How To Start a Ferris Zero-Turn Mower?

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It’s a general take for zero-turn mowers to come with a steep learning curve, so if you’re just getting familiar with the machines, it could be quite frustrating to finally get a hang of utilizing them. To even start the mower can prove to be challenging; you have a lot of steps to follow that are quite different from what you might have been used to. So, I understand where you’re coming from. Every master was once a newbie. 

If, on the other hand, you already have a measure of understanding of riding mowing machines but starting your new Ferris z-turn mower has proven to be troublesome, there’s every possibility that you’re mismatching the steps.

 No qualms though, because in this article, I’ll be listing out a clear and simple step-by-step procedure on how to start your Ferris zero-turn mower without a sweat. Let’s dive!

how to start a ferris zero turn mower

How To Start Your Ferris Zero-Turn Mower in Nine Simple Steps

  1. Begin on a Flat Airy Surface 

Starting your Ferris zero-turn mower on a suitably ventilated plain that isn’t tilted or sloped will affect the procedure positively. It might look like a minuscule attempt, but it is always good to switch the mower on in the safest way possible which includes a good environment for the machine. 

 If you’re wondering what could go wrong without proper ventilation, cramped spaces could affect the efficiency of the engines and the filtering system, and slopes could affect the fuel or engine tank. 

Perhaps your Ferris z-turn mower isn’t all that brand new, and you’re wondering why starting it is not as smooth as it’s supposed to be, some fresh air might be all your mower needs to bounce back. Instead of forcing it to start in the shed, take it to an open area and give it a try. 

  1. Extend The Drive Levers

The drive levers are a major safety feature for the Ferris zero-turn mowers; they are highly sensitive and thus, require to be properly safety-guaranteed. So, the levers have to be in the NEUTRAL POSITION for the mower to start. This is to prevent any sudden movements that could occur whilst the machine is switching on.  

All you have to do is pull the levers outwards from the drive position till they are both fully extended. If even one of the levers is halfway pulled, the mower won’t start. Once this step is complete, you’re already a few steps to starting your zero-turn mower. 

  1. Pull Up The Parking Brake Lever

The parking brake lever is also called the emergency brake lever. In case of a situation gone sour, you can easily pull the lever for an intuitive and quick response; this will cause the mower to abruptly halt. 

To start your Ferris zero-turn mower successfully, the parking brake has to be pulled up/put on because the engines blatantly won’t attempt to start without this measure. Always make sure the lever is pulled up before kick-starting the machine. 

  1. Put The Throttle Lever on The Start/Choke Position

The throttle lever is located on the control panel in a slot that allows you to slide it back and forth. What you will do is pull the lever all the way back to the lowest mark and proceed to the next step.

  1. Ensure That The PTO Switch is Off 

You can easily identify the PTO switch; it is the yellow big knob responsible for engaging and disengaging the mower deck blades. The PTO switch has to be put off before your Ferris zero-turn can start as it’s also a safety feature. 

  1. Twist The Start Key

The start key is easily identifiable; it looks like a small key with three badges around the slot and is normally at the ‘off’ symbol. Now, twist the key all the way to the start symbol and hold it down. When your z-turn mower starts and you release the key, it naturally falls back to the run badge which is located in between the start and stop signs. Try not to crank the mower for more than 5 to 6 seconds as this will fatigue the engine and ruin its life span. 

  1. Engage The Choke 

For the higher models, the engines are fuel injected and thus do not come with the choke. Although, for the Ferris z-turn low-grade models, the choke is necessary on most occasions for the mower to start. On the few occasions where the choke is not necessary, the machine has just been put to use and the engine is still warm. I digress; press on the choke while you twist the key. This process will immediately kick start the engines and roar your z-turn mower to life.

  1. Push The Parking Brake Lever Down

Your Ferris z-turn will keep switching itself off if the parking brake lever is still engaged/pulled up. Once the mower starts, pull the lever down to disengage the brake so that the machine doesn’t emergency halt. 

  1. Pull The Steering Levers To The Drive Position 

Now that you have successfully started your Ferris zero-turn mower, you can pull the levers inwards into the drive position and steer your way to finished tasks and nicely cut yards!

ferris zero turn mower won't start

What To Do if Your Ferris Zero-Turn Mower Won’t Start

If you have followed the guidelines and your zero-turn mower insists on getting some more sleep, there might be a problem you haven’t noticed yet. Here’s where to inspect:

  1. Check The Cables, Connections, & Spark Plugs

This will come very easy for you if you have background knowledge of how the cables work. You might peep in and find that a wire has come loose from its point and requires a little handy-work tightening. In other cases, the spark plugs might be a little rusted or in need of change. If the plugs have a bit of rust, you can easily clean them out with a toothbrush before you restart your z-turn mower. 

  1. Inspect The Engine Oil

The engine oil is sometimes overlooked even though they come as a regular maintenance procedure. Perhaps the oil has darkened with time and urgently needs to be replaced. I suggest you inspect the tank properly and replace the oil if need be to relieve the strain on your engine.

  1. Examine The Air Filters

The air filters play a huge role in the well-being of the engine and the zero-turn mower as a whole. Since the rear is mostly exposed, the engines could get filled with particles or overheated if the filter is clogged. Make sure to clean the filters regularly and replace them if need be.

 In measurable cases, the zero-turn mower could be hauled to the Ferris dealer with a complaint to find out that the filters only needed a replacement or simple cleaning! For less than 15 bucks, you can save your Ferris zero-turn mower engine and a great deal of money for engine repairs. Here’s a good air filter replacement (view on amazon); I totally recommend them. 

The End of Our Trip 

If you follow the guidelines in the correct order, starting your Ferris zero-turn mower won’t be worth a sweat. I suggest you take your time, no rush, and get to fully understand your mower. It is much better to go through the required steps so that if the mower won’t start even after your effort, you can be sure the problem isn’t from you and then proceed to contact your dealer. Good luck!