Retainer clips are the most stubborn part of a wheel but their role in keeping the wheel and its axle together befits its rigidity. Retained clips are of different types but basically, they are a sort of ring made of metal.

Your lawn mower retainer clip could be the circular clip, the C-clip, or the cotter pin. While the circular pin sits wrapped around the axle, the cotter clips look like a short Bobby pin with a part of it sitting through the axle instead of around the axle. The C-clips are also wrapped around the axle like the circular pin but it has a gap at one end of it. It is the easiest of all the retaining clips. All the types of retaining clips can be removed just with the right steps.

How To Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip?

How To Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip?

Removing the retaining clip of a lawnmower is the difficult part of removing or replacing a lawnmower wheel. However, all that can be changed with some patience and a little effort. To help remove a lawnmower retaining clip, some materials are needed. Gathering the materials first prepares you to beat any problem the retaining clip might cause.

The materials:

  • A Flathead screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • A Rag
  • A drill am a docket (for extreme cases)

Steps You Need to follow:

  • First of all, remove the spark plug hood and cable. This prevents accidental startups that are likely to happen while working on the mower. You can make use of pliers to help with the removal.
  • With the help of the Flathead screwdriver, remove the plastic covering of the wheel by just popping it off. Some lawn mowers use centre bolts to tighten the grip of the covering on its axle. Check to see if your lawnmower is one of them. Then remove the bolts before removing the covering.
  • After removing the covering and exposing the axle, clean both of them using a rag or paper towel. Wipe them clean of any dirt and possibly grease.
  • Since the axle has been exposed, it will be easy to locate and identify the retaining clip. Check if the clip is a circular pin, C-clip, or cotter pin. Knowing which one allows you to know what method to use when removing it.
  • To remove a circular retaining clip, you need to work your way around the edges of the clip and slowly off the axle. This requires patience and time. However, if you are finding it difficult to remove, there is an alternative which is to drill the clip off. This is when you can employ the use of the drill bits. Doing this will require that you get new clips as replacements.
  • Use the drills to make small holes in the clip, then use your pliers to cut them off.
  • If the clip is a c-clip, insert your Flathead screwdriver into the gap of the clip. This expands the gap a little more and at the other end of the clip, use your needle nose pliers to pull the clip off.
  • If it is a cotter pin, hold the bent end where both sides of the clip meet with pliers and pull it out of the axle.

Why Does The Wheel Keep Falling Off My Lawn Mower?

It is possible that when in use, the wheels of the lawnmower keep coming off. This could be because the vibration produced by the lawnmower is too much and so loosens the clips that hold the wheel in place during movement.

Also, if you notice that the wheels are loose and keep going off just a few days after you changed the wheels, then it is also possible that you did not tighten the clip to the wheels properly.

Bumping into objects excessively can cause the bolts of a wheel to lose their grip too thereby weakening the wheels.

Bumpy rides, moving the lawnmower up and down uneven grounds, especially at a fast speed can disorient the wheels and cause them to loosen.

Related Guide: Should You Mow the Lawn While Pregnant?

How Do You Fix A Wobbly Lawn Mower Wheel?

Encountering loose or wobbly lawn mower wheels is common and almost every lawn mower owner has experienced it. So it’s not a big deal. When this happens, you will find that it is difficult to control and keep the lawnmower in one direction.

Once you notice that your lawn mower wheels are wobbly or they remove every time you try to move the lawnmower, you need to fix them fast. It does not require the help of a professional or money. All you need are a couple of tools, time, and attention to get it right.

While fixing the lawnmower wheels might just require some extra tightening of bolts here and there, in some cases, you might need to do a lot more than that. In the case of just tightening, you don’t even have to take the parts of the lawnmower apart but for the latter, you need to. But before you decide to dismantle your mower, just be sure that the problem is not with the bolt.

Apart from tightening the bolts, there are two other ways wobbly wheels can be fixed. It can be done with a copper pipe and a spacer.

The Copper Pipe:

The copper pipe is not the only material required for this fixing, you also need a marker, a drill machine, and a pipe cutter.

Steps you need to follow:

  • Get a copper pipe that is 2 feet long. Cut one end of it with a hacksaw to make it flat.
  • Detach the wheel from the mower. Some people might not want to remove the wheel, that’s fine too. Just flip the mower upside down so the wheel is upward and you can access them freely.
  • Insert the flat end of the pipe with the axle. Make sure it fits tightly with little space for movement. Mark the length.
  • Use the pipe cutter to cut the marked length on the pipe to be the same size as the axle.
  • Now put the cut-out pipe inside the axle and reattach the wheel. Do not forget to fix the acres back and tight.

With a Spacer:

You need a hammer, and a wrench and the spacer should be about the width of your lawnmower.

Steps you need to follow:

  • Take off the axle of the wheel.
  • Insert the spacer tightly into a hole on the axle. You might need a hammer to do this properly.
  • Once inserted, reattach the wheel back to the lawnmower

Related Guide: What is the Best Month To Buy A Mower?

How Do You Put A Wheel Back On A Lawn Mower?

  • To provide smooth movement, rub some lubricant on the lawnmower bearings.
  • Then reattach and tighten the nut holding the axle to the wheel. You can do this with a crescent wrench to endure a firm grip.
  • Use your hands to roll the wheels to see if the movement is free and undisturbed.
  • Flip the lawnmower back downside up. Test the wheels again.


Fixing wobbly or malfunctioning wheels might seem easy to do but you could generate more problems for yourself if you fail to follow the instructions. Whatever kind of repair you choose or need to do on a lawn requires that you must remove the spark plug. It is very important.

Victoria Peterson

I am a passionate gardener who wants to help you create and maintain your dream yard. I know that it can be daunting to take on a project like this, but I am here to help. I have been gardening for years and have learned a lot along the way. I want to share my knowledge with you and help you create the perfect yard for your home.

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