March 1, 2017

How to replace the seat switch on a riding lawn mower

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

This DIY riding mower repair guide gives step-by-step instructions for replacing the seat switch on most riding lawn mowers. The seat switch is a safety device that shuts off the engine if it doesn't detect someone in the seat when the tractor starts moving. If the seat switch breaks, it won’t sense that you’re in the seat and will stop the engine when you release the brake. Replace a broken seat switch on your lawn tractor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part if it's defective.

Use this repair procedure to replace the seat switch in Craftsman, MTD, Troybilt, Husqvarna, Murray, Snapper, Cub Cadet and Ariens lawn tractors and riding mowers.

If you’re not sure the seat switch is the problem, follow the steps in this troubleshooting video to test the seat switch.

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 switch on a riding lawn mower

This video explains how to replace the seat switch 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 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.

    Remove the seat mounting bolt.

    Remove the seat mounting bolt.

  3. 03.

    Remove the old seat switch

    Disconnect the wire harness from the seat switch.

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

    Rotate the seat switch counterclockwise to release it.

    Rotate the seat switch counterclockwise to release it.

  4. 04.

    Install the new seat switch

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

    Connect the wire harness to the switch.

    Connect the seat switch wire harness.

    Connect the seat switch wire harness.

  5. 05.

    Reinstall the seat

    Reinstall the adjustment lever and support it while you snap the seat back into the bracket.

    Reinstall the retaining bolt and washer.

    Reinstall the adjustment lever.

    Reinstall the adjustment lever.

  6. 06.

    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.

May 1, 2017

Riding lawn mower engine spins but won't start video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Troubleshoot fuel, spark and compression issues.

May 1, 2017

How to repair a riding lawn mower tire video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn when you can use sealant to fix a flat tire.

June 1, 2016

How to mow a lawn for healthier grass

By Erin Hynes

How often and tall you mow your lawn has a big impact on its health. Check out these 3 rules.