You can go to a shop or garage to have your ATV tire changed. But if you don’t want to pay someone to change your ATV tire, or if you live too far away from a tire shop, then you have to change it yourself.
Changing your ATV tire is not a 10-minute job. It requires a bit of elbow grease to get the old tire off the rim and put in the new one. But once you do it a few times, you’ll become a pro at it.
Here’s a quick guide on how to change your ATV tire (including 2 videos below).
What You'll Learn Today
Tools You Need
- Jack and wrench
- Two tire irons or two long screwdrivers
- Soapy water or some other tire-safe lubricant
- Rubber mallet
- Debeading tool
- Valve core removal tool
Removing the Wheel
The first step is to remove the entire wheel from the ATV. The process is similar to that of a car.
Loosen the lug nuts using the tire wrench. Once loose, jack up the ATV and then remove the wheel completely.
Deflate the tire either by pressing the nut in the valve stem (slow method), or using a valve core removal tool (fastest method).
With the tire off the ATV and deflated, now comes the hardest part.
Debeading The Tire
To prevent the tire from sliding around on the rim and loosing air, vehicle tires contain something called a bead. It’s made from a rigid loop of steel around the tire.
The tire’s bead sits in a groove on the rim. You need to detach the bead to remove the tire.
Unseating the tire’s bed from the rim – called debeading – is difficult. Of course, tire shops and garages have specialised tools that debead the tire in seconds. At home, debeading the tire is more challenging.
What makes it worse is that ATVs tend to have tighter than usual beading to ensure the tire can withstand being jostled around on rough terrain.
There are several methods for debeading an ATV tire at home.
1. Using a Beadbuster (Best and Easiest Method)
A beadbuster is a tool that safely and easily debeads a tire without damaging the rim or the tire. If you own an ATV and want to change tires yourself, we highly recommend buying one.
2. Running Over the Tire With a Vehicle (Might Work But Risky)
You set the ATV tire on the ground and place an obstacle behind it such as a thick plank of wood to make sure it does not slide away.
Then you run over the tire with a vehicle, making sure one wheel of your car stands on the tire sidewall and not the rim. Turn the tire over and repeat to debead the other side.
It’s easy to damage the rim with this method. Unless you have no other option, we really don’t recommend this one. If you want to try it, check out this video.
A variation of this method involves placing a plank of wood such as a 2×6 against the tire sidewall. Make sure it’s not over the rim.
Then, climb over the plank with one wheel of a vehicle. The plank of wood will press down against the side wall and, hopefully, unseat the bead. Repeat for the other side.
3. The Floor Jack and Ratchet Strap Method (Easy and Safe)
If you don’t have a beadbuster or any bead breaker tool, we came across another safe way to unmount your tires. You can see it in the video below.
This guy uses a ratchet strap and a floor jack to debead a tire. The ratchet strap holds the tire firmly in place while the floor jack presses against the tire rim as it’s raised, eventually unseating the beading.
Removing the Tire
Once you’ve debeaded the tire, the remaining bit is relatively easy. Here’s where you’ll need two long screwdrivers or, even better, a couple of tire irons.
Hook one iron under the edge of the tire and push down until that part of the tire pops out. Hook the other tire iron next to the first one and push down to pop out the tire. Remove the first tire iron and hook it next to the second one.
Keep going until enough of the tire has popped out that you can pull the rest with your hands.
Turn the tire over and remove the other side. You may need the tire irons to pop out the other side, but it should be much easier now. Once the other side has almost fully popped out, hit the tire with a rubber mallet to get it off the rim completely.
Inspect the Rim
Take this opportunity to inspect the rim before putting on a new tire. If it’s dirty, give it a quick clean. If it has rusted, sand them to remove the rust then paint the rim to prevent more rusting.
Cleaning and polishing the rim ensures the new tire sits tightly against it, and reduces the risk of air leaks in the future. For additional security, you can also apply bead sealer on the rim groove.
Mounting the New Tire
To make mounting the new tire easier, apply some soapy water on the bead catcher (the groove around the rim) or some other tire-safe lube. This will make it easier for the tire bead to slide into place.
With the rim on the ground, place the tire over it at an angle. Make sure the tire is properly oriented (check for arrows on tire showing direction of mounting).
Push the tire over the lip of the rim with your hands. It should slide down without an issue. If a part of the tire gets stuck, use the tire irons to push it down.
For the second bead, push it down using your feet or hands. You can usually get more than half of it over the lip of the rim this way. Force the remaining bit down with the tire irons.
Inflating the Tire
All that’s left now is inflating the new tire and mounting it back onto the ATV. Put back the valve core and use an air compressor to inflate the tire, making sure not to exceed the maximum recommended pressure.
You’ll hear a couple of pops to confirm the two beads have reset.
If the beads don’t reset, it means the gap between the tire and the rim is too big. The tire will not inflate. If that happens, tie a ratchet strap around the circumference of the tire. Tighten the strap a bit then try inflating again. If air is still escaping, tighten the strap a few more clicks.
Once the tire begins to inflate, wait until it touches the edge of the rim then remove the strap. Finish inflating the tire.