Slow leaking tire

Messages
9,365
Location
USA
I have a Walmart Goodyear viva tire with probably 10k miles. One day I came outside and saw my tire flat after not driving my 96 sunfire in almost a week. I am experiencing a very slow leak. I took the tire off. I cleaned it, took all the stones/pebbled out, and I used soapy water. I can't find the slow leak anywhere. I've plugged tires for the past 15 years. There were no nails. I'm losing about 5 psi a day. I just went outside in the garage. It's down to 20psi. it was 40psi four days ago. I don't think I have the road hazard warranty and I'm unsure if walmart tech would try to fix this leak. is there anything else I can do to find the leak?
 
Last edited:

Cutehumor

Thread starter
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
I'm gonna have to check the valve stem. I'm gonna try soapy water. will report back if I find something. that air has to be leaking out of somewhere. I thought maybe I had a pinhole in the tire somewhere that I can't see.
 
Messages
9,126
Location
Illinois
Dad has an old round washtub. That's what they were used for decades ago (and still can be). However, it is perfect for submerging tires to find small leaks. Even the smallest amount of air loss will show up as a stream of bubbles rising through the water.
 
Use REAL soapy water, not weak. Shampoo works well as it really tends to sit and make bubbles well. Mix up a good strong batch of shampoo/ water. Gently (so as not to make your own bubbles) cover the whole tire/rim assy. Let it sit and watch for bubbles... you will see them. Be sure to remove the stem cap and spit/soap the end of the valve to look for bubbles. Take the tire off if possible, I've done it in the past and the leak was near the underside of the tire and hard to find. If you can't remove the tire, roll the tire 1/2 revolution and resoap.
 

Cutehumor

Thread starter
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
I couldn't really tell with soapy water on the valve stem. I'm gonna go to walmart to see if they can find the leak. but I'm thinking either pinhole leak or valve stem. valve stems are cheap, so I think it might just cost 10 bucks. putting air in the tire every 3-4 days is getting annoying fast.
 
Messages
16,007
Location
NE,Ohio
I usually take 1/2gal water with good amount of dawn pour it over top of wheel with very little sloshing.. if i dont find something rotate about 120degrees and try again.. then 120degrees and again. The GF has a bad habit of picking up nails about once every 2-3 monthes so I've gotten good at it.... not all nails needed repair.. sometimes they are short and go in at an angle.. but dont leak when removed.
 
Last edited:
Messages
464
Location
CT
Possible rim leak. I have had this type of leak, 5 lb loss per day and it is too slow to show up on a leak test. Very small amounts of corrosion form inside the wheel, between the tire and rim, under the wheel weight tabs. The metal tab of the wheel weights scratch the wheel, and corrosion forms at the scratch, causing a very small gap between the tire and rim. There is no easy fix. The tire has to be un-mounted, and the inside rim has to be sanded smooth. Have them re-balance using tape weights to prevent the problem. ---------------------------------------- 1999 OLDS GLS 3.4L
 
Messages
10,060
Location
Central Washington
If its a rim leak, I usually fix it by cleaning it best I can, then applying bead seal. Stuff looks like tar. Seals it right up. Something I have seen a lot of lately is corrosion around the valve stem. So the valve stem itself is good, but the wheel is corroding and it can no longer seal to the wheel. Same idea; clean it up then bead seal the valve stem.
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,984
Location
The Motor City
I never met a leak I couldn't find - even the slow leaks. If you're serious about finding the leak (I'll bet it's a rim leak), remove the wheel and throw some soapy water on it. Let it sit on the tire bead for a while. After a few minutes you should start seeing foam in the offending areas. Those are your leaks. As PandaBear said, mix up the soapy solution in a way that it doesn't suds it up beforehand.
 
Originally Posted By: Cutehumor
I couldn't really tell with soapy water on the valve stem. I'm gonna go to walmart to see if they can find the leak. but I'm thinking either pinhole leak or valve stem. valve stems are cheap, so I think it might just cost 10 bucks. putting air in the tire every 3-4 days is getting annoying fast.
I hope Cutehumor didn't wreck going to WallyMart ??!! ... shrug
 

Cutehumor

Thread starter
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
I finally figured out what was wrong. I didn't go to walmart. as a hunch,I replaced the green air pressure caps that were on my car. I replaced with regular black caps. the one tire that was losing air stopped leaking air completely. those green pressure caps that have 32 psi on them that inflate when screwed into the valve stem. the cap must have went bad and was venting air and caused my flat. it's been 6 days now with the regular black caps and with full tire pressure. how ironic.
 
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
I don't understand why people are using those pressure caps, they are not accurate and easy to brake. Checking tire pressure once a month, on the first weekend of the month, along with oil level and other things under the hood is neither difficult nor time consuming.
 
Top