Lawn mowers and lawn tractors that have pneumatic tires eventually will suffer a puncture. When that happens, the first thing to establish is what type of tire is on the mower. If you can push the valve stem up into the rim, the tire likely has an inner tube. If the valve stem appears fastened to the rim, the tire is likely tubeless. If you aren't sure, check your mower documentation. Once you know the type of tire, you can buy a patch kit appropriate to the type of tire.
Locate the puncture either by looking for a nail, wire, or other foreign object or by feeling for escaping air. Depending on where the puncture is, you may need to remove the wheel from the lawnmower by removing the lug nuts. If the puncture is near the edge, you may be able to patch it in place.
Ream out the hole using the reamer included in the tubeless tire patch kit.
Place the patching material around the tip of the reamer as instructed in the patch kit. The exact procedure will depend on the patching material. Patching material looks like a long piece of soft rubber. In most kits, fold this material over the reamer.
Push the patch material into the newly reamed hole. Twist the reamer out without pulling out the patch material.
Allow the patch material to cure as instructed on the kit. Trim the patch as close to the tire surface as possible.
Inflate the tire.
Tires with Inner Tubes
Remove the wheel from the lawn mower by removing any lug nuts and hardware that secures the tire.
Use a tire spoon to lift one edge of the tire bead to the outside of the rim.
Insert another tire spoon and begin to slide it away from the other, moving more bead to the outside of the rim.
Continue until one side of the tire is free. It might be easier to use more than two spoons. How many will depend on the diameter of the tire and the type of bead on the tire.
Remove the tube from the tire and gently inflate the tire.
Submerge the tube in a bathtub or other pool of water and look for bubbles. The bubbles indicate the location of the puncture.
Patch the puncture as recommended on your patch kit. In most cases, you will roughen the outside of the tube around the puncture, apply patch cement to the tube and patch, and press the patch onto the tube.
Put the tube back in the tire and reverse the process with the tire spoons to put the bead back on the rim.
Inflate the tire.
About this Author
Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.