Snow blower tire repairs? It is mid July, 80 degrees F and your neighbor is running his snow blower and your wondering what could be possibly going through his mind. Well he has decided to complete his annual maintenance and perform any snow blower repairs that are required. Summer time is in fact the best time to make sure your snow blower is tuned up and ready to go for the up coming season. It is nice and warm and working outside on something like a snow blower is easy and comfortable to do.
This post is about tire repairs to snow blowers, however before we get there a few words about maintenance. You should be completing the annual maintenance at the same time. Oil changes and lubricating the auger and impeller, checking the belts and making sure that the tires have sufficient air in them are just a few of the maintenance items to be checked. Home mechanics should also check the spark plug, replace it if necessary or clean it up and re-gap it to make sure that it is ready to go at maximum operating efficiency. Finally clean the carburetor bowel and replace any gaskets that are needed. check your snow blowers maintenance manual for a full set of steps regarding annual maintenance.
During these checkups you may encounter more serious repairs that may be needed or perhaps you observed something that just was not working right for you during the previous season. Now is the time to get these items repaired and your snow blower ready for the season. we have focused on a common one that may occur as your snow blower gets older.
It is quite common for tires to go flat. Most tires these days are tubeless so you may have to remove the tire and rim and have your tire repaired if you picked up a nail. Most tire repair companies will fix your snow blower tire for a nominal fee. They will pull out the nail, place a plug in the hole, reseal the tire to the rim and blow up the tire to its proper pressure.
Older machines may be more difficult to repair. The tire rim may be rusted onto the axle making it very difficult to remove. This was the situation that I was faced with. No matter what I did I could not get that tire rim off and figured that I was going to have to take the entire snow blower into a small engine mechanic just to fix the tire.
Before I went to that extreme, I decided to make a visit to our local small engine mechanic to see what suggestions he could make. I have purchased other parts from him and he was more than happy to help me out since he knew I would be purchasing more parts from him in the future. He had an answer for me I would not have thought of.
His answer to removing rusted tire rims was that he would normally apply heat using a propane torch and knock the rim with a hammer to get it moving. I did not really want to pursue this approach and told him so. I said I will bring the snow blower into him to repair. At that point he said there was another simpler solution and less costly to boot.
Convert from Tubeless to a Tube Tire
Basically you remove the rubber tire from the rim. You can do this using several screw drivers and gradually working around the rim until you have one side of the rubber tires side wall over the outside edge of the tire rim. At this point you want to make sure there are no nails or other sharp objects inside the tire. You can totally remove the tire if you want , however it is sufficient to only remove one side. Next remove the tubeless valve from the rim using a pair of pliers.
Once you have checked the tire thoroughly for nails and sharp objects inside the rubber snow blower tire, place a new snow blower tube inside the tire. You can buy these for $15 or $ 20 , which I did from my friend the small engine mechanic. Place the tube inside the tire and line up the valve stem with the hole in the rim were the tubeless valve originally was.
The next step is tricky, however if you take your time and are careful, you will have no problem. Gradually work the tires sidewall back over the steel rim taking care not to damage the new tube you have just placed inside the snow blower tire. Once you have the sidewall back over the rim, you need to again check that the valve stem is properly lined up and inserted into the hole in the rim of the tire. Lastly check that there are no twists or kinks in the tube. This is a bit difficult to do since you will have to do this by feeling with the ends of your fingers.
Once you are confident that the valve stem is inserted properly and there are no kinks in the tube, slowly blow up the tube with a small tire pump. You want to add air slowly so that if any last minute adjustments need to be made, they can be done before you damage the new tube you just installed.
As the tire fills with air, the tire side walls will slip on to the outside edges of the steel rim on both sides. Once this happens, you can pump the tire up to the recommended tire pressure for the tire you are repairing on your snow blower.
For a total cost of $5 to $20, you have been able to repair a flat tire on your snow blower without removing the tire from the snow blower or taking the entire snow blower into a mechanic. What a simple and inexpensive solution to what could have been a difficult and expensive problem!!