Does a Lawn Mower Battery Charge Itself? (2023)

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It’s important to be able to keep your lawn looking as tidy and presentable as possible. If you’re lucky enough to have a really large yard, you might even need a riding mower to be able to get the job done.

Those who recently moved onto large properties might still be getting used to using riding mowers. They’re truly great to own, but it’s imperative to know how to take care of them properly.

You might be wondering about mower battery issues. If the battery doesn’t seem to be working, what could be wrong?

Does a lawn mower battery charge itself? How do the batteries work?

Read on to learn more about mowers and their batteries. You’ll also get some tips about fixing issues with them when they won’t hold a charge.

Why Does a Riding Mower Need a Charger System?

You might be wondering why a riding mower needs a charging system in the first place. After all, push mowers don’t typically utilize batteries.

When looking at riding mowers, you need to separate them from standard push mowers in your mind. Although they’re used to accomplish similar tasks, riding mowers are in a different class altogether.

The components used to make a riding mower are more complex than those found in a push mower. There are many parts that you simply won’t find in a typical push mower.

These parts require the use of a battery to run. If a riding mower didn’t have one, it wouldn’t be able to function properly.

This means that the battery is a crucial part of the riding mower, and if a battery didn’t have a proper charging system, it’d wind up going dead really fast.

(Video) Why Does My Riding Lawn Mower Battery Keep Dying? Small Engine Repair

Charging systems make it so that you can go use the riding mower when you need to. Otherwise, you’d have to plug the battery into a charger each time you intended to use it.

You might also be able to jumpstart the battery each time, but that wouldn’t be convenient. Charger systems are a normal part of riding mowers that allows them to do what they need to do.

Tractors Use One of Two Battery Charging Systems

Riding mowers will typically use one of two battery charging systems. The most common system that you’ll see involves the use of an alternator.

Essentially, a riding mower is going to work very much like a car. The alternator is belt-driven, and it’ll often be found mounted directly to the tractor’s engine.

The belt on the alternator turns and this action generates power. It keeps the battery charged so that you’ll be able to go out there and mow your lawn when you need to.

Another system that is used in some tractors is the stator system. This involves the use of a round, metal body that has a central hole with prongs around it that are wrapped in coil wires.

The metal body in question is positioned underneath a flywheel. It’s simply a different method to generate power that winds up accomplishing the same thing as a standard belt-driven alternator design.

Depending on what type of tractor you own, you might be dealing with one design or the other. It’s possible that something could go bad no matter what system you’re using.

Having Issues with Mower Charger Systems

There could be a situation when you will have issues with your mower charger system. Sometimes components can fail, and this will cause you to have to make repairs or replace certain things.

There are a large number of different things that can go wrong with an alternator or a stator. Sometimes it isn’t easy to tell what’s wrong until you troubleshoot and examine everything closely.

For instance, your charger system could stop working if certain wires are worn out. Alternators can also stop functioning as intended when belts get worn out or come loose.

You could have a regulator stop functioning as it should. It’s possible that the charger system will stop working because of something minor that can be easily fixed.

(Video) How to Test and Repair a Lawn Tractor Charging System

It’s also possible that there could be something more complicated to deal with. You might need to outright replace the stator or alternator depending on what’s wrong.

Before jumping to conclusions, it’s best to test the battery. You should charge it using a charger so that you can see if it’s working.

Using a multimeter will allow you to determine if the battery is working or not. If it isn’t, you might simply need to buy a new battery and install it in your riding mower.

In many ways, it’d be easier to replace a battery than it would to handle problems with an alternator or a stator. No matter what’s wrong, you’re going to be able to repair things so long as you get the right parts and understand how to do the job properly.

Those who aren’t comfortable making repairs will want to seek professional assistance. You can pay a local repair business to fix your riding mower for you so that you can get your lawn mowed again.

Storing a Mower Battery During the Winter

Depending on where you live, you might need to store your mower battery carefully during the winter. In areas that get really cold, it’s going to be rough to just leave your battery alone.

It’s unlikely that you’ll need to mow the lawn during the winter if it’s very cold. This means that the battery won’t have the benefit of being started every now and then.

Your car battery would die if you didn’t go out and use your car semi-regularly. The same thing can happen to a riding mower battery.

In many ways, it’s going to be more practical to store your riding mower battery during the winter months. There are a few different things that you can do to protect it so that it’ll stay working for as long as possible.

One idea is to hook it up to a battery charger. To do this safely, you’re going to need something that is known as a battery tender.

A battery tender will be hooked up to a battery and you can leave it on for months. It won’t risk overcharging the battery because of the way that it’s designed.

It’ll trickle power to the battery to keep it at the maximum charge without exceeding the limit. This is a handy way to keep your riding mower battery in good shape during the cold months of the year.

(Video) L130 John Deere mower's battery is not charging while in use!

You could also choose to simply store the battery indoors. Some people go ahead and remove riding mower batteries so that they can keep them inside the house during the winter.

This ensures that the batteries won’t be exposed to the harsh temperatures in very cold parts of the world. Storing a battery in very cold conditions can negatively impact batteries, after all.

You’re going to lose some charge if you choose to do things this way. This means that you’ll need to charge the battery up again before installing it in the riding mower in the spring.

Going with one of these storage options will be a good idea. You can easily get a battery tender from a department store or an online retailer, and they aren’t exorbitantly priced either.

If you want your mower to be ready to go in the spring, it makes sense to pay attention to how you store it. The battery is a major component of your riding mower, so taking care of it just makes sense.

Final Thoughts

Riding mowers have batteries because they’re necessary. If a riding mower didn’t have one, many of its components would not be able to function.

A riding mower has a lot more going on than a standard push mower. If you’re used to using push mowers, learning how to care for a tractor might take a bit of getting used to.

These mower batteries charge using one of two systems. You’ll either have a belt-driven alternator or a stator system depending on what type of tractor you purchase.

Which method is being used doesn’t really matter that much. They’re both capable of charging the battery so that you can mow the lawn.

Things can go wrong with either system due to regular use and other complications. For example, you could have problems with your mower battery if cables come loose or damaged.

Sometimes alternators can wear down so much that they’ll need to be replaced. If your battery isn’t holding a charge, you could need to fix the charger system.

It’s also possible that the battery could go dead after a period of time has passed. Most mower batteries are designed to last for up to three years, but it isn’t unusual for a battery to die before that amount of time has passed.

(Video) Quick Tip #10 : Tips On Charging Lawn Mower Batteries

Check the battery using a multimeter so that you can be sure what you’re dealing with. You can repair or replace the charging system if it becomes necessary to do so.

Does a Lawn Mower Battery Charge Itself? (1)

Ben Esman

Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.


(Video) How to Charge Your Lawn Tractor's Battery

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Will a lawnmower battery recharge itself? ›

Your mower also has its own charging system that recharges the battery when the engine is running. As long as you run the engine every few weeks, the alternator is able to keep the battery charged. Once your mower is in storage though, the battery has no way of recharging itself.

How does a lawn mower battery stay charged? ›

Alternators power the small engine while it is running, keeping the battery charged by circulating power back through the system. For the easiest method to check your alternator, simply turn on the headlights to your lawn mower or outdoor power equipment.

How long does it take for a lawn mower battery to charge? ›

Most lawn and garden devices have this voltage rating as a way to keep consumers safe from any shock. Allow the charger to power up the battery for up to eight hours. It should have a full charge by this time. If you notice that it's still indicating a low status, it's time to replace the battery.

How do I know if my lawn mower battery is charging? ›

For the easiest alternator test, simply turn on the headlights to your lawn mower or outdoor power equipment. Then, turn off the engine. If the lights dim, the alternator works. If not, it doesn't.

Can you charge a completely dead lawn mower battery? ›

You can also attempt to recover the battery by overcharging the fully charged battery using a low amp trickle charger. Charge the battery for 24 hours using a regulated current of 200mA (milliAmps). This will boost the battery's terminal voltage to 2.50-2.66 volts per cell and raise the battery's internal temperature.

How do I stop my lawn mower battery from dying? ›

In general, experts recommend that you fully remove the battery from the mower and keep it stored separately from the vehicle. You can store the battery in pretty much any location or on any surface, so long as it's not going to be in an area that experiences extremely hot or cold temperatures.

Why does my riding lawn mower battery keep going dead? ›

One issue is loose cables where they connect to the battery posts. A loose connection makes a battery work harder, thereby draining it of power more quickly. Cleaning the posts and tightening the connections should renew the battery's ability to hold a charge. A larger problem is a cracked battery case.

Can you jump a lawn mower with a car? ›

If your mower uses a 12-volt battery, use the jumper cables as you would when starting another car. Hook the positive cable to the positive terminal of the car battery. Then connect the other end of that cable to the positive terminal of the mower battery.

Will Autozone charge my lawn mower battery? ›

Free Powersport, Lawn & Garden, and Marine Battery Charging

If we sell it, we can charge it. Powersport batteries can take as long as overnight to charge.

What should a fully charged lawn mower battery read? ›

What should the voltage be for the battery in my riding mower? Riding mowers use a 12 volt electrical system. The battery should have 12.6 volts when fully charged and in good condition.

Can you charge a lawn mower battery with a trickle charger? ›

Trickle chargers are designed for most normal 6- or 12-volt battery. You can use them on a variety of small to large engines, from your lawn tractor or Zero-Turn mower to your car or large tractor. They are also regularly used on boats, ATVs, jet skis – really anything that has a battery.

Can you bring a lawn mower battery back to life? ›

Usually you can revive a battery by charging it for a few hours, but if that doesn't work, testing it with a multimeter will determine if is it dead or if another part of the electrical system is at fault. Maintaining a fully charged lawn mower battery can extend battery life for four to five years.

How do I know if my riding mower battery is bad? ›

How to Check if Your Lawn Mower Battery Is Dead Steps:
  1. If the engine doesn't crank, cranks too slowly, or makes a clicking sound, it might be completely dead.
  2. Remove the key and locate the battery.
May 2, 2017

How long does a lawn mower battery last? ›

Even if you are meticulous about winterizing your gardening equipment, the batteries only last so long. The average life of a lawn & garden battery is three years.

Can I jump my riding mower battery with my car? ›

Check – All modern mowers run a 12-volt system, and it's perfectly OK to jump-start from your car.

Do you hook up the positive or negative first on a lawn mower battery? ›

Positive First

When installing a mower battery, always connect the positive cable first, instructs Mike's Likes. The positive cable is red. It attaches to the battery terminal post marked with a plus sign, the letter P or the word POS. Attach the negative cable last.

What drains a lawn mower battery? ›

Corrosion Around the Posts

A crack in the housing near the post can be the source of gas leaks. A loose connection makes the battery work harder than it should, thereby draining it of power quickly. Clean the corrosion, tighten battery connections and check the battery case for cracks, advises M&D Mower and Appliance.

How often do you charge a lawn mower battery? ›

Its battery needs to be charged eight to 10 hours prior to the first use and again only just before storing the mower. Cub Cadet does not recommend charging the battery after each use; it would need to be charged during the mowing season only when the mower is not used for at least one month.

Why does my lawn mower battery drain while running? ›

1 Answer. Battery is either weak/dying or your charging system is not functioning properly. If charged and running you should get 13.5 to 14.0 volts across the battery terminal if the charging system is working. Another less likely possibility is a parasitic current drain when the unit is turned off.

How do I extend the battery life on my lawn mower? ›

Here are a few tips to help extend your lawn mower's battery life. In the winter, your battery will lose life due to a lack of use. To keep it charged during the off-season, disconnect it from your lawn mower and store it in a cool, dry place. Use a trickle charger to keep it charged during those cold winter months.

Why does my lawnmower run for 10 minutes then dies? ›

As the fuel level drops, a vacuum begins to form in the fuel tank because air can get in to fill the space the consumed fuel occupied. After about 10 or 15 minutes, the vacuum will become strong enough that fuel will stop flowing to the carburetor and the lawnmower will die.

What is the difference between a U1 and U1R battery? ›

Group U1L mower batteries have a positive terminal in the left-hand corner towards the top of the battery. Group U1R batteries, on the other hand, have a positive terminal located on the upper right-hand side.

Can I use my truck to jump start my lawn mower? ›

RAY: If your mower uses a 12-volt battery, use the jumper cables as you would when starting another car. Hook the positive cable to the positive terminal of the car battery. Then connect the other end of that cable to the positive terminal of the mower battery.

How long does it take to charge a lawn mower battery at 2 amps? ›

Trickle chargers (also known as battery tenders) are commonly rated at 2 amps or less. These kinds of chargers are meant to charge batteries very slowly and they don't pose the risk of overcharging. In some cases, it could take your mower battery nearly 24 hours to charge completely with a trickle charger.

What is the difference between a car battery and a lawn mower battery? ›

Lawn mower batteries are usually 12-volt. You'll also notice they're considerably smaller than car batteries, and tend to be cheaper, too. Lawn mower batteries often have one-third the CCA of a car battery, due to the heavier duty starter required for cars versus mowers.

How long does it take to charge a lawn mower battery at 10 amps? ›

If you are using a 10-amp charger, your mower's battery should charge in approximately one hour. Of course, connecting the battery to a lawn mower battery charger that has fewer amps may extend charging time.

Why won't my lawn mower battery hold a charge? ›

A lawn mower won't hold charges as it is supposed to due to dirty, loose, or corroded internal battery cables, electronic drain, or dead battery. A similar situation can also arise charging system failure or a failing voltage regulator.

Does a trickle charger actually charge a battery? ›

A trickle chargers' primary purpose is to slowly charge a battery and prevent overcharging – however, the same result can be achieved through the use of a standard charger. If storing batteries for a period of time is a common activity, then it's safe to say a trickle charger may be a good investment.

Should you take battery out of lawn mower in winter? ›

Remove the Battery

It's a good idea to remove your lawn mower battery for the winter and store it in a cool, dry place. Be sure to store it away from gas cans, the water heater or furnace. Disconnect the battery cable from the battery, starting with the negative cable (it will have a minus sign).

How long does it take for a dead battery to charge on a trickle charger? ›

Charging a regular car battery with a typical charge amp of around 4-8 amperes will take about 10-24 hours to charge it fully. To boost your battery enough to be able to start the engine, it would take around 2-4 hours. The best way to maintain a long life for your car battery is by recharging it slowly.

How long does a trickle charger take to charge a lawn mower battery? ›

If you are using a 10-amp charger, your mower's battery should charge in approximately one hour. Of course, connecting the battery to a lawn mower battery charger that has fewer amps may extend charging time.

Can you jump a dead lawn mower battery? ›

If you are faced with a dead lead-acid starting battery in your riding lawn mower, you generally can jump start the mower from a good battery. Some mower manufacturers caution that engines with electronic fuel injection should not be jump started, because any mistake may damage the electronics permanently.

What happens when a riding lawn mower battery dies? ›

One issue is loose cables where they connect to the battery posts. A loose connection makes a battery work harder, thereby draining it of power more quickly. Cleaning the posts and tightening the connections should renew the battery's ability to hold a charge. A larger problem is a cracked battery case.

How often should you charge a lawn mower battery? ›

Most manufacturers recommend charging your lawn mower battery at least once a month during the summer months and at least once a week during the winter months.

What size battery do I need for my riding lawn mower? ›

Most riding mowers take a 12 volt battery, although some smaller mowers rely on a 6 volt battery. If you're unsure what type of battery your mower requires, you can check the voltage of your old battery, or look up the information in your owner's manual or on the manufacturer's website.

Can you overcharge a battery with a trickle charger? ›

Yes, if you're not careful. Trickle chargers are meant to deliver a slow and steady charge to a car battery, but they can overcharge it if left connected for too long. This can damage the battery, reducing its lifespan and making it more likely to fail.

What happens if you leave a battery charger on too long? ›

A: If you leave the charger connected continuously, even at a mere 2 amps, the battery eventually will die. Overcharging a battery causes excessive gassing — the electrolyte gets hot and both hydrogen and oxygen gas are generated.


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