Lawnmower starting problem

Hello all,
I a novice at this, so bear with me. I have a problem starting my lawn tractor. A Craftsman 917.270824. Earlier today, it was trying to turn over, but wouldn't. Now, it will not even attempt to turn over. The battery gauge drops when turning the key. I would suspect the battery to be dead, but I could not even jumpstart the tractor, nor would the headlights turn on. Could it still be the battery even though it wouldn't jumpstart, or is it possible that the switch went bad? Any other ideas?
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I'd be suspicious of your jumping technique. Could be the battery is pulling down whatever you're jumping with.
Thunder
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Rolling Thunder wrote:

Mowers are typically 3-cell, 6 volt batteries. Cars are twice that, 12 volts. You can't jump them!
It sounds to me like you have high resistance in the connections to the batteries. You can NOT tell by looking. Take off the connectors and use a battery brush with both inside- and outside- bristles to clean both. Put the connectors back on the battery and coat with an air sealant. I use Vaseline but any grease will do. WD40 is no good, however.
If you still can't get it to crank, check other connections including grounds. Again, take them apart and brush them.
FWIW, I see a lot of this sort of thing with cars in the Fall. The temperature change seems to affect the connectors. People can run the radio and lights, but can't crank. It generates many unneeded battery sales!
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