An electric mower is a good choice if you are looking for a mower that doesn’t require a lot of maintenance including oil changes. Even though it may be easier to maintain, that doesn’t mean it is problem-free.
A Toro electric battery mower may not start due to an insufficient power supply, bad electrical connection, overworking the motor, or an incorrect operating procedure.
This may be caused by a bad battery connection, a dead or bad battery, a faulty safety switch, loose wires or damaged wires, or a buildup of debris under the mower deck.
Before performing repairs on your cordless Toro mower, take all safety precautions when working with electric currents and sharp blades. Remove the safety button (key) and battery.
If your mower is still covered under Toro’s warranty period, consult with Toro before performing repairs so you don’t void that warranty.
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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.
Reasons For a Starting Problem on a Toro Electric Mower
1. Insufficient Battery Power for a Toro Electric Mower
Without sufficient battery power, your Toro mower will not start. There are many items that can cause insufficient power including bad battery connections, incorrect battery installation, and a failing battery.
Check to make sure you are using a battery that is compatible with your electric mower. Using the wrong size battery may cause a failure to start in addition to more severe problems with the electrical system.
2. Battery is Not Correctly Installed on a Toro Electric Mower
Check the installation of your battery in the battery port. Make sure it is securely in place and making good contact.
Wipe off the lid of the battery compartment before opening it to keep dirt and debris from falling into the compartment.
Remove the battery and reinstall it to ensure it is installed correctly. The battery should slide into the guide rails and snap into place. The lid must be able to securely close.
3. Bad Connection with the Toro Battery Charger or Wall Outlet
The batteries on most Toro electric lawn mowers must be removed and placed into an external charging station to charge the battery. This charging station must be one designed specifically for the battery you are charging.
Check the outlet and other electrical cord connections to ensure the battery charger is fully plugged in. Use a standard 120V household outlet. Make sure there is sufficient power at the outlet.
The plug style on your Toro cord must match the style of your outlet. Do not attempt to modify the plug. A three-prog style plug must be inserted into the same 3-prog style outlet.
Clean the vents and keep the battery charger out of areas of extreme heat or cold.
4. Battery is Excessively Hot on a Toro Electric Mower
A hot Toro battery will cause your mower to shut down and not start. Clean the vents on your mower. Let your battery cool before attempting to start again.
5. Battery Is Dead in a Toro Electric Lawn Mower
Toro lawn mowers rely on a battery for power so it’s no surprise the mower won’t start when the battery is dead. Toro batteries use an external battery charger to charge the battery.
Most chargers utilize an LED lighting system to indicate the battery charging status. I have listed common causes for lighting systems on many Toro battery chargers. Refer to your charger manual for a description of the light indicators specific to your charger model.
- Blinking green: The battery is charging.
- Solid green: The battery is charged.
- Blinking red: The battery may be defective.
- Solid red: The battery is too cold or too hot. Move the charger to a location without extreme temperatures.
You can tell your battery is going bad when you fully charge the battery and it is not 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 will want 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 when they become old, are exposed to extreme temperatures, or fail mechanically.
6. Incorrect Starting Procedure on a Toro Electric Mower
Whenever you get a new battery lawn mower or one that is just new to you, make sure you check its operator’s manual to learn about the safety features and recommendations on your Toro mower.
Toro’s safety button or safety key is a safety mechanism meant to prevent children from accidentally depressing the safety handle and starting your mower. Not following this starting procedure will prevent your mower from starting.
Toro Push Mower and Self-Propelled Mower Starting Procedure:
- Ensure the battery is securely in place and the safety button is inserted.
- Pull the bail (safety bar) toward the handle and press the safety button to start the motor.
- Release the release safety button.
- The mower will shut off when you release the safety bar.
7. Bad Safety Switch on a Toro Electric Mower
If any of your safety switches fail, your mower may fail to start. You can test each switch with a multimeter or by temporarily bypassing them with a jumper wire.
Replace any bad switch. For your safety and the safety of others, never operate your mower without all of the safety switches in working order.
Toro Push Mower or Self-Propelled Mower Switches
- Switch for the safety bar/bail lever. The bar must be pulled into the handle to operate the mower. When the bar is released, the mower will shut off.
- Momentary switch for the on/off button.
Read the operator’s manual for any additional safety switches that may be installed on your Toro lawn mower.
Check out my article on the dangers of electric mowers so you understand why you need to take caution when working on and operating your electric mower.
8. Loose or Pinched Wires on a Toro Electric Mower
You will have many electrical wires running through your Toro mower and along the handle. A wire may develop a short when a wire becomes loose or pinched.
Sometimes wiggling a wire will identify a short preventing the mower from starting. You can also use a multimeter to identify a short.
A common area for a pinched wire is near the handle where it folds for storage. To avoid pinching wires in this area, be careful folding and unfolding the handle to make sure the wires stay on the outside of the handle.
If you do find a pinched wire, you can repair it using a wire nut. Before beginning the repair, remove the battery and the safety button.
You may want to contact Toro before making the repair if your mower is still covered under warranty.
Repairs to the wiring and any modifications to the mower can void all warranties offered by Toro when performed outside of an authorized Toro repair center.
9. Debris is Restricting Blade Rotation on a Toro Electric Mower
It is not uncommon for excess grass and other debris to get lodged or stuck under your Toro lawn mower’s deck.
Again, always remove the battery and start button before performing any maintenance on the deck.
Large amounts of grass in the electric lawn mower deck might be inhibiting your blade’s ability to rotate which can be the root cause of the lawn mower refusing to start.
Your Toro mower may also stop mowing and not start when the mower is overloaded. This can happen when you are attempting to cut too much grass at once due to it being thick, tall, or wet.
When you are having this problem, you will need to raise the mower cutting height and slow down your speed so the load is decreased on your Toro mower. Avoid cutting wet grass.
10. Damaged Components on a Toro Electric Lawn Mower
If you reached this section and still haven’t found the problem with your mower, you should have an authorized Toro service center look at the mower. You may have damaged the motor or other parts on your mower that will need to be replaced.
A trained service technician will be able to perform tests to determine the cause of your starting problem. You can get support from Toro by visiting a local Toro service dealer near you.
Don’t Use Your Toro Electric Mower in the Rain
Water can cause your lawn mower to short out and not start. Read more about the effects of using your electric mower in the rain in Can You Use an Electric Mower in the Rain?