Lawn tractor batteries are often one of the most neglected components of the whole machine. Some people hardly even notice the batteries until the mower falls flat in the middle of a mowing session due to failure which can be quite infuriating.
The expected time for a lawn tractor’s battery to last is 4 to 5 years– this range automatically ranks it to be a good battery. If it lasts longer, say 5 to 9 years, consider the deal a jackpot! Bear in mind that the lifespan of your mower’s battery solely depends on the level of maintenance you render to it.
In this article, I’ll be discussing the lifespan and the factors that affect the expected performance of your lawn tractor’s battery, including tips that would help you preserve your unit for as long as possible. Let’s go!
3 Major Factors That Define Your Battery’s Lifespan
The best way to begin is by understanding how your lawn tractor’s battery is affected. That way you can easily figure out which aspect answers your question specifically. Here are the three major determiners of your battery’s duration:
The Type Of Battery
The two main types of lawn tractor batteries are Lead Acid and Lithium-ion artillery. Lithium-Ion batteries are much more dependable and effective in comparison to lead acids; they charge faster and retain more power giving rise to little or no memory, and preventing depletion with time.
Lawn tractor batteries can also be categorized based on how they are engineered; you have the partially sealed units that do their best at 4 years, the completely sealed types that go past 4 years to 6, and gel mat batteries that could reach 6 to 8 years– all of which is influenced by how well they’re preserved.
Most of the time, the battery’s endurance to day-to-day activity is responsible for its duration which is usually a result of how the batteries are manufactured more than what they are made of. However, both factors work hand in hand to determine how long your lawn tractor’s battery will last.
Your Battery’s Cold Cranking Amps
It’s a general rule for lawn tractor batteries to despise the cold. At this point is where the Cold Cranking Amp comes in handy. What is CCA you may ask?
The cold cranking amp is the maximum current that a new, fully charged,12V battery can transmit for 30 seconds, without the voltage dropping below 7.2V, at 0°F (-18°C). The adequate CCA for all lawn tractor batteries is 145 and nothing less.
Usually, they would exceed this mark to impress you with even 480 which would depend on the specific manufacturing company. Nonetheless, these high CCA batteries are mostly replacement units and would hardly be paired with original riding mowers like the one you have. For better context, you can find out all about your machine’s battery CCA in your owner’s manual or on the artillery itself.
If you reside in cold temperatures all year round, it will affect the lifespan of your lawn tractor’s battery as more strain will be required from the cells to spark the engine to life. The warmer it gets, the better and easier it would be for the unit.
Frequency Of Use
Unlike other parts of your lawn tractor, the battery requires you to engage it as much as possible to reach the desired lifespan. In most cases, battery issues are associated with storing the machines over the seasons without practice. Although there are methods to ensure your lawn tractor’s battery does not self-discharge during the non-work seasons, it’s still more effective if you put the machine to use often.
How To Ensure Your Lawn Tractor’s Battery Lasts
There is no exact factor that will determine the longevity of your riding mower’s battery life. Instead, it’s a combination of different elements that could be handled to ensure that your machine’s artillery lasts as long as possible– preferably up to or exceeding 4 years.
Here are the most profitable methods that will guarantee your lawn tractor’s battery lasts as long as possible:
Protect The Terminals From Corrosion
The terminals are as important as the concealed unit of the battery itself. Once corrosion or crust is resting on the ports, it terribly affects the flow of current and exerts unnecessary strain on the entire component. If this is ignored for a long period, your mower’s battery life will face irreplaceable damage.
The easiest way to prevent corrosion from happening is by rubbing an anti-corrosion spray or gel on the terminals preferably every four months. If you have noticed corrosion or crystals at the terminals already, no need to worry. Just grab a mixture of baking soda and water and wipe away the crust with a soaked cloth. After that, you apply your gel to make sure it doesn’t form crystals again. This will ensure that there is less discharge or depletion by the battery.
Charge The Battery The Correct Way
Failing to use the accurate voltage to charge your lawn tractor’s battery will result in dangerous scenarios like a fire or just outright damaging the artillery for good. Always, always ensure you use only the correct voltage charger. If you’re wondering which volt your battery has, check the manual or the battery itself– it’s always written on the surface for you to spot easily.
Lawn tractor battery chargers can either be 6V or 12V. There are many good brands of chargers out there, but it’s always important to buy from the best to give your battery the most suitable treatment to encourage its lifespan. Click here (view on Amazon) for my most recommended 6V charger, and here (view on Amazon) if your battery is a 12V. You can also purchase a two-in-one battery charger – 6V and 12– so that you can be fully equipped; (view on Amazon).
Safe and correct battery charging ethics also influence the battery lifespan; never leave your unit attached to the charger way after due time, especially if it’s a lead-acid battery. Always ensure you recharge with just as much as needed for your battery to be fully satisfied.
Put Your Battery Away During Long Breaks
As we have earlier discussed, letting the battery enjoy the holiday still attached to the lawn tractor is a terrible idea. It would sit there and self-discharge itself until nothing’s left to generate a spark. The best thing to do is to detach the unit from the machine and store it in a cool dry place till you’re ready to use it. It’s even more effective if you store it fully charged– this will ensure that even if it discharges a little current, it wouldn’t be flat before maintenance charging. Thus, effectively prolonging the lifespan of your lawn tractor’s battery.
Lawn Tractor Batteries That Last Longer Than Life
If your mower’s old battery is due to be replaced, it is best to seek the most reliable unit you can find so that you don’t end up asking the whys and hows in a fury. Here are good lawn tractor batteries that will last you through the years:
The higher the CCA, the more durable your battery is. The anti-gravity battery has a whopping crank amp count of 480 that will push you through the thick and thin of all seasons. Even better, they are lithium-ion batteries with no self-discharge which takes out the burden of fretting over the charge status of the unit, and also allows them to last over 6 years. If you are seeking a good place to start, I recommend you start with this battery (view on Amazon).
If you prefer the good old lead acid batteries, you’d do much better with Mighty Max (view on Amazon). They have a reputable CCA of 320 enabling them to tackle cold regions well. I recommend this artillery unit because unlike other types, this brand is a 99.9% lead-acid that allows much better uniformity and thus, general performance regarding lifespan. You’ll get 5 to 6 years with good maintenance, plus they are also much more affordable in comparison to Antigravity.
The Interstate artillery unit is great for the buy-and-use residential lawn tender– It is a completely sealed lead acid battery with a CCA of 220. In comparison to the earlier mentioned brands, they wouldn’t do that well in cold regions. However, you’ll get the best out of 4 good years if you desire a simple and affordable battery for your lawn tractor. This right here (view on Amazon) is easily the best compared to the other brands in its price range.
Closing The Chapter…
There’s no one-way-suits-all for dealing with a lawn tractor battery or even the machine as a whole. Your experience is unique and so should the way your battery is to be cared for. To give a general (or somewhat prickling) answer, lawn tractor batteries will last as long as they are properly maintained and the maintenance depends on the type of battery you have– which is why your experience is distinct. I wish you great luck!