Jump-Starting Your Lawnmower: Good or Bad Move?

Batteries are both lifesaving resources when you’re in a hurry – or sometimes frustrating reminders that you aren’t hard wired to an electrical source. Lawnmowers are one of those tools that are typically dependent on battery power. The electrical energy gets the engine going in gas-powered models, or your entire mower is solely electrical by design.

You might find yourself with a dead battery at some point this year. Wondering if you can jump-start the battery is a common reaction. Take a look at lawnmower batteries and if a jump-start is healthy for the power source. Technology continues to improve your landscaping world.

Applicable for Emergency Situations

Most experts agree that your lawnmower battery won’t experience significant damage when you jump-start it on an irregular basis. This process shouldn’t be a once-weekly situation, however. Batteries are designed to take on slow, standard and rapid charges. Applying a lot of voltage all at once should be your last-resort option.

Remember that your battery will go through some decline over time, such as:

  • Expansion-and-contraction damage
  • Sulfation
  • Oxidation

All of these slow processes will occur to a battery that’s never been jump-started before. If you continually jump-start a battery, you’re placing unnecessary strain on the internal components. When you jump-start the battery one time during an entire season, you won’t see much difference in its longevity or performance value.

Proper Jump-Start Steps

If you’re familiar with jump-starting a car, performing this same maneuver on a lawnmower isn’t much different. Start out by attaching standard, jumper cables between a 12-volt car battery and the mower battery. Follow these steps:

  • Connect the red clamp onto the car battery’s positive terminal
  • Attach the opposite, red clamp to the positive terminal on the mower battery
  • Repeat the same steps for the black or ground clamp

Keep in mind that it’s always better to connect the mower’s black clamp to the machine’s frame instead of the ground terminal. Any electrical issues will simply dissipate into the metal frame.

Do not turn on the car if the battery is connected to it. The vehicle’s electrical system is too strong for the mower’s battery. It will simply trickle the charge from the battery as a standalone resource.

Better Alternatives

Connecting a car battery to your mower’s power source isn’t completely foolproof. Differences in amperage and other values can influence the success of your jump-start. Battery experts have better ideas for your power problems. Jump-starting isn’t your only choice.

Consider an external battery that comes with jumper cables. Also known as a jump pack, these batteries hold a charge that comes from a hard-wired connection. They’re designed to work with 12-volt batteries so there’s a reduced risk of damaging your mower battery.

Trickle chargers are another type of tool that can be useful for those unexpected battery problems. Connect a spare, mower battery to the trickle charger. Allow it to charge up over several days. If your on-board battery wears down, you have an instant swap as you head out to the lawn.

The Push-Mower Battery

As you learn how to charge a mower battery, these power sources normally come from riding lawnmowers. Push mowers have slightly different batteries. The manufacturer will normally want a lightweight product so adding a full-size battery to the design isn’t always the plan.

Jump-starting a push-mower battery may not be possible for these reasons, such as:

  • Significantly different voltage specifications
  • Varying physical sizes

In fact, some of these batteries may be confined to a particular housing. They’re designed to be compatible with other machines in your garage, such as string trimmers. To jump-start any battery, you need easy access to the positive and negative terminals. Do not attempt to jump-start a battery that’s completely covered in a protective housing.

Solve your power issues by reaching out to our Northeast Battery team today. These experts understand the science behind your mower and its battery power. With a few suggestions, your lawnmower will have constant power without any problems.