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How to start a riding mower quickly for your garden

By Leonard Evans
I am a senior editor at Bebest, where I can share valuable content about convenience in life based on issues related to household devices.

When confronting the task of mowing extensive stretches of grass, investing in riding lawnmowers like the compact models from John Deere emerges as a highly favorable choice. These machines are the most convenient tools for efficiently cutting grass within a minimal timeframe. Due to their many advantages, riding lawnmowers comes at a higher cost than conventional mowers. Nevertheless, delving into expenses can be reserved for another discussion. Since you are here, you likely lack knowledge about the optimal approach to how to start a riding lawnmower. No need to worry; this guide is tailored precisely to your needs.

Essential Checklist for Starting Your Riding Lawn Mower

Essential Checklist for Starting Your Riding Lawn Mower
Checklist for Starting Your Riding Lawn Mower

Starting your riding lawnmower efficiently requires careful preparation and attention to detail. You need to follow this essential checklist to ensure a smooth start every time:

Fuel and Oil Check

Make sure you start by inspecting the fuel level in your lawnmower. If it’s running low, add fresh gasoline to the fuel tank. Next, confirm the oil level and top it up with the recommended type. Adequate fuel and oil levels are crucial for your lawnmower’s engine’s smooth and efficient functioning.

Brakes and Clutch Engagement

Before attempting to start the engine, engage the brake pedal to prevent any unintended movement of the lawnmower. If your lawnmower features a clutch, ensure it’s disengaged, as this will facilitate a smoother engine startup.

How to start a riding mower

How to start a riding lawnmower
How to start a riding mower

Hence, when it comes to the pivotal aspect, let these instructions guide you on how to operate this specific type of mower effectively:

Step 1: Secure Your Seating

You must begin by ensuring you are seated firmly in the seat. It’s worth noting that certain riding mowers incorporate safety systems that prevent engine activation unless the operator is sitting or the parking brake is engaged. Before starting the mower, ensure you are comfortably seated and can easily access all the necessary levers and pedals.

Step 2: Activate the Brake

The next step is to direct your attention to the left side, where you will find the brake mechanism. This could be a pedal near your left foot or a lever within your reach. Press down on the pedal or engage the lever to apply the brake and maintain it in this position.

Press down on the pedal or engage the lever
Activate the Brake

Step 3: Engage the Parking Brake

The location of the parking brake might differ between mower models. Generally positioned near your left or right side, it’s often in the form of a knob or lever. You can find it near your seat and pull the brake upwards while gradually releasing the pedal.

In cases where your mower lacks a brake knob, you can activate the parking brake by depressing the brake pedal.

Shift into Neutral Gear

In this step, you’ll need to find the gear shift lever near the steering wheel or occasionally beneath the seat. First, adjust the lever to the ‘N’ position, signifying neutral. For mowers without parking brake knobs, holding down the brake while shifting gears might be necessary.

Engage the Throttle Choke Position

Could you identify the throttle lever, often situated to the left of your seat? Throttle levers are usually recognizable because the rabbit and turtle symbols indicate speed levels. Move the throttle lever to engage the choke. Depending on your mower’s design, this can involve positioning the lever between slow and fast or pulling it past the ‘fast’ mark, often symbolized by a circle with diagonal lines.

Engage the Throttle Choke Position
Engage the Throttle Choke Position

Insert the Ignition Key

In the next step, you can insert the ignition key into the ignition switch with the throttle adjusted. This switch could be on the dashboard before or next to your seat.

Turn the Key to the Right

Once the key is in the ignition switch, could you turn it to the extreme proper position? This action will initiate the engine, which will gradually come to life. I’d like for you to maintain the key in this turned situation for approximately 15 seconds or until the engine runs smoothly.

Shift to Fast Throttle

Return your attention to the throttle. Release the choke by moving the lever upwards to the ‘fast’ setting, often indicated by a rabbit icon. At this point, your lawn mower is actually primed for operation. Note that older models might require a brief engine warm-up before you start driving.

By adhering to these instructions, you can effectively initiate the operation of your riding lawn mower.


In conclusion, mastering how to start a riding mower swiftly is a crucial skill for adequate garden upkeep. By meticulously following the step-by-step instructions and insights presented in this guide, you can initiate your riding lawnmower efficiently. Prioritize safety by observing recommended precautions, like engaging the brakes and ensuring proper seating. As you embark on garden maintenance aided by a riding lawnmower, this knowledge empowers you to confidently manage your yard work, saving valuable time and effort. Remember, consistent care, careful considerations, and a solid grasp of the starting process will contribute to your lawnmower’s longevity and optimal performance. This proficiency lets you revel in a well-maintained and visually appealing garden year-round.

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