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How to Replace a Tire Tube

A flat lawn tractor tire.

Knowing how to replace a tire tube comes in handy when you need to fix a flat on a wheelbarrow, snow blower or lawn mower. It’s not hard to do, and it’s something even a novice can manage. Here are the steps you’ll need to replace a tire tube, as well as some additional tips.

Safety First

Make sure you’re in a well-lit area with a level surface and you have eye and hand protection. When you’re dealing with a piece of inflated rubber it’s possible for items to go airborne as you work, and there might also be dirt or other debris stuck in the treads that could scratch your hands. Once you’re ready, remove the tire. Next let any remaining air out of the tube by either removing the valve stem core, or simply pressing on the valve core until the tube is completely deflated.

How to Remove the Tire from The Rim

You’ll need oil and two tire bars for the job. Start by spraying the rim and seal with oil, and then let it stand for a few minutes. Next, slide one tire bar between the rim and the tire near the stem. Use the second tire bar to slowly pry the tire over the rim, going around the circumference. You don’t have to remove it completely. You just need one side free so you can reach in and remove the damaged tire tube.

Install the New Tubesmall inner tube

To insert the new tube, carefully slip the stem through the hole in the rim so you don’t damage the stem. Put the stem nut on the stem, which should help keep it from slipping as you slide the tire back into place.

Now it’s time to break out the tire bars again. Use one tire bar to pull the tire back over the edge of the rim, and then use the other tire bar to slowly, and carefully, slip the tire into place. Make sure that it’s lined up correctly, and double check that you haven’t snagged the tube in the process. Take your time to avoid damaging the tube.

Once the tire is back in place, all you need to do is inflate it, and you’re ready to go. Replacing a tire tube is something anyone can do with only a few tools, some oil and a little effort.

Check out all tire tube repair products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information about tire tube repair, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Nicole Wakelin View All

Nicole Wakelin covers the automotive industry as a freelance journalist for a variety of outlets. Her work includes news pieces, podcasts, radio, written reviews, and video reviews. She can be found in The Boston Globe, CarGurus, BestRide, US News and World Report, and AAA along with lifestyle blogs like Be Car Chic, The Other PTA, and She Buys Cars. She is active on social media with a large following on both Twitter and Instagram and currently serves as Vice President of the New England Motor Press Association.

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