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Table of Contents

How to Tell Whether the Ignition Switch has Failed

How to Replace the Ignition Switch in a Riding Mower

How to Prevent Riding Mower Starting Problems

Schedule your riding mower repair now!

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How Do I Know if the Ignition Switch is Bad on My Riding Mower?

4 min readUpdated May. 21, 2024Lyle WeischwillRiding Mower
How Do I Know if the Ignition Switch is Bad on My Riding Mower? image

When your riding lawn mower doesn't do anything when you turn the key to start the engine, you’re right to suspect that the ignition switch is bad. Don’t rush to that conclusion before properly testing that switch and other components in the mower’s starting system. Sears Home Services is your trusted advisor for riding mower problems. Trust us to guide you through some tests that will determine whether your need to replace the ignition switch.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The ignition switch is only one of many components in the riding mower’s starting system.
  • Understanding how the ignition system works will help you determine whether the ignition switch has failed.
  • Follow the DIY troubleshooting tips in our video to fix your mower or have a Sears Home Services technician complete the repair to get your riding mower going again.

How to Tell Whether the Ignition Switch has Failed

Understanding how the ignition system on your riding mower works will help you determine whether the ignition switch is bad. The ignition switch is only one component in the riding mower’s starting system. Other components that can prevent the mower from starting include:

  • Battery.
  • Fuse.
  • Wiring.
  • Brake interlock switch.
  • Blade interlock switch.
  • Starter solenoid.

Systematically checking the starting circuit in your riding mower is the only way to tell whether the ignition switch is bad or one of the other components listed above is causing the starting failure.

Sears Home Services offers the best solution for this problem. We’ve filmed a video that shows you how the ignition system works and how to fix the starting problem. Follow the DIY troubleshooting steps in this video to find the cause of the starting failure:

DIY troubleshooting and repairs can be rewarding and cost-effective, but safety should always be paramount. If you're uncertain or uncomfortable performing any of these checks, it's advisable to seek professional assistance. With their years of expertise, Sears Home Services technicians can diagnose and repair your riding mower, no matter the problem, to get you back to mowing quickly. Schedule service now to have a Sears tech visit your home and fix your mower.

How to Replace the Ignition Switch in a Riding Mower

When you do determine that the ignition switch is bad, follow these steps to replace the failed part.

  1. Order the replacement ignition switch from our Sears PartsDirect website. Use the model number for your riding mower to order the correct replacement ignition switch.
  2. Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake. Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.
  3. Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Lift the seat. Remove the bolt connecting the negative cable to the battery and tuck the cable away from the battery so it doesn't touch the battery post.
  5. Lift the hood to access the back of the ignition switch. Release the locking tabs and push the switch out though the front of the dash. Disconnect the wire harness attached to the back of the ignition switch; if it's difficult to unplug, wiggle the plug as you pull on it.
  6. Connect the wire harness to the back of the new ignition switch. Push the new ignition switch into the dash and engage the locking tabs. Lower the hood.
  7. Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal. Lower the seat.

Here’s a helpful DIY video that shows the steps described above for replacing the ignition switch:

If you prefer to have a Sears Home Services technician replace the ignition switch, schedule repair service and we’ll send a tech right over.

How to Prevent Riding Mower Starting Problems

Regular professional riding mower maintenance will help prevent starting problems in your riding mower. A Sears Home Services technician can see and correct problems with the battery, wiring, engine and switches to help prevent starting failures. Schedule professional riding mower tune-up and maintenance service yearly to help keep your mower in top shape.

Schedule your riding mower repair now!

With years of expertise, our technicians can diagnose and repair your riding mower no matter the problem, so you can get back to mowing quickly.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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