Lawn mower wheels wear down over time. When you’re mowing on uneven ground or pushing the mower over hard surfaces to get to and from storage, the wheels often wear out faster. Rocks or other obstacles can damage the wheels while you mow.
If your mower isn’t pushing easily anymore or the wheel is broken, it’s probably time for a replacement. Learn how to change a lawn mower tire and do it for yourself in a matter of minutes.
How to Change a Lawn Mower Tire: Detailed Answer
Knowing how to change a lawn mower tire is a skill that anyone with a mower should learn. You can complete the process in 3 easy steps:
- Step 1: Removing the Wheel
Because you’ll be working with the underside of the mower, you should first disconnect the spark plug wire. On most mowers, the spark plug is on the front. Tuck the wire far away from the spark plug to prevent it from falling back into place.
Put a wood block or other hard object under the front of the mower deck to raise the wheels. The wheel(s) you’re changing should be suspended, not touching the ground.
Lawn mower wheels are attached with a locking nut. You need a wrench with an extension socket to reach and undo the nut. If there’s a hubcap on the wheel, remove it first to access the nut.
Once the nut has been taken out, the wheel should slide right off.
- Step 2: Inspecting & Maintaining the Wheel Shaft
Before attaching the new wheel, take a moment to inspect the wheel shaft. Look for visible signs of wear and tear, especially worn out shaft bars. If you have a self-propelled mower, inspect the drive mechanism for signs of damage or wear.
On the wheel shaft, wear usually looks like shinier metal or grooves in the metal. The shaft should be smooth enough for the wheels to spin evenly.
Apply a synthetic lubricant to the wheel shaft. For self-propelled mowers, you should also lubricate the drive gears. It’s important to use synthetic lubricants, because the plastic mower wheels can react poorly to natural oil lubricants.
- Step 3: Replacing the Wheel
Once your maintenance is finished, it’s time to attach the new mower wheel. Place the wheel onto the shaft and return the nut. Screw it tightly into place with the socket wrench.
Modern lawn mowers have mechanisms to prevent over-tightening the nut, but older mowers may not. If there is a hubcap, attach it to the wheel to cover the nut. Roll the mower forward and back to test the wheel balance.
Reconnect the spark plug wire before attempting to turn on the mower.
Tip: Make sure you get the right wheels for your mower. Look up the model of your mower, with the serial number if possible, and order the recommended wheels for that model.
Watch a simple tutorial for changing mower tires here:
Simple lawn mower maintenance can be done at home. With a new mower wheel and a few tools, you can learn how to change a lawn mower tire. All it takes is removing the old wheel, lubricating the wheel shaft, and screwing on the new wheel.
Do you have any questions about changing lawn mower wheels? Let us know in the comments!