When your zero-turn won’t start or even turn over, you need to identify items that can keep sufficient power from getting to the starter motor to spin the engine.
A Ferris zero-turn won’t turn over or crank when the battery is weak, the wiring and components are loose or corroded, the fuse is blown, the ignition switch is bad, the safety switch is faulty, the starter solenoid is bad, or the starter motor is bad.
Take safety precautions to avoid electrocution when working with your electrical system. Disconnect the black negative battery cable prior to making any electrical system repairs.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to 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.
Why Your Ferris Zero Turn Mower Won’t Turn Over
Dead or Bad Battery in Your Ferris Zero Turn
A weak battery won’t provide power to turn over a Ferris zero turn. It’s important to keep it fully charged, especially when you are storing the mower for extended periods, to make the battery last longer.
Test your battery using the steps in the article “5 Things That Are Draining the Life of Your Lawn Mower Battery”.
Charging a Battery: Wear protective gear to protect your eyes and skin when working with the battery. Follow these steps to charge your 12-volt battery using a battery charger:
- Access the battery and terminals. You may need to use a screwdriver to uncover the battery. Do not remove the battery from the casing.
- Connect the charging cables beginning with the positive cable first. This is the red cable or the one with the plus sign. Place the cable on the positive battery terminal.
- Attach the negative cable to the negative battery terminal. This is the black cable or the one with the negative sign.
- Do not touch anything that doesn’t have a rubber coating to prevent electrocution.
- Set the charger’s voltage and amperage level to the desired level. The average volt level for lawn mower batteries is usually 12 volts. More amperage charges the battery faster. Start with two camps and work up to no more than 10 amps. A slow charge is best.
If the battery fails to hold a charge it must be replaced with a new battery. You can purchase a new battery at your local Ferris mower dealership, hardware store, or automotive store.
Bring your old battery with you. Most places will charge you a core fee of $15-$25 unless you provide them with your old battery.
Loose or Corroded Wires and Connections in Your Ferris Zero Turn
After checking the Ferris battery, check the cables and connections. The mower’s vibration and bouncing around when mowing can cause cables, wiring, and connections to become loose.
Make sure the connections are secure and there is no corrosion buildup that can cause a break in continuity. Moisture on connections can cause connections and terminals to begin to corrode.
Try to remove this corrosion using a small wire brush and a baking soda solution (2 cups water to 3 heaping tablespoons of baking soda). Disconnect the battery and remove the components before cleaning them.
Replace the terminals or components if the corrosion is severe and you are unable to sufficiently clean them.
Blown Fuse on Your Ferris Zero Turn
A fuse is installed to protect your Ferris electrical system. Check your mower to make sure you don’t have a blown fuse. If you’re unsure if the fuse is blown, you can check it by placing a multimeter probe on each prong of the fuse to measure resistance.
A resistance reading near 0 means your fuse is good. An infinity resistance reading indicates a bad fuse.
Replace a blown fuse with the same amperage as the fuse you are replacing. If you continue to blow fuses, you should bring your Ferris to your lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop to troubleshoot the root cause.
Bad Ignition Switch on Your Ferris Zero Turn
The ignition key switch can be the culprit if you insert the key and turn it to find nothing happens. Your Ferris will fail to turn over and start.
Check the switch using a multimeter to check continuity to determine if the ignition switch is the problem. To do this, look for the prongs mark B for Battery and S for Starter Solenoid.
Insert the key and turn it to the start position. With the multimeter set to measure resistance, touch one probe to the B prong and the other probe to the S prong.
A good ignition key switch will measure resistance near 0 ohms. A bad ignition key switch will measure infinite resistance and will need to be replaced.
Bad Safety Switch on Your Ferris Lawn Mower
Your Ferris has an operator presence control system installed to keep you safe. A safety switch can be defective and cause your Ferris to fail to turn over.
Test your switch using a multimeter. You can also temporarily bypass the safety switch to identify a bad switch, but only do this for troubleshooting purposes.
Never operate a mower without the safety switch. Never run a mower when a safety switch is bypassed. A safety switch can save you from serious injury and you never know when you’re going to need it.
Bad Starter Solenoid in Your Ferris Zero Turn
A starter solenoid is an electromagnetic switch that, when engaged, initiates the starter motor to turn over your Ferris engine.
The starter solenoid can go bad when the spring becomes weak or the copper plate begins to corrode. A weak starter, bad battery, or bad ground can also cause the solenoid to fail.
Before you test your starter solenoid, you must have a fully charged battery. Continue testing the solenoid by using the steps to diagnose a bad starter solenoid in “How to Tell Your Lawn Mower Solenoid is Bad”.
Bad Starter Motor on Your Ferris Lawn Mower
Once you have ruled out the battery, cables, wiring, ground, and starter solenoid as being the reason your Ferris won’t turn over, it’s time to look at the starter. The starter can be removed and tested.
I recommend having your local repair shop that specializes in starter and alternator repairs test your starter and rebuild it if possible before just throwing a pricey new starter at your Ferris mower.
Still Having Problems with Your Ferris Lawn Mower?
No matter what type of mower you own, you will run into problems during its life.
Because of this, I have compiled a list of common Ferris lawn mower problems and solutions to help you troubleshoot the next time your mower doesn’t start, keeps dying, has a bad cut, is overheating, or has another issue.
This is an excellent guide to bookmark so you can refer to it when you need help finding and fixing your mower. You can find this guide at Common Ferris Zero Turn Mower Problems and Solutions.