Ryobi RM480E 38" riding mower won't move!

AbowhunterZ

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Ok I have read about all the issues everyone is having and I have a new one. My mower is about 2+ years old and I have had no issues. I live in the Phoenix area and cut in 100+ degree weather and runs great...went out the other day and unplugged it and nothing. No charge indicator no lights no drive nothing! Look at manual but it really just says check the obvious things. Hoping someone has had the same issue just not posted!
Update!!! found a blue wire that looked like it was chewed on by a mouse or something. it runs on top of the batteries and goes to what looks like a rectifier or something. Fixed it and everything stared working now!
 

Insta

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Well another unhappy Ryobi RM480e user with the same problem. Mower ran fine and I parked it. A week later I tried to use it and it moves about four inches and stops. Lights and beeper work. Batteries are good and fully charged. Also when I start the blades the relay will trip and stop them. The mower only has 45 hours on it. I've paid $2,000 to mow my yard 25 times with this thing. Of course there isn't a repair center within 100 miles. What a waste of money this thing was. What a joke -- when I bought it I thought YEAH! No more lawn mower repair! I've definitely learned my Ryobi lesson.
 
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Dr.Foo22

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Joining the chorus: Mower blades spin, but the mower wont move. Its ~3.5 years old. From reading the above, I'm thinking its the drive motor controller or the speed switch controller. Does anyone have troubleshooting guides for those two parts? Would like to put a multi-meter on them before I throw parts at this thing.
 

Dingo-J

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So I'm hesitant to say my mower is back up and running, but for now it seems to be doing fine.
I replaced the motor controller, the big symptom there was that everything else was functioning except it wouldn't move.
I also replaced the speed controller (the part that goes on the pedal and rotates as you depress the accelerator). Symptoms on that started by the acceleration was no longer smooth and in reverse you would have to keep depressing the pedal until all of a sudden it jumped into a pretty high speed reverse. Eventually it just stopped moving, and mimicked the exact same symptoms as if the drive motor were bad. When I tested the throttle control with the multimeter though I could tell that it wasn't putting out the correct voltage.

I had an additional problem where it stopped moving again while testing it but I believe the issue there was that I didn't seal up the connection for the throttle control and I think moisture got into the connector and caused a short. It dried out and now I've sealed those connectors and it seems to be functioning fine.

My next thing is to check the batteries as I think they're getting to their end of life and I'll probably need new ones.

I'm telling you when this thing runs it's actually quite nice especially with the bagger system. I wish Ryobi would have used better parts or at least that there would be better aftermarket parts available somewhere.
 

Dr.Foo22

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Update: I pulled the batteries and charged them individually on a 10amp charger. Put it all back together, turn the key and the gauge lights up for a split second....then nothing. No gauge lights, headlights, or power to the USB. No blades. Turn the key off and on. Still nothing (not even the split second gauge flash). Unplug the battery, wait 10 sec, plug back in...still nothing (not even the flash).

The batteries were running down fast before all this started, so I'm going to start there. 3 years in Phoenix AZ heat likely didn't do them well. I'll take them to an autozone and have them tested.

Broken things are frustrating. Broken complex things with little documentation are even more frustrating.
 

slomo

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The batteries were running down fast before all this started
Do you expect batteries to last a lifetime now? 2-4 years is all you "should" expect.

All batteries degrade and die in short order. Don't care if you are talking about a cordless flashlight, car, boat or screwdriver batteries. Most have X amount of charge cycles.

All these great sales gimmick features like no tune ups, no oil to changes, no gasoline emissions and no starts and runs are all true. Or "I" am saving the environment by using battery mower gear. Ever wonder how your electricity is actually generated? Most are dirty coal or nuclear. So the environment is getting hammered before the juice gets to your house. Maybe you have a baby solar grid at your house???

For me, there are 0 lawn crews using any battery anything tools around here. They wouldn't last 3 weeks on a typical lawn crew truck. Replacement batteries are a continual, very expensive cost that goes with them. Most are 80% the cost of a new tool so people push them to the curb.

slomo
 

Dr.Foo22

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Batteries die?! Every 2-4 years?! Oh my! What horrible news! If only it said that somewhere in the user manual. If only I could read. The electricity from my wall doesn't come from magic? Or hopes and dreams? Or unicorn farts?! What is coal?

Thank you slomo. Thank you for coming to this thread full of folks who own electric riding mowers to tell all of us that not only do you not own one, but you think we are stupid for buying one. Thank you for contributing nothing useful to the thread other than an opportunity for me to make fun of you. You are a gentleman, a scholar, and a god among us knuckle-dragging sheep who make purchases based on sales gimmicks. Please ride off into the sunset on your gas powered mower (that is surely used by all the lawn crews in your area) knowing that you have made a difference in all of our lives...which are much smaller and less happy than yours. Or consider crawling back under your bridge (Troll).

In the meantime, I'm going to try to fix my battery powered mower...that I planned (and budgeted) to replace batteries every 3 years. That I do charge with solar panels on my home. That I have spent almost zero time or money maintaining since I've owned it (You can tell. I'm use to this thing just working. Its why I was frustrated.).

For the folks actually trying to fix their mowers: I'll provide an update after I run some tests. The service manual offered earlier in this thread seems really promising. I'm feeling optimistic about troubleshooting the various components and getting this thing fixed.
 

slomo

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Batteries die?! Every 2-4 years?! Oh my! What horrible news! If only it said that somewhere in the user manual. If only I could read. The electricity from my wall doesn't come from magic? Or hopes and dreams? Or unicorn farts?! What is coal?

Thank you slomo. Thank you for coming to this thread full of folks who own electric riding mowers to tell all of us that not only do you not own one, but you think we are stupid for buying one. Thank you for contributing nothing useful to the thread other than an opportunity for me to make fun of you. You are a gentleman, a scholar, and a god among us knuckle-dragging sheep who make purchases based on sales gimmicks. Please ride off into the sunset on your gas powered mower (that is surely used by all the lawn crews in your area) knowing that you have made a difference in all of our lives...which are much smaller and less happy than yours. Or consider crawling back under your bridge (Troll).

In the meantime, I'm going to try to fix my battery powered mower...that I planned (and budgeted) to replace batteries every 3 years. That I do charge with solar panels on my home. That I have spent almost zero time or money maintaining since I've owned it (You can tell. I'm use to this thing just working. Its why I was frustrated.).

For the folks actually trying to fix their mowers: I'll provide an update after I run some tests. The service manual offered earlier in this thread seems really promising. I'm feeling optimistic about troubleshooting the various components and getting this thing fixed.
Loved the message.

Tomorrow is grass cutting time. Can't wait to fire up the gas engines.
 

cgeorg07

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I am 8 hours in on the 42" zero-turn mower, and after 30mins, it struggles to cut and the blades cut off. Worked perfect for two months. Now I have to drive at a snails pace crawling along to cut the rest of the yard or the blades stop. I checked the batteries and they all read 13v and 100% charge. Does anyone know what it might be, so I can have Ryobi send out some parts?
 

andyl9063

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hi guys, I'm having an issue with the blade. Mower runs around fine. Blade will not engage. Did someone have a manual on what to test?
I did test the red switch to engage the blade. I bypass it and jump the two cables behind it. The blades tries to spin and make a low cunk noise .

EDIT: In case anyone having the same issue as me, there's two plugs underneath that plugs into the two motors that run the blades. Those plugs, if you unscrew it, you'll noticed the wires get loose easily. Especially on the female side not male.
 
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