How to Change a Lawn Mower Tire? – 10 Simple Steps

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Apart from the blades and their engine, lawn mowers also rely on their tires. Even the smallest push mower may come with a set of tires you need to maintain. And when they get defective, replace.

But replacing lawn mower tires is not the easiest thing to do. While it doesn’t require a degree in mechanics or tons of experience – you may have some trouble finding the perfect way to do so.

Don’t worry, though. We know what you have to do to get a defective lawn mower tire out of the machine and then install a new one (or several ones).

So, do you some help changing tires on your lawnmower? Then keep scrolling. 

5 Signs You Need to Change a Lawn Mower Tire

change a lawn mower tire

There are many obvious reasons to replace a tire from a lawnmower. For example, if it deflates after getting pinched with a nail or it doesn’t want to inflate at all – then it needs replacement.

But some other reasons may not be so obvious. And they can take several days, weeks, and even months before anything sufficiently bad happens for you to replace it.

Well, here are 5 signs that your mower’s tires may need some replacement: 

  1. The sides of the tire look rot or show signs of too much wear.
  2. The tread looks flat and without a pattern.
  3. Parts of the tread are missing or are cut.
  4. Going uphill is impossible due to low traction.
  5. While moving the mower, it bumps or shakes too much. 

If you detect any of these signs, you should replace the tire right away before it gets damaged once and for all. 

Why Replace a Lawn Mower Tire?

So, did you notice that your tire needs replacement? Then you’ll want to know why it is so important to change it right away. Here are three significant reasons to consider: 

Accurate Cuts

replace lawn mower tire

There’s nothing like a precisely-cut lawn that looks beautiful and even all around. 

But with defective tires, the mower won’t cut consistently at all. Instead, it will shake or move too much to the sides – which could cause the blades to cut unevenly. 

If you use new, properly treaded, and smooth tires on the walk-behind mower – this is less likely to happen. 

Smoother Movement

Pushing the mower on thick grass? Then it should have proper tires to go through the thick leaves. Otherwise, it may get stuck and make it all much more complicated.

If you have deflated tires, then this will be a nightmare. But with proper ones, cutting through the grass will be smooth and easy. 

Better Traction

Trying to mow the lawn on a hill? Then you’ll need maximum traction. If the tires don’t have sufficient tread, then there’s a high chance you won’t achieve the ideal traction to go uphill or downhill safely. 

With properly treaded tires, you won’t have any problem using the mower on hills.  

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Change a Lawn Mower Tire?

Now that you’re aware of the reasons why you should replace the mower tires on time let’s go into the nitty-gritty.

The following steps will help you replace your mower’s tires in a few minutes or hours. Let’s get into it!

1. Find the Type of Tire & Wheel

The first step into lawn mower tire repair is to know which type of tire your mower uses.

For example:

  • Some lawn mowers use tubeless tires. These have a nut in the center.

tubeless lawn mower tire

Tubeless tires

  • Tube tires, which are the most typical, have two or four nuts instead. These can be more time-consuming to remove.
  • And lastly, you’ll find tires with spindle wheels. These are common on some riding mowers and require a little more effort to remove and repair.

Before you go any further, be sure to know which type you’re going to work with. Then, you can shop for the right tire and follow the correct guide accordingly. 

2. Check the Size 

Before you shop for any tire replacement, first check that you have the right size. Here’s how to check:

  • Look for a group of numbers on the tire. The first number will tell you the diameter/thickness.
  • Then you’ll find a second number that tells you the width.
  • And the last number tells you the rim size.

lawn mower tire

Now you can go and shop for the ideal tire for your mower. Be sure to follow these numbers so you can prevent any waste of time and money.

3. Lock the Wheels

Now you can proceed to change the lawn mower wheels. And for that, you’ll have to start by locking the wheels. This is how:

  • If you have a riding mower, you’ll have to place the machine in gear and then activate the parking brake. 
  • Typical mowers usually have a brake or lock system to keep the wheels static. Activate it if there’s any.

Now that you’ve put the mower in lock mode, the wheels won’t move when you start working on them.

4. Lift the Mower Up

After securing the wheels, you need to lift the mower up. Here’s how:

  • Park the mower on a flat space. It should be even as well.
  • Now, if it is a riding mower, you will have to use a floor jack or jack stand to lift it up. Place the jack on the frame of the mower and raise it from one of the wheel sides.

lawn mower jack stands

Jack stands

  • If the mower is not a riding mower, you can use a platform or slab to lift it up instead.

Be sure the mower is secured while lifted. Otherwise, it may fall while you’re working on it. 

5. Detach the Wheels 

lawn mower wheel

If you want to replace the tire, be it a tube, tubeless tire, or even if it is on a spindle wheel – you’ll have to remove it from the mower. Follow these steps: 

For Tube Tire

  • Remove the 4 nuts that keep the rim attached to the mower. Use a socket wrench or a lug wrench as needed.
  • Now remove the wheel from the mower by pulling it off. Be careful not to move the mower too much as it could fall.

For Tubeless Tire

  • Remove the cap on the single-nut system. 
  • Then grab a set of pliers and remove the pin.
  • Use a socket wrench or lug wrench to get the nut out.
  • Then simply slide the wheel off the mower axle. Be aware of any washer that falls.

For Spindle Wheels

  • Start by removing a piece of black rubber boot that protects the spindle. Use a pair of pliers and remove it by pulling it off. Don’t pull too hard as you could tear it.
  • Now you’ll see a metal C-clip. Use a flat-head screwdriver to get it off. This part is small and could get lost easily, so be careful when taking it off.
  • Here, you’ll face a retaining ring you have to remove. Use needle-nose pliers and remove the ring accordingly. Be careful not to lose the washers that come off as well. 
  • Then you’ll have free access to the key that keeps the rim attached to the mower. Remove it with a set of pliers.
  • Finish by taking the wheel off the mower.

Once you’re here, the rest of the process gets exponentially easier and straightforward. 

6. Remove the Rim

Removing the rim is relatively easy. However, it requires some strength. You may want to do this with someone else to make it easier if you aren’t particularly strong. 

Proceed this way:

For Tube Tires

  • Start by deflating the tire. Remove the valve stem cap and let it collapse completely, this could take up to 30 seconds. If it is deflated already, you won’t have to do anything. 
  • Now use a pry bar or a flat-head screwdriver to pry the tire off the rim.
  • If the tire is deflated, you should probably take a look at the inner tube. It could be damaged, so you may need to replace it as well.

For Tubeless Tires

  • Prepare a mix of dish soap and water in a small bowl. Then grab a brush and spread it on the area that connects the tire with the rim. 
  • Now place two flat-head screwdrivers and pry the tire out of the rim carefully. Do this on both sides.
  • Then try getting the tire out of the rim slowly. This could take a little more strength than expected. 

For Spindle Wheels

  • After taking the wheel off the mower, you’ll have direct access to the valve core from which you inflate and deflate the tire. Unscrew it to deflate the tire.
  • Now grab a pry bar or tire iron. Break both sides of the wheel and try separating the tire from the rim.
  • Finish by taking the tire off completely. Be careful not to cause any damage to the rim. 

7. Mount the New Tire 

Now that you’ve freed the tire from the rim, it is time to mount the replacement wheels. Here, you’ll also have to proceed differently depending on the type of tire.

For Tube Tires

  • Place the tire on the inner rim. Push it hard, so it fits inside the rim.
  • Then grab the outer part of the rim and put it inside the tire. 
  • Be sure the inner tube is also inside. If it is a replacement tube, then be sure to connect it well to the valve. 
  • Check that the tube is adequately located inside, so it doesn’t pinch when you inflate it. 
  • Then finish getting the tire on the rim with a pry bar or flat-head screwdrivers. 

For Tubeless Tires

  • Here, you’ll have to use the soapy water and brush again. Apply some of it on the part of the tire that connects directly to the rim.
  • Then try sliding the rim into the tire. Use the pry bar and/or tire iron for that. Flat-head screwdrivers also work.
  • Apply as much soapy water as needed to smooth out the process. Then be sure to get the tire on the rim properly. 

For Spindle Wheels

  • We recommend using a lubricant or tire lube to smooth out the process. Apply this lubricant on the tire beads so it can fit more easily.
  • Place the tire onto the rim at 45 degrees. This angle will force the rim inside the tire once you push it strongly enough.
  • One part will get inside the tire, then the other will need a little more push to get inside. 
  • If the tire uses a tube, this is the time to get it inside. Be sure it fits well inside and matches well with the valve.
  • Finish by securing the tire the beads into the rim using a ratchet strap or something similar.

8. Inflate the Tire

If you’re using a tube tire or a spindle wheel with a standard tire, then you’ll have to look for an air compressor and fill accordingly.

Remember to place the inflating valve in the right place to prevent any issue. Try looking for the correct pressure in PSI before starting. Use a PSI meter as well. 

Then just attach the air hose to the wheel valve and let it inflate. Check that the PSI is at the right level. If it is, then you’re done. Otherwise, inflate or deflate as needed.

9.Reattach the Wheel

With the tires inside the rim and inflated, then it is time to set them up again on the mower. Proceed this way: 

For Tube Tires

  • Carefully place the wheel back into the axle. Be sure that it goes deep into the axle until the screws for the nuts resurface out of the rim. 
  • Look for the nuts you got off the rim before and place them on the screws. Then use the lug, socket wrench, or screwdriver to tighten up as needed.
  • Finish by making sure the wheel stays fit onto the machine. Try taking it off after tightening. If they don’t move – then you’ve installed the wheel back. 

For Tubeless Tires

  • Insert the wheel back into the mower axle. Be sure to get it deep into the mower, so it fits well enough.
  • Place the washers and the pins inside the axle rod. Screw them and tighten them as needed.
  • Proceed by placing the nut on the rod and tighten up with the socket wrench or lug wrench as necessary.
  • Finish by inserting the rubber boot over the nut. Check that the wheel doesn’t come off or move on the mower. Now you’ve installed the wheel back. 

For Spindle Wheels

  • First, start by placing the key that attaches to the mower.
  • Proceed by attaching the retaining ring to the piece.
  • Then you can attach the C-clip firmly. Be sure to use strength for that without moving the mower much.
  • Finish by placing the black rubber boot again on top of the spindle. 

10. Test the Mower

change lawn mower tire

 

You’re almost ready now. Just check that the mower works as required.

  • Lower and then get the lifting jack, stand, or slab out from under the mower.
  • Place the mower upright and move it around as necessary.
  • Be sure the mower doesn’t shake or move in any awkward way.

If the mower starts working as it should and moves smoothly on the grass, then you’ve successfully changed its tires. 

Conclusion

Replacing lawn mower tires is critical for its effectiveness. So learning how to change them will be an excellent thing to do.

If you have a driving mower or any model with tubed or tubeless tires, then following this guide will help you out enormously.

Follow our advice and tips to ease out the process, save time, and possibly money.

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