March 1, 2017

How to replace the seat on a riding lawn mower

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace the seat on a riding lawn mower

This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the seat on a riding lawn mower. For safety, a switch in the riding mower seat allows the mower to run only when it senses that someone is on the seat. If the seat is cracked or the foam cushioning inside the seat is missing or broken down, the seat switch might not engage when you’re in the seat. In that case, the engine shuts off when you release the brake. To fix the problem, replace the seat with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use these steps to replace the seat on common Craftsman, Husqvarna, MTD, Troybilt, Toro, Murray, Snapper, Cub Cadet and Ariens riding lawn mowers and lawn tractors.

Quick links
Tools required
Wrench set
Slot screwdriver
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Replacing a seat on a riding lawn mower

This video explains how to replace the seat on a riding lawn mower.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    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 negative battery cable.

    Disconnect the negative battery cable.

  2. 02.

    Remove the old seat

    Remove the retaining bolt and washer from the seat bottom.

    Press the seat adjustment lever and slide the seat fully forward.

    Release the locking tab and pull the seat off the bracket while supporting the seat adjustment lever.

    Remove the seat adjustment lever.

    Disconnect the wire harness from the seat switch.

    Rotate the seat switch counterclockwise to release it and pull it off the seat.

    Remove the old seat.

    Release the seat locking tab.

    Release the seat locking tab.

  3. 03.

    Install the new seat

    Push the seat switch into the new seat's bottom and rotate the switch clockwise to lock it in place.

    Connect the wire harness to the switch.

    Install the adjustment lever and support it while you snap the new seat into the bracket.

    Reinstall the retaining bolt and washer.

    Reinstall the seat mounting bolt.

    Reinstall the seat mounting bolt.

  4. 04.

    Reconnect the battery

    Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal.

    Lower the seat.

Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable 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 or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all riding mowers & tractors

Choose a symptom to see related riding mower and lawn tractor repairs.

Main causes: dead battery, stale fuel, bad starter solenoid, ignition system problem, bad ignition interlock switch, clogged carburetor
Main causes: damaged cutting blade, worn deck pulley, damaged mandrel pulley, loose fasteners on mower deck components
Main causes: shift lever needs adjustment, neutral control needs adjustment
Main causes: engine overfilled with oil, leaky head gasket or sump gasket, damaged carburetor seals, cracked fuel pump, broken fuel line
Main causes: punctured tire or inner tube, leaky valve stem, damaged wheel rim
Main causes: worn or broken ground drive belt, bad seat switch, transaxle freewheel control engaged, transaxle failure, dirty carburetor
Main causes: unlevel mower deck, dull or damaged cutting blades, worn mandrel pulleys, bent mower deck, engine needs tune up
Main causes: worn or broken blade belt, broken belt idler pulley, blade clutch cable failure, bad PTO switch, damaged mandrel pulleys
Main causes: clogged carburetor, damaged flywheel key, dirty spark plug, stale fuel, improper valve lash, engine needs a tune up

Repair guides common to all riding mowers & tractors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.

How to replace the air filter on a riding lawn mower

Get your mower running smoothly again by replacing the air filter—it's a quick job you can do yourself, following these steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower

If you hear the solenoid click but don’t hear the starter motor spin when you turn the key, follow these steps to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower blade

If a blade on your mower is dull or bent, replace it following the steps in this repair guide.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all riding mowers & tractors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your riding mower or lawn tractor.

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Riding lawn mower engine spins but won't start video

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How to repair a riding lawn mower tire video

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How to mow a lawn for healthier grass

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