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Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do?

Posted By: Lolvoguy

Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 09:20 PM

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?
Posted By: Audios

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 09:26 PM

Spray it down with soapy water and trace the leak. Take the valve cap off and check that also, sometimes the valve cores leak.
Posted By: FordBroncoVWJeta

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 09:26 PM

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.
Posted By: Traction

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 09:29 PM

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.
Posted By: MrMoody

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 09:43 PM

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.
Posted By: das_peikko

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 10:00 PM

There was a recent thread where somebody discovered a barcode sticker inside the tire right where the sealing bead is; maybe that's your problem?
Posted By: benjy

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 10:26 PM

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!
Posted By: CT8

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 11:17 PM

Pull the wheel off of the car fill it with max air pressure and dunk the tire in a tank and watch for bubbles.
Posted By: Traction

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 11:18 PM

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.
Posted By: atikovi

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 11:34 PM

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.
Posted By: Cressida

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 11:50 PM

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.
Posted By: eljefino

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/25/19 11:58 PM

Who mounted them? Road hazard coverage generally includes bead leaks. And if not they may still warranty their work for free somehow.
Posted By: Elkins45

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 12:06 AM

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!
Posted By: mk378

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 01:12 AM

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.
Posted By: dishdude

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 01:56 AM

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.
Posted By: Soggydog

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 02:00 AM

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.
Posted By: supton

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 12:04 PM

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.
Posted By: CapriRacer

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 12:07 PM

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!
Posted By: ragtoplvr

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 12:28 PM

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
Posted By: atikovi

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 12:40 PM

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.
Posted By: 1978elcamino

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 04:29 PM

Try a new schrader valve. The oring in the core may be leaking slightly, that is very common.
Posted By: kkreit01

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/26/19 07:34 PM

DT will fix flats for free. It doesn't matter whether you bought the tire there or not....Have a pro look at it.

What kind of wheel weights on in it? Years ago I had some aftermarket wheels exhibiting this same behavior. It turns out they were leaking by the clamp-on wheel weights (does anyone still use these?).
Posted By: geeman789

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/27/19 05:26 PM

Originally Posted by kkreit01
DT will fix flats for free. It doesn't matter whether you bought the tire there or not....Have a pro look at it.

What kind of wheel weights on in it? Years ago I had some aftermarket wheels exhibiting this same behavior. It turns out they were leaking by the clamp-on wheel weights (does anyone still use these?).


Lots of cars still use clamp-on weights on the inside wheel lip where you can't see it, and stick-ons on the outside inner portion of the wheel.
Posted By: DejaVue

Re: Tire leak with new wheels. What would YOU do? - 04/27/19 07:39 PM

Originally Posted by Cressida

I think my wife will not be happy if she sees me lugging a 16" mounted tire through the house headed toward the bathroom.

Maybe instead she'd be happier being the one putting air in the leaking tire for the next 50,000 miles.

A wheelbarrow or something works too.

The bead can be submerged a portion at a time by laying the tire flat on the ground, filling the bead area with water, and then tilting the tire just a bit to have a portion of the bead area be the low spot and submerged while you look for bubbles in that spot.

Or just add air to it once a month, and if the leak gets worse (probably nine months from now during winter) then do an actual fix.

If the OP doesn't have a bead breaker or wouldn't want to patch a nail puncture himself, etc, then figuring out where it's leaking from is kind of a moot point because his two choices then are either live with it or bring it to a shop.
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