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Old 01-31-2011, 01:02 AM   post #1 of 11 (permalink)
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Default battery advise please

I am new here so firstly hi to everyone, I`am also new to ride on mowers which I have just brought a second hand one, the battery is dead so I have just been jump starting it from my car.

So my question is what type of battery is best to buy,is there something to look out for ?
I got a price on a new mower battery $89 [ i don't know how good it is ], whilst searching through the net i see some people use 12 volt car batteries instead, suppose to last longer, about $30 more for a car battery, I don't have a clue what to do for the best, what are your thoughts ?

I am an aussie so prices may differ in your neck of the woods.

appreciate any advise.

thanks.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:04 AM   post #2 of 11 (permalink)
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You would probably have no trouble with a 12v auto battery, but if you could get a good quality lawn mower battery and took good care of it, you would be fine. Do you have any auto salvage yards nearby? Maybe a used one until you get to know your machine and decide which way to go?
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:15 AM   post #3 of 11 (permalink)
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Welcome to MLMF, Bluey!

It's been my experience that even small batteries are often plenty if you find/buy one with a higher CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) rating. This style usually cost about 25% more than the typical lead acid (over the counter) 12V battery...but they nearly double the life expectancy.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:53 PM   post #4 of 11 (permalink)
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Default $89 for a mower battery! Ouch!

Bluey
Mark777 is correct. It's all about the cranking amps. I would be interested in knowing what you are putting the battery on. Please describe you mower.
Sounds like someone wants to sell you a lot more battery than you really need. Do you have a K-Mart store nearby?
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:25 PM   post #5 of 11 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your replies, I didn't know about the CCA of the battery, thanks for the tip, its very much appreciated guys.
So what would be a reasonable CCA rating ? so i got an idea what to look for.

My ride on is a real oldy but she runs real good, its a Cox Orion with a 12 hp briggs & stratton, industrial motor, been well looked after.

I not to far away from a Kmart, i didn't even think of them for a battery.

thanks again fellows.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:36 AM   post #6 of 11 (permalink)
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First off a car battery is probably not going to fit, and 2nd the car battery probably will not last long on a ride on mower as the shaking and tossing around is death to a car designed battery. Then there is the issues of heat and it is a problem for a car battery. The car battery is designed to get air around it from the front of your car and it generally is located near the front of your car where it is coolest and has the best air flow to dissipate heat from charging. The other issue is a mower is designed for a smaller battery so the charging system can properly charge the smaller battery, putting in a car battery will not charge properly on a mower and it will wear out the alternator on a mower.

So my advise is hit K-Mart and get a good lawn mower battery.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:36 AM   post #7 of 11 (permalink)
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Bluey,
A good mower battery would have approx. 275 CCA (cold cranking amps) and 350 CA (cranking amps at 32 deg.F.). I buy from Walmart (same as K-Mart) for about $25. Be sure to take in your old battery for exchange. Good luck. WTC
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Walmart part number is "Everstart, U1P-7.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:59 PM   post #8 of 11 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I will get a mower battery, every shop i have called are 260 CCA amps, so i will get one soon.
Thanks to all for your help.
regards
Bluey
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:34 PM   post #9 of 11 (permalink)
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Here's a tip on lawn mower battery maintenance that will save you from buying a lot of them. Don't let them run down by setting around! For $15 or $20 you can buy a good quality "trickle charger" at Walmart or wherever. The point, however, is that "trickle charge" means nothing. It is the fact that, correctly designed, these devices will float the battery charge at exactly 13.7 volts, no more, no less. This is a critical design element of any lead-acid battery. Floated like this, they will last for years and always maintain full charge. Stay tuned.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:01 AM   post #10 of 11 (permalink)
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Battery tip 2. Buy a good digital voltmeter that reads tenths of volts accurately. I mentioned float voltage last time, 13.7 volts. There is another voltage referred to as "settling voltage" which is a good indicator of battery condition. First fully charge the battery, then set it aside without charging or using it for 24 hours. Then read the voltage with your meter. A new battery will usually "settle out" at 12.7 to 12.9 volts. The older and poorer condition it is in the lower the settling voltage. Any reading below 12.3 volts indicates questionable condition. If you see a number like 11.5 volts, take a slow walk to the graveyard with it. Or you could use it to run your digital wrist watch.
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