Not everyone is a lawnmower mechanic, and most people are more than satisfied by just taking the lawnmower in and having a professional do any repair work requirements. However, if there is one thing about DIY projects, they can save you a ton of money.
Can You Plug A Lawn Mower Tire?
Yes, you can plug a lawnmower tire, and there are several ways to do it. The best part is that none of them are too difficult to do either, so long as you have the tools necessary for the job.
While a lawnmower tire going flat isn’t the potential disaster that it could be if it happened in your car, it’s still problematic. It’s tough to mow the lawn with one tire deflated and flopping around, not to mention the damage it could do to your rim.
So let’s take a closer look at the different ways to fix a lawn mower tire to help you get back on the green.
*This page contains affiliate links to products I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
Can You Repair Tube Tires?
Now, we brought this up because it’s a significant point. The only type of lawnmower tire you will be able to plug is a pneumatic one, meaning that it’s full of air but has no tube.
Repairing a tube means replacing the tube altogether, and it’s a much more difficult job since the tire has to be removed from the rim, the tube then replaced, and the tire remounted on the rim.
You can’t plug a tube tire because the tube is what holds the air, and it’s challenging to run a plug through both the tire and the tube. However, you can remove the tube and patch.
We thought it was worth mentioning to avoid any confusion over the issue. When we discuss plugging your lawnmower tire, we are referring to the pneumatic variety, not the tube tires.
How to Plug Your Lawnmower Tire
There are a couple of ways to go about this; one isn’t a plug. However, we will start with the straight-up plug method. You’ll need to have a tire plugging kit, and it doesn’t matter that it’s a lawnmower tire versus a car tire. Any plug kit will do so long as it’s a plug kit for tires.
You will need to gather a few items together to start and finish the job correctly.
- A razor blade (box cutter will do)
- Pair of pliers (some robust and sizeable needle nose pliers)
- A car jack and stand
- Air compressor
- Valve stem tool
- Soap and water
- Plug tool
- Plug material
It will also help to have a brick or a large chunk of wood handy to stick behind the tires. If you are going to jack up the rear of the lawnmower, block the front tires and vice versa if you are going to jack up the front end.
If your lawnmower is pretty low to the ground, you may have a problem getting the jack underneath if you use a bottle jack or something similar.
Go with a jack that’s as low profile as possible.
- Jack the front or back end up and situate a solid jack stand or something that will hold the lawnmower in a stable position underneath
- Remove the axle cover.
- Remove the retaining ring.
- Remove the washer
- Remove the tire
Once The Tire Is Removed
Now that you have the tire in your hands, you can start the plug process. If you have a visible nail or object sticking out of the tread or sidewall, grab ahold of it and remove it with the pliers. Sometimes, this takes more effort than you would think.
Twist it around if you need to, which is usually the case if there is a screw in there, and you can probably unscrew it just like you would remove a screw from a board or the wall.
If you can’t locate the leak, that’s what the soap and water are for. Mix the two like you are going to wash your car. Take a cup full of soapy water and pour it over the tire. Watch for bubbles coming up from the tire as the water washes over it.
Once you see the bubbles, you have your leak. If you have a handy grease marker or some chalk, you can quickly dry the spot and mark it in case you lose it again.
- Remove the valve stem cap.
- Press in the core of the valve and deflate the tire
- Take your reamer and push it into the hole; twist and withdraw.
- Do it repeatedly until the hole is big enough for the plug.
- Use grease or oil to lube the hole up.
- Put your plug on the plug tool.
- Push the plug into the hole using a lot of downward force
- When you remove the plug tool, the plug should remain.
- Trim the plug down with your box cutter
- Replace your valve stem core and begin filling the tire with air
- Once you reach the amount of pressure indicated on the sidewall, you’re all set.
That’s all there is to it. It’s not as hard as all the instructions say, and, to be honest, it was probably more difficult writing this out than it will be to plug the tire, assuming everything goes smoothly.
Use a Patch for Larger Holes
You don’t want to jam a massive plug into your tire leak, and besides, they don’t make tire plugs big enough for that. Also, this will be more difficult than plugging the tire because you have to remove the tire from the rim altogether.
We will start with the tire completely deflated and off of the lawnmower.
You’ll need everything that you had for the tire plug except for the plug, but you want to add sandpaper, a tire patch, two pry bars, a patch roller, and a hammer.
- Lay the tire flat on its side and insert the breaker bar between the rim and tire
- Stomp on it
- Work both pry bars around the tire, separating it from the rim
- Flip the tire and repeat
- Locate the hole that you marked
- Use the reamer tool on the hole
- Lubricate the hole and push the patch plug into the hole
- Hand sand the inside portion of the tire where the hole is
- Insert the other patch inside the tire into the hole
- The plug needs to be deep enough that it is flush with the inside lining of the tire
- Use your patch roller to seal the patch
- Reverse the tire removal process and remount
The problem with the patch method is that removing the tire from the rim can be difficult, especially if the tire is brand new because the rubber is much more rigid and less flexible.
Don’t hesitate to take the tire in if it is too much. It may even save you some money if you’re not rolling in with the entire lawnmower and instead bringing the tire in for service.
Using Sealant to Fix A Lawn Mower Tire
You can also use the sealant method if the hole is so minor that a plug might be overkill. You can purchase cans of tire sealant from any auto store. The only drawback is that it is more of a temporary and less dependable solution.
It is possible to plug a lawn mower tire if you have a pneumatic one. However, if the lawn mower tire has a tube, you will need to remove the tube and patch it. Use the tips above to choose the proper method to help you fix the tire quickly, so you can continue using your lawnmower.
If you’re unsure what method works best for your mower, it’s best to consult the owner’s manual or take it to a professional to have it done. Better safe than sorry!