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#4556422 - 10/27/17 04:51 PM Fighting leaks with alloy wheels
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12893
Loc: Northern Kentucky
I keep having pretty significant leaks on my Buick where the tires meet the alloy wheels. I'm dropping down to less than 20 psi in maybe a week. I get my tires rotated and balanced for free at tire discounters as part of the package I bought when I got them installed. About every other time I go for rotation I tell them and they will usually grind the inside of the wheels and it seems to help for a few months but always comes back. I have been wondering if there's anything else I can do. I don't think I will be able to get the tire shop to do anything differently so I just wanted to hear some ideas.
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#4556430 - 10/27/17 05:03 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
BigCahuna Offline


Registered: 09/29/09
Posts: 2140
Loc: Deep in the heart of Jersey
Fill them with inflate- a-flat, that should fill any gaps where the air is leaking out.,,,

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#4556435 - 10/27/17 05:09 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2731
Loc: Wet side WA
Very strange grinding on wheels so they won't leak. I've had Mag wheels since the late 60's I've never had a set leak?
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#4556441 - 10/27/17 05:17 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16812
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
A good tire place will have a bead sealer. They brush it on where the bead goes and it fills in the gaps.
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#4556449 - 10/27/17 05:27 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: JohnnyJohnson]
901Memphis Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 12893
Loc: Northern Kentucky
Originally Posted By: JohnnyJohnson
Very strange grinding on wheels so they won't leak. I've had Mag wheels since the late 60's I've never had a set leak?


I was told there's corrosion causing the problem because of salt/snow which is why they are grinding it. I haven't asked if they use a bead sealer yet.

The only thought I had was using slime,but wanted to hear opinions first.
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#4556454 - 10/27/17 05:34 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 2999
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
My 98 Sienna had the same issues. I would take it back to Costco they would reseal the bead and it would leak. Not down 10 psi in a week, but enough leaking in a two week span. Got different rims later on from Kijiji along with tires. Sold the van within a year.

Good luck trying to get it fixed.
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#4556464 - 10/27/17 05:48 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: JC1]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 5204
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
I would like to see this "grinding" process. ...a good stout polishing?

Also, A pal uses bead sealer (NAPA brand) on his twuck rims. The stuff dries hard.

I wonder how you clean it off when tire time comes.

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#4556468 - 10/27/17 05:54 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32629
Loc: ME
Either a wire wheel or aggressive scotchbrite pad/ sandpaper will polish the rim so it seals. I imagine the factory has a "top coat" that's more corrosion resistant.

You shouldn't need a "good" tire shop to get that bead sealer goo; crummy shops have it and I have a can in my garage. link. It brushes on and grinds off with the same technique used to remove rust. You can also very carefully remove it from the tire, too.

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#4556474 - 10/27/17 05:59 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: JC1]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2731
Loc: Wet side WA
Originally Posted By: JC1
My 98 Sienna had the same issues. I would take it back to Costco they would reseal the bead and it would leak. Not down 10 psi in a week, but enough leaking in a two week span. Got different rims later on from Kijiji along with tires. Sold the van within a year.

Good luck trying to get it fixed.


I'm surprised they haven't offered to sell him a new set yet!
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Out: QSUD 5W-30 Purolator One 5030
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#4556484 - 10/27/17 06:10 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
benjy Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 865
Loc: pa
castings can have pinholes in them as my 64 vette reproduction knock offs did, i shellacked them + the leaks were gone!!

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#4556485 - 10/27/17 06:10 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
Lolvoguy Offline


Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 2324
Loc: Canada
Never use "Slime". That stuff is designed to be used in an emergency and has been known to cause permanent damage to wheels and tires.

As for the Buick, I'd suggest finding a decent set of steel wheels and be done with it.
If they aren't visually appealing to you, there's many plastic hubcap options available.
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#4556494 - 10/27/17 06:22 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
4WD Online   confused


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6355
Loc: Texas
Find a real tire shop who will apply sealer … every once in a while I go to our Goodyear store to sort something DT blessed me with … it’s like moving from 7th grade to grad school …

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#4556502 - 10/27/17 06:26 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
Traction Offline


Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 977
Loc: iowa
Bead leaks are my worst nightmare after dealing with thousands of them! I don't even know where to start on the issue. German car wheels never have this issue, among a few other others. But there are many more that are not even 3 years old that are so corroded from salt it would make your head spin. And it always starts on the never washed read bead seat, while the front bead is perfectly clean. The best permanent fix is to sand clean, and simply brush on epoxy primer, which would be one of many ideas I have. Believe it or not, but Nitrogen helps a lot! I've been filling tires with N2 for over 17 years now.


Edited by Traction (10/27/17 06:39 PM)
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#4556531 - 10/27/17 06:53 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5767
Loc: Michigan
Yes bead sealer. They brush it on around the rim. Looks like liquid rubber.
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#4556533 - 10/27/17 06:55 PM Re: Fighting leaks with alloy wheels [Re: 901Memphis]
Traction Offline


Registered: 06/04/13
Posts: 977
Loc: iowa
Just to add, to clean up the beads on 4 16 inch wheels, it is over 33 feet of surface area to deal with.
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