Lawn Mower Tire Flat Off The Rim? Here’s How To Fix It
If you’ve had a lawn mower for more than a couple of seasons, chances are you’ve had a flat tire. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to get a flat tire back on the rim and how to change a tire if you need to.
With our step-by-step guide—lawn mower tire flat off the rim? Here’s how to fix it, you’ll be back to cutting your lawn in no time.
Using simple tools and a few helpful tricks, you can get your tire back on the rim or replaced. With a little effort and minimal cost, your mower will be ready to go again.
Want to know how to get your lawn mower tire back in working order? Let’s get stuck in.
What you’ll need
For this repair, you’ll need a few tools. And if you need to replace the tire, a few more. For both repairs, don’t forget your safety gear. Here, we’ve listed what each job requires:
Additional tools for changing the tire
- Slot screwdrivers
- Pry bars
- Liquid detergent
- Valve stem core removal tool
- New tire
Causes of a flat tire
Not all flat tires are created equal. Sometimes a flat caused by a very slow leak or just time can simply be reflated. And it will last a good while until next time. But sometimes a flat causes the tire to come off the rim of the wheel, and this requires a more complicated fix. And in the worst case, with a damaged or worn-out tire, you’ll need to replace it.
No matter if your tire is just off the rim, or needs replacing, we’ve got you covered. Here is our step-by-step guide to fixing a flat on your lawn mower. Steps 1, 2 and 3 are required for both fixes. After that we’ve split the instructions depending on whether you’re putting it back on the rim (steps 4a to 7a) or changing the tire (steps 4b to 10b).
A step-by-step guide to fixing your flat
Step 1 – Turn off the mower
I know it’s obvious, but we’re nothing if not complete. Make sure your mower is on a flat surface. Then turn off the mower and remove the ignition key. It’s a good idea to chock the wheels as well.
What might not be so obvious, is that we highly recommend you remove the spark plug cable as well. Removing the cable means there is no chance of the blades moving while you’re fixing your flat. It’s never wasted time to do things safely.
Step 2 – Jack up the mower
In order to get to your tire, you’re going to need to jack up the mower. Any jack will do as long as it’s rated for more than the weight of the mower. We would recommend fixing your flat on a hard surface, driveway, garage or shed. But, if your mower is still on grass, and you’re using a bottle jack, you’re going to need to put wood under the jack to stop it from sinking into the grass.
Jak up the mower so your tire spins freely. You want enough height to make it easy to get your hand underneath the tire. Once you’ve reached the required height, support the mower with a jack stand.
Step 3 – Inspect the tire
You need to check the tire for obvious damage, holes or sharp objects. If it helps, put a little chalk mark on the tire. Carefully roll the wheel round, inspecting both side walls and the surface for damage. When your chalk mark comes back around, you know you’ve covered the whole tire.
If you can’t find any obvious holes or damage, and the tire is not completely worn out, you can try putting it back on the rim, inflating it and seeing if it holds. If the tire is punctured, ripped, or completely worn out, you’re going to need a replacement.
Instructions for putting a tire back on the rim
Step 4a – Wrapping the tire
These days most mower tires are tubeless. That means there is no inner tube inside the tire that holds the air. Instead, the air is held inside the tire by a seal formed between the tire bead and the rim.
In order to refill a tire where the bead has come off the rim, you first have to create a seal between the bead and the rim.
The easiest way to do this is to apply pressure to the surface of the tire. This pushes the bead outwards and helps create the seal you need. On used tires, it’s usually not possible to do this by hand. So instead, we can wrap a ratchet strap or a rope around the tire and use that to help.
Get your ratchet strap around the tire and ratchet it a few times to apply pressure. This pushes the middle of the tire down and the sides outwards.
Step 5a – Checking the seal
Once you’ve applied a bit of pressure, try pushing the sidewalls near the rim. If the bead seems solid against the rim, you can start adding some air and seeing if you have a seal.
If air still escapes from the sides and the tire won’t inflate, ratchet a couple of times on your strap and see if that helps. Once you have a seal, inflate the tire enough to keep the pressure on the bead so that you can remove the strap.
Step 6a – Inflating the tire
After removing the strap, you can continue to inflate the tire. The optimum tire pressure will be on the tire wall. And that is the number to aim for. Usually it’s between 15-40psi and often around 20psi.
How to install a inner tube with hand tools. Riding lawn mower wheel
Make sure you check your tire and inflate to that pressure. Under or over inflating can increase tire wear, decrease grip, and increase the chance of a puncture or blowout.
Step 7a – Remove the jack stand
That’s it, your tire is back on the rim and fully inflated. Re-insert your jack and raise the mower enough to remove the jack stand.
Lower the mower back onto all its wheels. We recommend letting it stand for a few minutes before moving it. This way you can wait and see if your tire will keep pressure.
Once your happy everything is working, don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug wire and remove any chocks on the other wheels.
Instructions for changing a tire
Step 4b – Removing the wheel
So, you’ve inspected the tire and decided to replace it. Now you need to remove the wheel. Take off the axle cover if there is one. Underneath will be a retaining ring. Use a slot screwdriver or pliers to pull it off.
Now you can remove the washer and pull off the tire. Beyond the tire is an inner washer. It’s best to pull that off as well. Make sure you put your two washers and the retaining ring somewhere safe. It’s really annoying to find you lost one when it’s time to put the tire back on.
Step5b – Removing the tire
Take the tire and lie it flat with the valve facing upwards. Remove the stem cap and use the stem core removal tool to unscrew and pull out the core.
Push down on the tire to dislodge the bead. Using a couple of slot screwdrivers, pry the tire up and off the rim on one side. Take your time. Pry a little of the bead up, slide another screwdriver next to the first and pry a bit more. Continue around the rim until the whole side is free. Flip the tire over and do the same again so that you can pry the tire completely off the rim.
Step 6b – Replacing the tire
While you’ve got the rim separate, give it a clean. Removing any dirt and grime will give a better seal between the new tire bead and rim.
Now it’s the reverse procedure from removing the tire. Using your slot screwdrivers (and make sure there are no sharp edges that could damage the tire) pry one side of the tire onto the rim. Flip it over and pry the other side on.
Step 7b – Sealing the bead
Flip your tire vertical again and find your compressed air. With a new tire, and not attached to the mower, it shouldn’t be necessary to use a ratchet strap or rope to get the bead to seal.
Push down a little on the tire and start to inflate. The bead should seal. Once you’re happy you have a seal, re-insert the valve stem core.
Step 8b – Inflating the tire
With the valve stem in, you can continue inflating the tire to the optimum tire pressure. Remember to check the optimum pressure on the tire wall and only fill to this value. As we said above (step 6a), over or under inflating a tire is not a good idea.
Step 9b – Replacing the wheel
Using the reverse procedure from taking off the wheel, you can now re-install it. Find your washers and the retaining ring.
Put the back washer on first and then slide on the wheel. Add the front washer. Using pliers, put the retaining ring back on the axle and then replace the axle cover.
Step 10b – Remove the jack stand
That’s it, you have a new tire. Re-insert your jack and raise the mower enough to remove the jack stand. Lower the mower back onto all its wheels.
Once your happy everything is working, don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug wire and remove any chocks on the other wheels.
Well done! You have fixed your mower tire and are ready to get back to your lawn.
I hope this guide has been useful to you. Whether you’ve put your tire back on the rim or replaced it completely, following our step-by-step guide should get your mower back on the grass in no time. Happy mowing!
I’ve been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I’ve since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7 years. My mission is to help your fix your appliances and systems. saving you money and lowering your energy bills. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more
Hi there! My name’s Craig, and I started Appliance Analysts back in 2017.
How to Change a Riding Mower Tire. Dismount and Replace Lawn Mower Tires
My mission is to help our readers solve appliance-related issues without paying through the nose for contractors or a whole new model. I’m joining up with experts from across the HVAC, Appliance Repair, DIY industries to share free expert advice that will save you time, stress, and money.
Lawn Mower Wheel Won’t Turn? – Top 3 causes
Pushing a mower isn’t fun, especially a self-drive model, they’re even heavier. But help is at hand and you are in the correct place for self-drive repair. I’m a mechanic for over twenty years and I’ve repaired a ton of these types of issues.
A mower wheel won’t turn for three common reasons:
In this post, you’ll learn how to diagnose why your mower wheels won’t turn and you’ll learn how to fix them right now.
Mower Drive Belt Worn
Mower drive systems are driven by a belt and two pulleys. The belt is fitted to the engine’s crankshaft pulley which drives a second pulley on the transaxle. The drive belt works really hard, despite this they tend to last years without issue. Belts of course wear out over time, no big surprise there.
A worn belt commonly results in the belt:
Common symptoms of a worn-out drive belt include:
Checking The Belt
To check the belt, the mower will need to be turned on its side. But before we do that we’ll need to make it safe to work on and to that, we’ll remove the spark plug wire and turn the gas off (to prevent accidental starting).
Gas tap – If your mower has a fuel tap, turn it off. You can read all about finding and using your fuel tap here “Mower fuel shut off valve”.
A mower may only be turned over with the carburetor side facing upwards. Turning a mower incorrectly will cause the engine to flood with gas and oil, possibly preventing the mower starts.
Turn over – Mower carburetor side up, need help finding carburetor side? I wrote a post about turning your mower over correctly and you can read about it here, “Which way to tilt your mower”.
Is Belt On Both Pulleys, Loose or Worn Out?
Most mowers are rear-wheel drive and so the transaxle is located at the rear wheels. All mowers employ a shield on the underside of the deck, it protects the belt, pulleys, and transmission from flying debris. You usually don’t need to remove the shield in order to verify if the belt is on the pulleys, your view is obscured but you should see enough. However to replace a belt the cover will need removing. Have your WD40 to hand as old grass eats the shield bolts.
The belt on Pulley’s – With the mower turned over, air filter side up, check the belt is fitted around the transaxle pulley and crankshaft pulley.
Tight – If the belt is around both pulleys, go ahead and check it’s tight. A loose belt won’t transfer power. It may be loose because it’s worn or there may be a missing component such as a tension spring or perhaps the transmission itself employs an adjuster to remove belt slack by pivoting the transmission.
Many basic drive systems are adjusted by removing slack from the drive cable (see below).
Worn Out – A worn belt is the root cause of many a self-drive problem.
If the belt is in place, tight, and in good condition, then move on to the next section, the belt isn’t the reason your mower wheels aren’t moving.
If on the other hand your belt is loose, broken, or has jumped off, you’ll need to replace it. It’s possible to refit a jumped-off belt, but you’ll soon be refitting again. Belts usually jump off because they are worn out.
New Belt – Fitting a new belt is a job you can take care of, however, some mowers are challenging to work on. Many will require blade removal and some may require partial removal of the rear axle.
You may find this video helpful “Self drive troubleshooting”, which includes fitting a drive belt.
Mower Drive Cable Needs Adjustment
Mowers use a belt and pulleys to get power from the engine to the axle, but all that power is useless without control. Power is controlled by way of a transaxle lever, attached cable, and bail lever at the handlebars. Cables are just like bicycle brake or gear cables, they are a two-part component – black outer casing with a steel braided inner cable, and like a bicycle brake cable, they stretch out and break over time and need adjusting and eventually replacing.
All good drive cables will have a user-friendly adjuster that allows for easy drive cable adjustment.
How To Check If Your Mower Drive System Needs Adjustment?
Test – To check if your drive cable needs adjustment, apply the drive bail lever at the handlebars and drag the mower backways.
If the cable is adjusted correctly, the drive wheels will lock, if they slip, we’ll need to adjust. This whole process is covered below or checks out “Self drive troubleshooting video”.
How To Adjust The Mower Drive System?
Locate – First locate the drive cable, follow the cable from the transaxle to the bail lever to confirm you have identified it correctly.
Now look for an adjuster screw, commonly it’s at the handlebar anchor where the cable fixes to the handlebars, otherwise an inline adjuster may be fitted.
Open – All adjusters incorporate a lock nut. Open the lock nut and adjust the outer cable to remove slack from the inner braided cable.
Adjust – Lengthen outer to remove inner braided cable slack.
Test 1 – Before tightening up the lock nut, check by applying the bail lever and pulling the mower backways (as before). Wheels should lock, readjust until they do.
Test 2 – When it’s adjusted, pull the mower backways again, this time without the bail lever applied.
The wheels should turn freely. If they don’t, back off the adjuster until they do. Now your drive cable is in the sweet spot, go ahead and tighten the locknut.
Check out this post, “Honda self propelled slow” it covers a Honda drive adjustment in greater detail, but all mowers run similar setups. If you need video help check out the “Self drive troubleshooting” which covers many of the common problems.
Mower Wheels Worn
Most mower wheels are made from plastic and many use plastic gear inside the wheel. The axle drive gear which is metal, wears away the plastic wheel drive gear and the mower drive slips at first, before eventually losing drive altogether. The only fix is to replace the wheels, most wheels are inexpensive but some Honda wheels can be spendy.
To check the drive wheel we’ll need to remove them. A single fastener in the center of the wheel removes them. However, a plastic wheel cap will likely conceal the fastener. A flat screwdriver will pry loose the cap. Loosen and remove the fastener and the wheel pulls off.
Check – Check the gears inside the wheel, if they’re worn you’ll need to replace them. Best to replace both axle wheels. This is a Honda wheel and the gear is metal, they last longer than the plastic teeth but will wear out too. Check out “Fitting a wheel video”.
Drive Gear and Pin Wear
Drive Gear – While the wheel is off go ahead and check the drive gear and axle pins. They wear out on older mowers, learn more in this post “Honda mower slow”. or, if you need video help, check out “Self drive troubleshooting”, which covers wheel and drive pin replacing from start to finish.
Axle Pins – Axle pins transfer power from the axle to drive gear and are under constant stress, and are a common drive fault. Replacing is all covered in “Self drive troubleshooting”.
If you need new wheels, check out the Amazon link below.
Hey, I’m John, and I’m a Red Seal Qualified Service Technician with over twenty-five years experience.
I’ve worked on all types of mechanical equipment, from cars to grass machinery, and this site is where I share fluff-free hacks, tips, and insider know-how.
And the best part. it’s free!
Introduction: Repair a Sagging or Broken Lawnmower Wheel
This instructable will show you how to repair a sagging push lawnmower wheel. The example is my lawn mower I’ve had for years and with regular maintenance the engine is still in great running condition so I don’t want to just go out and buy a new one.
The deck has started to degrade and the wheels are supported by the sides where it’s the weakest.
Step 1: Things You’ll Need.
You can do just one, but since I was doing it I did all four.
Materials you’ll need: 4 Brackets 2 x 2 x 1/4 angle x 3 1/2 (I got these at my local fabrication place and the cut them and cleaned them up for me) 8 bolts 1/4-20 x 3/4 (I replaced what old hardware I could) 8 nuts 1/4-20 8 washers 1/4 size i/d
Tools you’ll need: Drill Drill bits Hammer Spanners (open/closed end wrenches) Ratcheting wrench sockets Wire brush
Step 2: Dissasembly
If the deck is too far gone, this isn’t for you. But if you’re deck is in decent shape than you can go ahead if you feel ambitious.
Also I didn’t move the deck from the engine, It would have made this process easier
Using the wire brush clean all the grass and rusted bits away so you can get your sockets on the bolts and the bracket will fit into the inside of the deck.
Take apart the wheel assembly and keep in the same order. Remove the handle and handle bracket.
Step 3: Making and Mounting the Bracket
Place the blank stock up into the inside of the deck and mark the holes where the handle bracket attached to the deck.
Mount the bracket to the deck.
Tap / reshape the side of the deck to it is flush with the bracket and perpendicular to the top of the deck.
Mark the holes for the wheel support and height positioning plates tab.
Drill out the holes for the wheel support and height positioning plates tab.
Reassemble the bracket onto the deck and tighten everything down.
As you can see from the two images from the back the wheel is nice and straight again and hopefully will stay this way for another 7 years.
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Комментарии и мнения владельцев
My two front wheels rusted out and fell off even though the engine runs fine, so this is just what I was looking for. I went with slightly larger aluminum brackets for my lawn mower. 2.5 x 2.5 and 4 inches long. I got them from a place called metal by the foot after calling a couple of places that didn’t take small orders. i was told to go there. I would make two changes. Although 1/4 thick brackets are remarkably sturdy it’s overkill and very hard to drill thru with even a good cordless drill. says me after ten minutes and two drill bits. 1/8 thick brackets are good enough and much easier to work with. I would also use 1 bolts for more clearance. Great instructable. Thanks.
My push lawn mower frame came a lose and now I can’t find the bolts to neither sides to be able to push it. I have a lot of different screws and nuts. But I really don’t know what to do from there
Use it up; wear it out; make it do, was an expression my depression era parents had tattooed on their souls. I too hate to throw anything away that can be salvaged with a simple fix. What I’m saying is Hooray for you! Kudos for a nicely done ‘ible and an earth friendly attitude.
or do without. is how I heard it
I don’t have anything close to the machinery required to custom make a metal bracket like that. Do you think a custom made PVC bracket would hold?
Looks like he just used aluminum angle. If you never worked with it, it’s great stuff, and you can get it at most hardware or home improvement stores. You can cut it easily with a hacksaw, and drill it easily with an ordinary drill and bits! Nothing special needed!
Works for me! Thanks for the tip!
nobody else a fan of custom lawn mower camber?
I simply use a steel door hinge. I grind off the hinge part, and I am left with a steel plate. I enlarge one of the screw holes and just bolt the wheel to the mower frame, slipon the plate on the underside, put the nut on and tighten away. Works great, it’s quick and cheap!
I have done things similar to this, usually for other people to help them out. Then they buy a new mower within a season, regardless, and make me wonder why I bothered.
That’s funny! I went to some trouble some time ago, getting the software and cables (which she was missing) necessary to make my Mom’s aging Bernina sewing machine sew beautiful embroidery. didn’t cost her a dime. Win, right? NO. She shortly thereafter ran out and spent 5 grand on the new model, which in my opinion is an inferiorly engineered machine in that it uses YOUR COMPUTER as the ‘brains’ of the embroidery module. that is, it is not self-contained and is essentially tied to the Windows operating system. Glad to help, but I agree, sometimes you wonder why you did! The other thing that bugs me is that people feel justified in asking you to do things for free because they couldn’t possibly do it themselves. But do they think to do something for you that THEY COULD DO? HAHA
Phil do good without looking at who
Never heard that phrase before. I like it!
It is likely that the sentence is badly written, because I do not speak English but Spanish. I use Google Translator.
In Spanish they say haz el bien sin mirar a quién.
A new (recent) translation says do good With Dick and Jane. ¿It is so, or is a translation error?
Osvaldo, Do good without looking at who. is an acceptable English expression. The grammar would be just a little better if it said, Do good without looking at whom. Who is the nominative case. Whom is the objective or accusative case. Another way to say it would be, Do good without considering the recipient. or Do good without considering who benefits.
Dick and Jane are two of the main characters in a series of books almost everyone used in their first years of school. There were also a little sister named Sally, a cat named Puff, and a dog named Spot. A couple of years ago there was a movie titled Fun with Dick and Jane. It starred Tia Leoni and Nicholas Cage. It did not concern the children’s books, but tried to remind everyone of them.
The Boy Scouts put it simply: Do a good turn daily.I have issues with a lot of Boy Scout issues, but not this one. It’s great.
Thanks, Phil. ¿How are you? I am enjoying retirement. Recently I had to change all water and gas pipes in the house, were very old and have leaks at some points. Imagine what condition was, especially for my wife, who suffers from the lungs.
rimar2000, I do not speak Spanish. The new translation is very good. help people without judgement. You sound like a person with a good heart.
I choose to base what I take on with a couple of criteria:
1) Someone requesting my time and talent so they can save money. 2) A gift
I am cautious with requests especially if I think the other is simply spending my time, which I value, to save their money. I often don’t get enough joy from doing the task at the expense of other tasks to just give my time and talent away to save someone else’s money. I just turned down an opportunity to help with a remodel for beer. 1st I don’t drink beer, 2nd I had just met this person, and 3rd I have other things I need to do. I often find I can figure out how much they value my time if they get pushy and I mention a price, even if it is for material and expendables. They tend to go look else where.
A gift is something I choose to give without any second thoughts. Since I gave it away it is no longer mine and what they choose to do with it isn’t my concern. Though it may influence what I choose to give in the future.
I reserve the right to decide if I want to give or not. Just my personel thoughts for what they may be worth.