If you have a lawn tractor, it’s likely that at some point you’ll get a leak in one of the tires. When this happens, you’ll need to patch the tire. This will allow you to continue to get use out of the tire before having to get a new one. There are a few steps you’ll need to take to patch your tire.
1. Remove the Tire
The first thing you need to do is take the tire off the lawn tractor. This will allow you the best maneuverability with the tire, ensuring that you’re able to figure out where the hole is and get it patched in the quickest time possible.
2. Locate and Mark the Hole
Image via Flickr by °Florian
After you’ve taken the tire off the lawn tractor, you need to figure out exactly where the hole is. In some cases this will be extremely obvious. If you’ve run over a screw or nail, the hole is going to be where the metal is.
However, in other cases you may need to figure out where the leak is coming from, by doing testing, such as holding your hand over different spots on the tire, to see if you can feel air coming out. Once you’ve found the leak, make sure to mark it, so that you can find it again later.
3. Remove the Tire From the Rim
You need to make sure to get the tire off the rim, without doing more damage. You can do this with a tire machine, or by carefully prying the tire off the metal. Once you’ve removed the tire, you need to flip it inside out. This will allow you to patch the tire from the inside. This is important, as you don’t want the patch to easily wear away as you’re driving down the road.
4. Buff Around the Hole
You need to make sure that the patch will hold. One of the best ways you can ensure this is by buffing around the hole. You can do this with a number of instruments, including a Dremel and sanding bit. Be careful about how long you buff the area, as you don’t want to create another hole or other problems with the tire. Buff it just long enough that the area is smooth and the patch will stick. If the hole is too big, you may want to consider getting a new tire.
5. Apply Vulcanizing Fluid
It’s important to make sure that fluid doesn’t get into the tire through the hole. To keep water out, you need to make sure to apply vulcanizing fluid around the hole. You will apply this to the entire area you buffed. You should only apply a thin layer; don’t apply enough to let it pool, but make sure that there’s enough to cover the entire area. Allow this to dry, which usually takes 5-10 minutes.
6. Attach the Sticky Side of the Patch
Take off the plastic from the patch, and apply the sticky side to the inside of the tire. Hold this on the tire. Make sure you have lined it up correctly, so that you don’t have to pull it off and try again. If you do have to pull the patch off, you may want to consider using a new one.
7. Pull the Pointy Part Through
When you apply the patch, you need to make sure that the pointy part of the piece is lined up with the hole in the tire. Poke the pointy part through the hole, so that it sticks out the front of the tire. With a pair of pliers, grab this. You will need to pull the pointy end through the tire. This will fully press the sticky part of the patch to the hole in the tire. When the plug is set, the pointy section should easily pull out.
8. Ensure the Patch is in With a Roller
After the patch has been applied, use a patch roller to make sure that it is completely stuck on the tire. As you roll this over the patch, it will help press the patch against the tire, and help you know that the patch is completely on the tire.
9. Remount and Reapply the Tire
Once the patch is applied, you’ll need to remount the tire to the rim. After this, you should add air to the tire, and balance it. Once this is all completed, you can reapply the tire to the lawn tractor.
Fixing a leak in your tire is easier than many realize. With only 9 steps, you can fix your flat tire.