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#1959323 - 07/20/10 01:06 AM Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire
ncguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 77
Loc: NC
My S10 pickup has some really good tires on it now but one has developed a very slow leak in it. I would guess it leaks maybe 10-15 psi in two weeks. I don't drive the truck much and it's a pain to have to air up the tire every time. I have checked it for nails etc but can't find anything. Is there anything I can put in the tire to seal it that won't rust my wheel? I thought about a can of fix a flat but I've always heard it will rust the rims. Thanks in advance for the replies.

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#1959350 - 07/20/10 02:35 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: ncguy]
Billbert Offline


Registered: 10/09/09
Posts: 258
Loc: California
you would be better off finding and repairing the leak correctly. If you want to DIY, spray 'bubble blowing liquid'(like the one kids use to blow bubbles with) That stuff will find about any leak.
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#1959374 - 07/20/10 05:04 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: Billbert]
Spector Offline


Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 3198
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
I had that, turned out to be a valve and stem.

Also tried the sealers, yea it worked but when I had to replace the tire all kinds of [censored] inside the tire from the sealant. now whether this can actually cause a balancing issue I don't know. Suggest its use only in an emergency

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#1959425 - 07/20/10 06:42 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: Spector]
chad8 Offline


Registered: 08/26/09
Posts: 1251
Loc: michigan
wal marts near me will fix a rim leak, dismount ,mount and balance a tire for $10 if you carry it in.. much better than slime. that stuff is useless.

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#1959449 - 07/20/10 07:07 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: chad8]
JustinH Offline


Registered: 04/17/04
Posts: 3148
Loc: Texas
There is a shop here called Mr. Tire, they are a chain.

They will fix any flat or leak for free, but they charge like 9 dollars to remount and balance the tire.

I have had them fix bent rims for the same price, they take the tire off, and patch from the inside.

This is the only safe way to fix a tire with a puncture.

If you have a slow leak, it could be a valve stem also..

Take it in, don't put that gunk in your tire!
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#1959483 - 07/20/10 07:41 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: JustinH]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23556
Loc: ME
I used fix a flat brand with good results, my leak was about 15 PSI per day.

To do it right, deflate the tire down to about 1 psi with the valve stem at 6 oclock, so the can's pressure is much higher than the tire and it properly empties itself. Top off with regular air to the sidewall max then go for a fast/crazy drive to slosh it all around.

If fix a flat were really that bad for rims, rusting them to a point of being unsafe, some lawyer would have been all over them. My rims get salt and everything else and are beefy enough to outlast the rest of the car...

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#1959504 - 07/20/10 08:00 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: ncguy]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 9161
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
Have it repaired and checked properly.Three things you don't mickey mouse around with are tires/wheels,brakes and suspension/steering not necessarily in any order,lives depends on all these parts working 100%.
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#1960103 - 07/20/10 07:15 PM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: Trav]
ncguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 77
Loc: NC
Thanks again for the replies. I guess I will get out there with some dish liquid in a squirt bottle and see where the leak is. I was hoping for a quick, easy fix but I guess there's no such thing.

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#1960213 - 07/20/10 08:55 PM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: ncguy]
tonycarguy Offline


Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 1048
Loc: Sunny Calif
Just pay someone to fix it the right way. The leak has to be fixed from the inside. Those external plugs are considered temporary fixes and the tire will lose its speed rating. I wouldn't feel safe driving at freeway speeds with a tire patched with those plug kits. The tire has to endure tremendous forces every day, don't take a chance with a DIY repair

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#1960508 - 07/21/10 07:28 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: tonycarguy]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23556
Loc: ME
You are not going to find a 2 week leak with dish bubbles.

Maybe sealant is a dumb idea for an airplane or motorcycle, but jeez if you have a blowout on the truck you'll get to the side of the road just fine. JMO. BTW, your attention to your tires makes you less likely to have a tire emergency already, by an exponential factor.

There are 100s of tire threads on this BBS where the topic comes up of how not to skimp on tires b/c they're the only safety equipment on the road, touching the road... you can always one-up yourself on traction and braking until you have an open-wheel racecar. Find the compromise you can live with.

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#1960542 - 07/21/10 08:08 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: eljefino]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 10771
Loc: The Motor City
Originally Posted By: eljefino
You are not going to find a 2 week leak with dish bubbles.

I've always had good luck finding leaks - even slow, two-week ones. The trick is to overpressure the tire (50-60 psi) and throw soapy water on it.

Nearly every leak I've dealt with was either shrapnel in the thread portion or a rim leak from corrosion. I don't see how sealant is better than properly repairing a tire/rim in either of these cases.

The rim leaks usually show up as two-week leaks. Throw soapy water on bead and wait at least 10 minutes. The leaks will show up as fine foam. The fix is to remove the tire, sandblast the corrosion, and repaint. I've fixed at least 16 tires this way in my stable over the years, thanks to living in the rust belt.

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#1961219 - 07/21/10 05:53 PM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: Kestas]
rpn453 Offline


Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 4840
Loc: Saskatchewan
That's a big enough leak to find with dish soap, especially if it's a rim leak. I've had a few slow rim leaks, usually near the wheel weight. The ones that only lose a few psi per month are harder to find. I had to submerge the wheel in water for those. They were both leaking around the valve stem.

I once tried to use a can of sealant to fix a slow rim leak. It didn't work, so I haven't tried anything like that since.
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#1961420 - 07/21/10 08:52 PM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: eljefino]
Spector Offline


Registered: 06/10/02
Posts: 3198
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
This thread is not about plugs versus patches, it is about sealants. However, since plugs were mentioned I have had multiple over the past few years and not a one has ever given out or needed replacing. Even had one in the sidewall which is a definite no no, it lasted until the tire wore out. IMO the tire shops just want the extra $$ to remove the tire, patch it and remount and balance in lieu of just plugging it and in many cases refuse to even patch it in order to sell a new tire. Just my opinion $10 versus 20 0r 30.

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#1961858 - 07/22/10 08:12 AM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: Spector]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 23556
Loc: ME
Originally Posted By: Spector
This thread is not about plugs versus patches, it is about sealants. .


There's always a large Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt contingent typing "just do it right" when it comes to tires. The same arguments get rehashed over and over about

antisieze on lug studs
used tires
sealants
plugs
different brands mixed together

horse

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#1962343 - 07/22/10 04:21 PM Re: Best Sealant for a Slow Leak in a Tire [Re: eljefino]
crw Offline


Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 1591
Loc: Pocatello, ID
>> I don't see how sealant is better than properly repairing a tire/rim in either of these cases.

Sometimes you need to look at it from another's perspective. I manage six vehicles, not counting the tractor and riding lawn mower. At any given time, 3 or 4 of my 24 tires have a slow leak. If I went and spent two hours waiting in the tire shop for every little issue like this, I'd be spending too much time (and money) that I don't have dealing with every little issue.

Right now two of my four nearly new (six months old) tires on the Lincoln are leaking. I could take it back and wait... and get the same schmo who probably did it wrong in the first place, or...? Someday I'll be a retired empty nester and have time to sort out every issue with careful detail, but until then sometimes a less desirable approach is needed. ;-)
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