How to replace a riding lawn mower ignition switch
By Lyle Weischwill
This DIY repair guide gives instructions for how to replace an ignition switch on most riding lawn mowers. If the riding mower won't start when you turn the ignition key to On or won't stop when you turn the key to Off, the ignition switch could be the problem. To check, use a multimeter to test whether electricity travels between the S and B terminals. If the ignition switch is the problem, replace it with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.
This basic procedure works for Craftsman, MTD, Murray, Toro, Troybilt, Husqvarna, Poulan, Weed Eater and Yard-Man riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors.
15 minutes or less
15 minutes or less
Replacing the ignition switch on a riding lawn mower
This video explains how to replace the ignition switch on a riding mower.
Disconnect the battery
Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake.
Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.
Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
Lift the seat.
Remove the bolt connecting the negative cable to the battery and tuck the cable away from the battery so it doesn't touch the battery post.
Disconnect the battery.
Remove the ignition switch
Lift the hood to access the back of the ignition switch.
Release the locking tabs and push the switch out though the front of the dash.
Disconnect the wire harness attached to the back of the ignition switch; if it's difficult to unplug, wiggle the plug as you pull on it.
Remove the ignition switch.
Install the new ignition switch
Connect the wire harness to the back of the ignition switch.
Push the new ignition switch into the dash and engage the locking tabs.
Lower the hood.
Reconnect the battery
Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal.
Lower the seat.
Warning: Undertaking repairs to power lawn-care equipment can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.