Riding Mower Battery Won't Hold a Charge

How can you get the lawn mowed when the battery won't hold a charge? Perhaps a bit of troubleshooting will help you discover the cause and make repairs. This is a guide about riding mower battery won't hold a charge.

Riding Mower
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I have a MTD Pro 15.5 hp riding lawnmower that will not stay charged. The battery is new and once charged the mower will run until shut off and will then need to be re-charged. Any suggestions/comments?

By sdokis from Ontario

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

After you're done using your mower turn it off and raise the seat up and leave it up. Pop had the same problem until he tried that and it works.

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I have a Craftsman riding mower. Every time I use it after about 15 minutes of cutting, it cuts off. It drains the battery which I then have to recharge. I have replaced the battery, ignition switch, had the starter rebuilt, solenoid switch replaced, and seat wiring. Any suggestions?


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In my previous answer I thought they were using the stator from the starter. This is incorrect. The stator is part of the overhead flywheel assy. However, the diode issue is still likely the problem. The diode on my mower was located in the wire harness on the right side at the back of the engine. Trace the wire coming from under the left side of the flywheel around the back of the engine. Begin to open the wire harness just before it joins into the main harness. You will find the diode spliced into a wire. The diode starts the split so that one wire (the continuous one) runs the lights and the diode goes to recharging the battery. The diode will likely be broken and literally fall apart.

I apologize for the misinformation. I'm surprised ThriftyFun does not allow for editing ones own post. Hope that corrected information helps someone.

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I have a 16.5hp MTD riding mower and the battery keeps being drained. We purchased a new battery. As soon as we put it in we had to jump it off. Now it won't even jump off. This is only the second time we have tried to use it since the new battery was installed, 2 weeks ago!

By Michelle

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1. I would have the battery checked to see if it indeed drained.

2. What kind of engine do you have.

Reason I ask is I have a John Deere L120 with a Briggs and Stratton engine and it would not start. I though it was the battery. I had it checked at a battery store and they told me it had a full charge. They told me there may be an open ground on the mower. I bought a new battery with more cranking power. I installed the new battery and not even a burp from the engine. I asked a JD dealer what could be the problem. He said the valves were out of adjustment. ( Two dealers have told me the same thing.) He explained I had a Briggs and Stratton engine and they have made junk engines for the past 10 years. He gave this bit of information for me to try. On the top of the engine is the air intake screen. With your hands move the screen in reverse or counter clockwise until you have resistance to the turning. Stop and try starting the mower. It worked for me. So every time I want to start the machine I have to counter turn the air screen untill I feel the resistance. Then it starts. As for the open ground,I checked all the connections as well as the safety connections and found nothing. Maybe this will be of some help for you.

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Home and Garden Repair Machines Lawn MowersMay 23, 2013
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