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ES = Electric Start: dependable?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Valk, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,711

    Have read more pros than cons for electric start for convenience sake...what say you all from a practicality/maintenance standpoint?

    Parts involving ES...switches, wiring harness, alternator(?), battery, starter, etc...what are the weak points?

    Have read that cold temperatures affect the battery negatively necessitating a jump-start...this sounds like a bummer. Are there ways to circumvent this phenomenon?

    On a similar note:

    Is it wise to carry a spare battery since there is no manual way to start an ES engine...or are there cigarette lighter plug-in devices to jump-start?

    Thanks for your time!

    FWIW, am strongly considering a BOP Quickie 32 with either a KAW 16hp ES OR a KAW 15hp manual start...

  2. Happy Frog

    Happy Frog LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    You gotta love electric start on cold and humid mornings...
    Makes starting the equipment much easier. :cool2:
  3. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    I would go with ES. its just a lot easier to start and i really hate having to pull start the other mower.Haven't had any problems with the starter or anything. The battery randomly died last year, but after we jumped it, it was fine. I just started it in the garage after it sitting since november, it started right up. It really would come down to price... if an E.S = $5000 and a P.S=$3500. I dont think i could justify the extra money so i dont have to pull a cord. Its a luxury not a necessity. JMO

    BUCKEYE MOWING LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,169

    That will be a great machine with a 16 horse ES engine...
  5. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 1,739

    Raven and Happy Frog have good points. I love the fact that all I need to do is turn a key when a ES comes into the shop. But most times they don't.
    But a well maintained pull start should start with in 2 pulls and not more then 4 pulls tops. If not, then I'm looking for a problem.....I'm getting to old to be pulling and pulling to get some thing started. The point is that if you don't take care of your equipment, it will let you down, regardless if it's ES or Pull Cord.

    If you keep it long enough....All of the above, sooner or later you will end up replacing something, just because it will ware out or come to the end of it's usable life. If you let it sit out in the rain or use a pressure washer, sooner. IMHO that you should never get a motor wet, compressed air with carb or brake cleaner and a rag
    A pressure washer is great for the other parts, but keep it away from the engine and the wires.

    Get a jump pack, just in case, good for starting trucks too :)
    ericg likes this.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I always think to myself, if I'm looking at an ES because it's cheaper than the recoil then I am going about this the wrong way.
    Which, I did years ago replace a recoil with an ES because of a serious money problem :laugh:

    But today all my machines are recoil except the Z, that's just the way it came thou honestly speaking I don't think I would want to pull start much over a 15hp one. The perfect engine is the ES + recoil but they're pretty rare, for myself recoil starts eliminate more hassle than ES does. Of course I run 93 octane super unleaded, double platinum spark plugs and synthetic oil so I don't have no problem with sore arms either.

    But regardless of what you have, first get yourself a set of jumper cables because this is absolutely essential in this business, then later maybe spend the 50 bucks and get yourself a 12v jump start pack, either of these save your butt if you ever leave your truck lights on too!

    I also have a 12v battery charger at the house, these run about $20, if you're short on money I'd recommend this and jumper cables, save the jump pack for later but jumper cables for sure you have to have those, keep them in the truck at all times.

    So if you buy nothing else, get the jumper cables.

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