Battery 101: Is It A Good Idea To Jump Start My Lawnmower Battery?

When your lawnmower battery dies, your first instinct may be to junk it, recycle it, and grab a new one. Unless the battery is too old to be recharged, a jump start might be worth a try. Don’t just grab the jumper cables and go, however – that could lead to disaster. First, follow a couple steps:

  1. Make sure the battery is really dead. Before you just assume that the battery is the culprit, make sure it’s not something else first. Checking the oil and the fuel level is a good place to start troubleshooting.
  2. Check for a clicking sound. Typically when the battery is the reason your lawnmower won’t start, you will hear a clicking noise when trying to start it. You may want to make sure you are in a quiet place first as sometimes the clicking noise can be hard to hear.

Getting Started

Once you’ve determined the battery is the problem, next you’ll want to make sure you have all the tools necessary to safely jump start the mower:

• wire brush
• baking soda
• jumper cables
• safety goggles
• leather gloves to protect against shock

1. Use the baking soda and wire brush to clean any corrosion that has built up on the battery terminals of both the car and the lawnmower batteries. Corrosion can prevent the cables from properly connecting to the terminals. Make sure to wear your gloves during this process.
2. Connect the positive cable (red cable) to the positive terminal on the lawnmower battery and the other to the car battery. Connect the negative cable (black cable) to the car battery and the other black cable needs to be grounded to the lawnmower’s engine block.
3. Start the car first and then try to start the lawnmower. If it doesn’t start right up let the car engine run for a few more seconds and then try it again.
4. Once the mower is started, remove the jumper cables in the reverse order that you put them on. Make sure not to let the cable clamps touch each other until each clamp is removed.
5. Let the lawnmower battery charge for at least 30 minutes.

Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Lawnmower Battery Running Longer:

– Many lawn mowing enthusiasts, especially those with riding mowers, will hook up a trickle charger to the mower’s battery if they aren’t going to use it again soon.
– Don’t have access to a trickle charger? That’s ok. Just make sure to fully charge the battery every one to two months.
– Check the battery every so often to make sure there isn’t corrosive build up or cracks in the casing. Corrosion can be cleaned with baking soda and a wire brush. This will help prevent the battery from discharging at a higher rate causing early failure.
– If your lawnmower battery is a wet cell battery, you may need to replenish the water level with distilled water. Open the caps to check the water level and refill as needed.
– Keep an eye on the top reasons batteries fail prematurely to extend your battery’s life.

Proper battery maintenance is a good way to help keep all of your battery powered equipment working at peak performance levels. From making sure that the cables are tightened down to regularly cleaning the battery terminals, if you take care of your battery, it will take care of you.