Lawn Mower Tires and How to Replace Them
Replacing lawn mower tires are an important part of lawn mower maintenance. There is nothing more irritating than having a tire that fails while you are mowing the lawn. Unless you keep an extra tire handy, you will spend a few hours just trying to get up and running again. Have you ever tried cutting grasses with a 3-wheel lawn mower?
Replacing lawn mower tires that are worn, loose, cracked should be part of your fall or spring maintenance. If you notice that one of the lawn mower tires is loose, take time to fix it and replace it if necessary.
Replacing walk-behind lawn mower tires is pretty easy, while replacing riding lawn mower tires is more involved.
Walk-behind lawn mowers
For walk-behind lawn mowers, start by cutting off the spark plug wire. Then, place the mower firmly on blocks to access the wheel easily. If it’s impossible for you to put the mover on blocks, make sure it is secured so that it will not move around.
Use a ratchet wrench to remove the nut that secures the old wheel to the mower. Set aside the nut and washer, you will need these unless your new wheels came with a new washer and nut. When buying your new wheel, make sure to choose the right type for your mower, as mover wheels have the same appearance. Lube the bushings of the new wheel using graphite. Clean up the area at the back of the old wheel by brushing out any debris and dirt and then apply a lubricant. Place the new wheel on the mower, replace the washer and nut and tighten.
Riding Lawn Mower Tires
Replacing a lawn mower tire on riding mowers often takes a little more effort, and more tools. You will need a hammer, a valve stem tool, pliers, screwdrivers, and a tire tool. If you are planning to fix a leaky tire yourself, make sure to find the leak while the tire is still filled with air: you can immerse the tire in the water and look for air bubbles or you can just listen for the leak. You can find plugging and patching kits at auto stores as well as home and garden centers that sell riding lawn mowers. If the damage is at the sidewall of the tire, the tire should be replaced. However, if the leak is in the tread area and is small, you may use a sealant, saving you trouble and time.
First, lift the mower up with a jack and remove the damaged tire from the mower. You will then need to remove the old stem core using a stem core tool. If the tire still has air, the core may pop out, so you should be careful. Using a tire tool, break the bead between the rim and the tire. After you break the bead, lubricate the tire with a soapy water mixture. This will prevent the tire from tearing and make it easy for you to break other beads. To remove the tire from the grim, press down on the back of the tire while you use a screwdriver on the front. Don’t rush on this step to avoid getting an injury. Remember, it is very easy for a screwdriver to slip. When you’re done, you will have one side of the tire out of the rim. This can be done using a leverage and screwdriver. You should loosen the tire at this point, so you will not have to break a bead. Once the tire is off, seal the leak up, or set it aside if you have a new tire.
Put your attention back to the rim. Disconnect the base of the old valve stem and then remove the old valve stem carefully. Then, file any burrs down on the rim where the valve stem is placed. Pull the new valve stem securely through the hole, making sure it is properly seated.
Using a new leverage and screwdriver, work the new tire onto the rim. This part will be a bit difficult, so you should have an assistant. Once that side of the tire is placed on the rim, you need to flip over the tire so that the side with the tire still out of the rim is facing up. Try to use a screwdriver to place the tire into the rim.
Put the core into the new valve, and begin inflating the tire. Make sure that the bead is sealed properly, as you’re re-inflating the tire with the use of a ratchet strap around the edge of the tread. When the tire is halfway inflated, remove the ratchet strap and then inflate the tire based on recommended pressure.