How to Replace a Riding Lawn Mower Ignition Switch



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.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required

  • Riding mower ignition switch

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Wrench set
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Let the engine cool.

Park the tractor on a level surface and set the parking brake.

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 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.

How to Replace an Ignition Switch on a Riding Lawn Mower

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.

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.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: 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. 

Step 4: Reconnect the battery

Reconnect the negative cable to the negative battery terminal.

Lower the seat.