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How to Replace the Neutral Safety Switch in a John Deere

Updated April 17, 2017

John Deere is an American manufacturer of riding lawnmowers. Known for their toughness and durability, John Deere riding mowers also come equipped with numerous built-in safety features. One such feature is the neutral safety switch. Located beneath the brake pedal, the neutral safety switch keeps the engine from being started without first pressing on the brake. A malfunctioning neutral safety switch can cause the mower to lurch forward without the brake being depressed, and can cause injury to the rider. You can buy a replacement neutral safety switch from John Deere distributors or some home improvement centres.

Lift the John Deere engine cover and use the ratchet wrench and socket set to loosen and remove the mower's negative battery cable.

Raise the mower deck to its highest level by pulling up on the mower deck lever.

Locate the neutral safety switch. It is a small plastic wiring harness that is bolted to the underside of the mower deck on the brake linkage.

Use the socket set to remove the two fastening bolts holding the switch to the brake linkage.

Grasp the sides of the old switch by hand, squeeze in on the tabs and pull the old switch free from the wiring harness. Press the new switch into the wiring harness.

Bolt the new neutral safety switch onto the brake linkage using the ratchet wrench and socket set.

Replace the John Deere's negative battery cable using the ratchet wrench and socket set.

Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet wrench and socket set
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About the Author

Andrea Walk began writing in 2001, authoring user guides for technical software. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola University, where she was a member of the Dean's Grade Review Committee for English. Walk is a member of the Automotive X-Prize team Global-E.