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If your electric lawn mower keeps dying on you, there are several common reasons that you may need to evaluate.
Common causes of an electric lawn mower repeatedly dying include the battery not having a sufficient charge, a faulty electrical system, grass and debris clogging the mower, or the mowing height being set too low. Easy fixes include charging the battery, cleaning the mower, and adjusting the mowing height.
Understanding why your electric lawn mower keeps dying is the first step to fixing the problem. Once you know the root cause, you can take the necessary steps to get your mower running smoothly again. Read on as I go over the most common reasons behind electric lawn mower problems and how to fix them.
1. The Battery Doesn’t Have Enough Charge
You can tell this is the problem if a battery-powered mower starts experiencing issues right after you start it or if it only runs for a short time before dying.
These mowers come with a feature that shuts off the device when the battery gets too low to prevent damage to the battery. So, if your mower keeps dying, it’s likely because the battery needs to be recharged.
How To Fix
A low battery is an easy fix. You just need to recharge it. Depending on the charger you have, it will either have an indicator light that turns green when the battery is fully charged or it will automatically shut off when the battery is full.
I keep extra batteries charged and ready so that I can keep mowing while the depleted one recharges.
If you find that your battery is dying frequently, even after recharging it, it’s best to replace it. As batteries age, they start losing their ability to hold a charge. Check the user’s manual for compatible replacement batteries.
2. The Electrical System Is Faulty
The most common issues include a faulty on/off switch, cuts or frayed wires, a damaged power cord, or a loose connection.
Faulty On/Off Switch
On/off switches can become faulty after prolonged use or if there is dirt or debris build-up, causing it to stick in the on or off position. Using a multimeter to check for continuity, you can test if the on/off switch is working. If there is no continuity, the switch needs to be replaced.
Cuts or Frayed Wires
One of the most common electrical problems is cuts or frayed wires. The wires in your lawn mower can become damaged from exposure to the elements, wear and tear, or rodents. When the insulation on the wires is damaged, it can expose the bare wire, which can cause shorts and electrical issues.
Additionally, it affects the current flow and can cause the mower to die. You can check whether the wires have sustained any damage by looking for missing insulation, frays, or cuts.
Unplug the mower from the power source before inspecting the wires. If you find any damaged wires, cut out the damaged section of the wire and use wire connectors to splice in a new piece of wire.
Damaged Power Cord
For cord-powered mowers, here’s one to be mindful of.
When the cable is damaged, it inhibits the flow of electricity and can cause the mower to die. The main type of damage the cord can sustain is a cut. This can happen from running it over with the mower or exposure to the elements.
A Loose Connection
Your mower’s electrical system relies on tight connections to function correctly. Any loose connections can cause an interruption in the flow of electricity, leading to the mower dying. The most common loose connection is a battery terminal that’s not tightly connected to the battery.
Tripped breakers and blown fuses are also a cause. These happen when too much current flows through the circuit, causing the breaker or fuse to trip and shut off the flow of electricity.
Here is a short video to help you learn more about tripped breakers on an electric lawn mower:
How To Fix
Fixing a faulty electrical system is a bit more complicated than other lawn mower problems. It’s best to leave electrical repairs to a professional unless you’re confident in your abilities.
If you attempt the repairs yourself, unplug the mower from the power source before beginning any repairs. Once you’ve unplugged the mower, you can inspect the electrical system’s different parts for damage.
For loose connections, simply tighten the connection until it’s snug. If you find any damaged wires, cut out the damaged section and splice in a new piece of wire. Make sure to use wire connectors to create a tight connection.
Just remember you can damage your mower if you don’t know what you are doing. Again, sometimes it’s best to just call a professional.
3. Grass and Debris Are Clogging the Mower
Grass clippings, leaves, sticks, and other debris can build up on the mower deck and in the chute.
When the build-up is significant, it can bog down an electric mower.
Read my other article, “Do Electric Lawn Mowers Need Regular Servicing?” to learn why it’s essential to service your mower regularly.
How To Fix
The best way to prevent a clogged mower is to prevent it from happening in the first place. After each mowing session, take the time to clean off the mower deck and chute. Use a garden hose to remove any grass clippings, leaves, or sticks that have built up.
If you let the build-up go for too long, you may need to disassemble the mower deck to clean it out. This is a more complicated process and will take more time, but it’s still manageable. If you’re not handy with tools, it’s best to take the mower to a professional for cleaning.
4. A Low Mowing Height
This is probably the most common (yet obvious) issue I’ve seen.
A low mowing height can strain an electric mower and cause it to die. When you mow too low or the grass is too tall, the motor has to work harder. This can cause it to overheat. The mower will shut down to prevent further damage. It’s as simple as that.
How To Fix
Adjusting the mowing height on your lawn mower is the best way to fix this problem. And take it easy! Don’t push it too hard or too fast.
Set the blade to the appropriate height for your lawn and mow away.
If you’re unsure of the ideal mowing height for your lawn, you can consult your user’s manual.
5. A Failing or Faulty Motor
This can be caused by various factors, including poor maintenance, overuse, or age. A failing motor may cause the mower to hesitate when starting, operate erratically, or die completely.
How To Fix
Unfortunately, a faulty motor is one of the most severe issues that can affect an electric lawn mower. In most cases, the best way to fix this problem is to replace the component altogether. This is a complex process that’s best left to a professional.
Honestly, you may find that the cost to replace is comparable to the cost of repair. Get a FREE estimate on repair before you make a commitment.
If you’re experienced with small engines, you may be able to replace the motor yourself. However, this is a delicate process that requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. Ensure you use high-quality, compatible parts and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid further damage.
An electric lawn mower that keeps dying can be a major inconvenience. However, in most cases, the problem is easily fixable through some basic troubleshooting. Insufficient battery charge, a faulty electrical system, or a damaged alternator are all common issues that can a;; cause an electric mower to fail.
With a little bit of effort, you can have your mower up and running in no time. However, if the problem persists, it’s best to consult a professional for help. They will be able to diagnose and fix the problem quickly and efficiently.