Why Does My Ryobi Lawn Mower Keep Shutting Off? (Solved)

Mower cutting grass

Ryobi makes some fantastic mowers, and I have reviewed some of them here.

But I have seen one question come up fairly regularly from those who own them.

Why does my Ryobi lawn mower keep shutting off?

It does seem to be a common problem.

Thankfully it is one that can be resolved.

So we take a closer look at the possible reasons for it here.

Why Does My Ryobi Lawn Mower Keep Shutting Off?

The common recurrence of Ryobi mowers suddenly shutting off is usually down to a poor design of the handle affecting a safety switch that stops the mower from working. Often tightening up the bolts connecting the handles to the mower can fix the issue. If your mower is within warranty contact Ryobi who should be able to work with you to resolve the problem.

REASON #1: It is a Problem With the Handle

If you are having issues with your Ryobi mower randomly shutting off without warning, the number one place you want to look to resolve the issue is the handle of your mower.

It seems to be the source of most problems.

Commonly it occurs when the bolts holding the handles to the mower come loose and no longer hold the handle close enough to the body of the mower to activate a safety switch located just above the wheel.

Usually when you lift the handlebar up it pushes down the button and allows you to start mowing.

When the bolts holding the handle to the mower become too loose, the button won’t engage and the mower will shut off.

The video above shows you exactly how you can fix this issue.

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Some of the newer Ryobi models don’t have this switch, but the problem inevitably comes back to the handles.

If you open up the handlebar compartment, you should see another safety switch held down when the grey handlebar is depressed.

Often this switch is not held down properly, and you will need to find a way of safely ensuring it is. 

Sometimes the clamps located either side of the top of the mower handle fracture or work themselves loose which can cause the problem and resecuring them can resolve the problem.

Again the video above goes into further detail.

As previously mentioned a lot of the problems do stem from a seemingly ill-positioned shut-off switch located just above the right wheel of the mower.

You can shut off this switch to bypass it completely. 

The video above goes into more detail on this, but before doing anything note that doing this will void your Ryobi warranty.

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Finally, make sure your handles are 100% extended when you start mowing.

When they aren’t there is a latch inside the extension lock that gets pushed down. 

The latch presses on a red button that will stop the mower.

Make sure your handles are completely extended and locked in place when you start mowing, otherwise the latch might press on the button and stop the mower.

Reason #2: Check the Sensors

Whilst the vast majority of issues stem one way or another from the handle, you might also want to quickly check the various sensors on the mower.

After checking that the handle is fully extended, check the bag to make sure it is fully seated and also check the mulcher bag if you have one.

Make sure the battery is properly in place and the safety key is turned the right way.

Take a look at the ECU and make sure no moisture or heat has caused it to malfunction.

Reason #3: Check the Battery

The problem could also be down to a faulty battery.

Sometimes just a cell or two in the battery can be defective. They will discharge faster than the other cells and the mower will recognise this and shut down. Even if the other cells in the battery are fine.

One weak cell can render a battery useless.

If you have another battery try that in its place and see if it works. If you don’t and the mower is still in warranty you should be able to get a new battery.

Reason #4: Make Sure Your Grass Isn’t Too Long

Mower cutting grass

If your grass is too long and thick, and you go too long between mows the blade might get stuck on the accumulating grass clippings and stall.

The mower will automatically sense it is being overworked and intentionally stall the mower to prevent the motor from being blown.

Make sure you don’t leave your grass too long between cuts.

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Final Thoughts

Why Does My Ryobi Lawn Mower Keep Shutting Off Infographic

We’ve covered it in detail here, and on the infographic above, but if you are having problems with your Ryobi mower stalling the most likely cause of it is the handle and the safety switch.

They work in conjunction with each other and have been purposefully designed to ensure you can’t accidentally start your mower without the handle being properly engaged.

Unfortunately, the design ruins what are otherwise very good mowers!

If your mower is still within its warranty get in touch with Ryobi who should sort the problem out for you.

Or simply bear this in mind when you make future purchases, as it is a very frustrating problem to experience.

There are some great lawn mowers on the market these days, so you shouldn’t have to put up with a recurring issue like this.

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9 thoughts on “Why Does My Ryobi Lawn Mower Keep Shutting Off? (Solved)”

  1. First fix was exactly the problem I was having. Had no idea there was a contact switch down near the wheel and so frustrating. Thanks to this page I was able to resolve the issue!

  2. The real problem is a really poor design. Those three screws you tightened go into PLASTIC. So of course they come loose!

  3. If this is a COMMON PROBLEM EVERYONE APPEARS to have with these mowers… THEN THEY ARE NOT GOOD MOWERS! it is moronic design to the most ludicrous degree. THESE ARE BAD. THAT IS TERRIBLE DESIGN. THERE IS NO SUGARCOATING THAT!

    • your right Jack tried different things myself and by the way there is on mine there is no switch at the bottom of the handle to repl

  4. new switches and mine still shuts off you tell me this time.i guess i have to take the rest of it apart ,never again

  5. They are not good mowers for people that live in the south. The batteries overheat, the whole summer I’ve only been able to mow my lawn 10 minutes at a time. I have multiple batteries, they’re just not designed to mow in hot weather. It’s not going to get below 90 this week for us, and I’ve been mowing every morning at 7am, on day three and only have half my yard done. I will be purchasing a gas mower soon. I hope this comment saves someone the headache. Don’t purchase these mowers!


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