How to Hot Wire a Riding Lawn Mower

Written by eric brown
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Riding lawnmowers can have frequent starting problems. A lot of times these problems are related to the ignition coil or the solenoid but may also be related to bad wiring, damaged wiring, a bad battery or a number of other things. The problem is what do you do when you can't get your lawnmower started, the lawn needs to be mowed and you don't have a parts store readily available? Learning to hot wire your riding lawnmower can allow you to keep your lawn looking fabulous even when you can't fix it right away.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 6-inch piece of heavy gauge wire
  • Rubber handled vice grips
  • Leather gloves

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  1. 1

    Bend your length of wire into a U- or V-shape using your vice grips.

  2. 2

    Locate the solenoid on your riding lawnmower. It will generally have two bolts on top and two on bottom. Wires from the battery will connect directly to the solenoid. It may be under the seat or under the bonnet.

  3. 3

    Hold your bent length of wire in your vice grips, and lock them into place. Put on your leather gloves.

  4. 4

    Put the riding lawnmower in neutral.

  5. 5

    Touch one end of your wire to one of the bolts on the bottom of the solenoid, and hold it there.

  6. 6

    Touch the other end of your wire to the other bolt on the bottom of the solenoid.

  7. 7

    Adjust your choke and or throttle until the mower starts.

  8. 8

    Remove your wire from the bolts on the solenoid. Your mower should now stay running. If it does not, contact a small engine mechanic as something else may be wrong.

Tips and warnings

  • If your mower still does not start, contact your local small engine mechanic.
  • Never hotwire a lawnmower that isn't yours.
  • Never hotwire a lawnmower using tools that do not have rubber-coated handles as serious injury can result.

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