Disable the Kill Switch on a Riding Mower


Introduction: Disable the Kill Switch on a Riding Mower

Here is my quick post to show how I disabled the shutoff switch on my riding mower without voiding the warranty (until they see this post anyway). I didn't want to cut the wires to bypass the circuit for fear this may cause other problems or void my warranty. This is a much easier solution anyway. On a difficulty scale from one to five this is easily a one. It takes about 15 - 20 minutes and no real skill at all.

Why did I override this safety feature? Obviously you will need to put on your big boy pants and use good judgement. It is there for a really good reason. I mow a few small hills and sometimes when leaning to one side the mower would start to cut out. Also, I attach a snow blower so I want the tractor to warm for a minute before I take it outside in the dead of winter. I'm not suggesting this is for everyone but this is what I did about two years ago and it has worked great for me.

Step 1: Where Is the Safety Switch?

There is a pressure switch under the driver seat. When someone sits in the seat it depresses the switch and closes a circuit allowing the mower to operate. When there is no weight in the seat the switch will be open and the mower will not operate. So to bypass this we need to find a way to close the circuit permanently. Like I mentioned, I didn't want to start cutting and splicing wires together and potentially ruin my riding mower.

To remove the seat, there was one bolt I had to remove that kept the seat from sliding too far forward when adjusting the seat position. I removed this and then was able to slide it completely off. Now I could see the switch on the bottom of the seat.

Step 2: Attach the Switch to the Underside of the Seat Plate

Once I removed the pressure switch from under the seat I just attached this to the underside of the seat plate. I could have just clamped this in a closed position and left the switch loose but I wanted to attach this so it would stay out of the way. I simply zip tied this to the bottom of the plate ensuring the button was depressed. To keep it from slipping through the holes in the plate I broke a small section off a tongue depressor stick. Any small thin scrap wood or even cardboard would work fine.

That's it. Slide the seat back on and put the catch nut in the bottom of the seat. Then test it. Now when it is running I can get off the tractor (carefully) without this shutting off on me.



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    7 Discussions

    How did you slide the seat back on and reinstall the seat position locking bar?


    6 weeks ago

    This instructable was helpful thanks. The holes in the plate are used by the seat adjustment mechanism so in order to avoid interfering with foreward/backward seat adjustments, a twist tie was used to fasten the switch to something else under there. My switch is a NC (normally closed) us patent US6207910 so splicing wires would not work. Removing the switch entirely didn't fully work either as the double pole switch seems to also act as a jumper between some of the many wires in the connector.

    i have a mtd yard machine that needs to have it's deck safety switch tested. i can see the switch but i'm not sure if i should just grab it and pull up or if i need to release something that might be holding it in. any ideas?

    1 reply

    If it's like mine, you need to slide is until it reaches the wider part of the hole under the seat. It will then come right out. Squeezing the switch to make it narrower helped it slide out as it's wedged in there pretty tight.

    I have the same brand mower as you and parking brake on pto off and it runs just fine as far as cutting out on big or steep hills I have a couple and no problems

    All I do to mine is put on the parking brake, it will stay running (with mower off) with no hassle.

    1 reply

    Yeah my tractor is the same. Brake on, blades off, it runs with the seat empty. After what I've seen what my blades can do to some things I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't have the world's greatest tractor, but it is still pretty merciless with anything that is under that deck. If there is a shear pin for those blades I've never managed to shear it. I have managed to bend a blade in a U shape though. Then my tractor thinks it is a tiller.