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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

So I've been having this issue for a while now. On one of my tires, it regularly looses air. The tires are new, and the strange thing is, I had this same issue on the older Michelin tire that came with the car.

One day I will check the air pressure, notice it's low usually around 25 or 26PSI, fill it up to 35. A week or so later I'll check it again and it'll be back down to 25 or so. Did this with both the old tire and the new tire.

Today I took it to my mechanic, watched him take the tire off, wash the tire and wheel and carefully inspect for any leaks in the tire or wheel, and check the valve stem. He said everything looks OK and couldn't find anything wrong (can't complain, he didn't charge me anything).

It's getting really annoying to deal with and having to spend $1 every week to go to the gas station for air. My question is, what's next? Just keep spending money on air every week and deal with it, or get a new wheel? I'm not sure where I could find a new wheel, and obviously I want it to be the same as the other 3.

Thanks for the help guys, always appreciated :smile!
 

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RacerRik
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Spray the entire wheel and tire with dishwashing detergent soapy water (10% soap to 90% water is plenty). If it is leaking 10 psi in a week, that is enough to make bubbles where the leak is occurring.

Be sure to get the bead to rim joint area and the valve stem seal area. And the inside of the wheel - you may have a cracked or porous wheel. Best to take the wheel off the car so you can check all surfaces. The bubbles should form within a few minutes of spraying.
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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So the mechanic didn't use the soapy water to test the tire? If it's leaking it will make the bubbles expand. I had a valve stem that would leak a couple pounds per week on my old truck. Adding air, even if it's just once a month, gets old after a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forgot to mention he did use the soapy water, and inspect for bubbles. So could it be the valve stem?
 

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BRWNFLSH now
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It could be from the valve stem core, or where the valve stem goes through the wheel. Check everything.
 

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I had leaks around the bead. When I got my new tires the shop cleaned and sealed around the bead area and I haven't had leaks there since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Alright so I should check the valve stem core and also the bead area. So if I just spray it with soapy water will that determine if the valve stem is leaking?
 

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if soap water ain't doing the trick, you need to dip the tire in water which submerges it and turn it slowly till you see bubbles. Dip it in the bathtub if you have to... just don't get caught by the woman of the house. You'll have worse problems than an air leak.

PS, I don't usually suggest fix a flat, but you might be a good candidate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
if soap water ain't doing the trick, you need to dip the tire in water which submerges it and turn it slowly till you see bubbles. Dip it in the bathtub if you have to... just don't get caught by the woman of the house. You'll have worse problems than an air leak.

PS, I don't usually suggest fix a flat, but you might be a good candidate.
Yeah he had a little bucket in soapy water and kept turning it slowly to check for bubbles. Only thing he didn't do was take the tire off the wheel. I'm probably going to take it to a tire shop next week and have them inspect and clean the bead area and the valve stem. Thanks everyone for the help so far!
 

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Yeah he had a little bucket in soapy water and kept turning it slowly to check for bubbles. Only thing he didn't do was take the tire off the wheel. I'm probably going to take it to a tire shop next week and have them inspect and clean the bead area and the valve stem. Thanks everyone for the help so far!
Yeah, I meant submerging the tire and rim with no soap, cause that would disguise the air leak bubbles. You need a big bucket (your old lady's bathtub... LOL) You hold the tire upright, turning it slowly and watching for bubbles rising from below.

 

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There is a tool they make you can buy for really cheap that will allow you to tighten the stem up. I had that issues awhile back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah, I meant submerging the tire and rim with no soap, cause that would disguise the air leak bubbles. You need a big bucket (your old lady's bathtub... LOL) You hold the tire upright, turning it slowly and watching for bubbles rising from below.

Yep, that's what he was doing.

There is a tool they make you can buy for really cheap that will allow you to tighten the stem up. I had that issues awhile back.
Thanks! I'll look into it.
 

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From the many sets of wheels/tires I've owned, it's almost always the rim's edge with corrosion that's causing the leak.
 

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From the many sets of wheels/tires I've owned, it's almost always the rim's edge with corrosion that's causing the leak.
Also a small crack in the rim can cause it. Usually resulting from a pothole.
 

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Elvira
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From the many sets of wheels/tires I've owned, it's almost always the rim's edge with corrosion that's causing the leak.
This ^^^^

Twice had this problem and removal of the tire from the wheel and thorough cleaning of the aluminum alloy corrosion around the bead area fixed it. Tire shop used a wire brush wheel to remove the corrosion.

Both times it was evident of leaking air following the mounting of new tires.

That little amount of "roughness" causes enough gaps to slowly leak.
 

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Put some spit on your finger and rub it into the valve stem. If it bubbles the core needs tightening. Be patient because it might bubble so slowly that you'll miss it if you walk away too soon. If tightening it doesn't fix it then the core is rusted and needs to be replaced. I've had both problems.

Same thing with the bead around the tire. Take the tire off, lay it on the ground, and spray the bead with soapy water and let it sit there. If the leak is slow you will see teeny little bubbles start to form around the beat. It could take a few minutes to show up so don't walk away too soon.

You have a wheel that is losing air and your mechanic couldn't find it with soapy water. Not a good sign.
 

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In the mean time stop filling up air at the gas station and get a decent 12V air pump. I got mine for $30 from Costco and its great.

I don't understand how people use gas stations to do it... air should only be added / checked when the tires are cold.. and they warm up on the drive to the station.

My winter wheels have the same problem... they need to be unmounted and resealed every few years as they are old and leak air at the bead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good news is I did some searching in my garage today and found an air pump. So at least I can use that and save on going to the gas station.

Next week I am bringing it to a tire shop for a second opinion, and bead cleaning. Maybe I'll just have them replace the valve stem core as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update:

I went to a local tire shop today to get the tire looked at. They checked the tire and valve stem which were OK. Turns out it was corrosion on the bead area of the wheel. They cleaned it all up and I ended up paying $20 even.

Much cheaper than a new wheel, thanks for the help guys :smile!!
 
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