The most convenient lawn mowing method is using a riding lawn mower, especially for yards 1 acre and larger. For protection and starting convenience, every riding lawn mower features a key. However, you can break, damage, or lose the mower key. In such a case, starting the lawn mower becomes a nightmare.
Fortunately, the below guide I wrote below not only focuses on how you can start a lawn mower without a key but also gives you working solutions I have found that worked for me.
Use a Jumper Cable to Start the Mower
A jumper cable is an efficient method of starting the mower without keys. However, when you choose to use a jumper cable, you need to be more careful as you have to take care of the lawn mower battery during the process.
Before starting the mower using this method, you will need the following tools.
- Rubber gloves
- Cleaners for battery post
- A jumper cable
Also, the below step-by-step guide will help you complete the task without any problems.
Prepare the Lawn Mower for Jumper Cable Starting
Place the mower on a level surface and engage in its parking mode. Also, disengage the lawn mower. Activate all mechanisms configured for safety measures to keep the mower stable during the process.
Locate the Mower Battery
Remove the mower engine cover and locate the battery position.
Unplug Solenoid Cables
Disconnect the red and black wires from the two electrical posts of the solenoid.
Clean the Battery Terminals
You can use the cleaner to get rid of any corrosion and dirt that has built up on the mower’s battery connection terminals.
Reconnect the Cables
Connect the two cables again after cleaning.
Connect the Black Jumper Cable
Connect the other end of the black connection cable to the mower battery negative terminal, and connect the other end in a metal of the lawn mower deck.
Connect the Red Jumper Cable
You may now connect the red connecting cable. Connect one end of the red jumper cable to the mower’s battery positive terminal and touch the other end to the metal part of the mower starter.
Disconnect the Cables
Finally, disconnect the red cable after hearing the starting sound. Then disconnect the black wire as well. Lower and close the lawn mower engine hood.
Using a Screwdriver To Start a Lawn Mower
When it comes to starting a lawn mower using a screwdriver, you can use two methods. Let’s take a look at both ways.
- Apply a parking brake on the mower and remove mower blades.
- Remove the engine cover and locate the battery and ignition coil.
- A small box is attached to the side of the mower’s engine compartment.
- Take a screwdriver and apply it as a jumper to start the lawn mower.
- Use a screwdriver as a bridge when you need to bridge the gap between the solenoid and the starter.
- Depress screwdriver head to connect starter motor to the lawn mower solenoid valve.
Finally, the lawn mower will run and work without contact with the screwdriver.
Alternative Ways To Use a Screwdriver to Jump Start a Mower
- Use a screwdriver to replace the lawn mower key.
- Carefully insert a screwdriver into the ignition keyhole.
- Turn the screwdriver the way you turn the ignition key through the keyhole.
- The lawn mower will start without problems
Install A New Ignition Mechanism on Riding Mowers
If you lose your key and are not familiar with the above operations, replacing the lawn mower ignition mechanism is an easy solution for you. Sometimes lawn mower manufacturers do not offer a replacement lawn mower key, so it’s the ultimate solution for you.
Take the lawn mower to the nearest garage. The technician will help remove the damaged or old ignition switch from the mower and replace it with a new one. After installing a new ignition switch on the mower, you will be given a key to turn it on.
- It’s advisable to install the manufacturer’s recommended parts when replacing lawn mower ignition parts.
- Be sure to remove the screwdriver from the ignition keyhole if you use it to turn on the lawn mower.
- Wear protective equipment such as gloves and safety glasses when repairing the lawn mower.
- Do not touch the conductive metallic part of the screwdriver when using the screwdriver to connect the lawn mower starter and solenoid.
In conclusion, you can use any method from the above options to start a lawn mower with a damaged ignition switch or without a key. The processes are not complicated, but you need to follow the instructions to avoid unexpected injuries or accidents. Hopefully, the detailed guide above will help you start a lawn mower without a key.