How To Adjust Lawn Mower Governor

Adjusting the governor on your riding mower is a simple task that anyone can do with a little bit of know-how. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Governor Adjustment and How They Work Honda Briggs
Lawn Mower Governor Adjustment Takeaways
Know the symptoms of a governor issue.
Ensure the carburetor and linkage are in good condition.
Use a tachometer to measure engine speed.
Identify the governor system’s design before adjustment.
Adjust the governor screw in small increments.
Test the engine before mowing.

Step 1: Grab the throttle cable

Pull back on the throttle control lever. It should move back to where it is right now, if not, adjust it accordingly so that you can operate your mower safely without running over yourself or anyone else nearby.

Put your hands on the wheels and check their alignment as well as look at any blade damage that may have occurred while in use/storage over time and adjust accordingly to ensure an even cut when mowing grass at full speed during operation again!

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Step 2: Pull back on the throttle control lever

The throttle control lever is a rod-like device that controls the speed of your mower. If you pull it all the way back, it will stop your mower completely. Pulling it only halfway back will reduce its speed to around half its maximum.

Pulling on this lever should be relatively easy; if not, then something is wrong with how your throttle control lever works. You’ll need to take a closer look at what’s going on there before continuing any further with this guide!

If everything looks good so far and you’re able to smoothly adjust your blade’s speed as described above, then move on to step three: adjusting the governor spring pressure

Step 3: Move it back to where it should be right now.

Now that you’ve adjusted the throttle lever, move it back to where it should be right now. If your lawnmower has a throttle lock, make sure it’s not locked in place before starting the engine.

Check that the lever is in the right place. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight; if it’s stuck somewhere in between these two extremes, you could wind up with an engine that won’t turn over at all. 

And make sure nothing else is moving when you press on this lever: if something else is moving instead of just your throttle control, then again, this can cause problems with starting up your mower!

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Step 4: Put your hands on the wheels and check the wheel alignment.

Now, it’s time to check the wheels for any issues. You can find out if there are any problems with your lawn mower’s wheels by looking at them closely.

Check for uneven wear on the tires: The tires should all be in good condition and show no signs of wear or damage. If you notice that one of your tires has more tread than the others, then it may need replacing soon.

Check for bent wheels: If one or more of your lawn mower’s wheels appear to be bent outward, then they may have been damaged during use and need to be replaced before you can continue using your lawnmower again safely!

Check for loose bolts: Your lawnmower has several parts that connect together in order to keep everything running smoothly as well as provide additional stability while moving around during use (i.e., the steering wheel). 

These include but aren’t limited to – steering rod assembly which attaches the steering arm onto the spindle shaft (or another similar type), brake assembly consisting of both brake shoes/discs located between rotating drum drums/discs connected via hub shafts which transmit power from engine flywheel through transmission shaft into drive tubes located inside housing section frame.

Step 5: Examine the blades of your mower.

Now you are ready to start adjusting the governor lever. The first thing you need to do is remove your mower blades so that they don’t get in the way of your work. 

You’ll use a screwdriver for this, but be sure not to damage any of the other components of your lawn mower or yourself! You may also want to take off any safety goggles or gloves if they are in the way.

Once you’ve removed your blades and safety gear, check them for cracks or rust; if there is rust on them (and if they’re not too old), sand it off with sandpaper and then apply oil using a rag; otherwise, replace those blades!

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Step 6: After replacing the safety key, put your protective gear back on and turn it off

Now that you’ve replaced the safety key, it’s time to put your protective gear back on and turn off the lawnmower. Make sure not to touch any of the parts near where you were working on the mower.

Safety Key Replacement Instructions

1Put on your protective gear including gloves, eye protection, and ear protection.
2Turn off the power tool and unplug it from the power source.
3Locate the safety key on the tool and remove the old key, if still present.
4Insert the new safety key into the slot designated for it.
5Secure the safety key in place.
6Put your protective gear back on.
7Turn on the power tool to test the new safety key.
8Turn off the power tool and unplug it from the power source.

Step 7: Before you start cutting, release the latch and set it back to its original position

When you’re finished cutting, it’s important to take a moment to return the governor to its original position and make sure that the latch is secure. 

To do this, first turn off your mower. Then release the latch and set it back in place before starting up again.

When you’re ready to cut again, repeat these steps in reverse order: check that everything is secure, put on your protective gear, adjust wheel alignment if necessary (more on how later), check that all blades are intact and sharpened (more on how later), and then start up your engine once more!

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Step 8: Grab a wrench and tighten the bolt carefully.

Grab a wrench and tighten the bolt carefully.

Don’t use too much force when turning it. If this happens, turn back and try again.

Don’t use a screwdriver to turn it either; you’ll strip the threads on the bolt and make it harder to adjust in the future.

Avoid using pliers or vice grips as well – they’re likely to slip off and cause damage to your lawnmower’s parts (or even hurt yourself). 

And while hammers are fine for woodworking projects, they’re just too heavy for delicate little bolts like these ones here. Finally, don’t try driving your lawnmower with its governor adjusted incorrectly – this can cause serious damage!

Step 9: Put a screwdriver in between the screws to avoid them from turning as you are turning it around with your wrench.

Now that you have the nuts tightened and your wrench is on the bolt, put a screwdriver between the nuts to hold them in place. 

This will make it easier for you to turn the wrench and tighten up your governor. As you are turning, check that each bolt is still tight by using your fingers (not tools).

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Step 10: Now that you’re done, grab a screwdriver again to make sure it doesn’t move from where it is supposed to be

Now that you’re done, grab a screwdriver again to make sure it doesn’t move from where it is supposed to be. 

Check that the screws are tight and not stripped. If they are, replace them with new screws of the same size. If they’re not, just tighten them as much as possible by hand and then use pliers or vice grips to give them another 1/8 turn until they stop turning easily.

Final Check Instructions

1Ensure all parts are assembled correctly and securely.
2Use a screwdriver to check that any screws or bolts are tightly fastened.
3Check that any adjustments made are within proper tolerance.
4Test the tool or equipment to see if it operates as expected.
5Perform a visual inspection to check for any leaks or damage.
6After use, let the tool or equipment cool before storing.
7Grab a screwdriver and make a final check to ensure everything is secure in its position.

Step 11: Make sure to put a nut or bolt in place so that you can easily put it back when needed!

Now that your governor is adjusted and the blade is turning, be sure to put a nut or bolt in place so that you can easily put it back when needed!

Step 12: Grab some new oil and fill up your tank!

Now that you’ve adjusted your governor, it’s time to put in some new oil into the tank.

Oil is important for your engine because it keeps everything running smoothly. If you don’t change oil regularly, you may end up with a broken engine and no lawn mower!

Changing oil is easy; just make sure to buy a good quality brand like Mobil 1 or Castrol Syntec 20W50 Full Synthetic Motorcycle & Auto Oil (both available at Amazon). Then follow these steps:

Remove old fuel from the tank by siphoning it out or draining it through an opening at bottom of the tank (dispose of in accordance with local regulations).

Fill up with fresh fuel—ensure the correct mixture ratio before starting the engine.

Check all levels of coolant/antifreeze/water as well as brake fluid level before starting the machine up again (make sure they are all filled up properly).

Start the machine up again briefly then shut it down to check if everything seems okay—check battery cables etc., making sure there are no loose connections anywhere under the hood area where battery wires come in contact with metal parts such as brackets, etc… 

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Takeaway: If you need more help adjusting then just call an expert!

If you’re having trouble adjusting the governor, the best thing to do is call a lawn equipment expert.

You can also look up the manual for your specific model of lawnmower and see if there are instructions on how to adjust it.

There are many videos online that show how to adjust a lawn mower governor as well. Just use Google or YouTube and search for “how to adjust lawn mower governor” or something similar.


Now that you know how to adjust the lawn mower governor, it’s time to get back out there and enjoy your lawn! If you need any more help or have questions, just give us a call. We’re always here to help!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources for adjusting the governor on your lawn mower:

Small Engine Suppliers: This website provides detailed instructions on how to adjust the governor on a small engine, including diagrams and photos for reference.

Briggs & Stratton FAQ: Find answers to common questions about the governor system on Briggs & Stratton engines. This article provides a step-by-step guide to adjusting the governor on your small engine, with detailed photos to help you along the way.


What is a lawn mower governor?

A governor is a device that controls the speed of the engine in a lawn mower or other small engine. It regulates the amount of fuel and air that enters the engine, controlling its speed and RPMs (revolutions per minute).

Why is it important to adjust the governor on a lawn mower?

Adjusting the governor on your lawn mower can help improve its performance, including increasing its speed and overall efficiency. It can also help prolong the life of your engine by reducing unnecessary wear and tear.

How do I know if I need to adjust the governor on my lawn mower?

If you notice that your lawn mower is running too fast or too slow, or that it’s not cutting grass evenly, adjusting the governor may be necessary. A mechanic can also check the governor for you during routine maintenance.

Can I adjust the governor on my lawn mower myself?

Yes, adjusting the governor on your lawn mower is typically a straightforward process that can be done yourself with the right tools and instructions. However, it’s important to follow instructions closely and make sure you have the necessary technical knowledge before attempting to adjust the governor.

What if I’m still having issues with my lawn mower after adjusting the governor?

If you’re experiencing issues with your lawn mower even after adjusting the governor or if you’re uncomfortable attempting the adjustment yourself, it’s best to take it to a professional mechanic for inspection and repair.