I’ve had my battery-powered 40V Ryobi mower (model #40108) for a year now and have been pretty happy with it. However the last time I used it the damn thing would randomly shut off while mowing. At the time there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the problem such as heavy grass or a weak battery which was reading 2/4 bars. I threw the battery into the string trimmer and it worked great.
So I took the lovely slime-green plastic cover off to see if there was anything obviously wrong. My hopes were low because I figured the mower would consist of a motor and control board.
Sure enough nothing looked wrong such as a leaking capacitor on the control board. But while putting it back together I noticed a kill switch I had never noticed before! It’s located by the handle hinge, ensuring that the mower will only run while the handle is in the folded-out position.
This little switch was flopping around in its hole because one of the spring clips on the backside was broken probably while I was removing that slime-green plastic cover. When the handle is folded out the switch is depressed, closing the circuit allowing the mower to run.
If you take a close look at the interaction between the switch and handle, it is not a precision operation. Due to the position of where the switch happens to be, the handle bumps into it, hopefully depressing it. Here’s the root cause of my problem: The mower’s frame had loosened up over time, allowing the frame to rack from side-to-side during turns. This racking let that little switch spring back up, opening the circuit and stopping the mower.
And thankfully the solution was to tighten these two T25 frame bolts, located right above the rear wheels.
And as a footnote, I bypassed that dumb switch just to avoid this kind of nonsense in the future. The connection was wrapped up with electrical tape after these photos were taken.
I hope this short article helps someone out!