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You are watching: How to start a riding lawn mower without a key


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 If you have actually a lawn that is much more than ½ an acre big, the idea of utilizing a press mower could be very appealing to you and also everyone rather in the neighborhood because it is plain exhausting, and it’s no worth every effort, at least not in this time and also age, or if you deserve to afford an ext convenience, and also this is where the talk lawnmowers come in.

The talk lawn mowers are fairly efficient, and in most cases, lock come fitted with very an effective engines make by height brands such together Briggs & Stratton, Kohler, and also Kawasaki.

They are really easy to use, and also if your mower is fitted through padded armrests, a high-back seat, and has huge fuel tank capacity, you will certainly be ~ above your means to one of the many comfortable and also fun lawnmowing experiences.

But what happens as soon as your lawnmower comes fitted through all the finest features, maybe also a zero-turn radius design for boosted maneuverability, however somehow you cannot obtain it to start? The fact is that in as much as this mechanical devices come fitted with optimal features and also function, they quiet go with the bender.

This means that on among those days that you might need to get through the lawn fast, you might not be able to because you shed the begin key. The speak lawnmowers come with start keys, which not only allow you to fire increase the engine to start mowing, but the start an essential is also a safety attribute that avoids the theft the the mower.

So, what happens as soon as you shed the vital or if that broken? would certainly this median that you’d need to postpone mowing to an additional time or call in a professional lawn care company?

Well no. Even in the absence of the mower’s start key, you can still fire it.

All you should do is come make certain you have actually all the ideal tools, and you additionally need to ensure your safety, and also the safety of the battery. Like your car, you have the right to switch that on safely without the key, however only if you understand what you are doing.


Table of Contents


About the Mower’s crucial Switch

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The reason why the switch vital works as it does is the that vital will develop an electric connection between the speak mower’s starter and its solenoid.

Since the vital has metallic parts, the metal touches the 2 poles the the solenoid, and when this happens, electrical power is sent throughout the solenoid and into the starter system, turning on the motor. Friend can, therefore, see why it would be frustrating to shed the switch/ start key.

But as stated above, the lose of the start vital doesn’t signal the cancellation that mowing plans, since you only require to find a method of mimicking the behavior and also the action of the start crucial to rotate on the mower and also for the engine to start running.

Option 1 – using Jumper Cables to start the Mower

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First, you need to uncover all the security and beginning tools come jump-start the mower. We room talking around jumper cables, a pair the rubber gloves, and also a pair the pliers.

The rubber gloves are vital because rubber is a non-conductor the electricity, which means that castle will protect against the conduction the electricity, protecting girlfriend from electrical shocks from the mower’s battery.

That said, you should never attempt to bypass the standard key switch begin of the mower if you don’t have the ideal rubber gloves. If you have all the tools above, you have the right to proceed.


First, put on her rubber gloves with the brake rotate ON, the blade(s) disengaged, and also all the other important safety precautions take into activity to stop the mower from moving or jerking forward without you initiating the movement, open up the mower’s hood. Locate the battery. Next, disconnect the battery’s red and the black color cables native the 2 articles in the mower’s solenoid. Get a battery write-up cleaner come clean up any kind of corrosion and also dirt the has collected around the posts, then reconnect the 2 cables. Clamp the jumper’s booster cable (the black color one) around the battery’s an unfavorable plug then clamp its other end to the mower’s cutting deck end. Next, take the red cable and clamp it to the confident plug/ short article of the battery. All this time, your rubber gloves have to be on. Now, touch the red cable’s other end and enable it come touch a metallic part/ piece in the mower’s starter. If successful and also the engine runs, very first remove the red (booster) cable then the black color cable prior to closing the hood.


This alternative that involves the use of jumper cables (or driver in location of the jumper cables) is additionally called the bypass method. Through the bypass method, girlfriend will have the ability to turn turn off the mower easily and to protect against it by throttling the mower every the method down.

The death switch choice is no an alternative here. Save in mind that throttling down the mower will certainly not death the engine instantly, and also you have actually to give it some before the engine dies.


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Option 2 – using A Screwdriver

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You additionally need rubber gloves and a driver for this.

Note the this is an ideal option for you if, after ~ popping up the trunk, you discover that the an adverse and the positive short articles to be engaged on the battery – one end on the solenoid side and the various other connecting come the starter – space too close to every other.

In together cases, the screwdriver would certainly be a wanted option. So, put on the rubber gloves and then touch the screwdriver to the 2 battery write-ups at the exact same time. Doing this have to start the engine automatically.

Keep in mind the in this setup that provides the screwdriver, the driver will work as a bridge in between the battery posts, and also it bring away the place of the jumper cables.

You must have a two-head screw because that this come work. Alternatively, you could use a flat-head driver as you would certainly the begin key. Here, ar your screwdriver right into the keyhole then wiggle it around, the same way that friend would execute if you had actually an yes, really key.

This option has been presented to be quite reliable with part models of Cub Cadet and Craftsman mowers. Again, you need to wear her rubber gloves for this.

Option 3 – surroundings of A new Ignition Switch

If you cannot find the starter keys anywhere and also the options above are not appropriate (generally, they no ideal long term options), your next ideal option would certainly be to install a new ignition system.

Now, because that this come happen, you’d have to talk to the manufacturer and find your dealers for the installation of the switch, uneven you space a mechanic and you have the right to handle the ignition device on her own. Otherwise, you need to take the mower to committed mechanics, particularly if the manufacturer doesn’t make any type of replacement tricks for the mower.

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The installation of the brand-new ignition device is, and constantly should it is in your an extremely last option. It’s expensive, and it might take time, particularly if the replacement parts are not easily accessible locally, but unlike having actually to jumpstart the engine, the installation of the new ignition move will settle your difficulty permanently.