ATVs are pretty resilient beasts, but at some point, you’re going to have to change a tire. It’s worth knowing how to do this yourself, as it can save you a lot of money compared to going to a garage.
Here, we’ll cover the most common questions on how to change an ATV tire. Read on to learn the fastest way to recover from a flat and get your ATV back on the road.
How Do You Change an ATV Tire at Home?
You’ll need some equipment handy before you start. We’d recommend:
- A bead removal tool or a portable tire changer
- A heavy object like a woodworking table or a section of floor where you can secure tools
- 2x tire irons or large, sturdy screwdrivers
- Soapy water/lubricant
- A vehicle jack
- A valve stem core removal tool
- A ratchet strap
Is it Hard to Change ATV Tires?
Let’s get this straight up front: it’s harder than with a regular car. The process involves:
How to Break Bead on ATV Tire
The hardest part of the process is breaking the bead. The bead is a steel cable that runs all around the wheel. It is held in place by the bead retainer, which prevents the rubber from sliding sideways on the rim.
This keeps things in place, although it’s the pressure inside that keeps it airtight.
Can’t Break Beads on an ATV Tire?
This is a common problem because the bead is very sturdy. However, you can use several methods to break the bead.
The best of these is to use the bespoke tool from BeadBuster, which allows you to force the bead from the retainer simply by twisting a bolt. Other methods include:
- Portable tire changer: This is an affordable and widely available tool. Some users find that it slips from the rubber, but a good fix for this is to leave a little air inside (up to 5 PSI). By bolting the tool to a heavy, rigid object, you can break the bead fairly easily.
- DIY bead breaker: If you can do some welding or even a couple of strips of 2 by 4, you can create a bead breaker that operates on a hinge mechanism.
- Run it over with a truck: Apparently, some people do this. You shouldn’t.
How to Remove ATV Tire from Rim
- Remove the tire from the ATV using a jack
- Deflate it using a valve stem tool
- Break the bead (see above)
- Apply soapy water if you haven’t already. Use tire irons or heavy-duty screwdrivers to lift the rubber from the rim
- Clean the rim thoroughly before you try to apply the new model
How to Seat an ATV Tire
Applying the new tire and seating it properly is fairly straightforward compared to removing the old one. Here’s how:
Apply Bead Sealer
Do this before you put the new model on to minimize the chances of damage or leaking further down the line.
Lubricate the New Tire
Use soapy water or a similar alternative. Apply this to the bead retainer to ensure that the rubber slides smoothly against the rim.
Set the New Tire Up
Make sure it’s facing the right way: there’ll be an arrow indicating this. After that, lay it on top of the rim.
You should be able to get the first bead over the rim just by applying a downward force. Don’t sit on it in case it slips, but pressing down on it using your knee is fine. You may well be able to secure the second bead using this method, too.
Get Your Tools
Once you can’t get any further just by applying pressure, use your tire irons or sturdy screwdrivers to fit the rest of the bead over the rim.
Attach the Ratchet Strap
Place this around the circumference of the tire and tighten it. This means that you’ll be able to inflate the wheel before you reattach it to your ATV. Without a ratchet strap tightened 5-10 clicks, it won’t pressurize when you try to fill it with air. Don’t exceed the stated maximum pressure.
Then, all that’s left to do is reattach the wheel to your ATV.
How Much Does it Cost to Change ATV Tire?
How much is it to have your tires changed? If you don’t have any tools at home, and you’re not big on DIY, it might be easier, time-saving, and more cost-effective for you to take your ATV to a garage. You’ll need a few basic tools at least, so if you’re going to have to spend some money anyway — you might just want to spend it on professional assistance.
If you’ve got the kit or can fashion it yourself, changing an ATV tire at home is a rewarding learning experience that brings you closer to your vehicle.
Remember that knowing how to change an ATV tire is a different skill than switching a regular car’s tire. Read your user manual’s instructions regarding maximum air pressure and other variables.
Did you find our article helpful? Then consider checking other guides:
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