How to start a riding lawn mower

How to start a riding lawn mower

Many people eagerly hop aboard their new lawn tractor and realize that they don’t know how to start a riding lawnmower.

A riding lawn mower is a perfect tool for long stretches of grass, whether in commercial buildings or personal residences. They are great tools that offer you a lot of conveniences.

Not everyone understands very well how to operate these devices on their first try, so as the Mow Master, allow me to give you some tips to make the process of how to start a riding lawn mower a bit easier.

The most important thing to understand is that according to the brand, there will be certain differences in the mower. But in essence, they are much the same.

Much like driving a car, it pays to understand the machine before plopping down in the seat. Take 15 seconds to do a “pre-mow” check to make sure you know where everything is. This guide will help go over some of the most important things to pay attention to when using your machine.

It’s important to remember that riding mowers are heavy machinery, and thus, require a healthy oil level before cruising through your yard. The oil level should be displayed on the left side of the mower, although it varies within the different models of riding mowers. Before you turn the key and engage your mower, be sure to check the oil level, find a comfortable setting for your seat, push the choke lever up as far as it goes, and take the time to read the manual provided by the manufacturer.

This guide is not meant to be a substitute for any instructions provided by the mower manufacturer, it simply aims to remove any misunderstandings about how a mower works, and turn you into a mow pro.

Critical Components to Verify

Even though you have to start the engine of the riding lawn mower and use a gear lever, the mower is easy enough to use.

The first thing you have to do is check where the safety catch is so you can start the engine. This is a safety mechanism; some products include weight balances, which prevent the machine from being left on while no one is sitting on it. All of this has been created to help the operator avoid accidents.

Here are a few things to consider when starting ride on lawn mowers. These are the main key components that you want to make sure you set to the correct setting.

  1. Ignition switch: Verify that you know which one is the ignition switch… it sounds silly, but since you don’t always have to turn the key, it’s worth verifying the exact mode of ignition and how the engine starts.
  2. Check the oil: If you don’t check the oil… the oil will check you! When you check the oil level prior to turning on your riding mower, make sure that the oil is at the correct line on the dip stick.
  3. Disengage the parking brake: Ah, the parking brake… just like a car! We’ve all tried to start our ride on lawn mower only to realize that we have left the parking brake on. If your mower does not lurch forward, you will know why.
  4. Spark plug : A busted spark plug can mean engine trouble. If your riding mower has trouble with ignition, the spark plug may be the cause. Replacing a spark plug can be a technical hangup about on level with replacing a battery.
  5. Throttle lever: Is this beginning to feel like a pre-flight check? Most riding mower throttle lever systems are on the right side of the mower, but there are indeed others that are on the left side of the mower. Taking inventory of all the parts in your mower make certain that you will be able to pilot your mower like a champion.

What kind of fuel does my riding mower need?

Most riding lawn mowers are going to be compatible with unleaded fuel that you can pick up from any gas station. Simple as that. There are some mowers that take diesel fuel, and others that do not require fuel at all. A lawn mower riding experience is easy as 1, 2, 3 with the right fuel.

Your starter or ignition switch is how the engine starts up. Some mowers will require you to “choke” the mower, just like you would with a standard mower. Others may not have a switch at all, and will have you turn your key to the right, while having your left foot placed on the clutch. Getting familiar with your riding mower is key, as each model can come with some different issues, settings, blades, choke options, and other cutting attachments.

Be careful with the speeds

Although the machines cannot go TOO fast, you must be careful with the accelerator to avoid accidents. The most important thing about starting a riding lawn mower after starting the engine is to check the gear lever and be careful with the accelerator.

The vast majority of these products include a speedometer to keep track of everything, plus it prevents speeding. When working with an engine, it is necessary to be aware of oil changes as well as any sounds you may make.

The mower’s gear shift lever is the main component that drives riding lawn mowers. Anybody who has ever gone quadding should know! Make sure that your gear shift lever is not in the neutral position. Riding mowers do their best at moderate speeds, so take your time to get used to the mower speed before whizzing around your yard. You might accidentally wind up in your garden and wreak havoc on your herbs and spices!

How to start a riding lawn mower in the cold

Cold weather can do the same damage to a lawnmower as a car, as they have essentially the same internal mechanisms.

how to start a riding lawn mower in the cold

After the cold season, you will need to do an internal engine check to make sure everything is okay! This is an often overlooked step in how to start a riding lawn mower in the cold.

Likewise, it is good to prevent any kind of accident by letting the engine warm-up step by step, to verify that everything is still in order inside the engine. These machines were designed to weather this type of weather (if you don’t mind a bad pun) for long seasons, so you should not worry too much about its health during the cold season.

When you try to start a lawn mower in the cold, it becomes even more imperative that you check the oil level before you turn the key. If your mower has been sitting out in the weather during the winter, there is a good likelihood that when you turn the key to the right, the throttle will have some issues.

Once again, ti becomes essential here that you inspect the fuel level of your mower and verify the ignition switch is in the correct position. Back earlier in this article, we also mention that you should consult the manual to get an explanation of the different knob settings involved in starting the machine. Pull and push on the seat and look to see if the cutting deck is clean. Sometimes when you leave the mower in the cold, you’ll have to crank even harder to get it to start.

How to turn on a mower with a screwdriver

Riding lawn mowers have special keys to start the engine, and they are so small that they slip away very easily. It is possible to start this device with a screwdriver but it is not the most recommended way as it could be dangerous.

It’s a matter of putting the right wires together, but it’s not something you should do without knowledge.

Some models have a slightly simpler lock and it is possible to place the screwdriver there, but this is not entirely recommended. These instruments are really useful so it is best to treat them carefully since they are excellent support for every kind of grass.

If you are stuck on how to start a riding lawn mower, contact me for help! Click here if you’re looking to buy a small riding lawn mower for a mid-size yard.

How to start a craftsman riding lawn mower

Craftsman and other great mower brands all share their own documentation on how to work with their specific devices. While every machine is related in terms of their starting mechanisms, this is only a surface guide on how to start the machine.

Visit the Craftsman website to browse their different categories and determine how to take a seat and get your mower from neutral to fired up.

In summary

Either you are a lawn tractor owner or simply an aspirational mowing pro. We hope that this guide proves to be helpful for you in getting up to speed with your mower.

Once again, checking the following mechanisms will be essential to preserving your mower’s healthy lifespan.

  • Engine – perform a regular inspection of your engine, and if possible keep your mower indoors during the winter season so as not to freeze the engine
  • Fuel – always ensure that there is sufficient fuel in the mower before starting your yard care.
  • Brake – Both the parking brake and the regular brake on the right side are worth getting familiar with and making sure are operational.
  • Throttle – Before you put on Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue and go zipping around your yard, set the throttle lever to a reasonable position before starting things up.
  • Choke – Review your machine’s documentation on the choke mechanism
  • Battery – Take care to keep the battery of the mower at an optimal power level

Happy mowing to you in your yard! Your grass will be looking like the garden of Eden in no time at all. If you still have further questions, you may contact the Mow Master by email to be directed in the proper direction. If you have yet to purchase a riding mower, consider reviewing our guide to the best riding lawn mower.

The Mow Master
The Mow Master

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