How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower
This article was co-authored by Grant Wallace. Grant Wallace is a Landscaper and Owner of Grantlanta Lawn in Atlanta, Georgia. With over seven years of experience, he specializes in lawn maintenance and landscape installation. In 2012, he earned his BA from the University of West Georgia. Grant has been profiled in Shoutout Atlanta, Canvas Rebel, and Voyage ATL.
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Riding lawn mowers and even some high-end push mowers depend on battery power to keep the engine running. Whether you’re about to break out your mower after a long winter or just forgot to shut off the ignition, a drained battery can stop you in your tracks. However, you can easily recharge it with a working car battery. You could also use a battery charger for a slower, more gradual fix. As long as you’re cautious and take all possible safety precautions, you can get your lawn mower operational again in no time.
Accessing the Mower’s Battery
- If you’re using a battery charger, select a spot near an electrical outlet. For instance, it’s usually best to use a charger inside your garage.
- Wear the protective gear at all times when working with batteries.
- Wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe shoes as well for additional protection.
- If you’re unsure where the battery is or can’t figure out how to open the battery compartment, check your owner’s manual. Lawn mowers all open a little differently from one another, so use the manual for more specific instructions.
- If you own a push mower, you won’t have to look too hard. It is either in a box near the handles, under the cover on the engine compartment, or next to it in a separate slot.
- The ignition has to be off in order to prevent electrical shock or battery damage. It’s easy to forget that the ignition was left on and then end up with your mower suddenly roaring to life at the wrong time.
- If you don’t see any corrosion, you won’t have to clean the battery. However, check it for corrosion at least twice per year, particularly when the battery hasn’t been used in a while or after it has lost its charge.
- If the battery is highly corroded or has acid leaking out of it, you’re better off replacing it. Old batteries are more prone to corrosion, so it could be a sign that your battery is no longer a great choice for your mower anyway.
- Corrosion can cause a battery to no longer work. After clearing away corrosion, test your mower again to see if it starts. If it doesn’t, try charging it.
- Lawn mowers made before 1980 could use a 6V. Use a 6V battery charger to power these batteries.
- Voltage is a power measurement that tells you how much power is needed to operate the mower’s engine. You should always use a charger with the same voltage rating as the battery. Jumpstart it with another battery only if they both have the same voltage.
Using Jumper Cables and a Car Battery
- Engage the parking brake so the car has no chance of rolling away while you’re using it.
- Note that jump-starting only works on 12V batteries. Most mowers, including push mowers, use 12V batteries.
- Jump starting a riding lawnmower is easy, but you may have trouble doing this for some push mowers due to the placement of the battery. The terminals can be hard to reach. Instead, remove the battery and connect it to a charger.
- If you’re unsure how to open the hood, check the owner’s manual. It varies from car to car. For instance, some have push buttons, while others have levers you have to pull.
- Make sure the engine is cold before opening the hood. If you just turned it on to park it, it will be fine. However, if you drove it recently, give it 30 minutes to cool down.
- If you have an electric vehicle, make sure its charger isn’t plugged into the wall before you attempt to clamp any cables to the battery.
- Once you connect the first clamp to the battery, make sure the clamps don’t touch any other metal. It could cause permanent damage to the battery.
- While connecting both ends of the black jumper cable to the batteries still works, it increases the risk of an explosion. It’s one of the most common mistakes people make when jump-starting a battery.
- The electric current could potentially ignite gasses around the battery, so it’s very important that you attach the clamps with caution. If you take your time, you can avoid any risk of an explosion.
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- Double-check that the mower is off so that you don’t overload its battery upon starting your car.
- Expect to see a few sparks when you first start the engines. It’s normal and won’t damage the batteries. However, if you see a ton of sparks and they don’t stop right away, shut off both vehicles.
- If the mower doesn’t start, turn off both vehicles and look for other problems. Make sure the jumper cables are connected, for instance, and that the mower has plenty of gas.
- You don’t have to shut off either vehicle before removing the cables. It’s best to at least leave the lawn mower running so its battery continues to charge.
- Keep in mind that the clamps can still cause a short while they are connected to a battery. Once they have all been disconnected, they can safely touch metal surfaces again.
- The mower’s battery will charge while you’re using it. Consider hooking it up to a battery charger afterward to ensure it finishes charging.
Connecting a Battery Charger
- Amps are a way to measure the strength of an electrical current. A strong current can overload your battery, destroying it.
- If you’re able to, get a charger with an automatic shut-off feature. It will help protect your battery in case you forget to disconnect it right when it finishes working.
- Leave the battery charger unplugged while attaching the charger cables.
- To protect your battery and reduce the risk of electrical shock, double-check that the charger cable is attached to the correct terminal before continuing.
- Battery chargers tend to have an auto-start feature, meaning that they won’t work until you have finished securing the clamps properly. You won’t end up with sparks or a possible short if they happen to come into contact with a metal object.
- If you’re using a low-amp setting, you might have to charge the battery for longer than 1 hour. Check the charger’s display for a light or a meter monitoring the battery’s charge.
- Some chargers have an automatic shut-off feature. The charger will stop when the battery is full, and this will be indicated by a light on the charger’s screen.
- To prevent overcharging the battery, remove the charger as soon as the battery finishes charging. Otherwise, the charger could cause damage to the battery.
- After disconnecting the charger, store it in a safe, moisture-free spot until you need it again. The clamps can touch without causing damage to the charger.
- If you suspect your mower has more problems beyond a dead battery, consider bringing it to a repair shop for an in-depth inspection.
Grant Wallace is a Landscaper and Owner of Grantlanta Lawn in Atlanta, Georgia. With over seven years of experience, he specializes in lawn maintenance and landscape installation. In 2012, he earned his BA from the University of West Georgia. Grant has been profiled in Shoutout Atlanta, Canvas Rebel, and Voyage ATL.
Switch the mower to a neutral setting (or at least make sure the brake levers are off)—that way, you can roll it around. If you need to transport it somewhere else, you can either use a chain apparatus to pull it into a trailer or push it manually (assuming the trailer has a ramp). You could also call the repair shop and see if they can come to your place and fix the mower.
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The John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System
Never drain engine oil again.
We’ve changed the oil change. Revolutionized it really. See how fast and easy changing your oil can now be on 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors with the John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. Only from John Deere. Included on the E120, E130, E150, E160, E170, and E180 models.
Step One. Take it off.
Lift the hood. Make sure the engine is cool, then, twist to remove. It’s that simple.
Step Two. Twist and lock.
Grab the new Easy Change™ Canister, twist and lock into place. Make sure the arrow on your Filter System aligns with the arrow on your engine.
Step three. Done.
Close the hood and mow. John Deere recommends the Easy Change™ 30-second Oil Change System every 50 hours or at the end of your mowing season. Don’t drain engine oil ever again.
Draining engine oil is so 2017.
The engine modifications and new technologies are in. The re-envisioned oil filter with a media designed to resist breaking down in oil over time is here. The thousands of hours of testing are done. The end result is an all-in-one, oil and oil filter system like no other. The first of its kind. And thanks to the new John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System (“System”), you’ll never have to drain the oil from 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors again.
Here’s why: The new System captures contaminants and recharges your engine with nearly a quart (0.8qt) (0.76 l) of new oil. In fact, this System increases the amount of oil in the engine by nearly 40%. 2 Your engine likes that.
What do you mean, I will never have to drain oil from my engine again? How is that possible? The answer is simple. We have developed a better filtration system and filter design for our 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. This fully synthetic filter media has greater surface area which increases its capacity to hold harmful contaminants. What’s more, the filter media is designed to resist breaking down in oil over time. Which means you’ll get a cooler running engine. And a cooler running engine and better filtering helps increase engine oil life. John Deere’s recommended oil service for 100 Series Riding Lawn Tractors 1. is to change the System every 50 hours or once a season, whichever comes first. Remember, the System replaces a portion of your engine oil. And that’s plenty.
The System uses John Deere Turf-Gard™ Oil. Using John Deere Turf-Gard™ Oil ensures you are using the exact oil specified by John Deere engineers.
Testing. Testing. Testing. Thanks to thousands of hours of rigorous and extensive testing, you can feel confident your engine will run for years to come.
1 The John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System is available on E120, E130, E150, E160, E170 and E180 Lawn Tractors today.
2 Compared to similar V-Twin engine models that do not have the John Deere Easy Change™ 30-Second Oil Change System. That includes equivalent Deere 2017 models and 2018 models without the System.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is new with John Deere Riding Lawn Equipment?
We are excited about the exclusive John Deere Easy Change™ 30 second oil change system. Exclusive to John Deere and only available on certain models of the new 100 Series Lawn Tractors. These tractors are designed for ease of use for both operation and maintenance. The John Deere Easy Change™ System (“Easy Change”) allows the user to easily complete the recommended engine oil and filter maintenance in 30 seconds.
What is this new oil change system?
We changed the oil change. The all-in-one oil and oil filter system gives the owner the ability to change a portion of the oil and the filter in less than 30 seconds.
What happens to the rest of the oil in the engine when the Easy Change system is replaced?
The Easy Change system replaces.8 quart of oil. The remaining oil in the engine is refreshed by the charge of new oil included in the replacement Easy Change system. Combined with 40% more engine oil capacity, improved filtration and cooler running temperatures which help extend oil life, it is no longer necessary to remove and dispose of all the oil in your engine during service.
What makes the Easy Change system unique from other filters?
It is not just a filter. It is a newly developed technology system that allows a new “filter” to come already charged with oil and allows you to remove an existing filter and the contaminants inside without tools and without making a mess. Beyond the filter, technology within the canister and on your engine makes this possible.
Models with the Easy Change oil system use a fully synthetic filter that has more capacity to trap and hold contaminants. The larger surface area of the Easy Change canister acts like a radiator helping the oil to stay cool.
Does the Easy Change system somehow decrease the life of the engine?
The John Deere 100 Series lawn tractor models, with and without Easy Change, are specified for the same lifetime and are rigorously tested to the same standards to ensure the life of the tractor meets expectations.
Can I add the Easy change system to an existing tractor?
Because this system also requires unique features within the engine, the Easy Change system cannot be added to an engine that was not equipped with it at the factory.
Can I change all the oil if I choose to?
You could if you wanted to. There is an oil drain plug. It is not required for maintenance.
How often do I need to change the Easy Change canister?
Every 50 hours or once a year. The 100 Series Lawn Tractors with and without the Easy Change system have the same maintenance schedule.
What type of oil is recommended?
We recommend only John Deere Turf-Gard™ 10W30 Oil. The Easy Change canister comes pre-filled with John Deere Turf-Gard™ 10W30 oil.
How do I recycle the old oil?
Many local government recycling programs, authorized retailers, auto repair stations, and auto parts stores will puncture and recycle used oil filters and oil.
Do I ever need to add oil?
Yes. Consistent with our service recommendations for this product, you should check oil level daily and add oil if required.