Trailer Tire Repair and Replacement
Trailer owners often ask questions on how to maintain, repair, and replace parts of their trailers, especially the trailer tires. It’s pertinent that the tires are repaired from the inside since their liners hold air better than the inner tube.
These and many more little details should be known before attempting to fix your trailer tires by yourself.
Read on for more information.
Why do I need to repair or replace my tires?
A tire would need a repair when it’s defective. Most issues with a tire would result in a flat tire.
A tire gets flat when air escapes from it. Air loss typically results from a puncture or other defects on the tire.
The low pressure due to this makes the trailer unbalanced on the affected side. But more importantly, using a flat tire can accelerate the damage of the tire and wheel, and can lead to an accident.
How to repair a trailer tire?
For a punctured or flat tire, the first step is to ascertain whether it’s repairable or it needs an outright replacement. This is best done by a professional mechanic, but you can also replace your tire by yourself.
First, the tire, alongside the wheel, is removed from the trailer. To do this, use a jack to suspend the tire and wheel well above the ground.
- Make sure to hinge the other tires to prevent them from rolling while you’re working.
- Loosen the lug nuts to release the wheel from the trailer.
- Deflate the tire, and separate the tire bead from the wheel using flat head screwdrivers or pry bars.
- With the tire separated, the source, location, and extent of damage can be determined.
Again, this is most accurately done by a professional.
With the site of the puncture, crack or cut spotted, remove the foreign body you were searching for if it’s still embedded.
Repairing your tires
At this point, it’s time for to repair the tires. This is done by repairing the damaged area with a patch.
If the hole is large, a plug is fixed on the inner side. Then, apply rubber cement over the area damaged to help hold the patch and plug in place.
Place the patch over the damaged site and press to firmly fix it to the tire. With the repair done, mount back the tire on the wheel.
Refill with air at the appropriate pressure and reassemble to the trailer.
How do I know my trailer tires need repair or replacement?
These tires often carry pretty heavy cargo. Regular inspection ensures they’re in safe working conditions.
When inspecting them, check the tire tread and the valve systems. Also keep an eye out for cracks, punctures, and other deformities.
For repairs, once your tire becomes hard to stop or when the tire fails, this is a good time to go in for some repairs.
Also, if there’s wear on the tires or cupping and flat spots, then your trailer tires won’t function as well as they should. It’s important to repair them now.
What’s worse? If you leave the tires in bad conditions, you may encounter other problems with the trailer, especially with the hub, axles, bearings, and even wiring.
Not every damage is repairable or needs to be repaired.
The following are some of the instances where it’s better to replace a tire than to repair it.
- Damage to the sidewalls of the tire
- Multiple puncture sites
- Injury around the area of the previous patch
- Need for constant pumping as a result of low air pressure
- Tires with up to 5 years of use.
How do I replace my trailer tire?
After determining that the tire needs replacing, you can either call in a mechanic to do it or replace it yourself.
Guide to trailer tire replacement
1. Loosen the lug nuts half-way through
Use stones to hinge the other tires to avoid rolling. Jack the trailer to a reasonable height to allow for removal of the old tire and fixing of the new one.
2. Completely loosen the lug nuts and remove the tire
Check the wheel hub to be sure it’s in a good state. Put in the new tire in place of the old one. Insert the lug nuts to hold them in place.
3. Return the trailer to normal
Use the jack to lower the tire to the ground level and put away the jack. Tighten down the lug nuts.
NB: It’s always best to use spare tires that are similar to the ones on the trailer.
How do I maintain my trailer tires?
As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure. When trailer tires are maintained, the need for frequent repairs or replacements would be greatly reduced.
1. Protect your tires against the elements
Constant exposure to ultraviolet light can wear down the tires. Therefore, it’s important to protect them from the sun’s rays.
Parking your trailer under a shade is okay, but it’s best to cover the tires whenever they’re not in use with tire covers or materials that can reflect the rays away.
2. Avoid unnecessary pressure on the tire
Prolonged contact of a tire surface with the ground can damage and weaken that part from the moisture, heat, or other prevailing factors on the ground.
If your trailer is not going to be used for long, occasionally moving it and changing the part in contact with the ground will help extend the lifespans of the tires.
3. Stay informed
The manuals that come with every trailer are great resources to get specific information on how to maintain, repair, and replace your trailer tires. Always refer to them.
4. Stick to a maintenance checklist
Trailers have a suitable maintenance checklist. Stick to it. Don’t wait till your tires are in urgent need of repairs before you take them to an auto mechanic.
Role of professional mechanics
People always ask, “Can I repair and replace the tires on my own?” Well, you can do this. However, from removing the tire from the rim to finding the source(s) of the leak and eventually fixing it, it’s not as easy a task as you’d like.
If you cannot do the basic fixes on your own, or the damage is more than what you can handle, it’s always necessary to employ the services of those trained in auto maintenance and repairs.
You can always consult us at TLC Auto & Truck Repair Service Center to help fix your trailer tire issues. We offer Trailer Tire Repair and Replacement services with highly trained technicians. Reach out to us now.