My Riding Lawn Mower Won't Turn Over

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A riding lawn mower makes mowing big lawns a smaller job.
A riding lawn mower makes mowing big lawns a smaller job. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Homeowners and professionals alike use riding lawn mowers to mow large yards and lawns. Available from a range of manufacturers, many riding mowers have features that make grass cutting easier and more comfortable. Electric starting, for instance, is a feature that makes starting mowers much easier than starting one with a pull cord. And who can argue that pushing is easier and more comfortable than sitting? From time to time, issues can arise with a riding mower that can prevent the mower from "turning over," or starting. Troubleshoot your mower at home before taking it to a mechanic.

Things You'll Need

  • Gasoline
  • Stiff-bristle brush
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Distilled water
  • Electrical tape
  • Screwdriver

Follow the starting procedure to start the mower. Add gasoline to the fuel tank if necessary. Depress the clutch and move the gear selector to the neutral position. Ensure the cutting blades are disengaged. Position the choke, if equipped, to the cold start position. Turn the key in the ignition and attempt to start the mower.

Access the battery of the mower by raising the hood if it has one. Remove any corrosion with a stiff-bristle brush and tighten the terminal connections with an adjustable wrench.

Remove the battery compartment caps, if possible, and check the level of the water in the battery. Add distilled water to the batteries so that the level is up to the bottom of the fill tubes. Place the caps back on the battery.

Inspect the electrical wiring between the battery, starter switch and engine. Apply electrical tape to areas of wire with nicks or cuts and secure any loose wires to terminals with a screwdriver.

Inspect fuses. Replace any damaged or blown fuses with a suitable replacement. Remove panel fuses by pulling straight out from the panel; access inline fuses by opening a plastic case that houses the fuse.

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