How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Wheel

In this article, you will learn step-by-step how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel from your riding lawn mower.

a jacked up mower for removing a stuck lawn mower wheel
Safety first. Make sure you have the right equipment to jack up your mower and to always block the wheels remaining on the ground.

When your lawn mower wheel is too stuck to remove, you probably feel equally as stuck.

The last thing you want to do is take it to a professional and drop a load of money on what could potentially be a 15 minute fix.

Just like learning to balance your own lawn mower blades, or how to seed, fertilize, and lime your own lawn, removing a stuck wheel may not actually prove to difficult one you know what you’re doing.

And doing it yourself could save you some serious time and money.

In this piece, we’re going to learn how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel.

We’ll assume you know how to typically remove a lawn mower wheel and already tried it to no avail.


How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Tire

This process isn’t as easy or straightforward as how to change a lawn mower tire that isn’t stuck. In this case, you aren’t able to quickly take off the tire and replace it.

Believe it or not,  they actually make a stuck wheel removal tool if your lawn mower wheel won’t come off after trying everything below.


Otherwise, if you don’t have one handy and need to get it off now, try to follow the steps below.


Step 1 – Park It

The first thing we want to do is park the lawn mower on a flat and level surface. If your tire is too far gone, this step might require some manual labor.

When you’ve got the lawn mower in a good spot, it’s time to make sure it’s safe to work on.

Disconnect the spark plugs and kill the battery.

If your mower has a hubcap, go ahead and remove that now. You can use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry it off without scratching it too much.

Loosen the bolts using the appropriate sized socket wrench like you normally would when changing a tire.  Do this BEFORE you jack up the mower to keep the wheel from spinning in the air.


Step 2 – Raise the Lawn Mower

Use a jack to raise the lawn mower up high enough so you can work on the tire.

a jack to raise a riding lawn mower
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For an extra level of protection, throw the mower on jack stands so it doesn’t go anywhere.

 a pair of jack stands
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If the stuck wheel is at the rear of the mower, block the front wheels with wood blocks or rubber chocks so it doesn’t roll on you. If the stuck lawn mower wheel is in the front, block the rear wheels.


Step 3 – Start the Surgery

a rusty bolt causing a stuck lawn mower wheel
Even a little rust can serious bind up your lawn mower wheels.

Now it’s time for the fun stuff to start.

If your mower has a hubcap, go ahead and remove that now. You can use a flathead screwdriver to carefully pry it off without scratching it too much.

With the axle connection exposed, go ahead and coat it with some WD-40 penetrating oil.

WD=40 penetrating oil
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This will loosen up the assembly for you and make things a lot easier. Coat the axle at every point that it meets the rim of your tire.

Let the oil sit for a few hours before you start the next step.

At this point, you might be able to remove the wheel. This all depends on how rusty and stuck your wheel was in the first place.

For the unlucky majority, it still won’t budge.


Step 4 – Brute Force

You’ve been nice enough to the wheel already and it didn’t want to cooperate, now it’s time for brute force.

Grab a rubber mallet and start evenly tapping the tire around the circumference. You want to hit the tire on both sides.

The goal here is to loosen the wheel and remove it from the area that’s trapping it.

After each round of tapping, see if the wheel can be removed. If not, apply another generous coat of penetrating oil.


This time you only need to wait around 20 minutes. Repeat this step a few times and see if you make any progress.

You can also try to hit the axle with the rubber mallet. Aim for the area right before it meets the wheel.

If this doesn’t work, it means your wheel is seriously stuck. Time to possibly take it to a pro.


Possible Step 3b – High Heat

blow torch for high heat to remove a stuck lawn mower tire
Only apply high heat if you have not already coated in penetrating oil!

The last thing you can try is blasting the axle and wheel with heat to see if it loosens up.

ONLY try this if you have not sprayed it with any type of oil as this could be extremely dangerous.

For this step, you’ll want to use an oxyacetylene torch.

You want to heat up where the axle meets the wheel. Try to avoid hitting the wheel, and limit how much you heat up the rim.

Be mindful of where you’re standing and holding during this process. The assembly is going to get red hot and you don’t want that touching you.

Heat the axle and when it starts glowing, grab your rubber mallet and tap the wheel just like you did in step 3.

The wheel might come right off, or you might have to repeat this step a few times.

Make sure that when the wheel comes off it doesn’t hit you at all.

This is the final step and if this doesn’t work, you’ll have to have a professional take a look at your mower and see what they can do.





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