How To Start A Lawn Mower Without Key

How To Start A Lawn Mower Without Key? (Step-By-Step Guide)

6 minutes

Mowing a lawn with a riding mower is the most convenient way. But when you lose, break or damage the mower key, it turns into a nightmare to start the lawnmower. 

No need to be worried. I have some solutions for you to start your riding mower without using the key. Seems great! 

A question now may arise in your mind, “How to start a lawn mower without key?”. I guess you are here to know the answer to this question.  If so, then halt searching here and there. 

Because in this article, I will try to cover all the proven solutions to start the lawnmower without using the key. Trust me, after reading this article, starting your lawnmower without the key will be a piece of cake for you. 

So, why late? Let’s start the mower. 

A Complete Guideline To Start A Lawn Mower Without Key

All the riding lawn mower comes with a key to get a convenient start. In fact, the key is an indispensable part to start a riding lawnmower. 

Apart from starting the mower, there are two reasons why all the riding mowers come with a key. One is it provides a protection feature and the other is it serves as a protective protection device. 

However, if you lose the key or break the key inside the ignition switch, then you need to think of different ways to start the mower. 

Let’s have a look at how many ways are in your hands if you lose or break the key of your lawnmower. 

  1. Using a jumper cable to start the mower.
  2. Using a screwdriver instead of the mower key. 
  3. Putting a new mower ignition switch in place. 

Get yourself ready to start your riding lawn mower without the mower ignition key. Let’s know all the processes in detail.

Using A Jumper Cable To Start The Mower

Using a jumper cable is an effective way to start the lawnmower without keys. But you have to be more careful when you decide to use a jumper cable. Because in this process, you need to deal with the mower battery.

Before jumpstarting the mower, you are required to have some tools. Let’s see what you need to complete the entire process. 

Required tools: 

  • A jumper cable
  • Cleaners for battery post
  • Pliers 
  • Rubber made hand gloves
  • Goggles 

Now, follow the step by step process to complete the task flawlessly. 

Steps to go ahead: 

Step #1: Prepare Lawn Mower For Using Jumper Cable

Take the lawnmower into an even surface and engage the mower parking mode. Disengage the mower blade also. Enable all the mechanisms set up for safety measures so that the lawnmower can remain stable in the time of working. 

Step #2: Find Out Mower Battery

Take off the lawnmower engine hood and find out the mower battery. 

Step #3: Unplug Cables Of Solenoid

Unplug both cables red as well as the black from the solenoid 2 electrical posts. 

Step #4: Clean The Battery Posts

Use the cleaner to remove any kind of dirt and corrosion that deposits in the posts of the mower battery. 

Step #5: Reconnect the Cables

After cleaning, connect both cables again. 

Step #6: Connect The Black Jumper Cable

Attach the one end of the black color jumper cable to the negative terminal of the mower battery. And attach another end to any metal of the mower deck. 

Step #7: Connect The Red Jumper Cable

Now, it’s time to connect the red color jumper cable. Attach the one end of the red color jumper cable to the positive terminal of the mower battery and touch another end to the metal portion at the starter of the mower. 

Step #8: Disconnects The Cables

When you hear the starting sound of the mower engine, detach the red color cable first. After that detach the black color cable as well. Lower the lawnmower engine hood and close it. 

Done! Your mower is now ready for mowing. 

Using a screwdriver instead of the mower key

Two methods are most frequently used when anyone uses a screwdriver instead of a traditional key start. Let’s have a look at both methods in detail. 

1st method: 

  • Enable the lawn mower parking brake and disengage the mower blades. 
  • Take off the lawnmower engine hood and find out the mower battery as well as the ignition coil. 
  • You will find a little box attached to the mower engine compartment side. 
  • Take the screwdriver and use it as a bridge for the starting purpose of the lawnmower. 
  • Use a screwdriver like a bridge if the gap between the mower starter and the mower solenoid is to be engaged.
  • Touch the head of the screwdriver to connect the starter to the mower solenoid. 
  • Eventually, the mower will run without making any contact with the screwdriver. 

2nd method: 

  • Use the screwdriver as the replacement of the mower key. 
  • Insert the screwdriver in the mower keyhole carefully. 
  • Now, rotate the screwdriver just like you rotate the mower key in the keyhole. 
  • The mower will start immediately. 

Hurray! Now your mower is completely ready to roar again. 

Putting a new mower ignition switch in place

If you lose the key and don’t have the proper knowledge about the above-mentioned processes, then replacing the mower ignition switch is the mere solution for you. 

Sometimes the lawnmower manufacturers don’t supply any spare key with the lawnmower. That’s why this is the ultimate solution for you. 

Just take your lawnmower to the nearby mower repairing shop. The technician will remove the mower old or damaged ignition switch and install a new one. When you install a new ignition switch in your lawnmower, you will get a key to start the lawnmower. 

That’s all. Your lawnmower is ready to reign over your lawn again. 


  • Always try to install the manufacturer’s recommended parts when you replace any parts of your lawnmower. 
  • Don’t forget to remove the mower key from the mower after shutting down the lawnmower. 


  • Wear safety equipment (hand gloves, goggles, ear protection) when you do any repair to your lawnmower. 
  • Don’t touch the metal of the screwdriver when you use it to connect the mower starter and the solenoid. 

Final thoughts

Now, choose the most suitable option from the above-mentioned processes. The options are not so hard to do but you have to follow the instructions to avoid any kind of unforeseen accidents. 

Hopefully, this article has given you the exact information on how to start a lawn mower without key. 

Now, all the processes are at your fingertips. Select the suitable one and start the lawnmower without any key. 

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!