It’s frustrating when you try to start your mower and hear that dreadful click, click, click, and it’s not running. Then, you realize that your mower’s battery has died.
You’re probably wondering if you can jump-start a zero-turn mower?
The short answer is yes. If you’re faced with a dead battery in your mower, you can usually jump-start it with a good battery. You can even jumpstart a car with your lawn mower, if you have no other option.
Please keep reading to learn how to start your mower using your car, the steps necessary to get it working, and the necessary precautions to take.
What to Do Before Charging a Dead Battery?
You should follow a checklist before attempting to jump-start your mower.
You have to take all the necessary precautions. First, you must check that the battery is secure and not leaking before attempting to jump-start it.
Because leaking battery acid may burn your skin, wear gloves and eye protection if the battery is moist. Additionally, ensure that the terminals are secure and not damaged.
If the terminals are damaged or loose, that means they’re arced. Trying to start it won’t work as it prevents electricity from reaching the starter.
You must clean the battery posts if they are dirty. You’ll notice white crusty build-up on the terminals and battery posts.
Dirty, corroded, or lose connections disturb the passage of electricity from the battery to your starter, preventing the alternator from charging the battery.
Sprinkle some baking soda and a tiny amount of water on the terminals. The baking soda will neutralize the acid and will remove the corrosion.
Clean the surface using a wire brush. Next, remove the terminals and clean the area surrounding the poles and terminals. To prevent corrosion, apply a covering of petroleum jelly.
Mower vibration causes battery connections to come loose, and as you know, corrosion is prevalent. Replace your battery connections if they are broken or heavily rusted.
Damaged cables may contain broken wires. This results in excessive resistance.
While attempting to start the mower, if the wires become pretty hot, it indicates a high level of resistance. Use high-quality leads and terminals instead.
Jump Start Your Mower With Your Car
Before considering jump-starting your mower with your car, you’ve to make sure your mower has a 12-volt battery. Having done that, there are five steps you need to follow to use your vehicle to jump-start your riding mower.
Place the mower on flat ground. Turn off the engine, use the brakes, and disconnect the mowing rotors. Identify the battery terminals. To reach the battery, you may need to remove the protective cover.
The next step is getting your vehicle close to the mower so that the jumper wires can easily reach it. Next, turn off the engine and open your car’s hood.
Sequentially, connect the jumper wires carefully. It should follow a particular order. The order is as follows:
- One end of the red wire should be connected to the mower battery positive connector.
- It would be best if you connected the other end of the red wire to the positive terminal of the automobile battery.
- You should join one end of the black wire to the automobile battery negative connector.
- The other end of the black wire is attached to the mower’s metal chassis, far away from the gasoline tank and battery.
Now it’s time to restart the mower engine. When you do this, remember to turn off the vehicle’s engine.
Disconnect the jumper wires in the following sequence: black from the mower, then from the vehicle; red from the car, then from the mower.
If No Car, What Are My Other Options?
This keeps the battery from overheating and emitting chemicals that harm the battery cells and limit the battery’s life.
A battery charger also regulates the initial bulk charge input current, ensuring that the target battery doesn’t charge quickly and overheat.
When you connect your riding mower battery to your vehicle’s battery, you receive neither of these benefits, and the effects might be devastating.
What If Jump Starting Doesn’t Work?
If your riding lawn mower dies immediately after detaching the jumper wires, or if it won’t start after you switch it off, the battery is likely dead. A riding mower battery typically lasts three years until it no longer accepts a charge.
If the mower runs for a few minutes after being jump-started but then dies, the alternator or voltage regulator may be faulty. While the engine is operating, the alternator keeps the battery charged.
The voltage regulator’s function is to ensure that the proper amount of electricity flows through the mower’s electrical system.
If your battery is completely depleted, the battery charger will not charge it by default. Instead, connect the flat battery to a charged battery using jump leads in the conventional method, then connect the charger and charge.
Precautions to Consider
- Jump-starting batteries may be hazardous. Injuries might result from mistakes. Wear safety goggles and gloves.
- Remove the battery from the mower and recharge it with an external battery charger if you’re unsure how to jump-start it.
- While charging, lead-acid batteries emit a dangerous gas. If you’re using an external charger, ensure it’s in a well-ventilated area away from any sparks or open flames.
- Connecting the negative jumper cable to the mower first, then to the good battery, might generate a spark at the battery, igniting explosive battery gas and resulting in an explosion.
- Riding mowers are powered by a 12-volt battery. Make sure that the excellent battery you choose for jump-starting is 12 volts.
Tips That Help You Keep Your Mower’s Battery in a Good Shape
So far, we’ve discussed a few methods for getting your mower going while the battery is dead, including how to kickstart it.
However, it is preferable to be able to turn the key and go.
If you take proper care of your battery, it can survive much longer than three years, possibly even more than twice as long.
- To begin, keep it on a float charger during the winter. This is most likely the most critical thing you can do for your mower battery.
- Even if your mower starts straight up in the spring, it will have drained significantly during storage. The alternator will quickly replenish it, but the deep drain and fast recharge will dramatically reduce your mower battery’s life.
- Cold temperatures are also detrimental to battery performance. If possible, store your battery at a room temperature of above 50 degrees. Keep it attached to your float charger no matter what the temperature is.
- Maintain a monthly cleaning routine for your terminals: Clean beneath the hood, replace the oil, spark plug, sharpen the blades, and clean the air filter.
- Invest in a high quality terminal cleaner. You don’t need anything extravagant. It’s essentially a steel-bristled brush intended for use on battery connections.
By and large, you can jump-start a zero-turn mower. If your mower battery is 12-volt, you can quickly jump-start it using your car. Alternatively, you can get your hands on a good battery charger to help with such situations.
You can avoid this situation altogether by keeping your battery at a certain room temperature and keeping it on a float charger. If you do so, you won’t have to go through the hassle of jump-starting your mower.