A Precise Guide on how to Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip

A Precise Guide on How to Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip

The wheel retaining clip is one of the major elements of a lawn mower. It’s an essential part of the mower as it helps the wheel stay intact in its place. It also helps the wheel to run smoothly when activated. 

Almost every household with a yard owns at least one lawn mower. It plays a vital role in keeping the yards nicer looking, giving the grass on the ground a fresh, precise cut, but it also saves us time, and within the short course, anyone can use it. 

A lawn mower comes with some vital components. It’s important to know, therefore, how a definite part of the mower works. With the proper instructions, anyone can remove the lawn mower wheel retaining clip. 

As for today’s topic, I will be discussing how you can easily remove the wheel retaining clip from a lawn mower. I will be sharing a complete guideline for that instance. 

What is a Wheel Retaining Clip? 

A lawn mower consists of a few essential parts. Especially the mower’s retaining clip that keeps the wheel secured in the right place.

A wheel-retaining clip is a type of clip that helps to hold the lawn wheel in place. It ensures the capability of the wheel is fine when we use it.

If we avoid the essentiality of replacing the retaining clip for a good, healthy life for the lawn mower, in the long run, it will badly impact the lawn mower. 

A particular kind of lawn mower could function in a whole different way than other kinds of mowers.

Why Do We Need to Remove Wheel Retaining Clip?

There are four vital reasons why we need to remove wheel retaining clips from time to time. Let’s know about them.

  1. Wheel Maintenance

To keep your mower efficient, you need to check, replace, and maintain your wheel from time to time. 

It is important to remove the wheel retaining clip to take off the wheel from its axle for cleaning and dusting off any debris or dirt that might be accumulating. 

With time, the wheel may wear out or get damaged. So, to keep them in proper condition, wheel maintenance is a must thing you shall not overlook.

  1. Wheel Replacement 

After a definite period, your lawn mower will need its wheels replaced with some new ones. For that purpose, you will need to remove the retaining clip first, and the wheels second. 

  1. Personalization

In the market, there are often different brands of lawn mowers. Each with varying functioning. You may want to replace your mower wheel with a more effective one or one larger. 

Changing the wheel and customizing it in your way will require the removal of the retaining clip over everything. Without detaching the clip, personalizing your lawn mower will be impossible.

  1. Yard Friendly Wheels

After some time, you may need to adjust the lawn mower wheel according to the cutting height. If you know how to remove the wheel retaining clip, your job is half done there. 

What Sort of Tools Do You Need?

A set of tools is necessary to keep by your side while you remove the wheel-retaining clip. 

The right set of tools will help you get a flawless outcome. Below is the most important equipment you can use to achieve a wonderful result:

Safety First!

Don’t forget to wear your safety goggles and put on your hand gloves before you start playing with your tools. Safety comes first, and everything can come later. 


Flathead or Phillips, depending on the type of the mower you will need a screwdriver to meddle with your mower clip.

Crude Oil

In case the clip hasn’t been removed in ages, chances are high that the components may collect rust or get stuck in their place. 

To help, using some amount of lubricant or crude oil will help remove or replace the parts easily.

Needle-nose Pliers

Needle-nose pliers can be used for holding the axle. It is usually used for electric or engineering work, but it can be used for various other purposes as well.

Drill and Socket Wrench

You may or may not need it. It is not mandatory to have a drill and socket wrench. Only on rare occasions can it serve you some purpose.

How to Remove Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip (Step-by-step Guide)

Picture of lawn mower retaining clip

Let’s get to know about the procedures in the simplest way. For your convenience, I have broken down the total process into simpler steps.

Step 1: Unhook/Detach The Plug Hood

Make sure your spark plug hood is disconnected from its terminal. It is a must to look after this part seriously as it may bring in major injury if not handled carefully in time. 

Use your pliers to have a better grip on the spark plug hood then pull it off of the main socket. You don’t want to have any unwanted accidents while trying to remove a small metal clip!

Step 2: Position Your Mower Correctly

Make sure your lawn mower is placed accordingly on a flat surface before you begin the job.

Step 3: Get Access to The Axle

With the help of your screwdriver, first remove the plastic off your mower’s wheels. 

A flathead screwdriver is preferable for that purpose. After you successfully remove the plastic from the wheel, by now the axle should be visible to you.

If you notice any dirt sticking to it, just wipe it off with a clean rag or paper towel. Wipe it off carefully. 

You should not leave a single glimpse of grease as it may make your entire task more difficult and overwhelming to carry out. 

Small detail matters, note that. 

Step 4: Locate The Retaining Clip

Depending on the model of the lawn mower, the clip could be positioned differently. Try to spot the exact position where the clip is located.

Normally, the main task of the clip/pin is to hold the lawn mower wheel intact in its place in the axle. 

So, you better look for it inside or on the outside of the wheel. Once you spot the clip, start working on its disposal. 

Step 5: Identify the Type of the Retaining Clip

As I mentioned before, there could be different categories of the clip. One may need a different removal procedure than the other. So to know about the type and how it works is important. 

It could be a cotter pin that goes through the axle, or it could be a circular pin that goes around the wheel. Examine the clip with care. 

Have you ever seen how bobby pins look? The Cotter pin shares the same resemblance. It goes through the axle and another end of the pin sits quietly inside the groove. 

On the other hand, circular clips do their job differently. It sits on the grove and goes all the way around the axle.

Step 6: Time to Take Off the Clip

Now bring your plier and screwdriver to the main task. Use some penetrating oil in case of rust. 

If it’s a circular clip, hold its edge with a plier and slowly take it off from its groove inside the axle. Use your screwdriver to work it on the edge of the retaining clip to make it break free. 

If it’s a cotter pin, use a plier and grab the bent ends, grip it tightly, and work it backward until you finally pull it off.

Step 7: Troubleshooting

At times, when you haven’t removed the retaining clip in a long time, it gets rusted in place. In times like those, use some crude oil or penetrating oil to make the process less laborious. 

If by any chance, the retaining clip gets damaged, replace it with another clip.

The whole process of the operation is simple and easy. Just be patient and trust the process until you get your outcome. Besides everything, be careful about your safety. A small mistake can cause you a mountain of injury or distress. 

Precaution Never Go in Vain

I am listing down a set of rules you need to follow before you jump off to start with your work. Follow them thoroughly if you want to avoid getting injured.

  1. Never take your safety gear, goggles, and gloves for granted. These are the things you will need beyond everything.
  2. Make sure to unplug your spark hood. Trust me, getting electrified is no fun!
  3. Be careful with the sharp instruments. When you use a sharp tool, be gentle.
  4. Switch off your lawn mower before you start working on its clip.
  5. Try to build a work-friendly environment. 

Here Are Eight Useful Tips for Removing Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip

  • Quality-Based Tools: Try to purchase quality intact equipment.
  • Watch the YouTube Tutorial: You will find a thorough guideline for removing retainer clips there.
  • Know How to Use: You should not be an amateur in case of using any sharp tool.
  • Be Gentle: Do not stress over it. Do not overdo or over-push.
  • Patience is the Key to Success: Be patient and stay focused.
  • Use Pliers: Use pliers when you try to take a grasp of the clip.
  • Do not Lose Your Clip: Once you remove the clip, keep it in a container. Place it somewhere reachable.
  • Stay Aware: Be aware of any injury/bruise.

How to Avoid Injury?

Simple. Just put your gear, goggles, and gloves on. Also, be careful and remember to plug off the mower before you work with its wheel.

How to Expand the Life of a Lawn Mower?

To keep your mower in good track and shape, you need to change and replace its wheels, and clips from time to time. Try to keep the insides clean and non-greasy as much as you can.

Final Thoughts on how to remove lawn mower wheel retaining clip

When you work with your lawn mower, place it on a smooth, flat surface. Make sure there is enough light, and the environment is less chaotic. 

Keep every necessary tool closer to your grip. If possible, have a set of extra toolboxes. Seek help from your friend or an expert if you can not do it alone.

In case you feel like your current lawn mower is no longer usable, I’d suggest checking out this resource on the best lawn mower for women.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lawn Mower Wheel Retaining Clip?

A lawn mower wheel retaining clip is what keeps the wheel in its definite place. So when you work with your mower, it doesn’t slip off midway.

How Many Kinds of Clips Are There?

There are two types of Wheel Retaining Clips. One is called the Cotter Clip and the other is the Circular Clip.

How to Locate a Mower Clip?

Remove the plastic that covers up the axle. Spot it somewhere inside or outside the mower wheel.

What to Do with the Excess Amount of Grease?

Brush it off. Take a clean paper towel. Use that to remove the excess amount of grease.

What to Do with the Stubborn Rusts?

Use lubricating oils or some crude oil. Use a generous amount. Don’t over-pour.

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Behind Best Darn Product is Kevin Pena, a passionate blogger and e-commerce enthusiast based in Atlanta, Georgia. With his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing online marketplace, Kevin is dedicated to sharing his extensive knowledge and genuine enthusiasm for the products and services that shape our modern lives.

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