Riding mower battery cables. How to Clean Battery Terminals

How to Clean Battery Terminals

Batteries are extremely important, as they practically power our entire lives; from car batteries for our vehicles to alkaline batteries for our personal devices and beyond, we’ve come to rely on them greatly. Thus, it’s extremely important that we know how to clean battery terminals. Otherwise, debris and corrosion will render them completely useless, in which case, it’ll render us completely useless, too.

That’s why our team at BatteryDepot.com wrote this How to Clean Battery Terminals guide. Reach out to us for more info!

In this guide, we’ll cover two separate types of cleaning processes: cleaning car battery terminals and cleaning a corroded alkaline compartment. And, as always, contact us if you need any more guidance.

How to Clean Battery Terminals

Here are six simple steps that you can follow to clean your car or lawn mower battery’s terminals. Check ‘em out now!

  • Find the battery. This shouldn’t be too difficult; check the auto owner’s manual for assistance.
  • Remove the terminal covers. By this point, you must wear both work gloves and safety glasses.
  • Disconnect the battery. First, loosen the negative clamp; then, loosen the positive clamp. Make sure you avoid touching any other metal objects, like the frame of the vehicle.
  • Select a cleaning agent. Baking soda is the most common cleaning agent for auto batteries.
  • Rinse, and then dry. Once you clean off the corrosion using the cleaning agent, you need to rinse off the cleaning agent itself from the posts. Use a spray bottle of water, and then dry.
  • Reconnect the battery. You only need to do this if you want your car to start again someday!

How to Clean Battery Terminals: Corroded Alkaline Battery

Last, but certainly not least, here’s an 8-step method that you can use if the battery compartment itself needs cleaning (due to alkaline corrosion). This is perfect for many different consumer devices and alkaline batteries.

Supplies: old toothbrush or cotton swabs, lemon juice or vinegar, baking soda, gloves, goggles, etc.

Safety: Don’t let the corrosion touch your skin, protect your eyes, and work in a well-ventilated area.

  • Wear some protective gloves (made from rubber or a similar material).
  • Open the battery compartment that contains the leaking battery.
  • Remove the damaged battery and put it in a plastic bag.
  • Wipe away any white, solid materials (loose corrosion) using a cloth.
  • Pour some white vinegar into a cup or a bowl.
  • Dip a cotton swab into the white vinegar and then use it to wipe the contacts.
  • Then, dip a fresh swab into clean water and wipe the excess vinegar from the contacts.
  • Dry the contacts using a fresh towel.

This Means You Need to Clean Your Battery ASAP

Contact Us Today at BatteryDepot.com with Any Questions!

We understand that cleaning battery terminals can be a bit frustrating at times. That’s why we’re here to give you any help that you might need! Please, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you’re having any difficulties along the way. Our team is here to help, and they’re more than happy to work with you!

How To Jump Start A Lawn Mower Battery – Detailed Steps

Grasping how to jump-start a lawn mower battery well, you will no longer worry about the battery running out or failing. You don’t need any special equipment or training to do it. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete.

How To Jump Start A Lawn Mower Battery?

There are several different ways to jump start a riding mower. Still, the most effective way involves using a jump pack or the car’s engine as the “battery jump starter”.

With A Portable Jump-Starter

This jump-starter is so-called a portable power jump pack. When this power starter runs along with the jump-started batteries, connect the mower’s positive terminal to the red clip and the battery’s negative terminal (or the mower’s metal frame) to the black clip.

Afterwards, switch off the power pack and then turn on the mower. Once the mower starts, unplug the power pack, remove all the built-in cables, and begin with the black clip.

  • Hook up a trickle charger to the lawnmower batteries if you don’t use them at once.
  • Have the batteries fully charged every one to two months if you have no trickle battery charger available.
  • Check out and clean the battery occasionally to avoid corrosion or cracks in the casing. Don’t try using a bad battery or đead battery. Let them go.
  • Replenish batteries’ water level with distilled water. This way is advisable for a wet battery.
  • Prevent your batteries from failing prematurely by tracking the top harmful reasons.
  • Use the correct battery charger. Incorrect charging may lead to the worst cases: battery damage or battery explosion.
  • Stick to the safety precautions to treat your current battery well and dispose of a bad battery precisely.
  • Follow the manual and protocols to grasp the battery maintenance, charge time, battery label, battery details, safe jumper cables installation, and battery discharges, to name a few. It’s nothing but handy to help users reach the product’s peak performance levels.


There you have it – a well-rounded guide on jump start lawn mower battery. If you find yourself stuck with a dead wet battery, you will soon figure out a jump is more crucial than ever. Jumping a lawn mower isn’t as tricky as other car engine types, yet still, be a life-saver to know.

The process is pretty simple once you have all the right equipment. Stick to the instructions, and you can get back to work sooner rather than later! Hopefully, what we unveiled will help your batteries touch peak performance levels.

My Lawn Mower Battery Keeps Dying – Easy Fix

Lawnmowers are complicated pieces of power equipment necessary for maintaining a lawn properly. However, each component of a lawnmower needs to be working as intended for the lawnmower to function correctly. One particular component that can be problematic is the lawnmowers battery.

The function of the lawnmower’s battery is to start the lawnmower and to provide power for the lawnmower’s electrical functions. These functions included engaging and disengaging the lawnmowers cutting blades.

If a lawnmower’s battery is not functioning correctly the mower will usually not start. However, in cases where the lawnmower was able to be started, the battery may not be able to keep the PTO clutch powered and the lawnmower will die. A working battery is absolutely critical in the operation of a lawnmower.

A dead or weak lawnmower battery can be attributed to loose battery cables, a dead battery cell, a malfunctioning stator, or a bad regulator.

Lawnmower Battery Cables Loose

One of the most common causes of a dead or weak lawnmower battery is a loose battery cable. If a battery cable is loose on either the positive or negative side the battery will not start the lawnmower in most cases.

If your lawnmower battery is not responding to the ignition key the first thing to check is how tight the battery cables are connected to the battery. If the cables are able to move at the connection point of the nut and bolt on the battery terminals then your cables are not tight enough. Simply get the appropriately sized end wrench and tighten the nut and bolt. The typical size end wrenches for battery cable nuts is 7/16″ and 1/2″.

Lawnmower Battery has a Dead Cell

Everything we use will eventually fail or wear out. Lawnmower batteries are not exempt from failing like any other product.

If your lawnmower battery will not maintain or take a charge of over 10.5 volts chances are your lawnmower’s battery has a dead cell. If this is indeed the case the only way to fix this is by replacing the lawnmowers battery with a new one. In my experience lawnmower batteries typically last for around 2 years. There are cases where a battery can last longer but the norm is about 2 years.

Lawnmower’s Charging System Not Charging

The battery on a lawnmower has to be maintained by the charging system of the lawnmower. If there was no charging system on the lawnmower the battery could not maintain its charge and the lawnmower would not be able to operate.

The charging system of a lawnmower is comprised of a stator and regulator. Both of these components are required for the charging system to function.

The stator is essentially the alternator of the lawnmower. The stator is located under the flywheel of the lawnmower’s engine and generates its power from the rotating magnets of the flywheel.

A typical stator on a lawnmower engine outputs around 27 to 30 AC volts.

The AC volts generated by the stator need to be converted to DC volts for the lawnmower’s electrical system. This function is handled by the lawnmowers regulator.

The regulator takes the 27 to 30 AC volts being output by the stator and converts it to DC Volts. Once the AC volts are converted to DC Volts the power is then fed back to the battery to keep it charged.

There are some cases where the above-listed issues may not be the cause of a dead battery. Some lawnmowers route the charging circuit through various components such as ignition switches and PTO switches.

If none of the issues above correct the problem check to see if your particular lawnmower routes the charging circuit through one or more components like an ignition switch. The easiest way to determine this is by looking at the lawnmower’s electrical schematic. In most cases, the electrical schematic can be obtained in the owner’s manual.

What keeps draining my Lawnmower Battery?

The battery of a lawnmower needs to be constantly recharged while the lawnmower is in use. If the battery is not being recharged properly it will eventually die.

The biggest drain on the battery of a lawnmower is the electric PTO clutch. Typical PTO clutches draw approximately 4 to 5 amps when engaged.

If the lawnmower’s charging system is not feeding power back to the battery sufficiently the PTO Clutch will drain all the power from the battery.

Do Lawnmowers have Alternators?

Automobiles have alternators to keep their batteries charged but what about lawnmowers?

Lawnmowers do have alternators similar to cars but they are called Stators.

The Stator is the circular copper wound part that is located under the engine’s flywheel. As the flywheel turns its magnets interact with the stators copper windings to generator AC volts. The AC volts are then sent to the engine’s regulator to be converted to DC volts to power the lawnmower’s electrical system and keep the battery charged.

Wrapping Up

The battery of a lawnmower is a critical part of the machine. If the battery is dead or not staying charged the lawnmower is nothing more than a giant paperweight.

The most common causes of a dead lawnmower battery are loose battery cables, dead battery cells, or a non-functioning charging system that is composed of a stator and regulator.

When troubleshooting a dead battery I always start by checking to see if the battery cables are able to be moved by hand. If they can be moved that’s more than likely the cause of the dead battery.

If the cables are tight I use a battery tester to check and see if the battery has a dead cell.

In the case that the battery is testing good I move on to checking the charging system with a voltage meter. Set the voltage meter to AC and check the stator’s output, which should be 27 to 30 AC volts.

If the stator is checking good I move on to the regulator. Set your voltage meter to DC volts and check the output of the regulator. Typically the output of a regulator is 13 to 14.5 DC Volts.

If the battery charging problem is still not corrected you probably have a malfunctioning switch. Typical switches that can cause charging issues are ignition switches and PTO switches.

If you cant pinpoint the source of the problem you may need to take your lawnmower into a service shop.

Have a great day and be careful operating your power equipment.

I have been part of the chainsaw and outdoor power equipment business in one way or the other for over 35 years. There are not many things that I have not seen in the business. From repairs, sales, equipment operation, and safety I can help you with your questions.

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What Keeps Draining My Lawn Mower Battery? Possible Reasons

“What keeps draining my lawn mower battery?” is a question most gardeners have asked in frustration, even when they regularly charge it on time. We understand how frustrating it is to see the battery charging percentage decrease faster than it should.

The battery might be draining for several reasons such as poor maintenance, faulty cables, an old charger type, or a defective voltage regulator.

Find out why the mower battery might not hold the charge as needed, along with the easiest possible solutions here.

  • What Factors Keep Draining Your Lawn Mower Battery?
  • – Cables Attached Loosely
  • – Faulty Battery Cables
  • – Battery Needs Maintenance
  • – Accidentally Leaving the Engine Running
  • – Alternator Gone Bad
  • – Faulty Voltage Regulator
  • – Mower Is Not Run at Full Throttle
  • – Incorrect Charger
  • – Electronic Drain
  • – Battery Has Gone Bad

What Factors Keep Draining Your Lawn Mower Battery?

The factors that keep draining your lawn mower battery include damaged, loose, or corroded cables, an electronic drain, or cables that are attached loosely. Sometimes, it is as simple as the battery needing some maintenance. Other plausible reasons are faulty alternators, voltage regulators, and battery chargers.

– Cables Attached Loosely

Sometimes, the battery seems to be draining fast by something as simple as loose cables. Mostly, mower batteries are connected to the engine through two main cables. The black one attaches to the negative terminal, while the red one goes with the battery’s positive terminal.

Gain access to your battery first to check if the cables are attached properly. The battery is usually placed in a deck near the handle in push-type mowers. In riding lawnmowers, the battery is located under the seating of the mower.

Once you have access to your battery, follow the cables to the solenoid. Make sure they are securely attached on both ends. Before touching the battery to correct loose connections, turn the ignition switch off and take the key out.

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– Faulty Battery Cables

How long has it been since you last took out your battery for inspection and maintenance? The terminals of battery cables often get corroded, draining the battery like nothing else. Turn off the engine, gain access to the battery and check these terminals for yourself.

During the checkup, follow the cables from one end to another to see if they are damaged or corrupted anywhere. In most cases, the terminals get corroded from leaking blue-green fluids. If the positive or the negative cables have been damaged, they might need to be removed.

Take the battery out first, making 100 percent sure that the mower engine is turned off. Always remove the negative terminal first to break the circuit, followed by removing the positive terminal. Once the battery is out, you can replace faulty cables with new ones or eliminate corrosion.

A baking soda solution is an effective homemade remedy to eliminate corrosion and clean the battery. Add five or six full teaspoons of baking soda in four cups of distilled water and then use this paste to get rid of the corrosion products formed on the battery terminals.

– Battery Needs Maintenance

A lawn mower battery requires regular maintenance just as much as your car, albeit less frequently. Most of the time, the batteries in our mowers are lead-acid. with sulfuric acid as the electrolyte. While using the mower, the battery gets heated and gasses are produced, which eventually decrease the charge-holding capacity of the battery.

The good news is that maintaining a healthy battery is quite straightforward. In a few simple steps carried out carefully, you can easily restore a battery to its former glory.

  • The mower battery needs to be taken out of its case for proper maintenance. Before you do that, ensure you have worn thick rubber gloves, goggles over the eyes, and full-sleeved clothes.
  • Unscrew the locks keeping the battery in its place within the mower, disconnecting the negative terminal and then the positive terminal.
  • Carefully lift the battery and place it on a flat, clean surface. Inspect the battery cells and check the level of fluid present within each. If fluid levels are lower, use distilled water to raise them to the required levels.
  • Sometimes, it’s best to drain the old fluid from each cell and refill it with a brand-new solution. Be careful not to give yourself a burn when removing the lids from the cells and draining the electrolyte into an appropriate container.
  • Clean the battery cells using a DIY baking soda and distilled water cleaning solution. For removing corrosion products, you can use sandpaper with 300 to 400 grit.
  • Make your battery fluid using a saturated Epsom salt and distilled water solution. Use a dropper or a funnel to pour this fluid into each newly cleaned cell.
  • Before placing the battery back in its place, charge it for 24 hours at a rate of two amperes per hour. You will see how improved your battery’s performance becomes after each maintenance session.

– Accidentally Leaving the Engine Running

The lawnmower battery might not be holding a charge for the appropriate amount of time when the engine is not turned off properly. This often happens with mowers that turn on and off using a key. The key to these mowers needs to be turned all the way through and then preferably taken out.

The same goes when you must remember to turn off the lights and leave the engine partially running. This is common even with mowers that turn on and off using buttons. Don’t worry; nobody will judge you for sometimes being forgetful with the mower.

Just be aware that doing this often can cost you the battery life of your precious lawn mower. Whenever you are done cutting grass, always double-check to see that all the lights are off and that the engine is also completely off with the key taken out.

– Alternator Gone Bad

The alternator is an important engine system that keeps the battery charged while the engine is running. If the alternator becomes faulty and damaged, the battery loses charge faster than normal. Lucky for you, it is quite simple to check the condition of a mower’s alternator.

Here is how to check the alternator. Start your mower and turn its lights on, then leaving the lights on, turn the mower’s engine off.

If the lights dim once the engine stops, your alternator is in good shape. However, the alternator must be replaced if the light intensity stays the same even after the engine is turned off.

In this case, the battery bears most of the load while not being recharged during work. This constant draining could potentially and permanently damage the battery. It would be best to call in your mechanic and have them replace the alternator right away.

– Faulty Voltage Regulator

When the voltage regulator of the battery stops working, it starts draining charge faster than ever. The voltage regulator’s job is to keep the voltage of the battery constant regardless of fluctuating inputs and outputs.

Most modern lawnmowers keep their battery voltage regulated to 12. while some older designs still run on a six-volt battery. Before you take your mower engine to the mechanic for repair, here is how to ensure the problem lies within the voltage regulator.

  • You will need a multimeter to check whether the voltage regulator is working properly. Set it in voltage reading mode and ignite the lawnmower’s engine.
  • Turn the ignition key partially, so the lights are on before connecting the multimeter to the battery.
  • The positive terminal of the multimeter is to be attached to the battery’s positive terminal.
  • Next, attach the multimeter’s negative terminal to the battery’s negative terminal.
  • The reading on the multimeter’s screen should read somewhere between 13.8 to 14.5 volts in the case of a standard 12 volts battery. Your voltage regulator must be fixed if the readings are out of this range.

Mower Is Not Run at Full Throttle

How many of us think riding lawnmowers lower than full throttle is good for our mowers? Many people are guilty of thinking this, even though it is completely wrong. Mowers are designed to be used at full throttle, and not doing so starts draining the battery.

The battery must recharge properly when the motor is not rotating at its prescribed RPM, so do not hesitate to put your foot down and use the mower at its full potential. This is what this machine was built for and how it functions properly. It would also make your job so much easier because the mower will now be able to cut grass faster and quicker.

– Incorrect Charger

When the charger of your electronic lawn tractor mower is faulty, it will not be able to charge the battery fully. It will begin doing the opposite and draining the battery instead.

This happens mostly when the charger is of the old type that is not automatic or is without a voltage regulator. If you are not cautious with this type of charger, you will end up overcharging the battery of each type. When the battery is overcharged again and again, it will lose its ability to hold a charge and will begin to drain faster than ever.

Fortunately, this is the one condition with the easiest fix. Throw away this old charger and buy a new one. Only this time, the new charger needs to be automatic so that as soon as the battery is recharged, it shuts down automatically.

The charger needs to have the option of being put on slow trickle charging. Fast chargers are all the rage, but they harm the battery. Your charger needs to be adjusted to slow settings so it can charge the battery in 24 hours.

– Electronic Drain

Unbeknownst to you, your battery might be suffering from a parasitic electronic drain that keeps eating all of its charges up. so even when you have turned the engine off and parked the mower for the day, some parts of the engine keep draining the battery.

A parasitic electronic drain is notoriously difficult to diagnose and might soon lead to a dead lawnmower battery if not treated on time. If you have exhausted all other possible causes of a draining battery, you must consider this one seriously.

One way to test for a parasitic drain is to set the multimeter to ammeter mode and then connect it to both terminals of the battery. Make sure that the engine is turned off while you do this. The only way to resolve this problem is to take the mower to a mechanic or the manufacturer for complete top-to-bottom fixing.

– Battery Has Gone Bad

If the battery refuses to charge beyond 12 volts even after charging for several hours, it has simply outlived its lifespan. This is inevitable if the battery is several years old and has not been well maintained.

Still, charge this battery with a trickle charger for a day to ensure it is dead. Afterward, turn the ignition key and the spark plug off, and disconnect the cables attached to the battery. The black one is always removed before the red one breaks the circuit properly.

Take the old battery to the store and buy a new one. Most stores will give you a good discount for depositing the old battery even if it is completely dead. You get to save upto 15 to 25, which is a good deal.


You have finally reached the end of this comprehensive guide on why mower batteries drain so often.

We have discussed a lot of possible reasons on why your mower’s battery keeps draining, so here are some key points you need to remember as we conclude tihs guide.

  • The most common factor that keeps draining your battery is cables that are broken, corrupted, or not attached properly.
  • In the case of a lead-acid type of battery, you should improve its fluid level by adding distilled water.
  • If the engine’s voltage regulator or the alternator is defective, get it fixed by a professional to keep the battery charged.
  • Not using the mower at full throttle drains the battery’s charge and is not recommended to be done frequently.

Every time you face the problem of a battery draining too rapidly, think back on this list to diagnose the root cause of the problem. We are confident that you will not only be able to figure out the cause, but also fix it in no time!