How to repair a wheelbarrow tube and tyre

Updated February 21, 2017

Wheelbarrows have been a required tool for many gardeners for generations. Rubber tyres and tubes became a standard part of wheelbarrows in the same way they became standard on cars and bicycles. Today some wheelbarrows still have tyres with tubes, although the option of tubeless tyres now exists. Tyres with tubes may repaired, eliminating the more costly option of replacing them.

Tube removal

Turn the wheelbarrow upside down with the wheel above the basket. Make sure the wheel rotates freely.

Remove the tyre. Locate the cottar pin or bolt at the side axle that holds the wheel. Remove the cottar pin with the pliers. Use a hammer to lightly tap the pin loose if it is stuck. Use a lubricant spray on the pin if it is old or rusted into place. Take the wheel off.

Fill the pot halfway with water. Place a few squirts of washing up liquid into the water. Mix the soap and water. This mixture becomes a tool to check for leaks in the tube.

Check the tyre for damage. Examine the tyre for obvious holes, cuts or punctures. Remove any nails or protrusions. Fill the tube with air while it is in the tyre. Place the tiyre in the soap and water solution. Rotate the tire slowly, checking for air bubbles on the surface. Mark the location of bubbles with chalk. If no air bubbles are found, continue to the next step.

Remove the tire from the wheel. Place the flat edge of the screwdriver between the tyre and the wheel rim. Work the screwdriver into the seam between them. Work around the rim to separate the tyre from the rim until you have loosened the entire side. Flip the rim over to the opposite side and break the seal the same way.

Remove the tube from the tyre. Gently pull the tube out of the tyre. Start where the valve protrudes through the tyre and work around the tyre until the tube is out.

Check the tube for damage. Fill the tube with air while it is out of the tyre. Immerse the tube in the soap and water solution. Rotate the tube slowly, checking for air bubbles on the surface. Mark the location with chalk.


Prepare the tyre or tube. Clean the damaged tyre or tube with a damp cloth. Dry the tyre or tube thoroughly. Make sure you don't wipe out the mark you made when looking for the leak. Use the sharp metal piece found with the patch kit to rough up the damaged area.

Patch the damaged area. Apply the glue from the kit to the roughed-out area. Wait for the area to become sticky so you may apply the patch. Cover the hole completely with the patch. Apply pressure to the patch against the tyre or tube making sure there are no air bubbles.

Check your repairs. Fill the tube with air. Check for leaks using the soapy water. Insert the tube into the tyre. Check for leaks again if you repaired the tyre.

Replace the tyre. Insert the valve stem into the rim. Put the tyre back onto the rim by working one side of the tire into position around the rim. Turn the rim over and repeat the process. Put the wheel back into position on the wheelbarrow. Insert the axle and secure it with the bolt or pin.


Make sure you use the correct size patch for the hole.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers
  • Washing up liquid
  • Water
  • Large pot
  • Foot pump or air compressor
  • Straight screwdriver
  • Tyre patch kit
  • Lubricant spray
  • Marking pen or chalk
  • Shop rag
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