Lawn tractors are a form of lawnmowers. They are named after their design and appearance, which often resembles a smaller version of the agricultural tractor.
One of the most critical parts of a lawn tractor is its battery, and proper maintenance is essential for a smoothly operating lawn tractor. There can be many reasons for a dead or discharged battery. Batteries may discharge when kept in storage for a long time, like storing it away for winter. It can also discharge if the ignition is left on, draining the battery.
Charging a lawn tractor ( see the list suiatble tractor batteries) can be an intimidating task if you aren’t aware of the guidelines. In reality, it is a simple task. In this article, we will give you in-depth knowledge on how to charge a lawn tractor battery.
How To Charge a Lawn Tractor Battery – Step By Step Guide
There are two ways to charge a battery: Slow charging (also known as trickle charge) and jumpstarting. We will discuss the step-wise guidelines for both methods:
Method 1: Slow Charging
This is the most common method of charging a battery. Given below are the guidelines.
Total Time: 1 Hour
Unplug the battery charger from the outlet.
Locate the battery in your lawn tractor; it may be below the hood or under the seat.
Lift the cover of the terminal.
Connect the red charger cable to the red colored positive battery terminal.
Connect the black charger cable to the black colored negative battery terminal.
Set the battery charger to 2 amperes and match the voltage of the lawn tractor battery.
Plugin the charger. The charger should charge the battery in about four to five hours. You might have to charge it longer if the ampere setting is lower.
Some chargers shut off automatically when the battery is fully charged. There should be an indicator such as an LED bulb or a sign with will inform the same. Once the battery is charged, switch off the charger.
Unplug the charger from the outlet.
Disconnect both charging cables from the battery terminals.
Lower the cover of the terminal back to its original position.
Method 2: Jumpstarting
It is not be noted that jumpstarting the battery of a lawn tractor should be done by professionals only. Let us assume a discharged or dead lawn tractor battery is being jumpstarted by a car battery.
- Turn off the ignition of the car.
- Lift the hood of the car and locate the battery.
- Locate the battery in your lawn tractor; it may be below the hood or under the seat.
- Lift the cover and unplug connectors from the battery terminals
- Connect the jumper cables to the terminals of the car battery.
- Connect one end of the red cable to the positive terminal of your car battery. Connect the other end of the cable to the positive side of your dead lawn tractor battery. Make sure that the positive terminal of the car battery is connected to the positive terminal of the lawn tractor battery.
- Connect one end of the black cable to the negative terminal of your car battery. Connect the other end of the cable to the negative side of your dead lawn tractor battery. Make sure that the negative terminal of the car battery is connected to the negative terminal of the lawn tractor battery.
- Turn on the ignition of the car in neutral gear. Go up to a maximum of 2000 RPM. Maintain this RPM for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the ignition of the car.
- Disconnect the black cable from the negative terminal of the lawn tractor. Do not let any end of the cables touch each other.
- Disconnect the black cable from the negative terminal of the car.
- Disconnect the red cable from the positive terminal of the lawn tractor.
- Disconnect the red cable from the positive terminal of the car.
- Plugin the connectors of the battery terminals back to their original position and put back the cover.
- Lower the hood of the car and the lawn tractor.
- Refer to the user manuals in case of any doubts.
- Make sure you use a charger with an output of 10 amperes or less. Using a charger with more than 10 amperes can damage the battery.
- Check what kind of battery your lawn tractor has. While the most Lawn Tractors come with a 12-volt battery, some models built during and before the 1980s use a 6-volt battery. Match your battery charger to the voltage of your battery.
- You can charge the battery without removing it from the mover.
- Do not touch the battery terminals or the charging cables with your bare hands. Use personal protective gear.
- It is recommended to charge your battery before keeping it in storage fully.
- One should maintain the battery by regularly charging it to avoid sulfation, which reduces the battery capacity, ultimately damaging it.
- Make sure your battery terminals are clean so ensure proper contact with the charging cables.
- Charge your battery in a well lit and well-ventilated area as they may be sparks or toxic fumes may be released in the process if proper care is not taken. Lead-acid batteries discharge toxic fumes while charging.
- Use a wire brush to clean the terminals of the battery in case they are rusted. Proper contact is necessary to ensure effective charging.
Tools You Need To Charge A Lawn Tractor Battery
There are many tools that you need to charge a lawn tractor battery. However, the good news is that most of the tools have multiple uses and are usually found in your toolbox or garage. In case you don’t have them, they can be easily purchased in any hardware store, online or offline.
- Battery Charger: A battery charger is a device that is used to push electric charge into a secondary battery, thereby charging it. There are various battery chargers available; the most common ones come with an adjustable voltage and ampere setting.
- Personal protective Gear: This includes work gloves and eye protection. Gloves are industrial standard hand gloves that protect your hands from cuts and sparks. They are usually made of a nylon blend material. Eye protection is safety goggles with a clear lens. Some goggles also have additional features such as anti-fog and anti-glare.
- Charging cables or jumper cables: These are electrical cables with a protective coating that is used to connect the battery charger with the lawn tractor battery. They come in pairs of 2 colors: red and black. The red cable is used to connect the positive terminal of the battery and charger. In contrast, the black terminal is used to connect the negative terminal of the battery and charger. They are usually 16 feet long but also come in other lengths. They come with different types of grips to hold the terminal, from crocodile grips, eyelet mechanisms to a nut-screw fastening mechanism.
- Wrench or spanner: it is an integral part of any toolbox which helps loosen or tighten nuts. It is used in case the charging cables, and the battery terminals have an eyelet mechanism or a fastening mechanism.
- Extension cord: Extension cords are electrical cables that can help connect a battery charger to a fixed power outlet socket. It can be used when the electrical output socket is not near the lawn tractor.
- Wire Brush: Wire brushes are used to remove rust from a surface. They can be used in case the terminals of the battery are rusted. A clean terminal is necessary for proper contact between the battery terminals, jumper cables, and a battery charger.
1. Whats causes a lawn tractor battery to discharge?
Batteries can be discharged due to many things. It can be because the ignition was left on, or the lawn tractor has not been used for a long time.
2. What voltage and ampere setting should be used on the battery charger?
For a lawn tractor, it is recommended to use a set of fewer than 10 amperes. More than 10 amperes can damage the battery. For the voltage setting, it is necessary to check the voltage of your battery. Most lawn tractors use a 12-volt battery. However, some older models use a 6-volt battery. Match the battery charger setting to the voltage of your battery.
3. How long does it take to charge a lawn tractor battery?
A 2 ampere setting on the battery charger will charge the battery in about 5 hours. A higher ampere setting will charge the battery faster. However, the ampere setting should not be more than 10 amperes as it can damage the battery.
While it is relatively easy to charge a lawn tractor battery, proper maintenance of a battery can prolong its life by four to five years. Always prefer slow charging your battery instead of jumpstarting it. We hope that this article has armored you with the knowledge you need the next time you find a discharged battery on your lawn tractor.