How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024

How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024 – Jump Starting Process with a Screwdriver

Won’t start even with fresh gas and spark? In many cases, a bad starter solenoid prevents the engine from cranking over. Fortunately, you can bypass the solenoid to jump-start a lawn mower using just a basic screwdriver in an emergency.

This comprehensive guide covers everything involved in jump-starting a mower’s starter solenoid using a screwdriver. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot start issues and engage the starter manually to get your mower running again.

Overview of Jumping a Mower Solenoid With a Screwdriver

Jumping the solenoid involves connecting two posts to crank the starter:

  • Locate the solenoid on the mower body and identify the two large posts.
  • Disconnect the wire lead from one post and touch it to the other post using a screwdriver.
  • This engages the starter motor directly, bypassing any bad solenoid.
  • Reinstall the wire to its proper post after the mower starts.
  • Only provides a temporary start until the solenoid is repaired or replaced.
  • Requires safely handling live current. Use insulated tools only.

This method works if the issue is a bad solenoid, not the starter itself. Use extreme caution when splicing electrical connections.

How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024
Steps to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024

Step 1 – Diagnose the Underlying No Start Issue

Before jump starting, determine why the mower won’t start:

  • Faulty starter solenoid – Common failure, makes a click but doesn’t crank when turning the key. Confirms solenoid is likely bad.
  • Seized starter motor – If no noise at all, the starter itself may have failed. Jumping solenoids won’t help.
  • Out of fuel – Obviously, the mower won’t start without fresh gas. Check tank level.
  • Spark issues – No spark indicates ignition system problems. Verify spark plug, carburetor, and magneto function.
  • Battery problems – A dead battery prevents electric start. Try to push starting or charging the battery.

Be sure the core issue is a bad solenoid and not another underlying failure before attempting to jump-start the mower.

Step 2 – Gather Proper Tools and Supplies

You will need:

  • Insulated screwdriver – To safely handle current flow. Avoid metal tools.
  • Work gloves – For hand protection when splicing wires.
  • Replacement solenoid – To replace bad solenoid promptly after jumping.
  • Shop rag – Prevents debris getting into the engine and prevents shocks.
  • Eye protection – Always wear eye shields when working around batteries and live current.

Take time to gather all required tools and parts before jumping the solenoid. This makes the process smooth and safe.

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Step 3 – Locate the Solenoid and Starter Components

On most mowers, the starter components with solenoids are located externally:

  • Find the starter motor itself, cylindrical with gear teeth that engage the engine flywheel.
  • Mounted on the starter will be a smaller cylindrical solenoid, usually on the top or side.
  • The solenoid has two large post terminals and wiring leads.
  • Note any covers, shrouds, or obstructions limiting access. Some disassembly may be required.

Familiarize yourself with the layout of the specific starter and solenoid on your mower model before beginning.

Step 4 – Disconnect Positive Lead from Solenoid Post

With gloves on and the mower power off, locate the positive lead:

  • Trace the heavy gauge red wire from the battery to the solenoid. It connects to one large post terminal.
  • Carefully disconnect this lead from the solenoid post using properly insulated tools.

With the positive lead removed, it can be touched safely to the other solenoid post to jump-start the mower.

 to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024
Steps to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024

Step 5 – Touch Positive Lead to Second Post

Very carefully:

  • With the positive lead removed, touch it to the second large post terminal on the solenoid.
  • This sends full battery power directly to the starter motor.
  • It should crank and start the mower. Don’t hold very long to avoid overheating the motor!
  • This bypasses any bad solenoid and engages the starter manually.

Use extreme caution not to touch the live lead to any grounded metal parts! Wear eye protection and avoid leaning directly over the battery.

Step 6 – Promptly Reinstall Positive Lead Once Running

As soon as the mower starts:

  • Immediately pull back the lead and reattach it securely to the proper solenoid post terminal.
  • Snug the mounting nut carefully using insulated tools without contacting metal components.

Leaving the positive lead disconnected is extremely hazardous. Reconnect it promptly once the mower is started to restore the normal circuit path.

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Step 7 – Conclude By Replacing the Bad Solenoid

Finish up:

  • Wipe down any spilled fuel or oil. Dispose of rags properly to avoid fire hazards.
  • Replace the failed solenoid promptly to avoid needing to jump start repeatedly.
  • If the replacement solenoid also fails, the starter may be bad and require rebuilding/replacement.
  • Never attempt starting or charging a mower in the rain – serious shock hazard!

Jumper starting with a screwdriver should only be done in emergencies as a temporary fix until proper repairs are completed.

How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024
Helpful Precautions When Jumping Mower Solenoids

Helpful Precautions When Jumping Mower Solenoids

Here are some important safety notes:

  • Use insulated tools only and wear eye protection – shorts can cause serious injuries or damage.
  • Avoid touching both solenoid posts at the same time. Make only brief contact when jumping.
  • Do not lean over the battery – gases can ignite and explode.
  • Confirm mower blade lever is disengaged before starting.
  • Shut off fuel when working on the engine to reduce fire risks.
  • Never jump-start in wet conditions where water contacts the engine or electrical.
  • Carefully secure all leads and components after jump-starting.

Exercising extreme caution is crucial when splicing into live electrical connections to avoid shocks, sparks, and shorts.

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Conclusion

How to Jump Start a Lawn Mower With a Screwdriver 2024

While a bit advanced, jump-starting a mower by bypassing the starter solenoid with a screwdriver allows temporary regaining function in an emergency when needing to mow. But use appropriate safety gear and extreme care when handling live currents. Any sparks or shorts while jump-starting can potentially cause severe injuries or damage. Only utilize this method very carefully as a workaround until proper repairs can be completed. And of course, schedule replacement of the failed solenoid promptly to avoid repeated risky jumping. With adequate precautions, solenoid jumping can provide limited mobility when needed but should be avoided unless necessary.

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