Can You Jumpstart a Riding Lawn Mower with a Car?

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Usually, when your lawn mower battery dies, the first thing that comes to mind is to get rid of it and get a new one. While this may seem like the best option, in a way it isn’t — confused on what it means to jumpstart your lawn mower? In plain terms, it just implies starting your lawn mower with a car. This should only happen if the battery of your lawn mower won’t start on it’s own. Now the big question is, is it possible to do this? The answer is yes, but before doing it, there are a few very important things you need to know.

Factors to Consider

Before you jump into action to jumpstart your lawn mower with a car make sure of the following:

  • Your mower is using a 12 volt battery, if it’s a 6 volt battery you’ll have to use a charger. Check your owners manual if you’re not sure of your lawn mowers battery voltage.
  • Be sure the battery isn’t too old. Most batteries fail to start because they have exhausted their durability, so why try to jumpstart it? If this is the case for your lawn mower, then you might as well just recycle the battery because it would be a futile effort
  • Make sure that the battery is properly secured, and isn’t leaking at all.

Talking About Your Safety Now

Be sure the battery is really dead. Right before you jump to the conclusion of the battery being the problem, be sure to eliminate all possibilities by checking all other factors including:

This is to avoid any unexpected disasters. If you have confirmed that the battery is the issue, go further and listen for a clicking sound.

To do this, you may need to go to a very quiet corner, so you can hear it clearly because most times the sound can easily be missed. If the battery is the reason your lawn mower won’t start, you will most likely hear this clicking sound when you try to start it.

Turn on the ignition of your mower; if you hear an audible clicking noise, it means there isn’t enough juice in your riding lawn mower to power the machine.

After you have established that the battery is dead, then you can jumpstart it with a car. Wondering how to go about that? First, you will need some tools:

  1. Leather gloves
  2. Petroleum jelly
  3. Baking soda
  4. Jumper cables
  5. Safety goggles
  6. Wire brush

Safety Precautions

  • Check if the battery of the riding lawn mower is leaking, and if it is, use your gloves and safety goggles. Leaking battery acids might burn your skin so let’s not take any chances.
  • Check if the terminals are damaged. Damaged terminals can cause the power not to flow to the starter. Also, it would prevent the battery from being recharged by the alternator.
  • Get baking soda and sprinkle it on the terminals with a little water. Doing so neutralizes the acid and eliminates corrosion.
  • Clean the surface using a wire brush. Clean around the terminal poles and apply petroleum jelly to provide even more protection against corrosion.

How to Jumpstart a Riding Lawn Mower with a Car

Since most riding lawn mowers operate using a 12-volt system, simply put the jumpers in a sequence order which is 1, 2, 3, 4, after this, you can start your mower. While the mower  is running, remove the jumpers beginning from 4, 3, 2, and 1 that’s in reverse order. And you are done. The process is quite easy.

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You should also be sure that your riding lawnmower is running on a 12-volt system, if you aren’t sure, then you can check on the battery. The voltage is always indicated on the casing of the battery on a sticker or with a stamp.

Let’s be more elaborate on jumpstarting your mower

  • Move your riding lawnmower close to a car. You obviously know you have to do this because you can’t possibly jumpstart your mower from a longer distance. But also, make sure that the mower and car aren’t touching each other so you can avoid a short circuit because this can be extremely dangerous to both the vehicle and the mower.
  • Be sure to clean any corrosion away from the terminals of the car battery as well as from your riding lawn mower.
  • The next step is to connect the battery, as previously stated, following the correct order. Select one of the red cable clamps and connect it to your car battery’s red positive terminal, now connect the other end of the red cable to your mowers red positive terminal. Now connect the black jumper cable to the car batteries black negative terminal. Note: Be sure not to let any of the cable clamps touch each other.
  • The other end of the black clamp should be properly clamped to the chassis part of your mower.
  • Now try to start your mower. Once the mower starts let it run for a few minutes to help charge the battery. Many people start the mower without starting the vehicle because this is believed to be safer and it’s recommended to try and start the mower without starting the car first.
  • Once you are done, you can disconnect the cables following a precise order again – disconnect it in a reverse manner from how you connected it. That is, remove the black cable from your mower’s chassis, remove the negative black line from the car’s battery, remove the red positive from your vehicle, and lastly remove the red cable from your mower.


Jumpstarting a riding lawn mower battery with your car can be dangerous, especially if mistakes are made. So, it is important to be very careful. If you still aren’t sure how to go about it, allow a professional to do it for you.


Jumpstarting your mower is possible, and it is also a safe way to charge the battery provided you are sure of what you are doing.