Understanding Ferris FW15 Problems: An In-Depth Review

Ferris FW15 Problems

The Ferris FW15 walk-behind lawn mower is a popular choice among homeowners and lawn care professionals alike. Despite its reputation for quality and performance, like any other machine, the Ferris FW15 is not immune to problems.

This article explores specific issues related to the Ferris FW15, providing a comprehensive guide to help owners troubleshoot and, if necessary, seek professional assistance.

Engine Issues

The FW15 uses a four-stroke Honda engine, known for its reliability. Nevertheless, a frequent problem experienced by FW15 users is related to the engine, particularly engine start-up. Hard starting or failure to start can often be traced back to fuel system issues, such as stale fuel left in the tank over winter. Use a fuel stabilizer if you plan to store your mower without use for extended periods.

A dirty or clogged air filter can also impede engine performance. Regularly check and replace the air filter to ensure the engine can breathe freely and achieve optimal combustion. A misfiring spark plug is another common cause of engine start-up issues. Regular maintenance and replacement of the spark plug as per manufacturer’s guidelines are essential to prevent this problem.

Transmission Troubles

The FW15 has a hydrostatic transmission providing an effortless mowing experience with superior maneuverability. However, several owners have reported issues related to transmission. Some users have experienced reduced drive power or inconsistent speeds. This might be due to worn-out transmission fluid or air in the system. Regularly changing the hydrostatic fluid as per the manufacturer’s specifications is a must to maintain the mower’s transmission health. Also, bleeding the system to remove air can significantly improve transmission performance.

Cutting Performance

The cutting performance of the FW15, while generally superb, can occasionally falter. A dull blade leads to an uneven cut, leaving the grass looking ragged and potentially causing lawn health issues. Routine blade sharpening is critical. However, note that after several sharpenings, blade replacement may be necessary due to metal fatigue.

Another issue tied to cutting performance is the clogging of the cutting deck. Wet grass clippings can clump together, blocking the cutting deck and affecting the mower’s ability to effectively cut and discharge clippings. Regular cleaning of the cutting deck, especially after mowing damp grass, is a simple way to prevent this issue.

Control and Comfort

The FW15 is equipped with an ergonomic handle and easy controls for user comfort. Despite this, some users have complained about the mower’s vibrations becoming uncomfortable over time. This may be due to loose components or an imbalanced blade. Ensuring that the mower’s parts are tightly secured and the blade is balanced and sharp can help reduce the vibration levels.

Maintenance Accessibility

One of the less obvious issues with the FW15 is the difficulty some users experience when trying to perform routine maintenance. For instance, oil change points and some filters are not as accessible as they could be, leading to increased effort and potential mess during routine maintenance tasks. While this does not affect the performance of the mower per se, it does impact the user’s experience and may discourage timely maintenance.

Limited Fuel Capacity

A minor, yet notable issue for some FW15 users, is the mower’s limited fuel tank capacity. For smaller lawns, this isn’t an issue, but for larger yards, frequent refills can be an annoyance. Keeping a fuel can handy can help circumvent this problem, although it is something prospective buyers should be aware of.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do if my Ferris FW15 lawn mower fails to start?

Check the fuel in your tank, as stale fuel can cause starting issues. Also, inspect the air filter and spark plug. A clogged air filter or a worn-out spark plug could be the culprits. In case of persistent issues, consider professional service.

Why is my FW15’s cutting performance deteriorating?

The issue could be due to a dull or damaged blade. Regularly sharpen the blade and replace it when necessary. Also, ensure to clean the cutting deck after mowing, especially if the grass was wet.

How can I reduce the uncomfortable vibrations when using my FW15?

Uncomfortable vibrations may indicate loose components or an imbalanced blade. Check for any loose parts and tighten them. Also, ensure that your blade is well balanced and sharp.

Why does my FW15 seem to be slowing down and not maintaining consistent speed?

This could be a symptom of transmission trouble. Check the level and condition of your hydrostatic fluid and replace it if necessary. Air in the system could also cause such an issue; consider bleeding the system to remove the air.

How can I address the limited fuel capacity of the FW15 for larger lawns?

Unfortunately, the fuel capacity is a built-in limitation of the FW15. For larger yards, keep a fuel can close by to avoid running out of fuel in the middle of mowing.

Ferris FW15 User Review


The Ferris FW15 is, by and large, a reliable and high-performing walk-behind mower. However, it’s not without its issues, ranging from engine and transmission problems to challenges related to cutting performance, control comfort, and maintenance accessibility. Regular care, servicing, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines can prevent many of these issues, ensuring your FW15 provides many years of efficient and effective service.

The key to addressing these issues effectively lies in regular and proper maintenance, and in understanding the signs of potential problems. If difficulties persist despite your best efforts, it’s important to seek professional help. Doing so will not only extend the life of your lawn mower, but also ensure the health and beauty of your lawn.