Wobbly lawn mower wheels can be a nightmare if it’s your first time. To fix them, you’ll need to determine which wheels are the most damaged and attempt to tighten them up with a socket wrench. If the wheels are still not operating properly, then you’ll have to replace them entirely.
How To Fix Wobbly Lawn Mower Wheels
Before replacing the wheels, check whether the wheel axel needs to be tightened. Chances are, the wheel axel is loose, causing the wheels to move differently. Here are some steps to tighten your mower’s bolts.
Step 1: Turn off the spark plug and remove it. Doing so will prevent the machine from accidentally starting up during the repair.
Step 2: Look for the loose-axel wheel and get a socket wrench. The socket wrench will aid in putting the wheel back in place.
Step 3: Start to tighten the wheel until it stops wobbling. To test the quality of the wheel, use your free hand to ensure that the wheel is not overtightened.
For most lawnmowers, this is a quick way to fix wobbly wheels. However, there will be times when the wheel suffers from more severe damage. Here are some ways to ensure that your mower wheels are fixed.
Replace the Wheel
If the wheel bearings are worn down, or the wheel shows signs of physical damage, you’ll need to replace them. Most mower wheels are inexpensive, and you can fit them on your existing mower via a socket wrench.
Follow the previous steps above to replace your lawn mower’s wheel. Always make sure to remove the spark plug to prevent any accidents from occurring. Be careful when inspecting the underside of the lawnmower so you won’t experience any oil or fuel leaks.
Use a Spacer
Alternatively, you can get a spacer to repair your mower wheels. When doing this method, make sure the bolt is the same size as the spacer. Here are some steps to help you complete this process.
Step 1: Find the loose axel and get a spacer of equal size. This will ensure that the wheel can be fixed properly.
Step 2: Start filling the wheel where your mower’s axel is located. Do this until it is smooth to ensure that it operates correctly.
Step 3: Hammer the spacer in the hole until it is tight. This will ensure that the wheel wont accidentally fall off when using the lawn mower.
Step 4: Remove the rust from the old axel. Use the spacer and place it back into the wheel. For smoother wheels, use lubrication to ensure the wheels remain in place.
Step 5: Use a socket wrench to tighten the wheel back onto the spacer.
Why Are My Lawn Mower Wheels Wobbly?
When your lawn wheel starts to move from side to side, that is a clear sign that the wheels are damaged. You’ll notice a slight shake from the lawn handles when pushing it across the lawn. The wobbling wheels will cause the handles to vibrate as it tries to stay aligned with the rest of the wheels.
Also, you might hear a rattling of the wheels because the wheel bolt is not tightly secured to the mower. If any components are not installed properly, it will cause your lawnmower wheels to move awkwardly.
Whether you’re using the lawnmower yourself or a family member is using it, the lawnmower must work perfectly. Having a wobbly lawn mower wheel is a dangerous situation because the lawn lawnmower is challenging to maneuver, and the wheel could possibly fall off.
Taking care of your lawnmower wheels will help them last longer. To improve their longevity, always keep them lubricated. Avoid going over rocks and harsh terrain, as they will make your lawn mower’s parts become loose.
With newer lawn mowers, you’re less likely to experience wheel-bearing issues. Still, you’ll need to ensure that your lawnmower has the right-sized wheels to last longer.
When Should I Replace My Lawn Mower Entirely?
Sometimes, your lawnmower wheels might not be the problem. On these occasions, your lawnmower might need to be replaced due to many underlying conditions. Here are some signs you should look for.
Excessive Amount of Oil
If you use too much oil, you’re going to cause long-term damage to your lawn. The oil needs to travel somewhere, which is usually through the cylinder. If you have to refill the mower with oil, chances are you’re mowing excessively, or the machine is damaged. Oil can be expensive, so use it wisely when operating your lawnmower.
Smoke Coming From the Exhaust
If this occurs, you can replace it by getting a new head gasket. In most cases, the rings might be worn out, leading to a scored cylinder and a for the engine to waste gas.
This can be due to your rings expiring or not cleaning the air filter (debris can get inside the rings and reduce their quality). Depending on the scoring’s severity, you might have to look for another engine and lawn mower altogether.
If your mower’s engine has a rusted deck, it’s a sign that the machine has lost its support. Because of this, the blades might accidentally fall off when the lawnmower is in motion. In most scenarios, the lawnmower case is the most expensive part to replace, so you might have to buy a new lawnmower entirely.
What Type of Wheels Should I Buy?
For most lawnmowers, the wheel size is approximately 8 inches. However, some high-wheeled lawnmowers have wheels that range from 9 inches to 12 inches.
If your lawn area has high hills or rough terrain, then buy a high-wheeled lawnmower. The large wheels will cause less stress to your lawnmower and can travel through uneven surfaces better.
On the other hand, high-wheel lawn mowers are difficult to push. In addition, they require more effort to rotate at 180-degrees. If you have a small lawn, get a mower with 8-inch wheels as they are less expensive and can cover the area.