Mower Battery Hooked Up to Wrong Terminals?

Category Lawn Mowers
Mistakes happen and hooking up battery cables on your mower to the wrong terminals is unfortunate, but possible. This is a page about what to do if you hooked up your mower battery to the wrong terminals.


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I recently was given a 2012 Cub Cadet Ltx 1040 for free. I was looking to figure out what's wrong with it when I came across the fact that the battery was hooked up wrong. I can only assume they tried starting it like that. What parts do I need to replace as I believe something must be fried.


May 30, 20200 found this helpful
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This blows fuses, and sometimes the computer . Check the fuse first , if computer you may have a bigger issue!

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May 30, 20201 found this helpful
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This could also affect the alternator. The battery should be fine but the alternator/charging system is very likely shorted out.


This is a common enough problem that people who know such things advice that you first try to start it, and once started, use a meter to check the voltage, which should register at 12.5 volts dc. If the voltage is dropping, you will need to replace the charging stator, which is located under the flywheel. For instructions on changing the stator (after acquiring the right model, which looks to cost between $60 and $90, see instructions in link below.


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June 5, 20200 found this helpful
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Shorting out the alternator, starter and some fuses are all likely if a person has hooked up the battery wrong on anything. You will need to test the cable, the electrical system and heck to see if the switch under the seat has been tripped or not.


This can also happen and the switch will need to be reset. Basically use a volt meter and test the electrical system on the movwer and trace down the short. My guess is the starter will need to be replaced and so will the cables for the battery if they are burned or damaged.

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I did a very bonehead thing. In the fall I disconnected my standing mower battery, as I should, neg (black) first, then positive (red). However over the winter I did not remember how the battery fit into the slot. I put it in, as I logically thought it should go. However, I did not confirm neg to black, pos to red, I just used the cable lengths to "logically" put them where I should.


So, I then managed to hook the the red to the neg terminal and the black to the positive terminal. Now that I recognize my problem, I am not sure which to carefully disconnect first. The black cable on the positive terminal, or the red cable on the neg terminal. There were a few sparks.

I know you are rolling your eyes, but I do not want to harm the mower.
I am going to go and try putting a rubber mat under the terminal to cover the locations that would spark, wear gloves, and move very slowly, so as to not cause a spark or shock myself or hurt the mower.

Needless to say, I did try to start it, even though I could not close the battery compartment (first sign) and it would not start. I hope I did not hurt it.

Thank you for any help.
"feeling like a bonehead"


May 3, 20170 found this helpful
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You could have damaged the battery, the starter, or any electrical component that is attached to the battery. Disconnect in the order you connected them.


This article explains in detail:

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