How to Fix a Flat Tire on a Riding Lawnmower, step by step


It can be very uncomfortable to have a flat tire on a riding mower. If it is partly deflated, It may affect the mower’s handling and cause it to slip on the surface, making your job more difficult. It also adds excessive load to the engine and can cause a higher fuel consumption. If the tire is completely flat, you can not use your mower until you fix it. A flat tire may be caused for several reasons. This blog post shall explore these reasons separately and explain how to fix a lawnmower’s flat tire.

How do I fix a flat tire on a riding lawnmower, step by step:

  • Step 1: Examine the tire. Check the tire pressure for each tire using a pressure gauge.
  • Step 2: Diagnose the tire type and if it can be fixed or need to be replaced. If the tire is punctured with a sharp object or has slipped off the rim, patch it and then change it.
  • Step 3: Attach the air compressor hose to the valve base and pump up the tire with air. Make sure that it is filled to the specified value for tire pressure.

Tubeless tires do not have a separate rubber tube to carry the air inside them. Pressurized air is stored within the tire to withstand the lawnmower’s entire weight and the individual himself. The air pressure inside the tires can fall due to a variety of reasons. The tire can be punctured by a sharp object that allows the air to leak out. Generally, in winters, low temperatures enable the air to condense within the tires, resulting in a pressure drop. In all these situations, the tires should likely be filled with air.

To further elaborate on the steps listed in bold, we suggest going through the whole post.

Fixing a Flat Lawnmower Tire, Step-by-Step:

We shall focus on the procedure for repairing a flat tire along with other issues that can occur with a lawnmower tire.

● Step 1: Examine the tire:

There may be two main ways to conduct a tire inspection. You should visually inspect the tire to see if any tire is flat and needs to be fixed. You can also measure the air pressure within each tire to see where more air needs to be pumped.

-Determination of tire pressure:

You can need a pressure gauge to calculate the value of the air pressure within each tire. You may do this by connecting the pressure gauge to the stem of the valve.

If you have an air compressor at your side, it has a pressure gauge mounted, so there is no need to buy one separately. The prescribed pressure value is generally indicated on the side of each tire. If not given, you can check the manufacturer’s suggested value set out in the lawnmower manual.

Determine the air pressure inside all four of the tires. If the value falls by a large amount short of the recommended value, you may need to pump air inside it. We’re going to come to that step later.

-Visual inspection of the tires:

Suppose any tire appears flatter than usual; attempt to bend over it and press it. If you can press it comfortably, you need to pump the air inside.

Some more expensive riding lawnmowers have a tire pressure monitor that will warn you when the tire pressure is lower than it should be. There are also aftermarket systems you can add to your machine.

Search for sharp objects such as iron nails, pins, glass splinters on each tire tread area. If this is the case, the tire is punctured and needs to be fixed before inflated with air.

You might come across a situation where the tire has fallen completely off the surface, and the air inside has leaked. In all these cases, it is important to repair the tire first before filling it with air.

● Step 2: Fix the damaged tires as follows:

Here, we’ll clarify how to patch tires that have either been punctured or lost contact with the rim. If your tire isn’t damaged, you can switch directly to step 3. Start with checking the type of tire you have. There are two main tire types: tubeless tires and tires with an inner tube.

– Punctured tire with an inner tube:

If you use a tire with an innter tube, it makes the most sense to remove the inner tube and check it for leaks. It is possible to use a sealant with an innertube, but it is not advised. If you have removed the inner tube, you can inflate it and use water or soap water to locate the leak. If the area is not too big, you can fix it easily with some glue and an inner tube patch. Do not forget to check the valve as well. If you have found the hole, it is easy to fix. Always check the tire itself for any sharp object. You know the location that you just patched, so it is easy to find the area on the tire itself as well. Check carefully on the inside of the tire with your hand and remove the culprit. If the area on the inner tube is considerable, it is better to replace the inner tube.

– Punctured tubeless tires:

If a sharp object, such as an iron nail, is stuck inside a tire, it can cause air leakage. To check there is an air leak, you can pour soap water at the puncture site to see if any air bubbles are developed. Please be careful that you do not withdraw the punctured region’s sharp object until the opening has been repaired. You should follow the steps below to patch the punctured tire:

  • Step 1: Identify the puncture site: Mark the tire’s tread area where the sharp object is penetrating. Don’t remove the piece. If the rupture is on the tire’s sidewalls instead of the tread area, you should probably replace it with a new tire. It can’t be repaired quickly, and you’re better off buying a new tire instead of using this defective piece.
  • Step 2: Buy a tire sealant: you can quickly buy a tire sealant from a car spare parts dealer. Each sealant shall have the quantity indicated on it for a specific form of the tire. You should apply a sealant quantity depending on the size of your tire.
  • Step 3: Insert the sealant: open the valve cap of your tire. Attach the sealant hose to the cap of the container. Connect the other end to the stem of the valve. Squeeze the bottle until the quantity you entered is inside the tire.
  • Step 4: Fill the air inside the tire: Remove the sealant hose from the valve’s stem. Now, tie the air compressor hose to the valve and inject some of the air into the tire. Pressurized air distributes the sealant to where the puncture has been created and allows the hole to close.
  • Step 5: Remove the sharp object: Now, slowly remove the sharp object from the tread area. The sealant has filled the hole. Run your mower for a while to make the sealant distribute entirely within the tire.

– Tire slipped off a rim:

In the case of tubeless tires, it is possible that if your tire loses contact with the rim due to a strong cornering force, it loses all its air. It usually occurs when the tires are old and near the end of their service life. However, if you’re trying to repair this tire, you can follow the steps mentioned:

  • Step 1: Wrap a rope around the tread area: You need to gather any rope or belt that can be tied around the tread area. Make sure there’s a loop around the rope.
  • Step 2: Twist the rope with a rod: insert any rod or screwdriver inside the loop with the rope tightly bound. Rotate the rod to twist the cord. The more you twist the rod, the tighter the rope gets, and the more you squeeze the tires’ treads. This force causes the rubber to press against the rim.
  • Step 3: Pump the air inside the tire: with the rope secured, mount the air compressor to the valve stem and pump the air inside the tire until it is filled to the correct pressure. This step has been further elaborated ahead.

With the air filled within the tire, the rope can be withdrawn, and the tire is all ready to be used again.

● Step 3: Filling of the tire:

After the tire has been repaired and checked for any damage, we can pump air inside the tire. For this action, you should follow the following steps:

  • Mount the pressure gauge: initially, attach the pressure gauge to the valve stem by removing the valve cap. Note the value of the pressure shown in psi.
  • Turn on the compressor: turn on the air compressor and wait until it is pressurized. Now detach the pressure gauge and mount the compressor hose to the valve.
  • Inflate the tire: with the compressor hose squeezed, the air starts to fill inside the tire. Once the tire appears pressurized, remove the hose and hold the gauge again to record the pressure. If it is still low, keep inflating it with the compressor until it reaches exactly the specified value. Stop overfilling the tire, as this can cause the tire to burst.

Related Questions:

1. How often should we put sealant in tubeless tires?

The rule of thumb is that the sealant should be replaced every six months. The sealant appears to dry out over time and may split if the tires are pushed to a bumpy surface. In these situations, you don’t need to extract the old sealant unless there are clumps that can be picked up by hand.

2. List the benefits and drawbacks of tubeless tires.

In most riding lawnmowers, tubeless tires are used. Such tires do not have an inner tube, and the rim locks the beads in place. There are the following pros and cons:

-Advantages:

  • More traction: Have greater surface traction and lower rolling resistance at low pressure
  • Less friction: No contact between the tubing and the tire and no friction
  • Self-healing: Some of the punctures can be self-sealing without separating the tire from the rim

-Disadvantages:

  • Costly: These tires are costly and difficult to fit, and time-consuming.
  • Renewing sealants: Sealants need to be renewed every six months.
  • More difficult to remove: Removal requires a high grip force.

3. When should you replace your tubeless tire?

You can replace your tubeless tires when they are fully worn out and no longer provide enough traction. When the tire is either leaking air right after it has been filled or torn by a knife or a very sharp rock, it should be replaced.

Final Remarks:

You should regularly check the tire pressure of your lawnmower. The best would be at the beginning of each mowing season, but at least monthly. We always suggest that the tires be filled to the specified amount and not more than that, as they should cause the tires to burst. Refrain from driving the mower when the tire is flat as it is uncomfortable and overloads the engine. If you’ve ever ruptured your tires before, make sure to keep filling them with sealant every six months as the old sealant becomes ineffective after that.

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