Battery power lawn mowers are becoming a popular option when it comes to lawn maintenance. This is because they are quieter and have lower maintenance than traditional gas-powered lawn mowers.
You don’t have to mess around with engine oil changes or regularly run to the gas station to keep your mower running. While battery lawn mowers are convenient, they are not problem-free.
A battery lawn mower will not start when the battery is not charged or installed correctly making good contact with the mower. A bad battery charger; hot battery; pinched or loose wires; bad switch or motor; or plugged lawn mower deck can also result in a battery mower not starting.
Keep reading for more items that can cause a battery mower not to start. Before repairing your mower or performing work on your electrical system and mower deck, remove the battery to prevent the mower from starting while working on it and to avoid electrocution.
Follow all other safety guidelines provided in your battery mower owner’s manual.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Reasons Your Battery-Powered Lawn Mower Won’t Start
Insufficient Battery Power
A battery-operated lawn mower won’t start when it doesn’t get sufficient power from the battery. Make sure you are using the correct type and size battery required to run your lawn mower so you get sufficient power and don’t damage your lawn mower.
Battery is Not Correctly Installed
Check that the battery is correctly installed. It must be securely in place making good contact. If there are grooves along the sides of the battery, make sure the grooves are lined up correctly when sliding the battery into the mower. Most batteries snap into place so you can easily tell the battery is in place.
Bad Connection with the Charging Port, Battery Charger, or Wall Outlet
Depending on the type of battery lawn mower you own, the battery may be charged while it is installed in the mower or you may have to remove it to place it in an external battery charger to charge.
Confirm the cord connection between the charger and the outlet is securely in place. You can use a standard 120V outlet. The plug style must match that of your outlet. Do not attempt to modify the plug.
When you insert the battery into an external charger, make sure the contacts on the battery pack are securely in place. They must engage the charger. Most chargers include a light indicator that shows the charging level and that the battery is charging.
Battery is Excessively Hot
Your lawn mower will shut down when the battery gets extremely hot. You will need to wait for the battery to cool down before you can start and operate the mower.
Battery is Dead
It’s no surprise that a battery-powered lawn mower won’t start when the battery is dead. You may be able to check the level of battery charge by referring to the LED lighting system. Most battery lawn mowers have some sort of lighting system to indicate battery charge.
This lighting system varies by model. You may find it on the battery, on the mower’s indicator panel or you may have to place your battery on the charger to read the charging status.
You can tell your battery is going bad when you fully charge the battery and it is no longer holding a charge as long as it once did. Losing the ability to hold a charge is a sign the battery is dying. Another sign your battery is going bad is when it becomes very hot.
You need to buy a replacement battery if you begin to notice your battery can’t hold a charge, is charging very slowly, or is getting extremely hot. Batteries begin to fail because they become old, are exposed to extreme temperatures, or fail mechanically.
Not Set Up Correctly
Set up your battery lawn mower correctly. Your lawn mower manufacturer may have safety devices that prevent the mower from running if it isn’t set up in the correct position to operate the mower. An example of this is extending the handle to the right position and locking it in place.
Your mower may not have an adjustable or foldable handle so you may not have to worry about this. Others may have a safety switch in the handle where, unless it is properly extended, it will not allow the mower to start.
Incorrect Starting Procedure
Whenever you purchase a battery mower that is new to you, read over the operator’s manual to understand the safety features built into your mower. These safety features are to prevent children from accidentally starting and running the mower.
You will find a safety feature that will prevent you from starting the machine without proper starting procedures such as depressing the safety bar while starting and operating the mower. Your model mower may also include a key to insert in order to start the mower.
When you don’t follow the manufacturer’s steps to start a battery lawn mower, your mower may not start.
Bad Safety Switch
A faulty safety switch will prevent your battery mower from starting. Test your safety switches by temporarily bypassing them with a jumper wire. Replace a switch if it is bad.
Never operate your mower without all safety switches installed and working. Doing so will compromise your safety and the safety of others.
Loose or Pinched Wires
There are a lot of electrical wires that run through your lawn mower. Check the wires for a short that can prevent your battery lawn mower from starting or it may cut out while mowing. A short can happen when a wire becomes loose or pinched.
To find a short, wiggle the wires or use a multimeter. Start with the locations that can present a pinch point. In a push mower, this may be where the handle folds. When folding the handles, the wires will bend and can get pinched in the process.
Repair these loose or pinched connections using a wire nut. Before beginning the repair, remove the battery. Also, before making the repair, check with your mower manufacturer to see if the mower is still covered by its manufacturer warranty. Repairing a damaged wire yourself can void the warranty.
Debris Restricting the Blade Rotation
A packed lawnmower deck can keep your battery lawn mower from starting. This is because a deck that is plugged with dirt and grass clippings can inhibit the blade from rotating. This puts an overload on the motor preventing it from starting.
To reduce overloading the motor, avoid cutting wet grass and raise the cutting height when cutting thick or tall grass. Reduce your ground speed to reduce the load on the motor.
Damaged or Worn Components
Just like with any other type of lawn mower, components on your mower will wear and eventually fail whether you like it or not.
Many pieces need to be replaced routinely and come at a minimal cost, but the most problematic pieces might cost you more than the lawn mower is worth after purchasing the replacement and any professional help required to fix it.
This includes components like the switch and motor that will require an experienced mechanic to repair the mower.
Consult with your lawn mower dealer to determine whether it is worth fixing your battery mower or replacing it with a new one. Take into consideration the age and condition of the mower; the cost of the replacement parts; and the labor cost to make the necessary repairs.
Some parts that are regularly replaced on a battery lawn mower include:
- Battery Chargers
- Power Cords
If you are not experienced working with electric components, it’s best to take your lawn mower to an experienced repair shop so you don’t damage the mower or injure yourself.
Similar to a gas-fueled lawn mower’s air filters, your electric lawn mower is built with vents that are an essential component of your machine. These vents help keep your battery lawn mower’s motor cool and maintain an optimal temperature during use.
Vents clogged on your batter lawn mower will increase the risk of overheating your motor. This is why most electric lawn mowers won’t even turn on if the vent is somehow blocked or clogged as it would likely damage the motor.
You will want to be extremely cautious when cleaning or unclogging your lawn mower’s vents, as you could potentially damage your motor in the process, which will definitely prevent the machine from starting.
Try to use a clean, dry cloth to wipe off anything that might be on the vent, and refrain from using any liquids as they disintegrate your motor’s lubrication.
In the event that you can’t clean or unclog your vent with a rag, opt for an air-related tool, like a compressed air can, to spray inside and dislodge any remaining debris
How to Prevent Issues with A Battery Lawn Mower Not Starting
No one likes when their lawn mower won’t start, but most people run into this problem sometime over the life of a lawn mower. To prevent starting problems and keep your battery mower running at its best, follow these maintenance tips:
- Don’t leave your mower in the rain. Water and damp locations can cause components on your mower to hold moisture and begin to corrode affecting the electrical system.
- Remove any dirt and grass clippings that accumulated under your mower deck.
- Keep track of your battery’s age and charge.
- Charge your battery an hour or two prior to using it so it is fully charged.
- Leaving a battery in your mower will lose some of its charge over time.