do is to call a professional for help. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.

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Willie Moore
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