I spent all weekend trying to fix why the lawnmower would sometimes not start/stay started. It needed maintenance anyway so I changed the spark plug, changed the oil and even rebuilt all the o-rings on the carberator (it leaked). It still wont start/stay started.

But I found the issue: the safety stop cable (attached to safety handle) has some play on it. If I give the exposed cable a pull while pulling on the pull cord it will always start. And when it starts to die if I tug on the exposed metal of the safety stop cable it will not stop.

I'm just not sure how to adjust it. The mower is a Troy-Bilt 675 ez start mower with a 190cc Briggs and stratton engine. this is someone elses image that looks 99% identical to mine

  • Does it have enough play it is causing the mower to not run? Where is the play? Where the cable connects to the side of the push bar? A couple times, I've used cable ties to hold the cable to the side of the pushbar to keep it from wiggling free.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 16:58
  • The play is on the upper side of the handle towards the red bar you have to hold. It's loose by maybe a centimeter
    – Marc Young
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


You could try unhooking the cable at the handle and then tie a loose knot in it. This may make the cable too short. In that case you could drill a hole in the safety handle bail a little further up.

I'm fairly certain it's not adjustable at either end. The proper repair requires replacing the cable. Believe it or not, sears.com has an incredible range of replacement parts, even for brands they do not sell.

I always defeated those things permanently. Yes, it may be unsafe so I'm not suggesting you do. But I live in a wooded area, and refuse to have to restart my mower everytime I need to remove sticks from the mowing path,

  • I may just defeat it as well. It's annoying and my lawn is so small it's just a meh feature. I'll see what I can find with your comment the next time I mow ( I gave up today and stowed it). I'll update here when that happens.
    – Marc Young
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:25
  • 1
    every mower i've owned had a cable tie or bit of wire I could slide over the handle for when I needed to more something and didn't feel like restarting.
    – rpmerf
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 17:38
  • I ended up doing something similar to what you recommended and it's been fine since!
    – Marc Young
    Commented Mar 22, 2017 at 14:18

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