12 SKIL Electric Mower Starting Issues

When the motor is overworked, the power supply is inadequate, the electrical connection is poor, or the starting process is improper, an SKIL electric mower will not start.

Possible causes include a corroded battery terminal, a discharged battery, a defective safety switch, frayed or disconnected cables, or an accumulation of debris beneath the mower’s deck.

Take all necessary safety measures before attempting repairs on your cordless SKIL mower, as you will be working with live electrical currents and potentially dangerous cutting blades. Take out the batteries.

Check with SKIL’s service center before making any adjustments to your mower that could void the warranty if you are still within the warranty term. For both 20v and 40v mowers, I discuss starting issues.


Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating, be sure you’ve read and understood all of the safety recommendations in the equipment’s operator’s manual. If you don’t feel confident in your ability to conduct the repair safely due to a lack of experience, training, or health, it’s best to call in an expert.

Causes of an SKIL Electric Mower’s Refusal to Start

Low Battery Voltage

When the battery life of a cordless electric mower is too low, it won’t function. Power from a battery can be diminished by a number of factors, such as faulty connections, improper installation, or an aging battery.

Make sure the battery you’re using is designed to work with your electric mower. In addition to more serious electrical system issues, a failure to start can result from using the incorrect size battery.

Battery Is Not Installed Properly

Ensure that the battery is inserted properly by checking its position. Verify that it is not moving around and is making solid contact.

When the battery is inserted properly, it will slide into the slots and click into position. When the button to release the batteries clicks back into place, the sound will be audible.

Check the battery connection:

Wipe the area surrounding the cover of the battery compartment before opening it to prevent dirt and debris from falling inside.
Press the battery release button to take the battery out.
Ensure that the battery terminals are spotless. Get rid of the grime.
The battery can be slipped back into the slots and reinstalled. When it’s securely fastened, a click will be heard.
When the battery is in position, make sure to close the compartment lid tightly.

Bad Charger/Wall Outlet Connection

Most SKIL electric lawnmowers require the battery to be removed and placed in a separate charging station. The battery being charged requires a charging station built for that battery alone.

Ensure that the battery charger is completely plugged into both the wall socket and all other electrical cords. Plug it into a regular 120-volt electrical outlet. Verify that the plug has adequate electricity.

It’s important that the plug on your cord is compatible with the outlet. Please don’t try to tinker with the plug. Plugs with three prongs can only be used in outlets with the same number of prongs.

Keep the vents clean and the battery charger away from direct sunlight and freezing temperatures.

The Battery Is Overheating

Your lawnmower won’t start if the SKIL battery gets too hot. Remove any debris from the mower’s vents. Do not try to start the vehicle until the battery has cooled down.

The Battery Has Died

Since SKIL mowers require a battery to function, it stands to reason that a dead battery will prevent the mower from starting. Batteries need to be charged using an external battery charger.

LED lights are commonly used in battery chargers to show the charging progress. On numerous SKIL battery chargers, I have detailed the most typical triggers for lighting systems. To learn more about the lights’ meanings in relation to your charger model, consult the manual that came with your charger.

  • Flashing green means that the battery is being charged.
  • Constant green indicates a fully charged battery.
  • If the battery light is flashing red, it may be faulty.
  • A constant red light indicates that the battery temperature is either too low or too high. You should relocate the charger to a cooler area.

When a completely charged battery only lasts for a fraction of the time it used to, you know it’s on its last legs.

When a battery stops being able to keep a charge, it means it is dying. When your battery starts getting extremely hot, it’s another clue it’s dying.

If you find that your battery is losing its charge too quickly, charging slowly, or overheating, you should acquire a new one.

Old age, severe temperatures, and mechanical breakdown are all contributors to battery failure.

Incorrect Method of Getting Started

If you’ve never used a battery lawn mower before, or if you’ve had trouble with your current model, consult the instructions to familiarize yourself with the model’s safety features and maintenance suggestions.

The safety button/key on your SKIL mower is a failsafe designed to prevent inadvertent ignition by small children. If you don’t start your mower the right way, it won’t work.

SKIL self-propelled and push mower starting instructions:

  • Verify the battery is firmly fastened.
  • Hold down the emergency stop button.
  • To activate the motor, draw the bail switch (the safety bar) toward the handle.
  • Turn off the safety switch.
  • If you let go of the bail switch (the safety bar), the mower will turn off.

For self-propelled models:

  • After starting the mower and holding the bail switch against the handle, the self-propelled lever can be pulled to the handle to activate the feature.
  • You may control the pace with the knob.

The Handle Is Incorrectly Adjusted

The SKIL electric mower has a collapsible grip. The mower won’t start unless the handle is locked into place after being moved into operating position.

Methods for securing a knob:

  • The handles can be unlocked by rotating the knobs on the side. Each end of the mower’s handle has a knob for adjusting the cutting height.
  • Lift the knob by pulling it upwards.
  • Set the locking position on the knobs that adjust the handles. The locking pin will now be activated.

No Extensions to the Side Rails

After making sure the grip is secure, examine the side rails. For an SKIL mower to function, the side rails must be fully extended and locked into place.

Defective Safety Switch

Your mower might not start if any of the safety switches don’t work. Using a multimeter or a jumper wire, you may test each switch’s functionality.

Just switch out the bad one. Never mow a lawn without first ensuring that all of the safety switches are in good working order, for your own and other people’s protection.

SKIL Self-Propelled Mower and Push Mower Changing Mechanisms

  • Control for the bail lever/security bar. The mower is activated by drawing the bar into the handle. The mower will turn off when the handle is released.
  • The on/off button is a momentary switch.

If your SKIL lawn mower has any extra safety switches, they will be described in the manual.

If you want to know why you need be so careful when working on and using an electric mower, read my article on the subject.

Frayed or Pinched Wires

Many wires will be flowing along the handle and through the body of your SKIL mower. When a wire becomes dislodged or pinched, a short might emerge.

Moving a wire around might sometimes reveal a short that’s keeping the mower from turning on. A multimeter can also be used to detect a short.

When folded up for storage, the handle is a popular location for a wire to become pinched. Careful folding and unfolding of the handle to keep the wires on the outside of the handle will prevent pinching at this location.

You can use a wire nut to fix a pinched wire if you discover one. Disconnect the power source and disable the safety feature before beginning maintenance.

If your lawnmower is still under warranty, you may wish to get in touch with SKIL before completing the repair.

When conducted by someone who is not authorized by SKIL, repairs to the wiring and any changes to the mower will nullify any and all warranties provided by SKIL.

Blade Rotation is Restricted by Debris

A common problem with lawn mowers is that extra grass and other debris gets stuck beneath the deck.

Never touch the deck without first taking the batteries out.

If your electric lawn mower’s blade is struggling to turn, it could be because of the accumulation of excessive grass in the deck. If your lawn mower is being stubborn and won’t start, try clearing the deck.

When your SKIL mower is too heavy, it may refuse to start or stop cutting the grass. When the grass is thick, tall, or damp, and you try to cut it all at once, this can happen.

To alleviate the strain on your mower caused by this issue, increase the cutting height and reduce your speed. Don’t mow the lawn if it’s damp.

Broken Parts

If the problems with your mower persist after you’ve examined the aforementioned items, you should call SKIL’s customer support at 1-877-754-5999.

There could be damage to the motor or other parts that need replacing. A qualified service professional can run diagnostics to figure out what’s causing your car to not start.

It’s possible that there’s a drop-off location or service center in your area. To make sure this is the best course of action for your mower’s issue, call customer service before bringing it in.