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Owning a home is a lot of work, especially if it comes with a huge lawn. You not only need a lawn mower unless you pay someone to mow it, but you’ll also need to know basic maintenance. Part of this is charging the riding lawn mower battery, which isn’t complicated with these basic steps.

Questions to answer before getting started

A green John Deere lawn mower parked outdoors that the owner may need to know how to charge a riding lawn mower battery during ownership.
John Deere riding mower | Getty Images

According to Tractor Supply, there are three things you need to know before getting started. First, what is the voltage of your lawn mower battery? This matters because the voltage of your mower charger should match that of the battery. Most batteries require 10 amps, although ones built pre-1980 have 12-volt batteries. If you overcharge the battery, you risk damaging it.

The second thing you need to know is how often your battery needs to be charged. For individuals who live in a cold climate, recharging it at the start of spring before you begin your first cut of the season will do just fine. For everyone else, charge it up before you put it away for winter.

Finally, you need to know how long to leave the charger hooked up. Charging the battery too long may leave you shopping for a replacement. Check the amps to determine how long you need to charge your specific battery. If your charger has 10 amps, you’re looking at about one hour of charge time and two hours for five amps.

Charging your mower with a charger

Using a charger for your riding lawn mower battery is the simplest method. You’ll probably need to be close to a wall outlet before you begin. First it’s important to follow proper safety. Start by putting on protective eye gear and gloves.

If you have a riding lawn mower, the battery is under the seat. Once you locate it, you’re ready for step 3. It’s time for your jumper cables. The red cable will connect to the positive terminal, and the black cable will connect to the negative.

If your charger has the option to adjust the amp and voltage, then double check to make sure you’re using the correct voltage. You also need to make sure the amps are 10 or less. Finally, plug your charger into a wall outlet and let the battery continue to charge until it is full. This should take about one hour for 10 amps, or two hours for five amps.

Jump start with a car

Yes, as strange as it sounds, you really can charge your lawn mower with a car, only if your mower uses a 12-volt battery. You’ll need protective glasses and gloves for this, since there are some vapors which are released in the charging process. It’s also advised you do this outdoors instead of in a garage where the vapors can build up.

First, pull your car up to the lawn mower and turn the car engine off. If you leave it running, your mower battery may overheat.

Hook your jumper cables up to the lawn mower. The red cable goes on the positive terminal of the lawn mower battery and car battery. The black cable goes on the negative terminals. Ensure they are on the correct ones before continuing.

After making sure the cables are secure, crank up the lawn mower. You may need to let it sit for a moment or two if the battery is completely dead before starting it again.

Carefully disconnect the jumper cables from the lawn mower once it is up and running. Also, make sure you remove the keys from your car, so you don’t run that battery dead.

Finally, let the mower run for one hour. This allows the alternator to refill the battery. Once you’re done, you can mow the grass or put the mower away for next season.


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