Mower Dies When Brake Released(7 Quick Ways to Fix)

Picture this: you’re out in your yard, ready to tackle that overgrown grass, and you start your trusty lawnmower. But as soon as you release the brake, it sputters and stalls. Frustrating, right?

In this post, we’ll delve into the perplexing issue of why your mower seems to have a vendetta against brakes and what you can do to fix it.

Let’s jump in.

Mower Dies When Brake Released

Let’s explore the common culprits behind this frustrating problem.

1. Faulty Safety Switch

One of the primary reasons your mower stalls when you release the brake is a malfunctioning safety switch.

This switch is designed to cut power to the engine when the brake is disengaged. If it’s faulty, the engine won’t receive the signal to keep running.

zero turn mower dies when brake is released

2. Tension on the Drive Belt

The drive belt on your lawnmower plays a vital role in transferring power from the engine to the blades. If there’s excessive tension on the drive belt or if it’s worn out, releasing the brake can strain the engine, causing it to stall.

3. Carburetor Issues

Carburetors are responsible for mixing air and fuel in the right proportions for combustion. If the carburetor is clogged or improperly adjusted, it can lead to poor engine performance, especially when the brake is released.

ferris mower dies when brake released

4. Fuel Problems 

Sometimes, the simplest issues can cause your mower to stall. Insufficient fuel supply or dirty fuel filters can disrupt the engine’s smooth operation, leading to stalling when you release the brake.

5. Ignition System Problems

A malfunctioning ignition system can also contribute to stalling when the brake is released. If the spark plug is fouled or the ignition coil is faulty, the engine may not run smoothly.

6. Air Filter Blockage

The air filter in your lawnmower prevents dirt and debris from entering the engine. If it’s clogged, airflow to the engine is restricted, affecting its performance and causing stalling.

7. Overheating 

Lawnmower engines can overheat, especially in hot weather. Overheating can lead to engine shutdown when the brake is released as a protective measure.

Read Kohler Engine Dies After 30 Minutes(7 Quick Ways To Fix)

Troubleshooting Mower Dies When Brake Released

Now that we’ve identified the potential culprits, let’s discuss how to troubleshoot and fix these problems.

Check the safety switch.

Inspect the safety switch for any visible damage or loose connections. If you find any issues, replace or repair the switch as necessary.

Examine the drive belt.

Ensure that the drive belt is properly tensioned and free from damage. Replace it if you notice signs of wear and tear.

Clean or adjust the carburetor.

Cleaning the carburetor or adjusting it to the manufacturer’s specifications can significantly improve engine performance.

Fuel System Maintenance

Regularly clean or replace the fuel filter, and make sure the fuel tank is filled with clean, fresh gasoline.

Ignition System Check

Inspect the spark plug and ignition coil for any issues. Replace any faulty components to ensure a smooth-running engine.

Air Filter Inspection

Regularly check and clean the air filter. Replace it if it’s heavily clogged to maintain proper airflow to the engine.

Read Lawn Mower Makes Grinding Noise When Trying to Start(Solved)

Prevention is key

Regular Maintenance 

Preventing this issue starts with regular maintenance. Keep your mower in tip-top shape by following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.

Avoid Abrupt Brake Release

When operating your lawnmower, release the brake gently to reduce stress on the engine.

Ferris Mower Dies When Brake Released

Possible CauseSolutions
1. Faulty Safety Switch: Malfunctioning safety switch.– Inspect safety switch for damage or loose connections. Replace if needed.
2. Tension on Drive Belt: Excessive tension or wear on the belt.– Check drive belt tension and condition. Replace if worn or adjust as required.
3. Carburetor Issues: Clogged or improperly adjusted carburetor.– Clean or adjust the carburetor to manufacturer specifications.
4. Fuel Problems: Insufficient fuel supply or dirty filters.– Clean or replace the fuel filter. Ensure the fuel tank has clean, fresh gasoline.
5. Ignition System Problems: Faulty spark plugs or ignition coils.– Inspect spark plugs and ignition coil. Replace any faulty components.
6. Air Filter Blockage: Clogged air filter restricting airflow.– Regularly clean or replace the air filter to maintain proper airflow to the engine.
7. Overheating: Engine overheating due to environmental conditions.– Operate the mower in cooler conditions and avoid prolonged use in extreme heat.

Read Ferris Lawn Mower Troubleshooting(5 Common problems)

Final Remarks

A lawnmower stalling when the brake is released can be attributed to various factors, including a faulty safety switch, drive belt tension, carburetor issues, fuel problems, ignition system problems, air filter blockage, and overheating.

Fortunately, with proper troubleshooting and maintenance, you can keep your mower running smoothly and avoid this frustrating issue.


Can I bypass the safety switch to prevent stalling when I release the brake?

It’s not recommended to bypass safety features on your lawnmower, as they are designed to keep you safe during operation. Instead, fix the issue at its root cause.

How often should I clean the carburetor on my lawnmower?

Cleaning the carburetor should be part of your regular maintenance routine. Aim to do it at least once a season or as recommended by your mower’s manufacturer.

Are there any quick fixes if my mower stalls when I release the brake?

Quick fixes like checking for loose connections and ensuring the brake lever is functioning correctly can sometimes resolve the issue. However, it’s best to diagnose and address the specific problem for a long-term solution.

Can using low-quality fuel cause my mower to stall?

Yes, using low-quality or old fuel can lead to engine performance issues, including stalling when the brake is released. Always use fresh, high-quality gasoline.

Why does my mower stall even though I’ve properly maintained it?

If your mower still stalls after regular maintenance, it may be a more complex issue that requires professional diagnosis and repair. Contact a qualified technician for assistance.

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George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.