Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do?

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3,899
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Canada
Thread starter
Some of you may recall that on the Lexus below, I installed a brand spankin' new set of Lexus F Sport wheels last summer. All has been going well with them. Considering the car only has about 50 k miles the wheels REALLY make the car look MUCH newer than it is. My problem is with one of my rear tires. I seem to have a SLIGHT leak in it which is causing a 5 PSI leak over a one month period. I've closely followed all the other tires and they all seem to be holding PSI's relatively consistent. I don't think it's the wheels that are are fault, but maybe the bead? or maybe the TPMS? or the tire has a nail in it? Not sure really Considering the leak is so small, I almost doubt I'd be able to find it with soapy water in a spray bottle. Should I have this tire taken in to have the leak repaired? I could just keep topping it off monthly and in doing so prevent any scratches etc. caused by the tire shop. I'd also save the money since we hardly drive this car at all (about 3k miles per year). What are your thoughts?
 
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2,213
Location
Lyndhurst NJ
Spray it down with soapy water and trace the leak. Take the valve cap off and check that also, sometimes the valve cores leak.
 
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1,941
Location
Kansas
I bet you would find it if you took it off the car and sprayed it with some soapy water or put it in a tank with some water. There is probably a small nail somewhere or a small bead leak. You will find it IF you put in a little time.
 
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1,434
Location
iowa
I would be looking for a hole. Screws, and nails start off as tiny leaks, then the hardware keeps getting driven in deeper and leak more. Spray it down with soapy water, and it might be obvious where the problem is. Then decide what to do.
 
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589
Location
Raleigh NC
Originally Posted by Traction
I would be looking for a hole. Screws, and nails start off as tiny leaks, then the hardware keeps getting driven in deeper and leak more. Spray it down with soapy water, and it might be obvious where the problem is. Then decide what to do.
Yes, what they said, and add that a rear tire leaking almost always has something in it: the front tire rolls over it and kicks it up.
 
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2,360
Location
pa
cast wheels can have a bit of porous metal. the cure for my new reproduction 64 knockoffs was a coat of shellac in them on the inside, it worked!
 

CT8

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15,409
Location
Idaho
Pull the wheel off of the car fill it with max air pressure and dunk the tire in a tank and watch for bubbles.
 
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1,434
Location
iowa
Originally Posted by MrMoody
Originally Posted by Traction
I would be looking for a hole. Screws, and nails start off as tiny leaks, then the hardware keeps getting driven in deeper and leak more. Spray it down with soapy water, and it might be obvious where the problem is. Then decide what to do.
Yes, what they said, and add that a rear tire leaking almost always has something in it: the front tire rolls over it and kicks it up.
I have fixed hundreds of flats, and more often than not it is the right rear tire. Most of the debris is on the right side of the road, and the front tire stands it up just in time. You run over stuff all of the time and nothing happens. Just try to not hit a bungee cord, they make a mess.
 
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4,623
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Suburban Washington DC
Originally Posted by CT8
Pull the wheel off of the car fill it with max air pressure and dunk the tire in a tank and watch for bubbles.
Most people don't have tanks but they do have bathtubs.
 
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584
Location
Joplin
Agree that most people do not have a tank large enough for a tire. I think my wife will not be happy if she sees me lugging a 16" mounted tire through the house headed toward the bathroom. Similar to when you try and put your valve covers in the dishwasher.
 
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35,763
Location
ME
Who mounted them? Road hazard coverage generally includes bead leaks. And if not they may still warranty their work for free somehow.
 
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324
Location
Northern KY
I tubed the rear tires of my mower but one of them failed. Doing the work involved a horrible wrestling match with screwdrivers and crowbars, so when the tube failed I bought two new tires. I've only mounted one, and won't mount the second one until the other tube fails. I just about knocked myself out when a pry bar slipped and whacked me in the head. When I mounted the new one I couldn't get the bead sealed. I had to resort to the lighter fluid explosion method to get it seated and I thought it was going to melt itself because the difference between too little fluid and too much fluid is surprisingly small. In retrospect I would gladly have paid someone to do the work. I have one of those Harbor Freight manual tire mounters, but a mower wheel won't go over the center post because it just has a 1" hole for a keyed shaft. Mounting tires isn't for the weak!
 
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2,700
Location
USA
Find the leak first. The best way is to remove the wheel and submerge it. There are some rim leaks that will only leak when the car is parked with the bad spot down, so the tire is flexed from the weight. Those are hard to find.
 
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10,634
Location
Phoenix
Originally Posted by atikovi
Originally Posted by CT8
Pull the wheel off of the car fill it with max air pressure and dunk the tire in a tank and watch for bubbles.
Most people don't have tanks but they do have bathtubs.
Maybe a trashcan? No way I'm putting a tire in my bathtub.
 
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220
Location
South Louisiana
Sometimes temporarily over-inflating the tire by 10-20 pounds will help the puncture show itself. Just bleed it out after it's repaired. I watched a tire shop hunt a leak down that turned out to be the weld where the steel hub was welded to the outer rim.
 
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16,359
Location
NH
Hmm, if you only drive 3k/year on it, it might not be worth the effort. Well, until it decides to just lose all its air overnight, in which case you'll wish you had fixed it. I'd just eat the cost if you can't take it back to the shop that did the work. It's what, $20-$25 now to have a tire unmounted, mounted and balanced? If it's only 3k/year I'm sure you could put it on a jackstand and wheel the wheel back to the shop, drop it off in the morning and pick up in the evening.
 
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3,791
Location
Somewhere in the US
Another vote for finding the leak. Try a kiddy pool or an old washtub. Or ignore your wife's frowns and use the bathtub anyway. THIS IS IMPORTANT - then promise to clean up afterwards!
 
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1,846
Location
missouri
It takes practice to mount tubes in lawnmower wheels. Heat the tire in an oven at 200F for an hour and then it goes much easier. Put a cookie sheet under it so it does not see the red hot element, or it can burn. Rod
 
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4,623
Location
Suburban Washington DC
Originally Posted by Cressida
Agree that most people do not have a tank large enough for a tire. I think my wife will not be happy if she sees me lugging a 16" mounted tire through the house headed toward the bathroom. Similar to when you try and put your valve covers in the dishwasher.
I assume it's YOUR bathroom and YOUR dishwasher as much as it is hers. Not saying to grow a pair but.... I've used the bathtub for this as well as the kitchen sink for smaller tires, but then, I don't have a wife on my case either.
 
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