There are two types of lawn mowers that rely on batteries, cordless lawn mowers and riding lawn mowers. Riding lawn mowers are more akin to cars and other vehicles than one might first assume. The way in which they operate is often very similar to that of a standard motor, and many variations of riding mowers require a battery in order to run smoothly.
A riding lawn mower battery can last for 3-5 years before it begins to deteriorate. Its lifespan can be extended, however, by taking a few steps and precautions to prevent damage. This can include keeping the lawn mower out of extreme weather, or simply regular maintenance.
What is a Riding Mower?
A riding lawn mower, as the name suggests, is a large lawn mower that is ridden as opposed to pushed around the garden. These mowers are sometimes referred to as tractors, due to their size, shape and applications. As a result, these lawn mowers are best used for mowing large areas of land, due to their size, weight, efficiency, price and difficulty storing.
Riding mowers have the capability of mowing areas over an acre in size, and have very large mowing decks that range in a mowing width from 30-90”.
A riding mower’s battery is usually located under the hood or the seat of the lawn mower. They are often 12 volt batteries, meaning that they are smaller than standard automobile ones.
When to Change your Lawn Mower Battery
Knowing when to change your lawn mower battery, and what signs to look out for, will help you catch it before it deteriorates too much. Whilst not all startup issues may be pertaining to the lawn mower’s battery, it is typically how any potential battery issues are first noticed.
A damaged or broken lawn mower battery will prevent successful lawn mower startup, or can cause power cut outs frequently. A damaged battery may also see higher fuel consumption, and much more frequent fuel changes.
Whilst these issues may not always be due to the lawn mower battery, but if other causes are ruled out, it can be assumed to be due to the battery.
Other causes for these issues include spark plug issues, carburetor issues, dirty or broken fuel tanks and lines, amongst other things. If you are unable to diagnose the issue, it is best to ask an expert.
How Long Does a Riding Lawn Mower Battery Last?
A riding lawn mower’s battery is remarkably similar to a regular vehicle battery, and can last similar lengths. The main difference between these types of batteries is the extended and frequent downtime use that lawn mower batteries have. Each year, lawn mowers are winterized and remain unused, as mowing the lawn during cold weather isn’t advised. These periods of disuse can have an impact on the lawn mower’s battery in the long run.
As a result, a riding lawn mower’s battery life is typically around 3-5 years before it begins to deteriorate. This deterioration process may be slow, or effects could be seen fairly quickly.
Do not be alarmed if a riding lawn mower doesn’t immediately start up after sitting for winter. After a period of disuse, a lawn mower may not immediately start up as normal.
How Long Does a Cordless Lawn Mower Battery Last?
Cordless lawn mower batteries have a much shorter life before they need to be recharged. This is due to their size. Cordless lawn mowers are the same size as other push mowers, and are therefore used for smaller areas.
A cordless lawn mower’s battery lasts approximately one hour at a time, allowing enough time for half an acre to be mowed.
Cordless lawn mowers are advantaged as they merely need to have their batteries recharged after they have run out of charge. The recharge times vary, depending on the type of battery used to power the mower.
These batteries will also eventually get worn out and will need replacing, usually after approximately 5 years of use.
Lawn Mower Battery Keeps Dying
The conditions that your lawn mower faces may impact its battery’s performance. These conditions may be completely unavoidable, or precautions can be taken to reduce any risk posed to the lawn mower’s battery. These issues can affect your lawn mower at any point during its lifespan, not just once it has reached an age where it begins to deteriorate.
There’s only so much you can do when winterizing a lawn mower, the weather can and will still have an impact on its performance.
Cold weather can slow down reactions that take place within a battery, leading to longer startup times and may limit the performance of the lawn mower. Whilst, on the contrary, hot weather can prove dangerous when paired with the battery acid, which may lead to evaporation and corrosion.
Areas which frequently see extremely hot or cold weather may find that lawn mower batteries need replacing more frequently than those whose mowers are stored in milder conditions.
Poor maintenance may also be to blame if you find your lawn mower’s battery dying frequently. Lawn mowers should undergo maintenance at least once a year, in order to prepare them for winter and to complete menial tasks such as blade sharpening or replacement. When undergoing this maintenance, it’s the perfect time to inspect components such as the engine, to ensure that no further issues need to be repaired.
Ensure that the battery is clean and no acid is leaking from the terminals. One sign that the battery is corroding or acid is leaking from the terminals is a powdery white substance developing on the terminals. This may affect the lawn mower’s performance and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further corrosive damage.
Lawn mowers, especially riding mowers, are built for extensive use. However, being left on or having specific components, such as headlamps, left on for extended periods of time could prove to be damaging to the battery. If your lawn mower is not in use, ensure that all components are shut off.
Your lawn mower’s battery can become overcharged or undercharged. Issues in the alternator can lead to an undercharged lawn mower, which in turn will greatly affect its battery’s performance and upkeep.
On the other hand, overcharging your lawn mower’s battery can lead to similar issues, as it can weaken the battery’s charge and ability to store said charge. This can lead to shorter usage times and higher fuel consumption. It can also prove to be dangerous, as any battery left on charge has the potential of leading to a battery explosion.
Keeping your Lawn Mower Battery Working Longer
There are some additional steps that can be taken to ensure that your lawn mower’s battery stays in good working condition for as long as possible.
- Replace the battery as soon as it has died completely. This will prevent any additional corrosion.
- Use an external charger after winter, to revive your lawn mower after the months of disuse.
- Keep the battery and surrounding terminals clean. Use baking soda and a wire brush to gently remove any signs of corrosion on the terminals.
- Keep the battery adequately charged and do not overcharge it.
- Disconnect the battery if planning to store the lawn mower for extended periods of time. Include this in your winterization routine.
A lawn mower battery can last several years with occasional upkeep and maintenance. Knowing the conditions that may affect your lawn mower’s battery life can help you avoid any potential problems, and knowing the signs of damage to look out for can help you potentially reverse the issue or catch it before it leads to further damage.