The life of a lawn mower battery is something that every property owner wants to extend as long as possible. Because of this, many people wonder just how long does a lawn mower battery last?
Different types of lawn mowers use different types of batteries so it’s hard to say precisely how long each person can expect their lawn mower battery to survive. On top of this, the way that you take care of your battery will also affect its lifespan.
Shrouded by a ton of electrical lingo, it can be tough to find a direct answer to the question of how long lawn mower batteries last. I’ve done my best to figure out the quirks of each type of lawn mower battery, and I’ll try to describe their approximate life spans below.
Expected Life of a Lawn Mower Battery (The Short Answer)
If your lawn mower has a battery, it will either use a 6 or 12-volt lead-acid battery or a lithium-ion battery. With proper care, a lead-acid lawn mower battery should last about 3 to 4 years. Most battery-powered mowers have lithium-ion batteries that can typically be expected to function for up to 5 years or 500 charging cycles.
Differentiating Between Riding Mower and Push Mower Batteries
Another good way to provide some clarity about battery life is to talk about how long does a riding lawn mower battery last versus how long does a push lawn mower battery last. I’ve noticed that a lot of people want to know how battery life expectancy changes depending on the type of lawn mower.
Let’s talk about riding mowers first. The first question to answer when it comes to riding mower batteries is, are we talking about a riding mower with a gas or electric motor?
Gas-powered riding mowers use lead-acid batteries to get the engine started. Nowadays, this will almost always be a 12-volt battery. Some older models use 6-volt batteries but it isn’t as common.
Riding mowers with electric motors use lithium-ion batteries. These batteries are what actually supply all of the power to the mower, turn the blades, and get the grass cut.
Cordless electric push mowers use lithium-ion batteries as well. Gas-powered push mowers don’t use a battery, they typically use a magneto to get started instead.
When all is said and done, lead-acid batteries in riding mowers and lithium-ion batteries in either push or riding mowers can last pretty close to the same amount of time. Usually 3 to 4 years for lead-acid batteries, and up to 5 years for most lithium-ion mower batteries. The catch here is that they need to be taken care of correctly.
Factors That Impact How Long a Lawn Mower Battery Lasts
I know that I’ve said that your lawn mower battery will last for years and years, but that is really dependent on how well it is cared for. You can get away with using your lawn mower battery a ton, but you should be sure to avoid common battery care mistakes.
Here are some of the biggest things that will affect how long a lawn mower battery can last:
I find that a lot of people ask if you can overcharge a lawn mower battery. Well, spoiler alert, the answer is yes. This occurs when using a battery charger that supplies a lot of voltage at a time, or doesn’t shut off when the battery reaches a full charge.
Overcharging is really bad for batteries and can even be a fire or explosion hazard. Using a trickle charger or battery maintainer really helps extend the lifespan of batteries.
Just like overcharging causes problems, so does leaving a battery undercharged. Allowing a battery to sit in a discharged state will also negatively affect its lifespan.
Being sure to keep a full charge on your lawn mower battery (even in the winter when it isn’t being used) is really important.
Speaking of winter, extreme temperatures can hurt batteries. If you leave your lawn mower battery in your mower over the winter it’s really easy for it to become discharged and could possibly freeze.
Lawn mower batteries also don’t like very hot temperatures. By very hot, I mean over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If your battery is always sitting out in the sun its electrolyte solution could be evaporating and its capacity could be lowered.
Sure, a lot of people know about restoring a lawn mower battery, but you can only do that process so many times. Keeping your lawn mower battery at a moderate temperature will help it live longer.
Storage and Maintenance
Knowing how (and how not) to store a battery requires you to know about both charging and temperature. Since most people don’t mow all year round, the battery should be stored properly when not in use.
Monitoring charge during this time is key, and so is putting the battery somewhere with the right temperature. However, there are a couple of other things to consider.
Making sure that your battery is clean and dry are the two most important things that come to mind. You don’t want to leave your battery somewhere super humid or wet.
Cleanliness matters too. You can help protect your battery by covering its terminals. Lots of dust and debris can work its way in there. Making sure to wipe off any oil, grime, or corrosion will also keep your battery happy and healthy.
Lawn Mower Battery Lifespan FAQs
In putting together this piece to help people understand how long a lawn mower battery lasts, I’ve noticed that there are a couple more specific questions that frequently pop up when people talk about this topic, so I’m going to address those below.
How long does a 40-volt lawn mower battery last?
If you’ve got a 40-volt lawn mower battery on your hands, it’s a lithium-ion battery. A 40-volt lithium-ion battery will typically last about 40 minutes to an hour on each charge, and it can be recharged roughly 500 times in its lifespan. This means a 40-volt lawn mower battery should last about 3-5 years.
How long does a 12-volt lawn mower battery last?
If you take really good care of your 12-volt lead acid lawn mower battery, you should be able to make it last for about 4 years. Although there are a lot of factors involved, proper charging, use, and storage will extend battery life as much as possible.