How to Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip? 4 Things to Consider

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In case there’s something wrong with your lawn mower’s wheel, and you need to take it out, you will be required to remove the retaining clips first. But if this is your first time dismantling a lawn mower, the process can seem a little complicated.

Retaining clips keep your lawn mowers wheels secure in one place. So take them out only if you are doing any wheel repair or planning to store the mower. Never use the mower without the clips; it can be a serious safety hazard.

Today we have discussed everything you need to know about lawn mower wheel resting clip and how to remove it. So whether you need to remove the clips or want to know more about it, keep reading.

The Retaining Clip- What is it?


A retaining clip is a small metal or plastic part that is attached to the lawn mower’s wheels to secure them in place. Their primary function is to simply prevent the wheels from coming off while you are using the mower.

These clips are also known as Snap Rings, circlips, or C-clips. But whatever the name may be, all of them are open-ended ring-shaped fasteners having stamped or tapered designs that can be snapped into place.

If you cannot find them, look near the axle shaft of the lawn mower. They are typically placed at the center of the wheel. The clips are designed to fit into a groove or slot on the axle, which creates a secure connection between the wheels and the mower’s chassis.

Without the retaining clips, your mower will lose its ability to maintain stability, and the wheels could probably come off of the axle. So make sure you are never using the mower without the clips that are placed firmly!

Things You Will Need to Remove The Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip

To remove the retaining clips from the mower wheels, you need to keep the following tools handy.

1. Pliers

A pair of narrow-tipped pliers will be a must to get a grip on the clips. You can choose between needle-nose pliers or snap-ring pliers, based on your availability.

2. Screwdriver


Based on the shape of your retaining clip, you might need a screwdriver. Also, don’t forget to match the screwdriver’s size with the retaining clip’s dimension.

3. Safety Gloves

It is always a good idea to wear protective gloves to prevent any chances of cuts and infection while working with sharp objects like pliers and screwdrivers.

4. Safety Glasses

Safety Glasses

In case any debris or other particles that may fly during the wheel removal process, you need to keep your eyes safe. So grab a pair of safety glasses or goggles.

5. Jack or Lift

It is optional, but having a jack makes it easy to lift the wheels if you do the process single-handedly.

6. User Manual

While you will find how to remove the clips in this blog, it is a good idea to keep the user manual handy in case you face difficulties in identifying any part of the mower.

How to Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip?

Now that you have everything you need, let’s get into the real process of removing the retaining clips.

1. Prepare The Lawn Mower

Prepare The Lawn Mower

Before you begin the removal process, ensure that the lawn mower is turned off, unplugged, and the engine is cool to avoid the chances of accidents. Then gather all the necessary tools mentioned above, and keep them at your disposal.

2. Elevate The Wheels

Lift the lawnmower and lay it sidewise. It’s great if you can do it by yourself. If not, take the help of the jack. Lifting the mower gives you better access to the wheel and the retaining clip.

3. Locate The Retaining Clip

Locate The Retaining Clip

Now that you have the mower all laid in front of you, take a close look at the wheels’ axle to find the retaining clip. Refer to the picture shown before for easy identification. Or you can look up in the user manual.

4. Choose The Removal Method And Remove The Clips

Based on the type of retaining clip that is used on your lawn mower, you can resort to different removal methods. But here are the two common ones that don’t require you to have any professional tools.

  • The Plier Method: If the retaining clip has a small gap or opening, take a plier, carefully grip the clip and pry it out of the groove. If it doesn’t come out that easy, apply gentle pressure and wiggle the clip back and forth until it loosens and pops out.
  • The Screwdriver Method: If the retaining clip has a small notch or tab, you need to use a screwdriver. Take the screwdriver and insert a small flat-headed screwdriver tip into the notch and try to carefully pry it away from the axle groove. Apply the force in a way that you lift the clip out of the groove.

Remember, each wheel of the lawn mower will have its own retaining clip, so you will be required to repeat the removal step for each of them, one at a time.

Q1. What is the difference between a circlip and a snap ring?

Ans: There is no such difference between a circlip and a snap ring. Different people like calling it differently. Hence, you can use these two terms interchangeably

Q2. Are retaining ring pliers the same as snap ring pliers?

Ans: Yes. Retaining ring pliers and snap ring pliers are the same. You can use these pliers to install or remove snap retaining rings that are used for holding components onto a shaft. These pliers are typically used by mechanics and service professionals, and the tips are specially designed for working with circlips.

Q3. What are the two types of retaining rings?

Ans: There are mainly two types of reading clips used, one is internal retaining rings and the other is external retaining rings. Internal retaining rings are placed into the groove of the housing, whereas external ones are placed on the exterior of a shaft.

Finally, Remember

While working with sharp objects like pliers and screwdrivers, remember to exercise caution. Some snap rings can be spring-loaded and might pop out abruptly. Therefore, ensure you are protecting your eyes with safety glasses.

Also, even though this guide gives you all the necessary details for removing and retaining clips from your lawn mower, if you aren’t very accustomed to DIYing such things and face difficulties in removing or installing the rings back, take help from the user manual or contact the manufacturer for specific guidance.

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