“How many volts is a riding lawn mower battery?” is a common question when shopping for replacement batteries. Much like an average car battery, riding lawn mowers require a battery to allow you to start the yard tool.
In this guide, we’ll explore the volts you can expect to find and how to check the size of your battery for replacements.
How Many Volts Is a Riding Lawn Mower Battery?
Most riding lawn mowers are designed relatively similarly for their lawn tractor engine and other essential components. Most popular models require a 12-volt battery, but this may differ if you have an older lawn mower. Before the prevalence of 12-volt batteries, riding lawn mowers would require a 6-volt battery.
The only time you’re likely to need a 6-volt battery is if a company built your mower before 1980. Most modern models require more power for their more modern features and to start larger engines. On average, 12-volt batteries can give you up to 48 hours of continuous use, depending on the size of your mower.
This is also similar to push lawn mowers and their battery management systems, which have evolved over periods of time. Older models are likely to have smaller batteries and less battery life. You’ll also find older units have lower battery power levels.
What Type of Battery Do Riding Lawn Mowers Need?
The most common type of battery in lawn mowers is known as a lead-acid battery. Lead-acid batteries have several different cells, each with lead oxide and a lead plate. These two plates are submerged in a solution of 64% distilled water and 36% sulfuric acid, also known as an electrolyte solution.
To make the lawn tractor battery give power, lead-acid batteries rely on electrochemical reactions. When the lead plates contact the electrolyte solution, they create a voltage using exact battery chemistry. Each cell within your entire battery can produce just over two volts of electricity transformed into power.
You’ll find lead-acid batteries are used in cars and tractors. Depending on the size of your mower, you’ll have a series of battery cells all connected in a circuit. The larger the mower, the more cells are needed to create higher power levels.
Six Volt vs. Twelve Volt Batteries
As mentioned, most riding lawn mowers require either a six or 12-volt battery. As you would expect, a 12-V battery is recommended for larger equipment as they offer more power. It’s important to remember that a six-volt battery won’t be strong enough for a 12-volt lawn mower engine.
On the other hand, a 12-volt battery will be far too powerful for a six-volt system, which can cause considerable damage. You must confirm the battery type your specific riding lawn mower needs before changing it out.
How to Tell the Size of a Riding Lawn Mower Battery
Changing a battery can be challenging if you’ve lost your owner’s manual or are unsure of your lawn mower’s make and model. Since you’ll need to know what type of battery the system needs, you need to know where to look. This guide will help you figure out the perfect battery size for a quick replacement.
Tip 1: Check the Battery Size
The first thing you’ll need to do is find the battery compartment on your riding lawn mower. You’ll find it under the rider’s seat in most instances. You may also place it in another central location on the frame of your mower.
Once you’ve found the location, you’ll want to look at its size and battery dimensions. Six-volt batteries will be considerably smaller than a 12-V battery, requiring fewer cells to produce power. You’ll find six-volt batteries often measure around four by six inches.
Alternatively, a 12-V battery is bound to be double the size of six-volt batteries, typically eight by ten inches. You’ll also find they have a larger rectangular shape with a longer battery lifespan.
Tip 2: Check the Label
One of the easiest ways to determine the size of your lawn mower’s battery is to check its label. Fortunately, most manufacturers put all of the information you need directly on the battery. With that said, the top of the unit should specify whether it’s six or 12 volts.
You would assume this is the most foolproof method for checking. However, the label on your healthy battery is bound to wear away over time. With that said, it’s not always the best way to check the type of durable batteries you need.
Tip 3: Check the Individual Battery Cells
Earlier, we mentioned that different battery sizes require different numbers of cells to access power. This is one of the best ways to check what type of battery your lawn mower uses, and it’s never wrong. However, it will require a little bit of extra work and some tools.
To check the cells of your battery, you’ll need to pry off the cell cap using a flathead screwdriver. Once the cap has been removed, you should be able to see a different number of cell holes. Six-volt batteries have three cell holes you’ll see immediately.
12-volt batteries are slightly different, as they’re larger batteries. They have three cell holes under two cell caps, offering six cells in their lead-acid sealed batteries. It’s essential to use finger guards during this process to protect your hands.
How to Tell if Your Riding Lawn Mower Battery is Dead
When you’re interested in learning how many volts a riding lawn mower battery has, it’s likely because it’s time to change yours. It can be a good idea to double-check whether your existing battery is dead before paying for a replacement. Let’s go over some quick steps you can follow to keep an eye on your mower’s charge throughout the season.
Check the Voltage Rating
The best way to decide if your riding lawn mower’s battery is dead is to check its voltage. A multimeter is one of the best tools for this job, as it safely measures your battery. To get an accurate reading, you have to set the device to DC (direct current).
You’ll need to attach the multimeter’s cables to the terminals on your battery. Positive will go to the red terminal, and negative battery terminal will go to your battery’s negative (-) post. You can then turn the multimeter on and look at the readings.
If the readings are considerably less than 12V, it means it’s time for a new battery.
Charge and Start
If you’ve tried to use your riding lawn mower only to find it’s likely dead, it’s best to try a lawn mower battery charger. Batteries often fall flat but don’t lose their charge entirely. With the help of advanced battery chargers, you can quickly give your mower a boost at the beginning of the season.
Be sure to set the advanced lead-acid battery charger for the correct voltage, or you could cause irreversible damage. For example, a 12V lawn mower battery requires 12V charging power. Ensure you let the mower charger for at least eight hours before you try starting it again.
If you’re still getting low readings after it reaches its battery capacity, it’s best to replace the dead battery. Otherwise, you should be able to start your lawn mower easily. This step is also important if you own a mower with rechargeable batteries.
Your motor batteries need to be checked regularly, especially if they’re lithium. Using lithium battery chargers can help you prolong the lifespan of your maintenance-free, spill-proof batteries. Also, use a proper battery charger to protect your lithium battery warranty.
Check the Terminals
You would be surprised at the sheer number of people that think they need a battery replacement with loose cables. Always double-check that your terminals are tightly secured if you’re dealing with a struggling lawn mower. Gently pull on the cables to see if any of them move and tighten them as needed so electricity can flow easily.
What Batteries Are Best for My Lawn Mower?
As mentioned, it’s important to check your owner’s manual to find the best battery for your specific yard tool. However, we have a list of some of the most popular lawn mower batteries you’ll find. If you’re ready to take the path with quality batteries, these brands are highly recommended:
- Mighty Max ML-U1-CCAHR Battery
- VMAXTANKS V35-857 Battery
- Lead-Acid YTX12-BS Batteries
- Lead-Acid YTX9-BS Batteries
- Lithium YTX14-BS Batteries
- Lithium YTX5L-BS Batteries
- Lithium YTX24HL-BS Batteries
- Lithium YTX12-BS Batteries
- Lithium YTX9-BS Batteries
- Gel-Cell YTX9-BS Batteries
- AGM and Gel-Cell YTX12-BS Batteries
- AGM and Gel-Cell YTX5L-BS Batteries
- ‘Basic’ YTX20L-BS Batteries
The Right Battery for Your Mower
Answering “How many volts is a riding lawn mower battery?” can help you find the perfect replacement from a dual-purpose battery supplier.
Battery voltage is essential whether you’re looking to repair an old mower or maintain your current one. Fortunately, most modern mowers have 12V batteries, making battery maintenance more universal.