Electrical start lawnmowers can make regular mowing duties much easier – but when they don’t work, it can lead to an incredibly frustrating experience. If your electric-start lawnmower isn’t starting up, there are a number of potential causes.
To help you troubleshoot what could be wrong and prevent future issues with your machine from occurring, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide detailing some of the most common reasons why your electric start lawnmower won’t start – including simple fixes for each issue.
Read on to learn more about the top 10 culprits so you get back to enjoying the ease that comes with electric-start mowing soon.
10 Reasons Your Battery Powered Lawn Mower Won’t Start
1. Issues with the battery
Taking care of your lawn mower is important to maintain its functionality and performance. If the mower fails to start, the first and most common problem is battery-related. Battery issues can arise due to extreme weather conditions like considerable heat or prolonged exposure to cold temperatures – both can reduce the expected lifespan of a battery and cause power loss, draining, or even failure.
Double-check if the battery has been installed correctly and if enough power is left for it to function. Visual inspection for signs of damage or wear should also be done – particularly if you suspect the battery got wet due to rain or a garden hose accident since any dampness might have led to a short-circuit and caused overheating in the battery components.
If you notice your battery won’t charge fully, replace the battery if necessary. If you see signs of damage, take your mower to a professional for evaluation and repair.
2. Bad connections
Properly charging a battery is essential for ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. Inspect the connection between the battery charger and the wall socket to ensure proper charging. The charger must be firmly connected to a 120V outlet and use a plug that suits the socket type. This process should be done with care as any loose connections may cause damage to the battery if left uncorrected, which could require costly repairs or even a full replacement, so taking care of this critical step is important.
Make sure the charger is plugged in firmly and you use a plug that suits the socket type. If necessary, purchase a new plug.
3. Issues with the start switch and motor
If your lawn mower isn’t starting up, you might have a few problems. Start off by inspecting it for any signs of blockages or debris buildup that could be the culprit.
If all connections seem firm and your battery appears to be working correctly, faulty spark plugs could be the culprit. Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel and air mixture needed to start the engine, so your mower won’t have any power if they fail to do its job. Furthermore, a bad starter motor can also be an issue as it powers the spark plug.
Remove the spark plug and perform a visual inspection to confirm that either of these two components is malfunctioning. If the spark plug looks damaged or worn out, replace it with a new one. The starter switch is cheaper than the motor, so it’s better to start by checking the switch. If you suspect the starter motor is malfunctioning, take your mower to an experienced repair shop for further evaluation and repairs.
4. Damaged components
Battery-powered lawn mowers have the same working parts and components as their standard counterpart regarding regular maintenance. While replacing things like batteries, battery chargers, and blades is an easy DIY task, more significant concerns like starting switches and motors require more expertise and cost much more money. In these situations, the costs of going to a repair shop outweigh the benefits of DIYing it yourself. Consider getting familiar with all the components of your battery-powered mower, so you will know what kind of replacement project you’re looking at to ensure that you are cost-effective!
Invest in a repair manual for your lawn mower and familiarize yourself with its components to determine if the issue lies with one of the components. If it’s not an easy fix, take your mower to a professional repair shop and have them perform the needed repairs.
5. Loose wires
Battery lawnmowers are commonly considered slightly simpler than their gas-powered counterparts, but this needs to be clarified. It’s complex in its own way, mainly due to the vast array of delicate electrical wires. If your mower stops working unexpectedly, one possible issue may be the wiring inside it has become either pinched, loosed, or damaged. It can be challenging to detect these problems by looking, so many people use an electric voltage meter to inspect their mowers’ wiring. It’s also worth watching for any issues when you fold down the handle on push mowers as these cables can be so easily prone to being pinched – and this is all too often overlooked.
Carefully inspect the wiring inside the mower and ensure all connections are secure. If not, use a voltage meter to verify the integrity of the wiring. Additionally, if you own a push mower, check any cables that may have been pinched in the fold-down handle. If you find any issues, take your mower to a professional repair shop for proper repairs.
6. Clogged vents
Although battery-powered lawnmowers do not run on gas, they may still experience a momentary decrease in performance if the vents become clogged. This can cause the engine to overheat, leading to significant damage if it’s not attended to quickly. To prevent this from happening, it’s essential to keep your lawn mower vents maintained and free from debris. If you’re having difficulty cleaning them yourself, some professionals specialize in properly doing this task for you. Thankfully, with regular maintenance and prompt attention to any clogs that form, you can ensure that your engine will continue to run reliably well into the future.
Regularly clean the vents of your battery-powered lawn mower to prevent them from becoming clogged. If you find it challenging to do this yourself, seek a lawn mower vent cleaning professional. This can help keep your battery-powered engine running smoothly and reliably for years.
7. Faulty circuit board
In addition to the traditional parts of a lawn mower, like the blades and motor, many modern models come with a circuit board that controls the essential functions of the mower. If this board becomes faulty or damaged, it can cause issues like poor power delivery and random engine shutdowns. While replacing it isn’t something you can do yourself, many repair shops have the necessary tools to diagnose and replace your circuit board.
If you experience the abnormal performance from your battery-powered mower, it could be caused by a faulty circuit board. Take your mower to a professional repair shop and have them diagnose the issue. If the problem is indeed with the circuit board, they can help you replace it and get your lawn mower running like new again.
8. The GFCI May Have Tripped
Battery-powered lawn mowers are about more than just cutting the grass; they also feature features like ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) to protect from electrical shock. Occasionally, these GFCIs may unexpectedly trip – causing your mower to turn off and become unresponsive. To determine if this is indeed what happened, check the GFCI button on the back of your mower. It should be in the “on” position – if it has been tripped, push it firmly until you hear a click and reset it back to its original position.
If your battery-powered lawn mower suddenly turns off for no apparent reason, it could be because the GFCI has tripped. Check the button on the back of your mower – if it is in the “off” position, push it firmly until you hear a click and then reset it back to its original “on” status. This should solve your problem and get your lawn mower back up and running.
9. Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers
Like any other electrical device, battery-powered lawnmowers may experience blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. When this happens, it can be challenging to diagnose the exact cause of the problem without help from a professional. Replacing broken fuses and resetting circuit breakers as soon as possible is essential to prevent potential safety risks. If you need help with this, it’s best to take your lawn mower to a qualified repair shop so they can adequately address the issue.
Check for blown fuses and tripped circuit breakers if your battery-powered lawn mower suddenly stops working or fails to power up. If you find any of these issues, replace the fuses and reset the circuit breakers as soon as possible. For safety reasons, it’s better to take your mower to a qualified repair shop that can properly diagnose and address the issue. Taking this precaution can help ensure your lawn mower remains in good working condition for years.
10. Faulty On/Off Switch
The On/Off switch activates your battery-powered lawn mower, so it can prevent your machine from starting up if it becomes faulty or broken. In this case, you’ll need to replace the switch with a new one for your mower to work correctly again. You can’t do this yourself, so it’s best to take your mower to a qualified repair shop that can help you replace the faulty switch.
The solution is to take your mower to a qualified repair shop and replace the faulty On/Off switch. This may require you to purchase and install a new button, but this should get your mower running again in no time. Choose a reputable repair shop to ensure the work is done correctly.
How to Properly Maintain a Battery-Powered Lawn Mower?
To ensure that your battery-powered lawn mower stays in good working order for years to come, it’s important to maintain and care for the machine properly. Here are some tips for proper maintenance of your battery-powered lawn mower:
- Clean your mower regularly – Remove any dirt, grass clippings, or debris from your lawn mower’s cutting deck and blades. This helps maintain the machine’s performance and reduces the chance of malfunctions due to dirt buildup.
- Change the motor oil – Changing the motor oil in your battery-powered lawn mower is essential for optimal performance – this should be done at least once a year.
- Recharge dead batteries – When recharging your lawn mower’s dead batteries, follow all safety instructions and never overcharge them.
- Sharpen blade regularly – Make sure to sharpen the edge on your battery-powered lawn mower once every few months to perform its best when cutting grass.
- Keep the mower clean – Regularly wash down your battery-powered lawn mower with a garden hose to help keep it in good working order.
- Store correctly – When not in use, store your battery-powered lawn mower in a dry, cool place and ensure its wheels are locked.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your battery-powered lawn mower operates at its peak performance for years. Taking good care of your machine will also reduce the chances of malfunctions or breakdowns due to improper maintenance or neglect.
Maintaining your battery-powered lawn mower is essential for keeping it in good working order and longevity. If you have any problems with your machine, take it to a qualified repair shop that can properly diagnose and address it. Following the maintenance tips outlined above can help keep your battery-powered lawn mower running smoothly for many years.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.