DIY: How to Change Your Riding Mower's Battery
Every homeowner loves a smooth-running lawnmower the way a barber loves a nice, level flattop. One of the biggest parts of mower maintenance is installing a new battery when the old one gives out. Here are the easiest steps for swapping out your riding mower's battery and keeping the machine running strong all season long.
Step 1: Wear Gloves & Safety Glasses
As always, safety first. You’ll want to make sure your skin and eyes stay protected from any leaking battery material, sharp edges or other hazards.
Step 2: Prepare Your Mower
Move the riding mower to a well-lit, level surface, and turn off the machine.
Step 3: Find the Old Battery & Loosen It
Lift up your mower's seat or hood; the battery will usually be in one of these two places. Once found, use your adjustable wrench to loosen or remove any straps or fasteners holding the battery in place.
Step 4: Remove the Cables
Starting with the negative black cable, loosen the connector, slide it up and off the battery terminal and set it aside. Do this again for the positive red cable.
Step 5: Remove the Dead Battery
With the cables and straps off, carefully lift the dead battery out and put it someplace away from your workstation. The battery might be too heavy for some to lift so get help if needed.
Step 6: Clean the Riding Mower's Connectors
Before installing your new battery, take this opportunity to clean the connectors. That way, your cables can make good contact with the new battery's terminals. Dab the baking soda solution onto the connectors and use the metal-bristled brush to scrub off any rust or acidic buildup.
Step 7: Install the New Battery
Now you'll do everything you just did in reverse. First, slide the new battery into place. Then connect the positive red cable, followed by the negative black cable. Once the connectors are back on, reattach any straps or fasteners that hold the battery in place.
Step 8: Test It Out
With a fresh new battery charging the engine, your mower should start right up. If it still doesn't, there may be a different problem with the machine.
Step 9: Dispose of the Old Battery
Don't throw your old battery in the trash. That's actually illegal. Because it's filled with corrosive materials, you'll need to take it to an auto center or recycling plant for proper disposal.