Starting a Zero-Turn Mower: Step-by-Step Instructions

There are a few procedures you need to go through before you can fire up the engine on your zero-turn mower. This is due to the fact that the mower cannot be started unless the PTO switch is off, the brake is engaged, and the mower is in the neutral position, all of which are checked by a safety interlock system.

zero turn control panel
zero turn control panel

Verify the following aspects of your zero-turn before starting and using it:

  • Open any fuel shutoff valves you may have.
  • Check the dipstick to make sure the engine oil is full.
  • Make that the overflow tanks have sufficient hydraulic oil.
  • Make sure you have enough gas.
  • Empty the cutting deck, engine, and exhaust system of any dirt or debris.
  • Make sure there is a clean, undamaged air filter.
  • Verify the functionality of the safety interlock mechanism.
  • There must be working seatbelts and a functional rollover protection system (ROPS).

Starting a Zero-Turn Mower: Steps

1. Move the Motion Control Lever to the Neutral Position

The steering levers/motion controls should be opened all the way. Here we have a neutral stance.

2. Engage the Parking Brake

Your zero-turn’s parking brake can be activated by a lever or a foot pedal. When the levers are in the neutral position, the brake can be used if you can’t find one.

3. Push Down on the PTO Switch

Mower blades can be activated by flipping the PTO switch. In order to turn on the ignition, this switch must be depressed.

4. Place the Throttle Lever Between Slow and Fast Positions

If your vehicle is equipped with a separate choke lever or knob, set the throttle so that it is between the “turtle” and “rabbit” settings.

If your vehicle doesn’t have a dedicated choke lever, you can use full throttle as a makeshift substitute.

5. COLD ENGINE: Place Choke in the On Position

A cold engine needs a lot of fuel to get going. This means that it can operate on less air and more fuel. Choke on allows for this dense mixture to be released by closing the choke plate.

If you want to keep your engine running smoothly after it has started, you need to turn the choke off.

To release the choke, you should raise the corresponding lever. If there is a knob, turn it clockwise.

6. WARM ENGINE: Place Choke in the Off Position

A rich fuel mixture is unnecessary for a heated engine. Choke must be turned OFF for the plate to be in its open position.

Put the lever in the ‘choke closed’ position if you have one. To use a knob, simply turn it clockwise.

7. Turn the Key in the Ignition Switch to the Start Position

Turn the key to the “start” position after inserting it into the ignition. As soon as the car begins, you can remove the key.

If after 10 seconds the engine still won’t start, release the start button. If this occurs, wait one minute before trying to restart.

Following the Steps, Your Zero-Turn Still Won’t Start

If you’re still having trouble getting your mower to turn over, check the battery, fuel, and air filters.

Possible causes include stale gas, a dead battery, a malfunctioning starter solenoid, faulty wiring, a dirty carburetor, or a lack of spark. If you’re having trouble getting your mower to start, this article may help you figure out the problem.

How to Turn Off and Stop Your Zero Turn Mower

  1. Stop your mower so that it cannot travel forward or backward.
  2. The steering wheel should be in a neutral position, with the levers facing outward.
  3. Put on the brakes and park.
  4. Put the accelerator pedal in between the parked and full stops.
  5. Just let it run for 30 seconds before you worry.
  6. To turn off the car, simply turn the key out of the ignition.

Read more: Zero-Turn Mower