Can a Riding Lawnmower Run Without a Battery?

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One of the most significant benefits of a riding lawnmower is not having to use your energy to propel the mower. What happens when that power is no longer available? You may find yourself having some battery issues on your riding lawnmower. If you notice your battery is not working or not charging, you may wonder if a battery is even needed.

When it comes to a riding lawnmower, you will need some sort of battery to make the machine work. Not only are riding lawnmowers much more substantial than a standard push mower, but they also have different features that need a battery to run.

Most riding lawnmowers come with some sort of charging ability to keep your lawnmower ready to go. As with most electronics, you may find yourself having trouble with the battery or even the charging element. Let’s talk about why your lawnmower needs a batter, how a battery system works, and issues you may run into. 

Can a Riding Lawnmower Run Without a Battery?

Photo 19586471 | © Karen Foley |

Unlike traditional lawnmowers, riding lawnmowers have a number of benefits for the rider. These can range from something as simple as headlights to something more advanced such as multiple cutting decks with different functions. Considering all of the aspects that these types of mowers feature, it is difficult to use your riding lawnmower without a battery. Many of the features on a lawnmower are impossible to use without the assistance of a battery.

The good news is that most riding lawnmowers come with a charging system so that you can always make sure the battery is fully charged prior to using your lawnmower again. Your mowers battery is often found beneath your lawnmower’s seat and simply needs to be connected to a charger. Depending on your lawnmower, this may take a few hours or an entire day. You need to make sure your battery and the charger for your battery are of similar voltage.

Since you are relying on the battery to run your lawnmower, there is a chance that either your battery or your charging system may run into problems. Your battery itself can become damaged over time, or one of the wires you use to connect the two may stop working. By regularly testing your lawnmower battery, you can make sure that your lawnmower never has the chance to stop working right before a job. 

To keep your lawnmower battery in excellent condition, make sure you are staying on top of regular maintenance on your lawnmower. Regular maintenance can include frequent charging of the battery, keeping your machine clean, and proper battery tests if you suspect a problem. Additionally, if you plan to store your mower during colder months, take the time to prepare your mower for storage and use a float charger to keep your battery charged.

How Can I Make Sure My Battery Works?

If you have not used your lawnmower in quite a while or it has been stored, you may want to check your battery before trying to turn on your lawnmower. Although some lawnmower batteries can last up to five years if cared for, most usually fall into disrepair. The good news is that you can quickly check your lawnmower battery prior to trying to turn your machine on.

The easiest way is to try and make sure your battery works is to keep it charged. Regular and consistent charging is going to keep it in the best shape it can be in, and with frequent charging, you should never find your lawnmower dead. You can use a multimeter to check the voltage of your battery. These are great tools to have around since they are relatively inexpensive. 

If you find out that your lawnmower battery is dead, you can try to jump your lawnmower using a car battery. For this, you want to make sure your lawnmower battery is a 12 volt. You can then park your lawnmower and your car near each other and connect the batteries using jumper cables. If your battery is still not charging, it may be time to replace your battery.

Something else to consider is the working condition of your alternator. The alternator is attached to the engine and essentially helps charge the battery while the mower is in use. If you notice that your mower is not staying charged, it may be time to check out your alternator. If you pick up a multimeter for your battery, this can also be used to check the status of your lawnmower’s alternator.

Your Charging System Could be the Problem

If you test your battery and alternator but still have issues, there could easily be something wrong with your charging system. Your alternator could have a loose belt, or there could be something wrong with the wires for your charging system. If there are any frayed or broken areas on your cords, it is time to replace the cables for safety reasons and to make your charging system effective.

4 Tips to Keep Your Riding Lawnmower in Great Condition

  1. Make Sure Your Battery is Charging

Make it part of your routine to ensure that your lawnmower battery is charging. You can do this by using a tester or keeping your mower connected to its battery supply. If you have not used your lawnmower in a decent amount of time, it is necessary to check both the battery attached to your lawnmower as well as the charging system itself. 

  1. Keep Your Battery and Charging System Clean

As with anything that you use outside, it can get dirty with regular use. Make cleaning your battery and charging system part of the regular maintenance you perform on your riding lawnmower. You can do this by checking your battery before using or ensuring that you are taking the time to charge your battery after each use. If you notice any corroded areas on your battery, try to clean them off before charging or jumping your battery.

  1. Use Float Chargers While in Storage

If you stored your lawnmower during the colder months or for other reasons, you might find that your battery has significantly drained during that time. A float charger can sense when your battery is draining and will help keep it charged. Since they are not consistently charging, they are perfect for storage.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Replace the Alternator or the Battery

Your mower’s alternator plays a significant role in how your battery operates while the mower is running. If you have had your mower for an extended period of time, there is a chance that your battery or your alternator has had enough. You can find replacements at almost any garden center in your area. Make sure you are using the correct voltage.

Are Batteries Necessary for Riding Lawnmowers?

Unfortunately, most riding lawnmowers need a battery in order to function correctly. Your lawnmower has many attributes that will not function unless your battery is in working condition. Even though it may not be that important to have your headlights running while you are mowing, you may risk damaging other areas of your lawnmower by attempting to use a battery that is not adequately charged.

Keeping your battery in the best working condition is a great way to make sure that you always have a reliable battery to run your riding lawnmower. Ensuring that you are storing your mower correctly and keeping it as clean as possible, your lawnmower battery should run up to five years.


I am always happy to share all my knowledge about how to keep your garden in good condition and make it special.

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