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How to Put Inner Tubes in Tubeless Lawn Mower Tires

With the invention of the riding lawn mower, mowing the lawn became fun for some people. Until then, mowing the lawn was considered a chore by most. The riding lawn mower is now one of the most sold items in the United States. Just like other vehicles, most riding mowers have a tubeless tire system. When the tire goes flat, there are three options -- plug the tire, replace it or insert a tube.

Place a jack under the corner of the mower with the flat tire. Raise the jack until it touches the frame of the mower.

Loosen the lugs on the rim or remove the center cap and cotter pin from the shaft. The cotter pin will require pliers to bend the ends together, Then the pin is pulled or pushed out of the end of the wheel shaft.

Jack the mower up until the tire is 3 inches off the ground. This amount of space will allow the full tire to go back on the mower. Remove the tire and rim.

Press down on the tire with the palms of your hands around the rim to loosen from the rim seal. Older tires may require soaking with oil for several minutes to loosen the tire.

Locate the back of the valve stem on the rim. Cut the back of the valve stem off with a razor knife and pull the valve stem out of the rim with pliers.

Stretch the tube around the rim and line the valve stem of the tube up with the valve stem hole in the rim.

Press the valve stem of the tube through the hole in the rim and pull with pliers until the valve stem is fully seated. Some tubes will have a bump of rubber at the base of the valve stem that has to be pulled through the hole. Others will have a threaded valve stem that must have the nut tightened down to the rim.

Press the tube into the tire. Do not use any tools for this; tools may cut the tube.

Remove the valve stem cap and fill the tube to the recommended tire pressure. Most lawn tractor tires have a max pressure of 20 psi. This can be done with an air compressor or hand pump.

Reinstall the tire and rim on the mower.


Inflate the tube to the max pressure for the tire, not the tube.

The tube will press the tire back into the proper location.


Do not overinflate the tube.

Overinflation of tubes or tires can cause rupture and serious injury.

Make sure the riding mower wheels are blocked to prevent the mower from rolling off the jack.

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