There are a bunch of problems you might have with your lawn mower wheels, including a wheel that keeps falling off, a wheel being damaged, or a wheel that wobbles. But having a wheel on your lawn mower that you can’t get off is a whole different issue and has its own set of problems. So, before you head to the garage with the biggest wrench you can find, let me share with you a method you can use so you don’t end up snapping the axle.
Why is Your Lawn Mower Wheel Stuck? (The Short Answer)
The most common reason a push mower wheel is stuck is that the nut has seized onto the mower axle. This is usually caused by water seeping behind the wheel cover, resulting in rust between the axle and the nut. So, even with a tight-fitting wheel cover, water can still make its way to the axle and nuts from behind the wheel.
How Push Mower Wheels Can Become Stuck (A Closer Look)
Ok, so even with a brand-new lawn mower, water and dirt can make its way into the area where the axle and nut are located. The wheel covers have a pretty tight fit, and you’ll have to pound it with your palm pretty hard to get them back on, but they are still not watertight.
At some point, rust is going to form. Another place where water can make its way into the axle and nut is through the back of the wheel. If you have ever removed a lawn mower’s wheel, you’ll have noticed that there is nothing protecting the axle from the rear.
So, even with good-fitting wheel covers, water will seep through. If you find that the nut is being difficult because of rust, then let me tell you how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel the easy way.
How to Remove a Stuck Lawn Mower Wheel (Step By Step)
Ok, so by now, you’ve diagnosed that the nut is really stuck. Well, this isn’t too big of a problem as long as you have the right tools and a bit of patience. Here are the steps you can follow.
Remove the Wheel Cover
The first job is to get the wheel cover off. So, locate the little gap on the cover where you can place your screwdriver so that you don’t mess up the cover. Then just pry off the wheel cover with a screwdriver.
Spray the Nut & Axle
Next, you’ll need to spray the rusted nut and axle with a penetrating spray. Now, the penetrating spray will work best the longer you leave it. So, if you can, let the troublesome nut soak in the penetrating spray for a couple of days. I know it might seem like a lot of time, but this will give the spray a really good chance to do its work.
Have a Short Handle Socket Wrench
Once the wheel has sat for a few days covered in spray, you’ll then want to grab a short-handled socket wrench and try to remove the nut. First, tap the nut lightly a few times with a hammer to help break the seal between the axle and the nut.
Be patient with this process, as you don’t want to snap the axle. If you are still having trouble, try giving it another few sprays with your penetrating spray, then try again.
Tools & Materials to Remove the Wheel Nut
- Flat-Headed Screwdriver
- Penetrating Spray
- Socket Wrench
What Not to Do with a Stuck Push Mower Wheel
There are a couple of things that I suggest you avoid, as you might end up having to replace a couple of wheels and the axle assembly. So, if your push mower wheel is stuck, skip these fixes.
Don’t Use a Long Handle Socket Wrench
Usually, if you have a nut or bolt that is stuck, I’d suggest that you get the longest socket wrench you have or use a metal pipe to extend the socket wrench you have. But the axles on your lawn mower are not very strong, so you’ll probably just end up snapping the axle.
Don’t Use a Heat Torch
When you’re looking for how to remove a stuck lawn mower wheel, you might be tempted to reach for the heat torch. Usually, I would agree that a heat torch can help remove a stubborn nut or bolt. But in this case, you’d be working up against a plastic wheel. So, unless you want to melt your lawn mower’s stuck wheel, you might want to leave the heat torch on the shelf.