How to Start a Lawn Mower Without A Key?


When your lawn mower won’t start, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour or more trying to track down the key.

This post will show you how to start a lawn mower without key. We’ll also cover some of the most common reasons a lawn mower might not start. So if you’re looking for tips on fixing a lawn mower, keep reading.

A Complete Details To Start A Your Mower Without Key:

All the riding lawn mower comes with a key, and it is for safety purpose. The key shuts off the engine so no one can start it up when you are not around. It also prevents accidental starting, which can be very dangerous.

But what if you lost lawn mower key, or it gets damaged? Is there a way to start a lawn mower without a key?

Let’s look at how many ways are in your hands if you lose or break the key of your lawnmower.

Method 1 – Using a jumper cable to start the mower

If you lost key to riding lawn mower, this is the method for you. But before starting the engine with jumper cables, ensure that your mower’s battery is in good condition.

You will need a pair of rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a couple of pliers. Rubber gloves are essential. The rubber prevents electrical shocks.

Use a cloth to insulate your hands if you don’t have rubber gloves. Now follow these steps:

Step 1: Put on rubber gloves.

Step 2: Ensure the brake is ON and the gear is in the Neutral position.

Step 3: Now disconnect the red cable from the battery terminal and touch it to the metal part of the mower deck.

Step 4: Open the hood of the riding mower.

Step 5:  Find the battery. It is usually located under the seat.

Step 6: Now locate the positive and negative terminals of the battery. The positive terminal will have a “+” sign, and the negative terminal will have a “-” sign.

Step 7: Disconnect the red and black cables from the battery.

Step 8: Reconnect both cables.

Step 9: Clamp the black booster cable to the battery’s negative terminal.

Step 10: Now, take the other end of the black cable and touch it to a metal part of the mower deck.

Step 11: Clamp the red cable to the battery’s positive terminal.

Step 12: Take the other end of the red cable and touch it to the positive terminal of the booster battery.

Step 13: Now start the lawn mower.

Step 14: Remove the cables in the reverse order.

This is a straightforward method and doesn’t require special skills. But you have to be very careful while working with jumper cables. If you are not careful, you can damage the mower’s battery or electrical system.

So, this was the first method to start a riding lawn mower without a key. Let’s have a look at the second method.

Method 2 – Starting the Mower With a Screwdriver:

You can perform the above methods in two ways. Let’s have a look at the first way.

1st ways: 

Step 1: Put the lawn mower parking brake and disengage the mower blades.

Step 2: Open the lawnmower engine hood and find the mower battery and the ignition coil.

Step 3: Use a screwdriver as a bridge for the starting purpose of the lawnmower.

Step 4: Touch the head of the screwdriver to make a circuit path between the starter to the mower solenoid.

Step 5: Now, your mower will start without contacting the screwdriver.

2nd ways: 

Step 1: Use the screwdriver as the replacement for the mower key.

Step 2: Carefully insert the screwdriver into the mower’s keyhole.

Step 3: Turn the screwdriver the same way you turn the key to start the mower.

Step 4: Now, your mower will start without the key.

Note: If you don’t have the screwdriver, you can also use a paperclip.

Method 3 – Installation Of A New Ignition Switch:

If you don’t want to use the jumper cables or the screwdriver method, then you can go for this method. In this method, you have to install a new ignition switch.

You’d have to talk to the manufacturer or the mechanic to get the replacement part.

This will be a little expensive and time-consuming, but it’s worth it because you won’t have to worry about starting the lawn mower without the key. However, you might face the problem that replacement parts are unavailable locally.


People have been starting lawn mowers without keys for years using various methods. So, we present how to bypass ignition switch on riding mower for those landscapers.

There is no need to worry if you lose the key to your lawn mower. You can start without the key using one of the above methods. But we suggest you be very careful while working with jumper cables. If you are not careful, you might damage the battery or the electrical system of the mower.

We hope this article was helpful and you were able to start your lawn mower without a key. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comment section below.

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