Second Mowing of the 2016 Season

As I discussed in a previous blog post, I tend to abuse my lawn equipment.

Old Tractor

Not like you abuse the proverbial step child, more like how you ignore the albino kitten in the litter because the sight of it freaks you out so much you want to hide your face in the nearest pile of lawn clippings.

Albino Kitten


Anyways, back to our story.

It’s a nice beautiful Saturday afternoon.  Mid 70’s with a light breeze.  Not your typical Kansas afternoon. Where is the 40 to 50 MPH breeze I’ve grown to love?

It’s been a week or so since I last mowed and the lawn needs mowing again real bad. Since I charged the mower battery last week, this week I should be good to go, right?

I hop on the trusty old Dixon, put the key in the ignition, turn the key and click. No sound of a Briggs and Stratton engine reving to life.  Just a click.

I check to make sure I have all the safety interlocks activated.  Seat switch, handles, parking brake, turn the ignition switch again and….


“#$)(*#$)(*)&@^” I mutter to myself.

OK, it was more of a yell than a mutter. I totally expect the neighbors to come over any minute and ask me to stop cursing in front of their young children.

But why are these small children outside anyways?  They should be inside killing each other playing Call of Duty or whatever the hot Playstation game is this week.

I get the battery charger out of the cabinet again, hook it up and let the battery charge for a few minutes.

Small Engine Battery
I adjust the battery charger terminals so I can put the seat down without causing an arc and burning my house down.

House FireBurning my house down would really piss the wife off so I try real hard not to do that.

I set the seat down, hop on, turn the ignition switch and she roars to life.

I hop off and unhook the battery charger and hope she keeps running.  Fortunately for me she does.

I get the lawn mowed in no time at all.  Ah, the joy of the reduced mowing time required thanks to owning a Zero Turn Lawn Mower. No shifting back and fourth between forward and reverse for this fella.

But the whole time I’m mowing the lawn I’m thinking to myself “please don’t #$*(#&($ die, please don’t #(*&$(*& die”.

Because I know if she does die I’ll never get her started again and I’ll have to push her up the giant hill to get her back in the garage for some more battery charging or a jump.


Now that the lawn is mowed and the Dixon is safely back in the garage it’s time to figure out the problem.

I unhook the battery and clean all the battery terminals and leads with a wire brush. Those terminals were so clean I could see my own beautiful reflection in them.

I hook the battery up to the charger and wait.


I don’t remember exactly what I did for the next couple hours while the battery charged but I’m sure it was super entertaining. It probably looked something like this.

Guy Fishing

So a couple hours or so later the battery charger reads charged so I hook the battery back up to the mower.  Turn the ignition key and she fires right up.

A couple days later I go into the garage, insert the ignition key, give it a turn and you guessed it.  Click!

More curse words came flowing out of the garage in such eloquent form Shakespeare himself would be jealous of the sentence of curse words I’ve put together.

The battery won’t hold a charge which means it’s time for a new battery. I could take the battery out of the mower and test it with a battery tester but this problem is pretty cut and dry.

The battery she is dead.

Maybe in the future when I’m writing articles about small engine maintenance I should actually do some myself instead of nursing a dead battery through the first few weeks of the season.

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Jack Hayes

Jack Hayes is the Head of Internet Marketing at LawnMowerPros and the editor of this blog. You can often find him creating featured articles, DIY guides, custom graphics and much more.