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OT: Slow Leak in Tire

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  • OT: Slow Leak in Tire

    There is a very slow leak in one tire on my wife's car. It takes a month or so to become noticeable without a pressure gauge and even then you have to look close. I have been refilling it and trying to get it fixed, but it is so slow that the normal methods the tire shops use just do not work. No bubbles, even if they over inflate it. I have taken it to one tire shop twice and a second one just two days ago. No luck.

    I can't go back to the shop which sold the tires because I bought it used and the tires came with it. They are relatively new.

    My first question is, does anyone have a way to find such a slow leak? Do they make some kind of die that can be put in it? Or something?

    My second question is, can anyone recommend a good BB for asking about this tire problem?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

  • #2
    I have seen "tire sealant" that comes in small pressurized containers very similar to a can of spray paint. It is injected thru the valve stem as a liquid and will seal any leaks around the rim .---Brian
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    Comment


    • #3
      If it isn't leaking from a loose or bad valve core and even less likely from the bead, then you've got "something" in the tread. Have you examined the tread for nails, staples, drywall screws?
      A shop is only going to waste so much time on a leak that they can't find or charge for.
      If you use anything like fix-a-flat or tire slime, make certain you mark the inside tire sidewall with a paint marker. The next tire guy will thank you.
      Last edited by reggie_obe; 01-13-2021, 09:41 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Had the same problem. I pumped the tire up to max pressure soaked it with strong soapy water from a spray bottle (Palmolive green dish soap), and waited. An hour. The micro-leak eventually showed up not as 'bubbles' in the expected sense, but just like a dab of shaving cream at the leak. Repeated the check and got the same result. Marked the spot and had a patch applied and done!
        Southwest Utah

        Comment


        • #5
          There's a remote chance that the leak only happens when the tire is flexing during use. It could be from a small puncture wound where the culprit is no loner stuck in the rubber. Have you noticed any change in its deflation rate based on how often she drives? Another potential difficulty is if the leak temporarily self seals due to over inflation. As for finding the leak, this could be one of those situations where a lot of patience is required of the at home machinist/tire repair man. Soapy water works well for me when looking for leaks. If it's difficult to find you can make the bubbles last longer by adding a little liquid glycerine to the mix. Add a little less than the amount of soap used. For soap I've always had good luck with regular liquid dish detergent. The liquid glycerine is available at most pharmacies. Pretty sure the big W store carries it too.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yup all the above, even "spintrifugal force" can change a bead seal simply by changing the load where the tire meats the bead...

            take tire off, use some "stans" tubeless bike tire seal, rotate every direction making sure you cover beads,,, done deal most likely as long as it's not a valve stem or something ....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
              Had the same problem. I pumped the tire up to max pressure soaked it with strong soapy water from a spray bottle (Palmolive green dish soap), and waited. An hour. The micro-leak eventually showed up not as 'bubbles' in the expected sense, but just like a dab of shaving cream at the leak. Repeated the check and got the same result. Marked the spot and had a patch applied and done!
              This!!!

              You have a very slow leak that takes upwards of a month to show up, so a tire shop will not detect it unless it's much more noticeable.
              A quick dunk in a water tank or even a spritz with some soapy water on the bead area or tread is simply not a not going to find such a minor leak quickly. Very slow leaks just take more time to detect since it is a very minute amount of air that you are trying to detect, give it time to reveal itself.
              Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
              Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

              Location: British Columbia

              Comment


              • #8
                Is it mounted on a steel rim or alum or magnesium rim??

                I had a tire do exactly the same thing. It took about a month or so to lose enough air to need refilling. I brushed dish washing soap all over it but couldn't find a single spot that looked like a leak.

                One day I took it off again and sunk it in a tub of water. After the ripples in the water stopped I noticed a fine stream of bubbles rising out of the bead. The bubble stream was about as fine as a

                human hair or finer. Almost undetectable. Had the tire broken down and remounted and that cured the problem.

                JL....................

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
                  There is a very slow leak in one tire on my wife's car. It takes a month or so to become noticeable without a pressure gauge and even then you have to look close. I have been refilling it and trying to get it fixed, but it is so slow that the normal methods the tire shops use just do not work. No bubbles, even if they over inflate it. I have taken it to one tire shop twice and a second one just two days ago. No luck.

                  I can't go back to the shop which sold the tires because I bought it used and the tires came with it. They are relatively new.

                  My first question is, does anyone have a way to find such a slow leak? Do they make some kind of die that can be put in it? Or something?

                  My second question is, can anyone recommend a good BB for asking about this tire problem?
                  How much would a new tire cost?
                  $500.00, $1000.00, I have no idea so this is mere curiosity.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bented View Post

                    How much would a new tire cost?
                    $500.00, $1000.00, I have no idea so this is mere curiosity.
                    Sometimes it is not the cost, but the availability. if the alternative is either TWO new tires, or driving around with different manufacturer tires on the two front wheels, that may make a difference.

                    On the S10, the only company making tires to fit anymore was Hankook, but I had different tires on it (back tires not the same maker). So I had to get two Hankook to avoid a mismatch and the oddity that comes with that, not to mention the "we won't do that, it's unsafe" statements. ( kept the old one, and they did mount it on another wheel as a spare)

                    Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
                    I have seen "tire sealant" that comes in small pressurized containers very similar to a can of spray paint. It is injected thru the valve stem as a liquid and will seal any leaks around the rim .---Brian
                    If you ever use tire slime in a tire, most if not all of the local tire shops will refuse to touch it, other than to replace it.

                    I was in my favorite one when a couple who had a Kia were there. The Kia does not come with a spare, the "spare" is a can of tire slime (that's really cheap-azz). They had used it, and the shop man was explaining that they will not do anything but replace tires that have had that treatment, and don't know any that will. The people were not happy, but had to get a new tire. That shop is not the only one that has that policy.

                    The excuse was that it is for the safety of the personnel, which may be valid, I don't know what is in that crap. Or the whole thing may be a bit of a scam like the old "your tire is more than 4 years old, we cannot do anything but replace it" deal.
                    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-14-2021, 12:50 AM.
                    3751 6193 2700 3517

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan

                    If you look closely at a digital signal, you find out it is really analog......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Like others have stated, aluminum rims pits like crazy. I like steel rims but they are not in style anymore. On a Toyota 2012 van, I went through 3 months of filling up tires when the dash like came on. It was two rims on the drivers side. The tire shop found the sensor valve core leaking. OEM not repairable and had to be replaced at the cost of $108 for both and then programed to the vans computer. The new sensors have replaceable cores now. NO LEAKS since! YIPPY! I like the warning about the SLIM sealer. If you put in the tire make sure you drive that tire for a half hour to disperse it around the inside of the tire. It will cost you to have that rim cleaned when you remove the tire the next time.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        take the tire off the rim. clean rim. sand outer lips smooth. coat with epoxy paint. apply flexible pu sealer over paint. done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Every since I started to use Rust Check on the rim/tire interface, I have never had a slow leak. A couple of punctures, yes, but the incessant slow rim leaks are a thing of the past.
                          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            https://www.popularmechanics.com/car...12293/4297504/

                            I had the same problem, ended up buying new rims.
                            Beaver County Alberta Canada

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
                              Had the same problem. I pumped the tire up to max pressure soaked it with strong soapy water from a spray bottle (Palmolive green dish soap), and waited. An hour. The micro-leak eventually showed up not as 'bubbles' in the expected sense, but just like a dab of shaving cream at the leak. Repeated the check and got the same result. Marked the spot and had a patch applied and done!
                              +1. I have done this also. I mixed up dish soap very strong and used that, and waitied some. it did look like a dab of shaving cream

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