It’s disappointing to find a flat on your lawnmower, but a single hole doesn’t mean your tire’s ruined. Instead of replacing the tire, you can repair it for less. With an inner tube and a few simple tools, your tire will soon be as good as new.
1. Find the Problem
Image via Flickr by DieselDemon
Find the hole in the tire and check it closely for remaining debris. If a nail, glass, or other sharp object puctured it, remove this item carefully. Inspect the overall state of the tire. If it has sustained major damage, you may want to look for a replacement at a site like www.overstockwheels.com instead of attempting a repair.
2. Take the Tire Apart
Wedge a tire spoon between the tire and the rim. Work your way around the rim, removing the tire completely to access the inside of the tube. If you don’t have a tire spoon you can use a crowbar or screwdriver. Be careful with these alternate tools, as they have sharp points that may damage the tire or inner tube.
3. Address the Valve Stem
Find the valve stem on the tire rim and remove it with snips. Find the valve stem on the inner tube and insert it into this hole. Clamp a small pair of vise grips on the protruding valve stem of the inner tube to keep it in place as you work the tube into the tire.
4. Insert the Inner Tube
Sprinkle baby power into the tire to keep the inner tube from sticking. Begin at the inner tube valve and push the inner tube into the tire. Work your way around the entire perimeter of the tire until the inner tube is completely inserted. The tube should still be flat at this point. You won’t inflate it until later.
5. Replace the Rim
Gently shake the tire so the inner tube settles on the bottom. This will help prevent damage to the tube as you replace the rim. Use the tire spoon or your other chosen tool to replace the tire. Carefully work the tube of the tire back under the rim so the beading is in place against the rim again.
6. Inflate the Tube
Remove the vise grips from the valve stem and inflate the inner tube a little at a time. As you inflate the tube, the air that is inside the tire pushes out. Allow the air to push out gradually as the inflated inner tube replaces it. Inflate the tube fully. The pressure from the tube will help press the beading into place and secure the rim.
After you’ve fully inflated the tube, stop and deflate it partially. Push against the tire where it meets the rim to make sure the fit is secure. If the tire pulls away, inflate the tube again to press the tire and rim together until they’re fully sealed. Once the tire and rim are secure, use a pressure gauge to inflate the tube to your tire’s specifications.
This DIY job is easily performed in your home garage, giving you a tire that’s as good as new with very little investment.