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How to Inflate a Tubeless Lawnmower Tire, step by step

Having a flat or partly flat tire on a riding lawnmower can be very uncomfortable. It can affect the mower’s handling and cause it to slip on the surface, making the job very taxing. It also adds unnecessary load on the engine and can cause it to consume more fuel. A flat or partly flat tubeless tire can be caused due to various reasons. This blog post shall investigate these reasons separately and discuss the procedure for inflating a tubeless tire on a lawnmower.

How to inflate a tubeless lawnmower tire? Follow these steps below:

  • Step 1: Record the air pressure inside each tire using a pressure gauge.
  • Step 2: If a tire is punctured with a sharp object or has fallen off the rim, fix and adjust it first.
  • Step 3: Connect the air compressor hose to the valve stem and inflate the tire with air. Make sure it is filled up to the prescribed value for tire pressure.

Tubeless tires do not use a separate rubber tube to hold the air in them. The pressurized air is contained inside the tire, enabling it to support the lawnmower’s entire weight, including the person. The air pressure inside the tires can fall due to various reasons. The tire may get punctured by a sharp object causing the air to leak out. Generally, in winters, the low temperature causes the air to condense inside the tires, resulting in a pressure drop. In all these cases, it becomes inevitable to fill the tire with air to ensure a smooth ride.

For further elaboration on the steps mentioned in bold, we recommend going through the entire article.

Inflating a Tubeless Lawnmower Tire, step-by-step:

We shall elaborate on the procedure for inflating a tubeless tire along with other problems that can arise with a lawnmower tire.

● Step 1: Perform tire inspection:

There can be two main ways of performing tire inspection. You can inspect the tire visually and see if any tire appears flat and needs repair. You can also determine the air pressure inside each tire and see where you need to pump more air.

– Determining the tire pressure:

You may need a pressure gauge to determine the value of air pressure inside each tire. You can do this by attaching the pressure gauge to the valve stem of a tire.

If an air compressor is available to you, it has a pressure gauge installed with it so that you need not purchase one separately. The recommended pressure value is usually mentioned on the side of each tire. If not provided, you can check the manufacturer’s recommended value as listed in the lawnmower’s manual.

Determine the air pressure inside all four tires. If the value falls short of the recommended value by a significant amount, you may need to pump air inside it. We shall come towards that step afterward.

– Visually inspecting the tires:

If any tire appears flatter than normal, try to bend over and press it. If you can squeeze it easily, you need to pump air inside it. If a tire doesn’t have adequate pressure, you might get an indication of that while riding the lawnmower.

Also, check for sharp objects such as iron nails, pins, glass splinters on each tire’s tread area. If that is the case, your tire is punctured, and it needs to be repaired before inflating it with air.

You might come across a situation when the tire has gotten off the rim completely, and the air inside it has escaped. In all these cases, the tire needs to be fixed first before filling it with air.

● Step 2: Fix the damaged tires:

Here, we shall explain how to fix tires that have either been punctured or have lost contact from the rim. If your tire isn’t damaged, you can move directly to step 3 without following this step.

– Punctured tires:

If a sharp object such as an iron nail is stuck inside a tire, it can cause air leakage. To check if the air is leaking, you can pour soap water at the puncture site and see if any air bubbles are formed. Please be sure that you don’t remove the sharp object from the punctured area until the hole has been fixed. For fixing the punctured tire, you can follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Locate the puncture site: Identify the site on the tire’s tread area where the sharp object is pierced. Don’t remove the object yet. If the puncture is on the tire’s sidewalls instead of the tread area, consider replacing it with a new tire. It can not be fixed easily, and you are better off purchasing a new tire instead of using this damaged piece.
  • Step 2: Purchase a tire sealant: You can buy a tire sealant easily from an automotive spare parts dealer. Each sealant has an amount listed on it for a particular type of tire. You should add the sealant amount based on your tire’s size.
  • Step 3: Insert the tire sealant: Open the cap of your tire’s valve stem. Connect the sealant hose with the bottle’s cap. Attach its other end to the valve stem. Squeeze the bottle until the particular amount has entered inside the tire.
  • Step 4: Fill the air inside the tire: Remove the sealant hose from the valve stem. Now, attach an air compressor hose to the valve and pump some air into the tire. The pressurized air distributes the sealant to where the puncture has been made and causes it to close the hole.
  • Step 5: Remove the sharp object: Now, gradually remove the sharp object from the tread area. The hole by now has been closed by the sealant. Run your mower for a while to fully distribute the sealant.

– Tire fallen off a rim:

For tubeless tires, it is possible if your tire loses contact with the rim due to a high cornering force and loses all the air. It generally happens when tires have become old and are near the end of their service life. However, if you still want to fix this tire, you can follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Tie a rope around the tread area: You need to manage any rope or a cord that can be tied around the tread area. Make sure the rope has a loop around it.
  • Step 2: Twist the rope with a rod: With the rope wrapped tightly, insert any rod or a screwdriver inside the loop. Rotate the rod to twist the rope. The more you twist the rod, the tighter the rope gets and squeezes the treads. This effect causes the rubber to push against the rim.
  • Step 3: Fill the air inside the tire: With the rope tightened, attach the air compressor to the valve stem and insert air inside the tire until it gets filled to the requisite pressure. This step is elaborated further ahead.

With the air filled inside the tire, you can remove the rope, and the tire is all set to be used again.

● Step 3: Filling the tire with air:

Once the tire has been repaired from any damage, we can now pump air inside it. For this action, you can follow these steps:

  • Attach the pressure gauge: First, attach the pressure gauge at the valve stem by removing the valve cap. Note the pressure value it displays in psi.
  • Turn on the compressor: Turn the air compressor on and wait for it to pressurize. Now, remove the pressure gauge and attach the compressor hose to the valve.
  • Inflate the tire: With the compressor hose pressed, air begins to fill inside the tire. Once the tire seems pressurized, remove the hose and attach the gauge again to record the pressure. If it is still short, keep inflating it using the compressor until its pressure reaches exactly the prescribed value. Avoid overfilling the tire as this can cause the tire to burst.

Related Questions:

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

A rule of thumb says that the sealant should be replaced after every six months. The sealant tends to dry out with time and can break if the tires are driven on a bumpy surface. In these cases, you don’t need to remove the old sealant unless there are clumps that can be picked out by hand.

2. List the advantages and disadvantages of tubeless tires.

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

– Pros:

  • Provide better surface traction and less rolling resistance at low pressures
  • No friction between the tube and the tire.
  • Punctures can be self-sealing without taking the tire off the rim.

– Cons:

  • These tires are expensive, and their fitting is difficult and time-consuming.
  • Sealants need to be renewed after every six months.
  • Removal requires high grip strength.

3. When should you replace your tubeless tires?

You should replace your tubeless tires when their treads have worn out completely and no longer provide sufficient traction. When the tire keeps on leaking air right after getting filled or when it has been torn due to a knife or highly sharp object, it should be replaced.

Final Remarks:

You should check your lawnmower’s tire pressure regularly during the season. We always recommend filling the tires to the prescribed level and not more than that since it may cause the tires to burst. Avoid driving your mower when the tire is flat as it is uncomfortable and loads the engine excessively. If you have ever punctured your tires before, be sure to keep filling them with sealant every six months as the old sealant wears out after that.