Maintaining a large backyard takes a lot of time and effort. For this reason, many homeowners try to save time by purchasing a ride-on lawn mower. Instead of being forced to push a lawn mower back and forth across the yard for hours, operators can simply sit on the lawnmower and let it do all the work. Of course, these ride-on lawnmowers do not come cheap, and they also require additional maintenance beyond the requirements of push mowers.
Think of a ride-on mower as a small car that requires oil changes, periodic maintenance checks and battery replacement. Replacing a battery for a lawnmower once the old one wears out should not be difficult since these batteries are commonly sold in department stores and auto shops. They can also be found on an online website like eBay. Customers who purchase the right battery and treat it with proper care can use it for years.
Understanding the Battery
Whether you own a totally electric lawn mower, or one that relies on a gas engine, the mower will not work without a battery. This piece of equipment is responsible for igniting the engine on a gas mower, and powering the engine completely on an electric mower. It creates electricity by transforming the energy from chemical reactions into electric energy. Therefore, most batteries use acid, and do require careful maintenance procedures. Customers need to take extra special care with the large batteries used for electric ride-on mowers since these are more powerful than the smaller ones used for gas engines.
Caring for the Lawnmower Battery
With proper care many lawnmower batteries can last up to five years, even though the warranty often runs out in one year. By purchasing the right battery the first time around, you can ensure that you made a wise purchase that will last for years to come. Maintaining most batteries is extremely simple since they come already sealed and maintenance-free. In fact, the only thing homeowners have to do is to ensure that the battery is charged.
Many lawn mower batteries are rechargeable, and this is an important feature to consider when looking at different battery types. Homeowners often use their lawnmower in the spring, summer, and fall, but it sits unused in the garage during the winter months. If the battery is not charged, it is going to die, and this will be an unwelcome surprise in the spring. By purchasing a charger, you can ensure that this does not happen to you. Make sure that the charger is designed to work with the volt level for your battery. For example, a 12 volt battery needs a 12 volt charger.
Jump-Starting Lawn Mower Batteries
If the battery does die, then you may want to attempt to jump start it with your car battery. Experts recommend that if you don’t know what you are doing, then don’t jump start the battery. While the volt levels are the same, the alternator on the car is much more powerful. This could make the battery explode if you try and jump start the lawn mower while the car is running, causing significant damage. The other problem is that most batteries are buried deep within the ride-on lawnmower, making it difficult to reach. If one part of the jumper cable touches the side of the lawnmower, this can give you a pretty powerful shock.
Never Jump Start Electric Ride-On Lawnmowers
A final word of warning about jump starting lawnmowers. Never attempt to jump start an all-electric ride-on lawnmower. For one thing, the voltage requirement is superior to the one in your car. For another, this is incredibly dangerous and can possibly kill you. All large electric batteries come with very large warnings to never jump start them. Do not disregard these labels since they are there to save your life.
Many homeowners often have questions about where to store their battery when it is not being used. For years there was a rumour that lawn mower batteries should never be stored on concrete floors since they would lose their charge. While this was true once upon a time when batteries were encased in hard rubber that tended to leak, the batteries of today are made out of sterner stuff. Since modern batteries are encased in hard plastic, the problem of electrolyte seepage has been all but eliminated. In fact, experts recommend that storing the battery on the floor is truly the safest place to put it.
There is no reason to wait around until the battery dies before replacing it. One of the reasons batteries need to be periodically inspected is to see if they have started to leak; a clear sign that the battery needs to be replaced. You tell a battery is leaking by either a white powder buildup around the battery, or by noticing corrosion around the attachment cables. Even if a battery is not leaking, it should be replaced once its lifetime rating has run out. On the top of the battery you will clearly see a month and a year where the battery’s lifetime rating will run out under normal use conditions. Try to replace the battery before the lifetime rating runs out completely.
Disposing of Lawnmower Batteries
Once you buy a new battery you will need to get rid of your old one. Since most batteries still contain acid, they are not environmentally-friendly and must be disposed of properly. There are three ways to get rid of an old battery. You can trade in your old battery for a discount at some auto parts stores when you purchase a new one. You can also sell the battery to a scrap metal facility. Finally, check with your local city to see if they have a recycling programme that accepts old lawn mower batteries.
Finding the Right Size Lawn Mower Battery
The batteries for lawn mowers are extremely similar to normal car batteries since they provide essentially the same functions. Most are 12 volt batteries, though some small lawn tractors only use a six volt battery. Completely electric ride-on mowers use bigger batteries in the 36 volt range. The easiest way to tell what size battery you need, is to examine the old one to get the model number. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially if the old battery exploded or is covered in corrosion. If the battery label is completely unreadable, then consult the owner’s manual to find out what battery you need.
Shopping for Lawn Mower Batteries on eBay
Once you know which battery you need, there are two ways to go about buying a new one. You can visit an auto shop for a replacement since many auto part stores sell the same types of batteries needed for lawn mowers. If you have a specialised battery, such as one found in a large electric ride-on mower, then you would probably need to visit a battery store since it is unlikely a car store will have your battery. If you do not want to spend all day driving around town looking for a store that sells the specific battery you need, then the internet is your best option.
Online websites like eBay carry all types of replacement batteries for lawn mowers. There are the batteries made by the manufacturer specifically for the lawnmower, and there are also generic batteries that will work just as well. Generic batteries are usually slightly cheaper than manufacturer batteries, allowing you to save some extra money.
Finding Lawn Mower Batteries on eBay
The easiest way to go about searching for the right ride-on lawn mower battery on eBay, is to start off with some basic information. You should already know the model number and the manufacturer for your battery. Therefore, you can try a basic search, such as "Husqvarna lawnmower battery" to return all results for Husqvarna batteries. Conversely, if you know the technical specification for your battery you can search that way to return generic results. For example, if you know you need a 12 volt, 32 AH battery, then you can search for "12v 32ah battery", to return results that match your exact query.
Buying a new battery does not have to be confusing. Essentially, all you have to do is ensure that the battery has the right voltage and power requirements for your ride-on lawnmower. Ideally, you should be able to check which battery you need by examining your old one. If your old battery is corroded so that you cannot get any information out of it, consult the owner’s manual to find either the voltage requirements or the parts number. It is also a good idea to buy a charger for the battery to prevent it from dying during the winter. Buying a battery on eBay is a great way to shop at home without ever having to set foot inside the store. Once you have the battery, check it periodically to ensure that it is still in good condition. A battery on a well-maintained lawnmower should last for at least five years.